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.
How to find a reputable 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:
1. Look for 3rd party approval
One way we’d suggest when looking to hire a locksmith is for 3rd party approval and any accreditations.
MLA Approved Locksmiths are Vetted
The MLA Approved Company scheme means that the locksmith company has been:
- Regularly inspected
- Employs a qualified locksmith (i.e. somebody with an exam based proof of competence).
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.
Verifying a Locksmith is Accredited
If a locksmith is claiming to be accredited make sure you check the accreditation being claimed is true.
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.
There are unfortunately some associations where 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.
2. Go Local instead of National Call Centres
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.
3. Recommendations & Word Of Mouth
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:
- Look at Review sites – Don’t just look at Google reviews, also look at Yell, Facebook, Twitter etc…
- CompaniesHouse – Verify the company are still trading.
4. Get 3 Quotes
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.
5. Beware of Cheap £49 / £59 Locksmith Adverts
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.
Is this low price JUST the call out fee? Ask Questions!
Signs of a Rogue Locksmith
6. Finding a Locksmith on Google – Expert Tips
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.
Locksmiths on Google Maps Warning
Be wary of Google Maps Locksmiths as well:
- Sometimes the physical location is ‘made up’ by the company via a virtual address – you will find the business is just a PO Box read about this locksmith scam on Wikipedia
- Google does not verify the addresses supplied by companies.
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!
- The best advice we can give is to visit our find a locksmith page to find a vetted locksmith in your area.
This way you know you are 100% hiring an actual locksmith that has met the high standards set out by the MLA.
Warning about Locksmiths Claiming to be DBS Checked
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.
Finding a Locksmith in printed directories
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 Warning
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.
- National call centres advertise heavily in these directories, often taking out multiple adverts in different company names.
- When contacting the company, ask the name of the locksmith who will attend and then check when they turn up.
How to Find a Local 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!