Cheapest Cars to Repair

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 2 months ago

4 min read

  • Advice
  • Repair
  • cheap
  • which
Fiat 500 2021

WhoCanFixMyCar reveals which of the UK's most popular cars is the cheapest to repair.

When you’re in the market for a car, whether it’s new or second-hand, it isn’t just the price of the vehicle and insurance costs you should consider. It’s also worthwhile comparing the reliability and average repair prices of different models - that’s where this guide comes in.

We’ve collected data on 15 of the most popular cars in the UK to show you how much a trip to the garage is likely to cost. 

Contents:

Top 15 most affordable cars to repair

The cheapest car to repair

How we worked it out

Repair categories


Top 15 most affordable cars to repair 

The cheapest car to repair

Fiat 500 (3)

Congratulations to the Fiat 500, a small but mighty car that could secure you some serious savings. The table below shows how the 500 performed in each repair category.

CategoryAverage Price
Battery replacement£181.03
Brake pads and discs£357.51
Cambelt change£264.77
Clutch replacement£405.01
Suspension repairs£162.79

Check out this guide to find out how reliable the Fiat 500 is.

How we worked it out

We focused on 15 of the most popular car models in the UK to make our rankings as relevant and accurate as possible. The more people drive a particular car, the more quotes are provided on our platform, making our average price calculations more reliable.

Our ranking is based on the average price of five common repair categories, which we worked out using quotes from mechanics on WhoCanFixMyCar between 2022 and 2023.

Once we had the average prices for the different repair types, we added them together for each model to come up with a total cost, determining the order of our top 15.

Repair categories

Now let's take a closer look at the different repair categories.

Battery replacement

Car batteries usually need replacing every four to five years as long as they have been adequately maintained. Common signs your battery is dying include:

  • Dim headlights

  • Electrical issues

  • Trouble starting the car

  • Loss of power

A man lifting a car battery out of engine bay.

Find out why batteries die in this guide, or learn how to get the most out of your battery.

According to our data, the average battery replacement price across all makes and models is £206.22.

The winner: Toyota Yaris

The cheapest model out of our top 15 was the Toyota Yaris, costing £152.62, which means owning a Yaris could save you almost £200 when it’s time for a new battery.

Toyota Yaris 2

Here are some common problems with the Toyota Yaris.

Brake pads and discs

Brake pads and discs have slightly different lifespans, but because they work in tandem, when one component wears down, it can have a knock-on effect on the other. 

Learn more about how brakes work.

Brake disc diagram

A new set of brake pads should last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. You can tell when they wear down because they often make screeching noises and become less responsive when you push the brake pedal. This guide covers five brake problems you should never ignore.

Brake discs should last at least 60,000 miles, sometimes more. It all depends on your driving style and frequency.

Replacing a car’s brake pads and discs costs £433.96 on average.

The winner: Dacia Duster

The cheapest car in our top 15 for this repair category was the Dacia Duster, which had an impressively low average price of £268.46. That’s a saving of over £150, pushing the Duster into the top 5 bracket.

iStock-Dacia Duster 2

Read about some common problems with the Dacia Duster here.

Cambelt change

Finding out your car needs a new cambelt is one of those things most drivers dread, mainly due to the price. However, this repair should never be delayed because the cambelt plays such a crucial role in controlling the engine's timing. 

It’s also worth noting that cambelt is another word for timing belt, and not all vehicles have one; some have a timing chain instead, which lasts a bit longer. This guide explains how to find out whether your car has a timing chain or belt.

cambelttttt

Cambelts typically last between 40,000 and 100,000 miles. When they need replacing, the signs are hard to miss. The engine management light will often appear, and your car will misfire and have trouble starting. Here’s what happens when your cambelt is replaced.

The average price of a cambelt change across all makes and models is £452.02.

The winner: Vauxhall Astra

In our top 15, the Vauxhall Astra came out best with a price of £259.74 - just under £200 less than expected. There wasn’t much between first and second place, with the Fiat 500’s average price at £264.77.

Vauxhall Astra

Look out for these common problems with the Vauxhall Astra.

Clutch replacement

Clutch replacements are another pain point for drivers, costing an eye-watering £600.31 on average across all makes and models. You’re probably already familiar with the signs of clutch wear, which include juddering, slipping, a spongy or sticky pedal and poor acceleration.

Clutch replacement

Find out how long clutches last here, or read about what happens during a replacement.

The winner: Fiat 500

The nippy Fiat 500 was triumphant in this category, beating the ever-popular Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta with an average price of £405.01. Surprisingly, the most expensive car wasn’t the BMW 3 Series, despite coming last overall; it was the Vauxhall Corsa.

Fiat 500

This guide covers common problems with the Fiat 500.

Suspension

Without suspension, we’d all be bumping along the roads, getting shaken around like a bag of bones. Key components such as the shock absorbers smooth out the impact of potholes and uneven surfaces, providing a much more comfortable drive. 

Suspension repairs

Unfortunately, since the suspension system is under so much pressure, it often needs repairing. Common parts that you may have to fix include ball joints and springs.

Learn more about how suspension works.

The average price of a suspension repair booked through WhoCanFixMyCar is £133.58.

The winner: Toyota Yaris

The cheapest car out of our top 15 was the Toyota Yaris, claiming its second win with a price of £97.17. Sadly for the Yaris, this wasn’t enough to push it into the top five cars overall.

Toyota Yaris

Find out what common problems affect the Toyota Yaris here.


Do you often find yourself dreading an expensive repair bill for your car and worrying about whether the garage you've chosen is trustworthy? WhoCanFixMyCar can help you save money and find a local mechanic you can rely on.


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