How many sets of keys should you sell with your car?

First, let’s take a closer look at how many sets of keys you tend to get when you’re buying a car: A new car should be sold by a dealership with the full complement of keys to go with it, such as two fobs and perhaps a spare blade.

And so should any car sold by an approved used vehicle specialist. An unapproved used car specialist should (emphasis on “should”) provide at least two proper sets of keys. And a small trader or individual? Well, that’s the luck of the draw.

Research has shown that losing a set of car keys is a very common occurrence – even if they’re found some time later down the back of a sofa or in the pocket of a coat that hasn’t been worn for months.

Single key: slow sale, low price

So it’s not surprising that so many vehicles are sold with just a single key. That’s also why so many sellers lose out on how much they could have made if they’d sold their vehicle with more than one set of keys. And it may even explain why it takes them longer than they expect when it comes to finding a buyer.

Online car sales site tells, us, quote: “A car without all of its original keys can lose value. It is worth checking against the vehicle’s documents how many keys it originally came with. If the keys the seller has does not match the paperwork, then you are in a position to haggle more money off the price”.

And, of course, part of the process of buying any kind of vehicle is the negotiation working towards a price that’s acceptable to both buyer and seller, with or without any of those little extras (often termed “nibbles” like, say, a full tank of petrol thrown in for free).

A spare car key – essential in more ways than one

It’s not just the inconvenience that comes from losing the one and only key to a vehicle, but also there’s the expense and travel involved when having to get a new key from a local dealership (if there is such a thing – the nearest one could be many miles away).

Then there’s the arranging for a keyless vehicle to be delivered there, and afterwards returning there in person quite some time later when the replacement key has been cut and any necessary modifications have been made to the vehicle’s internal immobiliser/alarm system. And let’s not forget the hire of a vehicle to keep the owner mobile in the interim. All in all, it all adds up.

Another reason for having a spare set of keys (OK, so actually it’s just the one key, but originally there were separate keys for opening car doors and starting the engine, so the term “car keys” has stuck since then) has to do with insurance. It can happen that if a vehicle goes missing some insurance companies get suspicious when the owner can’t provide a second set of keys when putting in a claim.

(A little bit of advice, then: if you’re buying a vehicle from a dealership that can’t or won’t provide you with a spare set of keys, get them to write on the invoice that they’ve only sold you the one set, in case that vehicle disappears and the insurance people think it’s your fault. And then let us make a duplicate of that key for you right away.)

On a lighter note, a spare set of keys can be useful in other ways, too: one story goes about a potential buyer being asked to leave his car keys with a dealer as security when taking one of their cars out for a test drive.

Quite reasonable, you might think, but when the dealer refused to return those keys to the buyer on the grounds that as far as he was concerned the buyer had agreed to purchase the car he’d just driven (which he hadn’t) and since they’d discussed a trade-in (which they had) those keys – and the car – now belonged to the dealer.

But because there was no paperwork to prove anything at all, the now ex-buyer stood up, walked out of the office, unlocked his car with the spare set of keys he had in his pocket … and drove off.

Two sets of keys: faster sale, higher price

So that’s why, when you’re looking at online car sales, having two sets of keys is often used as a selling point, which means if you’re selling your vehicle and you’ve only got one key to go with it, it’s well worth your while having a duplicate made from that key.

It’s a simple process – and a lot less expensive than making up a new key from scratch, or having it done by a dealership.

And can be done either at any of our London or Milton Keynes workshops, or even when you’re parked at home or at work.

And because creating a duplicate key is such a simple process, we can do that for you while you wait.

It’s a small investment to make, but when it comes to the difference in the selling price between a vehicle when it’s only just got the one key and when it has two sets of keys, that investment will pay for itself – and then some.

So if you’re considering selling a vehicle with just the one key, call our friendly customer service department on 0203 393 5669, arrange an appointment for us to create a second key for you and then watch the value of your vehicle go up … and the length of time it takes to sell it go down.

We look forward to seeing you!