MLA Master Locksmiths are Vetted Inspected Qualified

Choosing a Locksmith: How to find a good locksmith (6 Tips)

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.

Save the contact details of a MLA Approved locksmith in your phone

We have over 300 Locksmiths across the UK, find your closest by clicking the button.

Save nearest locksmiths phone number

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:

  • Vetted via a DBS Security Check
  • Regularly inspected
  • Employs a Qualified Master Locksmith (i.e. somebody with an MLA Qualification).
Master Locksmiths Association MLA Approved Company Logo

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

How to Verify a Locksmith is Accredited

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.

False Claims of Accreditations – Always Check

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

2. Get 3 Quotes from Locksmiths

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.

Locksmith Price Quotes

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

3. 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.

Nearest local MLA Locksmith

4. 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.

Locksmith Bait & Switch Scheme

Is this low price JUST the call out fee? Ask Questions!

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

Find out how to identify warning signs of a locksmith potentially overcharging you.

How to Spot a Rogue Locksmith

5. 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…
  • Check CompaniesHouse – Verify the company are still trading

Visit CompaniesHouse Website

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:

  • Physical locations are sometimes ‘made up’ by a company via a virtual address – the address may be a PO Box read about this locksmith scam on Wikipedia
  • Google does not verify all addresses supplied by companies.

Google Maps Logo

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.

DBS Checked white logo image

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 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.

Locksmith Directory Example

  • 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.

Save the contact details of a Local MLA Approved locksmith

Find a Locksmith that has been vetted and inspected by the MLA, and you can put their details into your mobile phone

Save nearest locksmiths phone number

Further Reading

Why use a MLA Approved Locksmith?

All locksmith companies approved & licensed by Master Locksmiths Association are:

Vetted Locksmith
All our Master Locksmiths are criminal record checked


Our Locksmiths are criminal record checked.
How we check our locksmiths

Locksmith Inspection
All our Master Locksmiths are criminal record checked


Our Locksmiths are Regularly Inspected.
How we inspect our locksmiths

Locksmith Qualification
All our Master Locksmiths are criminal record checked


Our Locksmiths have passed the MLA Qualification.
Read about MLA Qualification

Vetted Locksmiths In the UK

Find Nearest Locksmith

Become a MLA Member

Join the UK's largest locksmith association, all levels of membership available for those new to locksmithing to trading locksmiths.

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Find a Locksmith