Automotive Locksmith Survey Results

May 2, 2018
Locksmiths are looking for value when making major purchases. Versatility, price and ease of use are top considerations.

Automotive lock system designs have come a long way during the last 25 years. Vehicle theft reached a high point in Europe during the late 1980s and insurance companies demanded remedial action. The result was the introduction of transponder-based electronic vehicle security systems. Transponder security began in Europe but it is now universally installed on the majority of vehicles worldwide.

Each vehicle manufacturer had their own transponder security idea and automotive locksmiths were originally forced to purchase several different dedicated programming tools, one for each vehicle manufacturer. To solve this problem, aftermarket manufacturers introduced transponder programming tools which have more universal applications.

Vehicle manufacturers continually add greater security protection to their cars on an almost yearly basis. In addition, different vehicle models from the same manufacturer may have different transponder systems. Most aftermarket programming tools have vehicles they can program and vehicles they cannot program.

Locksmith Ledger conducted a recent survey asking automotive locksmiths what brand of transponder programming tool they own and why they purchased that particular tool. Locksmiths were also asked whether they own a second transponder programming tool and 41 percent said they do.

Versatility appeared to be the deciding factor when locksmiths invest in transponder programming. Fifty-one percent of survey participants ranked versatility as most important, followed closely by price (42 percent), ease of use (38 percent), product service/support (33 percent), availability (27 percent) and upgrade options (26 percent).

When purchasing key machines, ease of use was the top consideration (59 percent), followed by versatility (56 percent), price (48 percent), product service/support (32 percent), availablilty (23 percent) and upgrade options (23 percent).

Please see our charts for full results.

The conclusion that can be drawn from this data is that locksmiths are looking for maximum value when purchasing big ticket items. Price is ranked as slightly less important than versatility. Ease of use and available support/future upgrades are also among the deciding factors.

New programming tools and upgrades are always being introduced. Survey results only indicate the present trend. Locksmith Ledger will continue to inform readers of new transponder programming tool introductions as they become available.