Should A Car Be Sold With 2 Keys? [Inc. A Used Car]

Buying a new or used car is an exciting day. For most people, buying a car is the second biggest purchase they will make. But is it standard for a car to come with two keys? We researched the topic to bring you the answer.

While it is not a requirement, most dealers should give you two keys when purchasing a new vehicle. However, that doesn't mean that they will. For used cars, the dealer might only have one key due to it being a trade-in. In addition, previous owners may have only had one key when selling or trading their vehicle to the dealership. Nonetheless, it is always good to ask the dealer for a second key before signing on the dotted line.

It is good to have a backup when life happens, and you lock your keys in your vehicle or lose your keys. In this article, we will take a closer look at the requirements by dealers to give a second key. In addition, we will discuss why having a second key is essential. Without further ado, let's get into it.

car key in the key slot of a dashboard. Should A Car Be Sold With 2 Keys [Including A Used Car]

Should A Car Be Sold With 2 Keys? 

When you purchase a new or used car, the dealer must give you two keys if requested. However, they do not have to offer it for your convenience.

This is because most dealers will provide extra keys with an additional cost for customers to make more revenue. Nevertheless, when in doubt, we recommend asking and hoping for the best.

It is essential to ask this question before signing any paperwork. For example, if you agree on the vehicle's pricing, the next thing is to ask for two keys. This is important, especially when buying a used vehicle.

Used vehicles vary on whether or not they have one or two keys when sold. The previous owner could trade in or sell the car to a dealer with only one key. In addition, if the vehicle was a repossession, there may have been only one key when brought to the car auction.

So, what do you do if the salesperson says there is only one key for the vehicle? It is important to negotiate this into the deal.

If you haven't signed any paperwork, you don't own the vehicle and have the right not to buy it. You can leverage this scenario to benefit you when asking for a second key.

For brand new vehicles, dealers almost always have two sets of critical remotes or keys. For example, a brand new Ford F-150 should have a second key at purchase. A

gain, if the dealer says it is at your discretion to buy a second key, this is an excellent time to negotiate into the deal! When you are spending such a large amount of money on a vehicle, you must make sure you have a backup set of keys.

Car Buyers. couple Showing New Vehicle Key To Camera Smiling And Hugging Near Auto In Dealership Showroom.

Can you sell a car with one set of keys?

If you are selling your vehicle to a dealer or a private owner, you can sell it with only one set of keys. A new key fob can be pricey, so it may not make sense to have a new one made before selling it.

You personally and the dealership can sell a vehicle with only one set of keys. It is up to the seller if they want to buy a second key for the new owner. 

car sales showroom and person holding car key in hands

Does every car come with a spare key?

Every new and used vehicle should come with a spare key. Many dealerships will not agree to give you two unless you ask, so don't be afraid to do some bargaining.

Some higher-end luxury vehicles may not have a second key, even if purchased from a dealership. In addition, older cars or lower-end models may only have one key.

Getting a car with only one key is common, especially with used vehicles. If you are going to ask for a second key, make sure you ask for a remote key.

A key and a remote key are different in the sense of their functions. A remote key will unlock, lock, alarm, and open the vehicle's trunk. Just a key will only manually unlock, lock, and open the trunk.

Is it safe to buy a used car with only one key?

It is safe to buy a used car with only one key, but it isn't the best idea. If you are purchasing a used vehicle, make sure to get at least one extra key.

Most dealerships will not report your purchase of a second key if requested. However, they may charge an additional fee for making another one. So make sure to ask the dealer before committing to buy the car.

Having a second key will help you in bad situations. For example, if you lock your keys in your vehicle or lose your keys, a backup pair will come in handy.

Keep your second key in a safe spot for these situations. Of course, it doesn't even hurt to have a third key hidden on the outside of your car.

Click here to see a magnetic key hider on Amazon.

Some companies make magnetic hidden key containers that can attach to any part of metal on your car. This will give you peace of mind if you get locked out of your vehicle with no cellphone service.

How many car keys should you have?

Having two or more keys with your new or used car is essential since they are available in an emergency. Furthermore, if you have a spare key, it is much more convenient to use another method to unlock your vehicle.

