Volvo makes a good car, and many Volvo owners have had their cars last for a decade or more. Unfortunately when your car lasts for that long, it isn’t uncommon to need to replace the key. Ten years is a long time to not lose a key, and damage happens. When you do need to replace a Volvo key, a bit of thought can save you a lot of money.

The big challenge for Volvo owners has always been the expense of repairing or replacing a car whose parts need to be shipped in. Your key, thankfully, can be replaced right at your dealership, but it won’t be cheap. In fact, the cost will make you think they had the key shipped overseas.

Security measures in modern cars make getting a new key for any new car is difficult and expensive. Since 1999, keys have been electronical matched to the lock, preventing any other key from starting the car.

Getting Inexpensive Keys For Your Volvo

Why Can’t I Just Go to the Hardware Store

Not long ago, you could go to a hardware store, pay less then $20 to have a new key cut and be on your way in under an hour. Unfortunately, new security measures require each key to be specially programmed to match a single car. If a key doesn’t have the right programming, it won’t start the car.

In order to get a new key, you need to use your VIN to get a key programmed to match your car. This is why many people will tell you that you have to go to the dealer to get a new key, and why getting a new key is so expensive. However there are a few ways to make getting a new key cheaper and easier.
Order Directly

You can order your key directly from Volvo. It will take about 10 days to ship, and will arrive pre-programmed for your car. You’ll need to pay the cost of shipping, but it’s cheaper than paying a dealership to make a program a new key.

Find an Authorized Locksmith

Volvo authorized locksmiths will have the equipment to cut and program your new key, and will usually be less expensive than going to a retailer.

Have You Had Your Locks Replaced?

If you have had your locks or ignition replaced or repaired, then getting new keys is a bit more complicated. If you give you VIN to a locksmith or Volvo to replace your key, they will give you a key that matches your original parts, and won’t work with the repairs or replacements.

To get working keys, take the records of any repairs or replacements with you to the locksmith (or send copies to Volvo). Ask what you will need to do to get the correct keys. With luck, the records will have the information they need to make working keys.

Don’t Be Afraid to Bargain

It may be, especially if you’ve had repairs to the ignition or locks, that going to the dealer is the best way to get new keys. While dealers can be expensive, you can sometimes get a deal. Ask if you can get a discount on two keys, so you’ll have a back up or get keys for two cars at the same time.

Finally, sites like MySwedishParts.com will sell you the right key for your car, which you can take to the dealer to get programmed. This will cost less than having the dealer make and program the key.

With the electronic security systems in modern car keys it’s hard to find a  cheap replacement key for a Volvo. However, you don’t need to pay dealer prices to get a new key. You have options.