If you are like most people, the chances are that you have locked yourself out of your vehicle, home or office at least once in your lifetime. It happens to the best of us — locks can cause trouble any time of the week, day or night. Who’ll come to your rescue when you need it most? Of course, your favorite Chicago locksmith.

But, here’s the thing: not all locksmiths are created equal. Some are good — the top-notch pros who come in swiftly, do a bang-up job and leave without breaking the bank. What you should be worried about, however, are the shady fellows who just want to get paid. So, how can you tell the best guys from the rest?

Read on to learn more about our 10 trade tips on how to choose the right locksmith for your needs, whether auto, residential or commercial.

#1. Plan Ahead

Imagine this scenario: it’s 3 am on a cold winter night, and you’re locked out of your home. Whom would you call: a stranger or someone you know? That’s right — it’s best to have contacts of a good Chicago locksmith handy. Even better, make sure that the residential or auto locksmith offers a 24/7 emergency service. You don’t know when you might need them most.

#2. Do A Little Research

The internet has certainly changed the way we find people, things, and shop. That’s why it pays to start the search for the best locksmith near me online. Scour auto locksmith comparison websites to zero in on the best one.

#3. Is the Locksmith near me Reputable?

It’s a no-brainer to go for a reputable Chicago locksmith. The last thing you want is someone who’ll fumble with your lock, causing more damage to it. Often, a reputable auto locksmith has been endorsed by trusted authorities like BBB, Allied Locksmiths of America, Retired Firefighter Associations, and so forth.

#4. Is the locksmith bonded and insured?

Put your mind to rest by hiring a Chicago locksmith who is not only experienced but also fully insured and bonded. You want to know that your valuables are in good hands.

#5. Watch Out for Additional Fees and Questionable Charges

A locksmith who charges questionable fees is a tell-tale sign of poor craftsmanship. Stay away from them. Also, make sure that you are not being charged extra for off-hours or out-of-area service call.

#6. Read Online Reviews — What are Others Saying about the Locksmith?

A locksmith who is worth his salt leaves a trail of good reviews. The best way to find out is to head over to sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Reviews, and other credible review resources.

#7. What are your Payment Options?

Most credible locksmiths offer a wide array of payment options, including cash, check, and credit card. It’s a surefire sign of established professionals who care about their clients.

#8. Get Recommendation

The chance is that your close friend, relative or coworker knows an excellent Chicago locksmith. Get up to 5 good recommendation for further review.

#9. Conduct a Background Check

You don’t want to let just about anyone to temper with your lock. Your precious assets and loved ones are at stake here. Make sure to call references and ascertain important information.

#10. Is Cheap Good?

When it comes to hiring locksmith, you get what you pay for. If the rate is too good to be true, trust your instincts.