'Local Locksmiths'. What is the distinction? Well, it may come as no surprise that their business is based in the local area. You may wonder why this is such an important distinction these days, but it matters. It affects the service and, probably more importantly, how much it will cost.
In many instances the first service you will find when searching for a locksmith will be what is called a 'National'. They may advertise as being 'local' but often are not. All the calls to the advertised 'local' numbers will go to a call centre. They will take down the details of your request and, here's the rub, usually your card number. They then tell you the locksmith will be with you in a jiffy and leave you to wait for whoever arrives.
Phew!, you think. But now the call centre is trying to find someone to do the job. They may have to ring a few people to get it covered but eventually someone will be on their way to you. Assuming the details given over the phone were written down and relayed accurately, this person may well know what they are doing but they will not be paid what you are going to be charged. There is a large cost to running such an operation and it needs to be satisfied before anything else. It also needs V.A.T. adding to it. The icing on an already over inflated cake.
This is a shame. It's where most of the horror stories relating to locksmith pricing come from, and it's why it may be in the customer's interest to use a local locksmith. They are often sole traders and many do not charge V.A.T. Your local locksmith is able to price a job by what it will cost to do and what they are prepared to accept. Also the customer is generally dealing with the organ grinder and not the monkey, so if something should prove to be unsatisfactory you will not be left dealing with a call centre.