Get quotes to fit brake pads and discs near you

Cost to replace brake pads and discs

Replacing one set of brake pads and discs cost: £130 + £120

The brakes on your vehicle are, of course, one of the most important safety aspects. While there are lots of other mechanical parts that can have little problems and your car will be totally safe to drive, if your brakes aren’t functioning at their best it’s dangerous for you and for everyone on the road around you. So, it’s important to ensure you stay on top of any maintenance work that’s required.

For most brake issues, the best way to get them sorted is simply to replace the brake pads and discs. There is little that can be repaired with brakes, so once they have started to wear out, or if they get damaged, you’re better off replacing them. After all, you want to be confident that you can trust your vehicle’s braking performance.

In this guide, we’ll go over how brakes work mechanically, cover some common issues and give you the all-important info on how much you should expect to pay to get them replaced.

How do brakes work?

So, the first thing to tackle is how brakes work mechanically – this will give you a better sense of why the parts wear out, and why it’s so important to keep on top of maintenance schedules.

A disc brake, which is what the majority of modern cars will use, use a mechanical disc and pad to create friction which slows the wheel down. The disc is made from metal and fitted to the wheel hub, while the pads are made from a hard-wearing compound. By clamping the pad into contact with the disc, using a calliper, friction is created and this is what slows down each wheel.

As you can imagine, rubbing the brake pad against the disc causes both parts to wear down over time. This is why these parts need to be inspected and changed regularly, as if they wear out too much you won’t be able to stop your vehicle effectively.

Drum brakes vs. disc brakes

You might also have heard of drum brakes – these are a different kind of brakes. They’re not as common on modern cars, but older vehicles use them. They’re generally fitted to the rear axle of vehicles, with disc brakes on the front, as the front is where most of the braking force is applied to a vehicle. Drum brakes are still fitted to some new cars, particularly small or low performance ones.

A drum brake works in a similar fashion, but they use “shoes” instead of brake pads to press against a drum which is fitted to the hub of the wheel. Drum brakes are harder to service, but the shoes last for much longer than pads and discs on a disk brake, especially as the rear brakes apply less of the braking force. So, if you have these fitted to your car, you shouldn’t have to get them serviced nearly as often as disc brakes.

How much to replace brake pads and discs?

So, how much does it cost to replace brake pads and discs? On the table on this page, we’ve included some average car mechanic costs around the country for the price to replace a set of pads and discs – this means replacing both brake pads and brake discs for 1 axle, so 2 discs and 2 pads. Generally speaking, the front pads and discs will wear quicker than the ones on the rear of your car, so you’ll typically need to do one axle at a time.

It's possible that you’ll only need to replace your brake pads, and that the discs will be fine. This will cost around half of what you would pay for both.

These average costs are the price you’ll pay for an ordinary family vehicle. If your vehicle is a large car, like an SUV or 4x4, expect to pay more as bigger cars will understandably need larger breaks. This could be up to £400-500 per axle for a set of pads and discs. 

For performance cars, you could pay up to £600-800 per axle. This is because performance cars use performance parts, including special carbon fibre brakes. As the brakes themselves need to be bigger and heavier to apply the required extra braking force to stop a fast car, they need to be made from special lighter materials to reduce the overall weight.

Common warning signs of worn brakes

As brakes are a vital part of your car’s safety systems, they’re regularly checked and inspected during MOTs and vehicle services. However, it’s also important to know some of the key warnings signs that could mean your vehicle’s brakes aren’t performing optimally.

Dashboard brake light

Modern vehicles have a warning light on the dashboard that will come on to indicate that the car’s systems have detected a problem with either the brakes or the ABS system. If yours does come on, take your car to a garage as soon as you can to get it properly checked out and the issue diagnosed.

Spongy brake pedal

One of the most common signs of brake issues is a “spongy” brake pad. If you press down on the brake pedal and don’t get a strong response with resistance, it usually means that there’s a problem with your brakes. This is especially true if you can feel that your car isn’t slowing as quickly as it should.

“Juddering” or steering wheel pulls when braking

If you feel that your car judders or the steering wheel pulls or wobbles when you brake, this is another common sign of damage or worn-out brake pads and discs. This sometimes also occurs when there’s been damage to a brake disc, as it means the wear is uneven from one wheel to the other.

Noisy brakes

Brakes that have started to wear out significantly will often start to make a squealing or squeaking noise. If you hear this when you brake, it’s worth getting your car checked by a mechanic, as it may be an indication that your brakes are wearing out.

