Newbie here... I'm confused.


Jan 29, 2018
2002 Beetle
Alright, I've used the search and read and read, but i still don't get they KeyFob deal.... I just recently bought an '02 beetle, it only came with one key, the dealer says that i need to provide them with a VIN and the order a key that's already cut. ($150 for key and $150 to program) Then i see folks that purchase keys online without a VIN and can program them yourself.... Are those keys cut??

What do i need to do.... I want an extra key, that works like it's supposed to.

Thanks in advance!


Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Apr 25, 2009
Edmonton AB Canada
2001 ALH Jetta, 2003 ALH Wagon, 2005 BEW Wagon
Welcome to the board!

It's confusing because a key has three parts, and each part has to be adapted differently:

1) the key needs to be mechanically cut so that it will turn in the lock and the ignition switch. This can be done by duplicating an existing key mechanically or by VIN number thru a dealer or other vendor (links in the thread above, for example)

2) the car's cluster needs to be adapted to the RFID chip embedded in the key to allow the key to start the car electronically. In order to do the adaptation specific software is needed to read the SKC (Secret Key Code) of the specific cluster in the car AND a different software package is needed to then teach the car about the new key. This is what the dealer means by "$150 for programming". Some locksmiths are equipped to do this, and some on-line vendors will loan out the required software when you buy a key from them.

3) the car then needs to be taught to recognize the remote-control part at end of the key that locks and unlocks the doors electronically. The programming tool for this is different than the other two programming tools mentioned above, and part of the $150 programming charge from the dealer. There's also a way to this specific part without software, if you already have one fully-working key.

So... 3 parts to making a fully functioning key... and 3 different software packages required. It's a reasonably sophisticated anti-theft system, so not really designed to be straight-forward. :)

Some folks track all that down... some folks find a locksmith that has all that stuff... some folks drop their car off at a dealer.

Mazda charges twice that much for a key last time I checked... so by one angle your dealer is giving you a deal. :) :)
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Vendor , w/Business number
Oct 16, 2003
Gresham, Oregon
'81 DMC-12, '15 GL350 CDI 275 hp/448 tq - '81 Caddy ALH, '05 E320 CDI 250hp/450 tq
I liked the Mercedes system - gave them the VIN, showed registration and title, signed a disclaimer, gave them $180 and pick up a key precut and programmed...Oh well.