The average cost of brake replacement

On any vehicle, brakes are one of the most important lines of defence against accidents and personal injury. No vehicle can go through its entire life cycle before the brakes need attention, and most vehicles need to have the brakes replaced at some point.

There are a handful of factors that affect what you can expect to pay for this job.

Average Cost

At the bare minimum, all vehicles should have the rotors resurfaced and front brake pads replaced. If the vehicle has rear drums, these should be adjusted as well. On average, the front pads and rotor resurfacing should run £65 to £162, with an extra £32 or more tossed on to cover the rear drum adjustment.

Make and Model

The make and model can affect what you will pay for brake replacement. This is because certain vehicles require fewer or more parts in the braking system. Make and model also affects the availability and pricing of the brake parts, as well as what you will end up paying in labour costs.

Driving Habits

Brake replacement costs are affected by the way the vehicle owner drives. The more a driver relies on the brakes--stopping suddenly as opposed to slowing down before stopping--the more quickly brakes will wear out, and the more often they will need to be replaced. During the life of the vehicle, this means that brake maintenance will be more expensive. Furthermore, if a driver does not heed the first sign of brake trouble, such as extended time necessary for stopping and a "softer" feel when pressing the brake pedal, then the more likely it is that the brakes will need to be replaced in full rather than in part.


Warranty affects cost of replacing brakes on a vehicle. If the brakes have problems or fail within the warranty period, then the owner of a vehicle might pay nothing for the break work. This depends on the specific terms of the warranty. Some warranties only cover parts, others cover labour and some will cover both. Another warranty term is covering a certain percentage of the cost.

How to Lower Costs

The cost of a brake replacement job can be lowered by getting parts from wholesalers rather than from dealership merchants because dealership merchants have a tendency to mark up their pricing. The cost also can be lowered by purchasing the necessary parts yourself and then bringing them to the repair shop because the repair shop might want to sell specific (more expensive) parts because it gets commissions or funding from parts manufacturers. If you already have the part, all you'll pay is labour. If you feel confident enough once you have the parts, you can do a simple brake job yourself, which eliminates all labour costs; often it is the labour that costs the most, not the parts.