Car wheel alignment and tracking

Get car wheel alignment quotes and compare approved tracking specialists in your area

Wheel alignment equipment in a workshop

Getting your front and rear wheels aligned

Wheel alignment is when a garage technician measures and adjusts the steering and suspension components of your vehicle within the manufacturer’s specification so that you can improve the car’s efficiency, performance, and handling.

The garage will work on the position of your car wheels in relation to one another and the road to increase the lifespan of your tyres and suspension.

Compare front and rear wheel alignment average costs

Wheel alignment and balancing costs between £35-£40 usually for a front wheel alignment as it is a quick and easy procedure. It can also save you paying for more expensive repairs because of unaligned wheels such as broken suspension or worn tyres. Take a look below to find the average quotes on WhoCanFixMyCar for some of the top car makes.

Car MakeAverage Price

Which wheel alignment service do you need?

Wheel alignment/balancing involves checking the direction and angle of the wheels. The misalignment positions are often labelled as toe in, toe out, positive camber or negative camber. Continue reading to find out what these terms refer to.

Standard front wheel alignment and balancing

The front toe can be adjusted back to the manufacturer's original settings by a wheel alignment or wheel balancing specialist. This will decrease the likelihood of premature tyre and suspension wear, enhance car handling, and save you money by reducing fuel consumption. Front wheel alignment can take approximately 30+ minutes.

Rear wheel alignment and balancing

A garage technician can give your car a rear wheel alignment which will extend your car’s tyres’ lifespan and ensure road safety. However, not all vehicles can get their rear toe adjusted, as recommended in their vehicle’s manufacturer’s handbook.

4-wheel alignment

If you require four-wheel alignment, then you will be looking to balance all your wheels for optimum driving conditions. Front and rear axle tracking is offered often with toe adjustments included to guarantee complete precision for your entire vehicle.

The garage technicians will measure numerous angles and compare them to the manufacturer’s alignment data giving precise readings.

Four-wheel alignment can take 60+ minutes and covers toe alignment on both the front and rear wheels where possible. Any adjustments to camber and castor are generally charged separately.

  • Wheel alignment

    The average cost of a wheel alignment booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £38.83.

    If you want the full package of wheel alignment, then this is the service for you. Wheel alignment is needed for stability and to ensure the four wheels of your car are tracking straight. If your vehicle veers to the left or right whilst driving or your tyre treads are wearing unevenly, your car may need a wheel alignment.

    Can include
    • Steering and suspension diagnostic
    • Computer assessment
    • Steering and suspension adjustments
  • Front wheel alignment

    The average cost of a front wheel alignment booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £41.36. Front wheel alignment refers to the same type of wheel alignment to your tyres, but only for your front wheels. This could be due to un-matching positions in your tyres, where only your front tyres are out of place.

    Can include
    • Steering and suspension diagnostic
    • Computer assessment
    • Steering and suspension adjustments
  • Rear wheel alignment

    The average cost of a rear wheel alignment booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is around £41.36. During a rear wheel alignment service, a garage technician will check the direction and angle of your cars rear wheels, and match this with the angle of your front wheels so that all four wheels match the correct manufacturers specification.

    Can include
    • Steering and suspension diagnostic
    • Computer assessment
    • Steering and suspension adjustments

Common car wheel alignment problems

Have you found that your steering wheel doesn’t feel straight? Does your steering wheel tend to vibrate when driving? Or does your car squeal audibly when you are turning a corner? All these signs might mean that you need to check your wheel alignment.

If there is a problem with your wheel alignment, it may not be obvious right away, but here are some signs of misaligned wheels:

Mismatched tyre wear

Check your tyres to see if there is any abnormal tyre wear especially where one side of the tyre seems to be more worn than the other. As well as checking for visible signs, try running your hands over the surface of the tyre as this will give you a better indication of where the tyre has worn away excessively.

Car pulling left or right

A common problem with wheel alignment is when the car begins to pull to the left or right when you are driving on a straight and flat surface. An easy way to check if your car has a small pull is to drive along a quiet road slowly and have a loose grip on the steering wheel. If the car consistently moves to one side of the road, there is an issue. If you observe the car drifts or need to offset by steering to keep the car driving straight it may indicate your alignment is out. If the car pulls to the left or right when you are braking, this also suggests a possible wheel alignment problem.

Crooked steering wheel

The steering wheel is not in centre position or straight when you are driving in a neutral position in a straight line.

Tyres are squeaking

Your tyres should not squeak at every turn. If they are then this is a clear sign that there is something wrong, most likely it is wheel alignment.

