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The 5 most common (and most expensive) auto repairs

The 5 most common (and most expensive) auto repairs

By: Kate Anderson | 24th May 2020

Owning a car can be a costly business. When something significant goes wrong, your bank balance can take a big hit. However, the more you know what to look out for when it comes to car repairs – and how much you are likely to shell out – the better you can prepare yourself against those unexpected costs.

So take a look at our list of the five most common car repairs – and how much you are likely to pay for them.

Just one thing to remember: the prices below are the average expected cost of repair. Repair costs can vary depending on your vehicle and the area of the country you live in.

For simplicity and consistency, we’ve taken our figures from The site provides average costs, taking into account quotes from over 14,000 garages across the UK. As quotes change constantly, so does the average cost. The figures below are very much there as a guideline.

1. Clutch

While your car’s clutch should last a number of years, when it does finally go, it can be quite a large expense. If you find yourself struggling to change gear, or if the gears slip while you are driving, then it is probably time to invest in a new clutch.

Average cost of repair: £445

2. Cambelt/timing belt

Changing the cambelt is one of those annoying bits of car maintenance that costs a lot. You may not notice much difference when it’s done, but it is something you should never neglect. If your cambelt/timing belt fails, it could damage your whole engine. However, there is no easy way to judge when you need to replace it.

Your car’s handbook will specify the change frequency, and if you are buying a used car, it is worth asking when the cambelt/timing belt was last changed. Alternatively, Halfords Autocentres offer a free cambelt check if you are unsure.

Average cost of repair: £299

3. Alternator

When your alternator dies, so does your car’s entire electrical system. How long your alternator will last depends on your vehicle, but estimates range from 50,000 miles to 100,000 miles or more. Signs that you may need to replace your alternator include a warning light on your dashboard, dimming headlights, and a squealing sound coming from your engine.

Average cost of repair: £288

4. Brakes

Brake pad and disc replacements are among the most common car repairs. Brakes experience a huge amount of wear and tear over their lifetime. Tell tale signs that all is not well with your brakes include a warning light on your dashboard, your car not slowing effectively and vibration or pulling to one side when braking.

Average cost of repair: £252

5. Battery

Car batteries have a limited life span, and you may find that this is something that will need to be replaced during your ownership of the car. Key signs that all is not well with the battery include the car not starting, unresponsive electricals and eroded components on the battery itself.

Average cost of repair: £142


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