Visual deterioration on brake discs

On most vehicles, you can inspect the visible part of the brake disc that you can see through the spokes of each wheel. Look for any deep grooves or scoring, as well as rough spots or rust. It could also be cracked or look uneven – either of these will mean you need to replace the disc.

How often should I replace brake pads and discs?

The service intervals on brake pads and discs can vary hugely depending on your driving style and the make/model of the vehicle. A good rule of thumb is around every 40,000-50,000 miles. However, it could be as soon as every 25,000 miles, or they may last as long as 80,000. Your brake pads and discs will be inspected as part of an MOT and service, so if you’re worried about the mileage your brakes have done, ask your mechanic.

Bear in mind that you’ll likely need to change your front brake pads and discs sooner than the rear ones, as most of the braking force is applied by the front brakes.

Can I make brake pads and discs last longer?

As we’ve just mentioned, there’s a range on how long brake pads and discs will take to wear out. This is because the speed at which your brakes will wear out is massively dependent on both your driving style and the type of driving that you mostly do.

So, to keep your brakes in top condition for longer, try to drive as smoothly as possible, and use engine braking to slow your vehicle down where it’s safe to do so. Riding the brakes often, and stopping too quickly will cause your brakes to wear out faster than they might otherwise. Braking early, and applying lighter, smoother pressure to the pedal for a longer period of time is a better way to stop, and it’s safer too. Over braking and braking aggressively is both more dangerous as a driving style, as well as causing brakes to wear out prematurely.

This means that if you do a lot of smooth, motorway driving, you can expect your brakes to last on the longer end of the ranges we quoted above. However, if you drive aggressively in stop and go traffic a lot, expect your brakes to wear more quickly. Additionally, environments with lots of hills will often cause brakes to wear quicker, as you’ll be braking more often and also need to apply more force to stop the car when you’re going downhill.


Estimates for common car mechanic jobs;

JobEstimate
Replacement exhaust cost to supply and fit £180
Cost to replace brake pads and discs £430
MOT cost £70
Clutch replacement cost £850
Full annual car service cost £240