This means you won't need to call a locksmith to open your locked vehicle in a pinch, which will save you money.

There is usually a spare key inside of new vehicle key fobs that unlocks the car when you touch the door handle. The nice thing about newer vehicles that have key fobs is that the doors won't lock if the key fob is still inside the vehicle.

If you can't find your key fob, then try to start your vehicle. If your vehicle starts then, that means the key fob is somewhere in the vehicle. The vehicle won't start unless the key fob is within close distance inside the vehicle.

For vehicles with a door lock code like the Ford Expedition, the doorlock acts like a second key. This is a handy feature if you lock your keys in your car.

However, if you completely lose the key, then you can't start the vehicle, so it is still good to have a backup key in this situation.

Holding car spare key on close up shot.

Why do you need two keys for one car?

We live in a new age where it's getting harder to remember things. Keys are no exception, whether they are for your home or vehicle, keeping track of keys' location can be overwhelming at times.

You should have two sets of keys because one set will inevitably get lost. Keyless entry remotes can be easily misplaced, especially if you own a car with a push-start ignition system.

Carrying an extra key is cheap insurance against getting locked out of your car or forgetting where you put the remote control key fob for your vehicle.

How can I get a second key for my car?

You can purchase a second key from your dealer or local auto locksmith. A dealership will often sell the same type of key that came with the vehicle initially, sometimes at a higher price.

Using an independent locksmith is usually much cheaper because they buy their keys in bulk at discount prices.

If you are looking for an extra key because you lost yours, try your car door first. If this doesn't solve the problem, check inside the glove compartment and under floor mats.

Some other places where people stash spare keys include under insulation tape strips on windshields, sun visors, and gas tank door lock pockets.

The price of an automotive key is dependent on its number of cuts. The more cuts on the blade, the higher the cost will be. So if you need a replacement key with fewer cuts than your existing key, you can pay less for two keys compared with one amount.

Keep in mind that if you lose your second set of keys, it is still wise to have them re-cut by an automotive locksmith so that they match exactly with your vehicle's ignition system.

New car keys and key fobs can range from $100 to $600 to make and program. That is a pretty penny for a second key. That is why it is essential to make sure there is a second key before buying a vehicle at a dealership.

Also, when purchasing a car from a private seller, it is at your discretion to get a spare key or key fob made.

Salesman send key to customer after good deal agreement, successful car loan contract buying or selling new vehicle.

Final Thoughts

When purchasing a vehicle from a dealership or a private seller, ask them if there is a second key. For dealerships, make sure to include a second key into the deal if there isn't one.

Some dealerships will be reasonable about it and have a second key. However, others will rely on the buyer's discretion to get a second key.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like:

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How many keys do you have for your vehicle? Leave us a comment below!

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  1. I bought my car from a used car dealership. I only received 1 key. My car is a 2016. I didn’t think to ask if there was a second key. Car was purchased about 1 year ago.

  2. I have 3 keys each for my Porsche and 2 of my 3 Mercedes Benz. I bought my last Mercedes while on vacation in SW Florida.The small used car shop refused to have a 2nd key made after I asked a few times. I had been looking for this particular model and wanted to buy it.I Would not recommend buying anything from this place in Venice, FL.My car is great, however.I plan to
    Invest upwards of $600 for an additional key.

  3. I bought a 2020 Toyota Corolla from a dealership in Tacoma, WA. I thought it was an oversight the second key was not given to me. I went back and learned I should have “negotiated” for a second key. Of course, the sales person never mentioned this for obvious reasons. The amount quoted was $200 for the key, $180 for programming plus sales tax. My old Corolla (2004) had been totaled by a trucker, so my knowledge of new keys was minimal. Yes, new cars come with two keys and the metal tag. Basically, I was told there was nothing the dealership would do for me. There is something I can do, and that is to take my servicing and repairs to the other major dealership in the city. Also, I found a reputable seller of Toyota Corollas original fobs selling them for $71. So, not even offering a discount to keep a buyer happy will cost them money in the long run. Also, since the programmer of the key is an independent auto locksmith, who comes to the dealership, I should be able to get the second key at a more favorable price.

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