Wheel alignment equipment in a workshop

Why is wheel alignment necessary?

Incorrect wheel alignment or wheel balancing can cause significant wear and tear on your tyres. It can cause your tyres to wear away unevenly and even prematurely. This is the biggest factor for getting your wheel alignment repair booked as soon as possible.

If you leave your wheel alignment to chance, there are other significant issues that can arise. These will most likely be a lot costlier than having your wheels aligned from when you notice there is an issue. Some of the problems that can happen if you do not have your wheels aligned correctly are:

1) Feathered tyres which indicate poor toe alignment

2) Camber wear which means there will be significantly more wear on the inside or outside tread in comparison to the centre of the tread.

3) Toe wear is when one side of your tread blocks wears down quicker than the other circumferential direction.

A huge range of problems can arise if your car wheels are not aligned. This is because different parts of your car will be placed under undue stress because of the wheels pulling in the wrong direction. The steering and suspension systems will be at most risk and if you do not get your wheels aligned, there is a high chance that a part of the steering and suspension system will also break.

Find local wheel alignment specialist, mechanics, and garages

Looking for top wheel alignment specialists near you? You can compare the best wheel alignment mechanics and garages in your area below.

We work with a network of over 15,513 mechanics and garages across the UK so we can find competitive wheel alignment prices for you.

What is wheel alignment?

Wheel alignment (or 'wheel tracking') is the process of aligning all four wheels of the car to the manufacturer's specifications, so that the car drives straight and true, has maximum stability, fuel efficiency and minimum tyre wear.

A garage technician measures and adjusts the steering and suspension components of your vehicle. The garage will work on the position of your car wheels in relation to one another and the road to increase the lifespan of your tyres and suspension.

How are wheel alignments performed?

Wheel alignment requires specialist automotive mechanical equipment: a special clamp is attached to each wheel and, with the steering wheel centred, a computer uses the reflections from the clamps to calculate necessary adjustments - for alignment and for camber ('lean' angle of the wheels when viewed front-on) and 'toe in' / 'toe out' (deliberate, slight angling of the wheels inwards when viewed from above, to improve handling and stability.) The garage will give you a print-out of the results.

Is a wheel alignment service part of warranty?

Generally, no, however, in some cases, wheel alignment, tyre balancing might be covered under factory warranty for brand new cars for the first 12 months or 12,000 -18,000 miles depending on the dealer you purchased your car from.

Is a wheel alignment service covered by insurance?

The answer is it depends. Car insurance companies will cover wheel alignment issues if they are caused by sudden impact due to a pothole. These accidents and their damages can be covered with collision cover insurance. However, if the alignment issue is due to general wear and tear then the policy will not cover you.

How do I know if my car needs a wheel alignment repair?

If your car is pulling to the left or right when driving on a flat road without crosswinds, or if your tyres are wearing unevenly, or if your steering is shaking, you may need wheel alignment. Start by checking your tyre pressures first, though.

How long does wheel alignment take?

Typically, a garage can align your car's wheels and provide you with a printed record of their actions in 30 minutes.

How much does wheel alignment cost?

Front-only wheel alignment is available from £25, with 4-wheel alignment a little more. Many garages will include it as part of a full service though.

What does ‘Toe In’ and ‘Toe Out’ mean?

In wheel alignment and wheel balancing tech-speak, "Toe" describes whether the front of the tyres happen to be nearer or further away from each other than the rear of the tyres. Another way to understand Toe alignment is to look at the extent to which your tyres turn inward or outward when viewed from above. If a set of wheels either on the front axle or the rear axle are both pointing in, this is toeing-in. If they are both pointing out, then this is toeing out and, in both cases, would require an adjustment to correct.

Various types of vehicles need distinct toe settings for the wheels to pull towards and away from each other. If the toe is not right, then your car steering can feel as though it is lagging to one side more.

What is a camber?

"Camber" is a technician term used in wheel alignment terminology, where they describe the inward or outward angle of a tyre. If the technician finds that there is an apparent inward or outward tilt on the wheels, also known as negative and positive camber, correspondingly, indicates inadequate alignment and will need to be corrected. Worn bearings, ball joints, and other wheel-suspension parts may cause camber misalignment. The camber is determined by the vehicle manufacturer and can be altered by potholes in the road and may need to be corrected regularly.

What is a caster angle?

Your caster angle facilitates balanced steering, stability, and cornering. Explicitly, it’s the angle of your steering axis when seen from the side of your vehicle. If you have a positive caster, the steering axis will tilt toward the driver. Negative caster, in contrast, means the steering axis tilts toward the front of your vehicle.

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