Over the years, keys for cars and other vehicles have become increasingly more sophisticated and complex. No longer is there a need to have one key for the doors and another key to start the engine, today’s modern keys can unlock the doors and start the engine without even the need to insert a key blade.

In the early 1900s, the first type of car key simply locked the vehicle’s electric circuitry stopping the crank handle from starting the engine. In 1949 the first ignition key was developed by Chrysler. By the 1990s you only needed one key for the doors and the ignition and the doors could be unlocked with a press of a button on the key fob. By the early 2000s the fob became a smart key, unlocking the doors and starting the engine with a simple button press.

With so many vehicle manufacturers utilising different key types to make it more convenient for drivers whilst securing the vehicles from thieves, getting a replacement or additional keys can be very confusing. KeyNOW takes the confusion out and can provide the following types of keys.

Non-remote Transponder Keys

Transponder keys contain a microchip that transmits a low-level signal from the key to a receiver in the car. The microchip is coded with a unique serial number that will only match up to the digital serial number in the car and will only unlock or open the car and start the engine if the correct serial number is identified.

Remote Keys

Powered by a battery, a remote car key features buttons that can unlock the vehicle and deactivate the alarm. Used to unlock the vehicle without physical contact from a short distance from the car, the key blade still needs to be inserted into the ignition to start the vehicle.

Flip Keys

An alternative version of the remote key, a flip-style car key is where the key blade is designed to fold away into the key fob when not in use. Sometimes referred to as a switchblade car key.

Smart Keys

The term smart key refers to a car key that locks and unlocks a vehicle without the need to remove the key blade from the fob. The technology works by the key giving out a pulse picked up by the antenna in the vehicle's body. The car is usually started using a push button start while the smart key is anywhere inside the vehicle however in some cases the fob does need to be inserted into a slot before a start button is pressed.  These keys are sometimes referred to as Proximity keys or Keyless car keys.

Key cards

Key cards are another type of Smart Key, but instead of being a fob, it is a card that is barely larger than a credit card, that usually has to be inserted into a slot for the Start button to work.

We also provide 3 levels of key types for remote, flip and smart keys giving customers a wider choice of pricing to fit their budget.

Universal Key – This is a non-branded key that has all the same functions as your original key supplied but may not be the same size and shape as the original key or any existing keys you have for the vehicle

Premium Key - This is a key that looks just like the manufacturer's official key and has all the same functions but does not have the manufacturer's branding or logo on the fob.

Manufacturer’s Key - This is a genuine key supplied by the original vehicle manufacturer and will have the car make or branding on the fob. As we have to order these from the manufacturer, there could be a slight delay in getting the key to you and paired to your vehicle.

If you are still having problems selecting the right replacement key for you and your vehicle, don't hesitate to contact our knowledgeable customer service team at 0333 188318