Rates for other trades

Replacement brake pads and discs cost in the UK
Replacement brake pads and discs cost in the UK (excluding VAT or callout charges)
Location in UKReplacement brake pads and discs cost
Replacement brake pads and discs near Aberdeen£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Amber Valley£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Arun£280
Replacement brake pads and discs near Ashfield£258
Replacement brake pads and discs near Aylesbury Vale£266
Replacement brake pads and discs near Barnsley£248
Replacement brake pads and discs near Basildon£272
Replacement brake pads and discs near Basingstoke & Deane£280
Replacement brake pads and discs near Bassetlaw£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Bath & North East Somerset£288
Replacement brake pads and discs near Bedford£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Belfast£244
Replacement brake pads and discs near Birmingham£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Blackburn£248
Replacement brake pads and discs near Blackpool£300
Replacement brake pads and discs near Bolton£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Bournemouth£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Bracknell Forest£268
Replacement brake pads and discs near Bradford£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Braintree£280
Replacement brake pads and discs near Bridgend£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Brighton£270
Replacement brake pads and discs near Bristol£288
Replacement brake pads and discs near Broxtowe£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Bury£252
Replacement brake pads and discs near Caerphilly£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Calderdale£248
Replacement brake pads and discs near Cambridge£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Canterbury£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Cardiff£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Charnwood£242
Replacement brake pads and discs near Chelmsford£280
Replacement brake pads and discs near Cheltenham£266
Replacement brake pads and discs near Cherwell£272
Replacement brake pads and discs near Chester£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Colchester£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Conway£240
Replacement brake pads and discs near Coventry£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Crewe & Nantwich£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near Dacorum£278
Replacement brake pads and discs near Derby£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near Doncaster£242
Replacement brake pads and discs near Dudley£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near Dundee£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near East Ayrshire£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near East Devon£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near East Dunbartonshire£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near East Hampshire£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near East Hertfordshire£268
Replacement brake pads and discs near East Riding£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Eastleigh£270
Replacement brake pads and discs near Edinburgh£220
Replacement brake pads and discs near Elmbridge£270
Replacement brake pads and discs near Epping Forest£282
Replacement brake pads and discs near Erewash£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Exeter£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Fife£240
Replacement brake pads and discs near Flintshire£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Gateshead£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Gedling£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Glasgow£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near Gloucester£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Guildford£278
Replacement brake pads and discs near Halton£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near Harrogate£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near Havant & Waterloo£276
Replacement brake pads and discs near Horsham£270
Replacement brake pads and discs near Ipswich£242
Replacement brake pads and discs near Isle of Wight£276
Replacement brake pads and discs near Kirklees£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near Knowsley£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near Leeds£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near Leicester£240
Replacement brake pads and discs near Lisburn£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Liverpool£258
Replacement brake pads and discs near London£280
Replacement brake pads and discs near Luton£266
Replacement brake pads and discs near Macclesfield£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Maidstone£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Manchester£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Mid Bedfordshire£266
Replacement brake pads and discs near Mid Sussex£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Middlesbrough£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Milton Keynes£262
Replacement brake pads and discs near Neath Port Talbot£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near New Forest£270
Replacement brake pads and discs near Newbury£280
Replacement brake pads and discs near Newcastle-under-Lyme£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near Newcastle-upon-Tyne£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Newport£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near North Ayrshire£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near North Hertfordshire£268
Replacement brake pads and discs near North Lanarkshire£242
Replacement brake pads and discs near North Lincolnshire£244
Replacement brake pads and discs near North Somerset£274
Replacement brake pads and discs near North Wiltshire£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Northampton£230
Replacement brake pads and discs near Nottingham£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Nuneaton & Bedworth£262
Replacement brake pads and discs near Oldham£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Oxford£272
Replacement brake pads and discs near Plymouth£200
Replacement brake pads and discs near Poole£270
Replacement brake pads and discs near Portsmouth£280
Replacement brake pads and discs near Powys£236
Replacement brake pads and discs near Preston£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Reading£274
Replacement brake pads and discs near Redcar & Cleveland£262
Replacement brake pads and discs near Reigate & Banstead£276
Replacement brake pads and discs near Renfrewshire£236
Replacement brake pads and discs near Rhondda, Cynon, Taff£272
Replacement brake pads and discs near Rochdale£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Rotherham£242
Replacement brake pads and discs near Salford£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Sandwell£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near Sefton£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Sevenoaks£262
Replacement brake pads and discs near Sheffield£242
Replacement brake pads and discs near Slough£266
Replacement brake pads and discs near Solihull£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near South Ayrshire£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near South Bedfordshire£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near South Cambridgeshire£266
Replacement brake pads and discs near South Gloucestershire£292
Replacement brake pads and discs near South Lanarkshire£230
Replacement brake pads and discs near South Oxfordshire£280
Replacement brake pads and discs near South Somerset£258
Replacement brake pads and discs near South Tyneside£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Southampton£270
Replacement brake pads and discs near Southend-on-Sea£266
Replacement brake pads and discs near St Albans£276
Replacement brake pads and discs near St Helens£252
Replacement brake pads and discs near Stafford£244
Replacement brake pads and discs near Stockport£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Stockton-on-Tees£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Stoke-on-Trent£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near Stratford-on-Avon£248
Replacement brake pads and discs near Stroud£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Suffolk Coastal£236
Replacement brake pads and discs near Sunderland£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Swale£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Swansea£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near Tameside£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Teignbridge£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Tendring£242
Replacement brake pads and discs near Test Valley£248
Replacement brake pads and discs near Thamesdown£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Thanet£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Thurrock£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Torbay£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Trafford£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Vale of Glamorgan£260
Replacement brake pads and discs near Vale of White Horse£250
Replacement brake pads and discs near Vale Royal£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Wakefield£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near Walsall£246
Replacement brake pads and discs near Warrington£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Warwick£264
Replacement brake pads and discs near Waveney£240
Replacement brake pads and discs near Waverley£276
Replacement brake pads and discs near Wealden£270
Replacement brake pads and discs near West Lancashire£254
Replacement brake pads and discs near West Lothian£200
Replacement brake pads and discs near West Wiltshire£256
Replacement brake pads and discs near Wigan£252
Replacement brake pads and discs near Windsor & Maidenhead£266
Replacement brake pads and discs near Wirral£258
Replacement brake pads and discs near Wokingham£270
Replacement brake pads and discs near Wolverhampton£242
Replacement brake pads and discs near Wrexham Maelor£262
Replacement brake pads and discs near Wychavon£238
Replacement brake pads and discs near Wycombe£258
Replacement brake pads and discs near York£256