One thing new car buyers should note is the cost of replacement car keys. If this doesn’t make your eyes water, nothing will. Here is a list of replacement keys for certain cars in descending order of price as of February 2019.
This has got to be one of the greatest rip-offs in the entire automotive industry. So what is inside one of these outrageously expensive electronic keys? My Mazda 6 key is made by Mitsubishi and to replace it with a key from a Mazda will cost in excess of $200. I have opened it a number of times to change the battery. Here is a photo of the innards:
So what is inside the Mazda key fob? Being involved in electronics and radio communications most of my life, I can categorically say that little circuit board with its one integrated circuit and a few surface mounted components would cost a few cents to manufacture. The 1620 lithium battery is a couple of dollars and the plastic housing and key tongue would cost another couple of dollars to make. The whole key and remote control fob is not worth more than $10 at the most. Even if Mazda Australia charged the dealer $20 wholesale price, the dealer whacks on this outrageous mark-up and flogs it to Mazda owners for more than $200.
By comparison a similar device with literally identical electronics is a garage door opener fob. Here is a photo of such a device that was advertised on eBay.
As of February 2019, the above item was available – delivered by Australia Post to your door – for TWO OF THEM. And how much, including postage? A whole $9.45 for the pair and that works out at $4.73 each. This remote control has essentially the same electronics as my Mazda 6 key fob, so you can see what a gigantic rip-off it is, when car dealers charge many hundreds of dollars for an item that is only worth a few dollars at most. So keep in mind that if you lose your car remote control, just get onto Google and search for replacement remote control fobs for your particular car and you can buy very cheap aftermarket fobs that will work very nicely.