LL Notes from the Editor eNL - Jul 20th, 2022
LL Notes from the Editor eNL | View online
July 20, 2022
The Results Are In

After a five-year break, Locksmith Ledger again presents its popular National Average Price Survey. We asked readers about service calls, hourly rates and fees for specific jobs and installations. The average residential service call in 2022 is $85 during regular business hours and $128 after hours. Similarly, the average auto lockout call in 2022 is $82 during regular hours and $117 after hours.

See the full results here. 

Door hardware and electronic access control installations were more difficult to quantify, because everyone’s pricing structure is different. Some locksmiths charge a flat fee for the installation, while others charge by the hour — also including a base fee for the service call. Others don’t give estimates until they’ve made a site visit to assess the existing equipment. And, of course, the customer also is charged for the products being installed.

The highest priced services are installing an automatic door opener, $422; safe opening by drilling, $336; safe opening by manipulation, $307; upgrading to a touchless actuator, $298; and an “all keys lost” automotive call, $226. 

One big variable is the price of gasoline. When we started this survey on Jan. 19, the average price for a gallon of gas in the United States was $3.32 and rising. Today, the average is $4.49 (and hopefully starting to fall). This can have a huge impact on profit margins. If a locksmith van uses 30 gallons of gas per week, the cost of fuel jumped from $100 to $134. For a larger company that has a fleet of 10 vans, this represents a $340 per week increase in expenses.

The majority of survey respondents don’t charge a mileage fee or fuel surcharge within their regular service area, although some charge a set amount for calls outside their service zone. This might have changed in light of the recent price increases.

Comparing fees from the locksmiths who charge them was like comparing apples to oranges. Mileage fees ranged from 55 cents to $3.50 per mile, sometimes beyond the first 5 or 10 miles, sometimes one way and sometimes round trip. Others charge $1 per minute of drive time, a $25 flat fee to go out of city limits or a flat $20 or $30 fuel surcharge.

We appreciate the comments and suggestions from locksmiths who took the survey, even the one who said, “You need to get an actual locksmith to fix your categories.” We will reach out to our readers when we get ready for the 2023 National Average Price Survey.

Emily Pike



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