How Long Should Your Car Brakes Last?

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 4 months ago

5 min read

  • Brakes
  • Maintenance
Main Hero Image | Alloy Wheel Refurbishment

WhoCanFixMyCar discusses how long brakes usually last and how to tell when they need replacing.

When you own a car, brake repairs are inevitable. The question is how soon you'll have to replace different parts. If you've ever wondered about the average lifespan of brake components, this guide is for you.

Contents

How long do brake pads last?

How long do brake discs last?

How long do brake callipers last?

How can I make my brakes last longer?

How much do brake repairs cost?


How long do brake pads last?

Brake pads typically last between 30,000-70,000 miles, and their lifespan is affected by the material they’re made from.

Ceramic brake pads are the best option, so although they’re more expensive than the other types of pads available, they make up for this by lasting longer.

Metallic brake pads usually become worn quickly, whereas organic pads sit in the middle. Organic pads, sometimes called 'non-asbestos brake pads', are made of composite material, usually consisting of Kevlar, rubber, glass and resins that can withstand high heat.

Find out how much it costs to replace brake pads.

How to tell if your brake pads need replacing

Brake disc diagram

A great way to check whether your car's brake pads need replacing is to inspect them for signs of wear. Look between the gaps in the wheels to locate them. It may be time for new ones if they're less than 6mm thick and covered in brake dust.

Other signs to look out for include squeaking or screeching and a lack of responsiveness when applying the brakes.


How long do brake discs last?

Your driving style will affect how long your brake discs last, but generally, you can expect to get 80,000 to 120,000 miles out of them. 

Keeping track of brake repairs in your vehicle’s service book will give you a better idea of how soon they'll need changing.

How to tell if your brake discs need replacing

Brake pads and discs image

Here's what to look out for:

If you notice any of these signs, you should take your car to a garage before the problem gets worse, making your car unsafe to drive.

Here are five brake problems you shouldn't ignore.


How long do brake callipers last?

Unlike other brake components, callipers are not subjected to the same level of wear and tear, so if you take care of your car they could last between 75,000-100,000 miles. The exception to this rule is if there is a mechanical problem with them.

This guide provides more information about brake callipers.


How can I make my brakes last longer?

Brakes won’t last forever, but you can still do certain things to increase their lifespan. Here are our four top tips.

  • Avoid speeding. The faster you go, the more likely you’ll have to slam your brakes on. Instead, use the natural power of the engine to decrease your speed by changing down a gear or two before applying the brakes.

  • Unload your car. If your vehicle is heavy, it will put extra strain on the brake pads, so before you set off on your next journey, try to unload any non-essential items that could be weighing you down.

  • Look ahead. It sounds simple, but paying attention to the road ahead can make a difference. Rather than just observing the car in front, keep an eye out for any hazards that are coming up or any busy traffic. This way, you can slow down gradually without having to brake hard.

  • Get your brakes serviced. As with many parts of your car, brakes will last longer if kept in good condition. Getting them serviced means that minor problems can be fixed before they escalate into more significant, more expensive problems.

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How much do brake repairs cost?

The average cost for general brake repairs booked through WhoCanFixMyCar is £440.93, whereas replacing pads and discs costs £439.51.

Car makeAverage cost | Brake repairs
Audi£519.71
BMW£644.30
Citroen£376.03
Ford£376.87
Mercedes£612.10
MINI£394.11
Nissan£392.69
Peugeot£392.33
Renault£488.57
Toyota£399.94
Vauxhall£38.28
Volkswagen£377.29
Volvo£427.95

You can compare prices and book jobs using our handy brake price comparison tool.


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Written by Ellie

Ellie Author Pic

Ellie is WhoCanFixMyCar’s Content Writer. She has a BA in English literature from Durham University, a master’s degree in creative writing, and three years of experience writing in the automotive industry. She currently drives a Suzuki Swift.

Find Ellie on LinkedIn.