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Home > ADVICE AND TIPS (FAQS) > Choosing a Locksmith: How to find a good locksmith (6 Tips)
Find out how you can find a good locksmith, our tips will hopefully help you hire a reliable & trustworthy locksmith. We cover what you should be looking for when hiring a locksmith.
As the UK’s largest locksmith association, we have the knowledge you are looking for when it comes to how to find a good locksmith and choosing the best locksmith for you.
As there is no government licensing of locksmiths in the UK – this means anyone can trade/advertise as a locksmith irrespective of competence, background or motive!
We believe there are currently around 6,500 unlicensed locksmiths currently trading in the UK.
Read our guide below to help you choose a reputable and professional locksmith.
There are steps you can take in checking the credentials of a locksmith.
To help you choose the correct locksmith for you, we recommend the following steps:
One way we’d suggest when looking to hire a locksmith is for 3rd party approval and any accreditations.
The MLA Approved Company scheme means that the locksmith company has been:
Look out for the MLA Approved Company logo
If the potentially hired locksmith has claims of approval by other associations, then you may want to check what’s involved in getting this approval.
Why use an MLA Approved Locksmith
If a locksmith is claiming to be accredited, make sure you check the accreditation being claimed is true.
Some association’s logo use and web promotion is available through payment alone, thereby meaning their “accreditation” actually doesn’t mean that much.
To find out how the MLA vets it’s own locksmith’s click here our locksmiths have to go through rigorous checks to become fully approved.
You may find some companies making false claims of accreditation and using logos without permission, this is something we come across regularly at the MLA, locksmiths using the MLA logo on their site who are not approved by ourselves.
Verify a locksmith is MLA Approved
We always recommend to a get at least 3 quotes as the cost of hiring a locksmith can vary depending on the type of job, your location and day/time.
Overcharging is something we hear about a lot in the locksmith industry, due to there being no regulation by the government, so locksmiths can charge any price.
Please see our locksmith price guide here for estimated costs a locksmith’s charges and a checklist of price questions to ask the locksmith.
We have a full internal complaints procedure for any complaints we receive about overcharging by any MLA approved locksmith.
Prevent being Overcharged
Complaints about a locksmith – Here’s what to do
Using your local professional locksmith is also vital, be wary of using national call centres to hire a locksmith as they often sub out the work to anyone in the area.
Call centres often sub out work without necessarily performing full checks on their locksmiths or knowing how good a job they’ll do, they can often also charge far more than your local MLA licensed locksmith will.
Nearest local MLA Locksmith
Be cautious of locksmith adverts on Google claiming to charge only £49 / £59 or a similar relatively small amount – this is often a red flag for a “bait and switch” scheme whereby further costs are added to the price.
Locksmith Bait & Switch Scheme
Read our locksmith price checklist of questions to ask your locksmith to prevent being overcharged, also view our locksmith call out fee guide for information on how much a call-out fee normally is.
Signs of a Rogue Locksmith
How to Spot a Rogue Locksmith
Recommendations and word of mouth is also a good way to find your local reliable locksmith, ask family or trusted friends if they’ve had lock work done, if so by whom and were they happy.
We recommend you look at the following:
If you are searching for a locksmith on Google, we’d advise skipping the paid-for adverts, as these just show who is willing to pay significant amounts for jobs.
A lot of the time the paid for locksmith Google adverts are national call centres, who farm out work to maintenance companies who are not even local locksmiths.
Be wary of Google Maps Locksmiths as well:
We have been made aware of map entries for locksmiths being in hairdressers, the middle of a dual carriageway and even in one instance in a public convenience!
This way you know you are 100% hiring an actual locksmith that has met the high standards set out by the MLA.
You will find a lot will be making false claims about being DBS checked and vetted.
Ourselves at the MLA can get standard level DBS checks done on approved Locksmiths – get more details here
As locksmithing is not an “exempt role” and ONLY the MLA is mentioned in the exceptions order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
If you are searching for a locksmith in a printed directory then we would recommend you don’t necessarily go for the company that has the biggest advert in there.
Biggest Advert is Usually a Warning Sign
The biggest adverts is merely an indication of the marketing budget available to the company rather than any indication of how good a locksmith they are, assuming that they are an actual locksmith.
You can find a Locksmith that has been vetted and inspected by the MLA, and you can put their details into your mobile phone, you never know when you may need them!
Are Locksmiths DBS / Security Checked?
Complaints about a locksmith – Here’s what to do
Choosing a Locksmith: How to find a good locksmith (6 Tips)
How Much are Locksmith Call Out Charges & Fees?
Locksmith Price List & Costs (2023 Guide)
Should a Locksmith Drill My Lock? (When to Drill a Lock & Not to)
Our Locksmiths are criminal record checked.How we check our locksmiths
Our Locksmiths are Regularly Inspected.How we inspect our locksmiths
Our Locksmiths have passed the MLA exam.Read about MLA Exam here
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