Don’t Get Ripped Off, Here’s What You Should Be Paying For Car Repairs

Britons are driving more and more, clocking up nearly 7,500 miles per year on average; roughly ten hours a week. This is placing increasing strains and pressures on our cars that, despite advances in engineering and design, lead to vital components and systems eventually braking down. Visits to garages or service centres are, ultimately, an inevitable part of a motorist’s life. However, many of us simply don’t understand what we should be paying for our repairs and are failing to shop around; as a result, we’re sometimes opening ourselves up to exploitation by unscrupulous mechanics and technicians. Here’s what you should be paying for the most common types of repairs…  

Gearbox: The gearbox is at the centre of the driving experience, often quite literally. As a result, it suffers from an increased amount of wear and tear compared to other systems in your car; especially if it’s consistently misused. Gearbox repairs make up around 8.4% of the nation’s annual total and cost us over £5,000 in a lifetime. Signs that your gearbox may need replacing include a whistling or clicking noise whilst driving, difficulty engaging gears and low fluid levels. On average, an automatic gearbox costs £1070.49 to repair, whilst manuals cost around £824.28.

Electrical: Electrical faults can originate from a wide-variety of fault types, including your alternator, battery and radio. As a results, signs of a fault vary greatly. For the alternator, a battery warning light may appear, the battery may not charge properly or lights may not be as bright as usual. Electrical repair costs have risen considerably over the past five years, by around 32% according to one report. As it stands, the average cost to repair an electrical fault is around £300. But remember, there’s a greater variation of pricing depending upon the precise nature of the electrical fault and the system from which it originates.

Clutch: Clutch repairs will, on average, cost a British motorist around £5,670 over the course of a lifetime. Signs that your clutch may need repairing include feeling it slip whilst driving, struggling to change gear and a strange noise from the transmission whilst using it. On average, a complete clutch replacement will cost £446.49.

Cambelt:  A cambelt, also known as a timingbelt, is a fundamental part of the combustion engine. It synchronises the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft, opening and closing an engine’s valves at the appropriate time. You may hear a rattling come from the belt as it begins to wear down but, in many cases, there won’t be obvious signs. It’s best to get it checked based on your mileage; your owner’s manual will often specify how frequently you should get it checked. Typically, a cambelt repair/change will cost around £300, but this can increase greatly depending on the extent of the damage and the model of car.

Brakes and Brake Pads: Brake repairs account for around 5% of all repairs made annually. As a critical feature of your car, and your safety, it’s important to keep them well-maintained. Classic signs that your brakes are on their way out include squeaking and squealing noises, a vibrating brake pedal and potentially a grinding metal sound whilst compressing the brakes. A visual sign would also include the pads being less than a quarter of an inch thick. The average cost to repair your brakes/brake pads is around £188.21. This is naturally dependent on the extent of the damage, including how many disks are involved and whether it’s the brake itself.

These are the average costs of the most common types of car repairs. They vary from region to region, but can help serve as a general guide for what you should be paying. The southern parts of the UK, especially London, tend to be the most expensive areas for repair work. Highly rural areas also tend to have inflated prices, whilst northern England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland tend to have the cheapest prices.

Knowing average repair costs is just one way to save money, but with the Autoserve Club you can . For just £8.99 a month, Club Members can receive huge fuel discounts via The Fuelcard People, up to 40% off servicing, 15% off new tyres and access to our professional 24/7 helpline. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today.   

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