In the UK, the average car wheel alignment cost is £42.63, according to bookings made through BookMyGarage. For 2 wheels, the average wheel alignment cost is £41.23, and the UK average for a 4-wheel alignment is £74.64.
You should also look to book wheel balancing alongside your wheel alignment. This raises the cost slightly, but only by £5-10 per wheel.
The exact cost of your wheel alignment will vary, depending on what you drive. The table below shows the average UK cost for 26 popular makes of car.
How much does car wheel alignment cost in the UK?
|Make of Car||Average UK Wheel Alignment Cost|
How can I keep my wheel alignment cost low?
The easiest way to find the lowest UK wheel alignment cost is to compare deals through BookMyGarage. In fact, you can save up to 70% by comparing deals vs going to the dealer directly!
Just enter your reg and postcode into our online booking tool to get instant wheel alignment prices in your area. You get to compare garages like for like, with no sign up and no phoning around for quotes. Compare by distance, price, availability or reviews, whatever matters to you, and then book directly with the garage. That way, you never pay a penny until after your appointment.
What could be easier than that? If you’re struggling to keep control of your car on the road, and think the alignment is to blame, book an appointment at a garage near you through BookMyGarage today!
What is wheel alignment?
Wheel alignment is when all four wheels on your car are aligned with each other under the manufacturer’s specifications so that they connect with the road in coordination with each other.
What happens at my wheel alignment appointment?
Mechanics use specialist equipment to complete your wheel alignment. You should always book into a garage near you and should NOT attempt to adjust your wheel alignment yourself.
With the steering wheel in its most central position, a mechanic attaches clamps to each wheel. A computer uses reflections from the clamps to calculate what adjustments are needed. When the steering wheel is pointing straight, your front wheels should do the same. The machine can measure the alignment much more accurately than the human eye to catch even the smallest misalignment.
It also checks your wheels’ camber (the angle of the wheel) and toe (how straight the tyre sits on the wheel). When set correctly, both improve handling and stability.
Is wheel alignment the same as tracking?
While wheel alignment and balancing are two separate things, tracking is the same as alignment. It is a more informal term for wheel alignment and refers to how well your wheels align with each other and the rest of your car.
If someone says that you’re “tracking straight and true”, it means that your back wheels are driving along the same section of road as your front wheels. You can tell if your car has a tracking issue if your tyre tread seems unnaturally wide.
Why is wheel alignment important?
Driving with misaligned wheels is an unpleasant experience. Aligned wheels ensure that your car drives straight and true, which creates the most stable and fuel-efficient ride with minimal tyre wear. Failure to keep wheels aligned might cause tyre wear and steering and suspension damage, which could prove costly. Furthermore, because the car would effectively be driving in more than one direction, misaligned wheels place drag on the car, like driving in a stiff breeze, meaning fuel economy will be impacted.
What causes wheel alignment problems?
A major cause of wheel alignment problems in the UK is potholes. If the wheel of your car falls into one, or hits a curb, bump or ramp with force, there is a good chance that the wheel will be knocked out of line with the others. Also, if a tyre has been changed and hasn’t been aligned with the others, there is a decent chance you’ll notice the car steering off-centre. The excessive weight inside a car and low tyre pressure in a car’s wheels can also cause wheel alignment problems.
Is there a wheel alignment dashboard warning light?
How do you know if you need a wheel alignment?
If you ever feel your car drifting to the left or right when you are on a flat, straight road and don’t have a firm grip on the steering wheel, it is a sure sign that your car needs a wheel alignment. Also, if the steering wheel is shaking, or the tyres are making squealing noises, wearing out rapidly (or unevenly), you probably have an alignment problem. We suggest that you book an appointment as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.
How do you know if you need a 2- or 4-wheel alignment?
2-wheel alignment consists of an inspection and relevant adjustments to the front wheels, while a 4-wheel alignment inspects and adjusts all the wheels on your vehicle.
Many UK vehicles are front wheel drive only and so have a solid rear axle which doesn’t need adjusting. If your car is front wheel or rear wheel drive only, you should book a 2-wheel alignment. If your car uses both the front and back wheels to steer, you should book a 4-wheel alignment.
Don’t worry if you don’t know whether your car needs a 2- or 4-wheel alignment. Check your vehicle handbook which has all the relevant information about your car’s tracking. Failing that, a mechanic will be able to tell you what you need.
How long does a wheel alignment take?
On average wheel alignment takes 60 minutes. However, depending on the type of vehicle, it can take between 30 minutes to two hours to complete.
How long does a wheel alignment last?
Manufacturers do not provide timeframes regarding how long a wheel alignment will last, assuming that the wheels never hit anything to become misaligned. However, mechanics often suggest having them aligned every 2-3 years, but it is also a routine part of putting new tyres on a car.
What is the difference between wheel alignment and wheel balancing?
They are completely different. In a nutshell, wheel alignment considers how a car’s wheels interact with each other and the road. Wheel balancing concerns weight distribution around a car’s wheels.
What is wheel balancing?
Wheel balancing ensures that your wheel is correctly weighted so that the tyre can rotate evenly. This prevents unnecessary vibration and wear of your tyres, suspension and steering components.
As with any rotating object, wheels need balancing to run efficiently. Otherwise, your car feels uncomfortable to drive. Take a washing machine for example. If you load laundry unevenly, it unbalances the drum causing a loud noise and lots of vibration. The same is true with your car’s wheels.
How does a wheel balancing appointment work?
Again, the mechanic uses specialist equipment so you should NOT try wheel balancing yourself.
They remove the wheels from your car to check their balance. Then, they place the wheels in a specially designed machine which spins them at great speed to measure the vibration. If there are issues, the mechanic places small offsetting weights at points on the rim of the wheel. They repeat the process until the balancing issues have been resolved.
How much does wheel balancing cost?
Wheel balancing costs between £5-10 per wheel, depending on the type of vehicle. However, most garages include this in the price of the wheel alignment appointment.
We recommend booking a wheel balancing appointment every 3,000 – 6,000 miles to ensure your tyres are at their most efficient. Also, you should always balance your wheels when you fit a new tyre or book a wheel alignment appointment.
How long does wheel balancing take?
On average, wheel balancing takes 45 minutes. However, depending on the type of vehicle, it can take up to 2 hours to complete.
The average UK wheel alignment cost is £42.63. This includes a professional inspection and adjustment of 2 or 4 wheels (depending on whether your vehicle is 2- or 4-wheel drive) using specialist equipment. It takes around 60 minutes to complete, and you should book an appointment every 2 to 3 years. This is because misaligned wheels can become very expensive due to increased fuel economy and tyre wear – meaning you have to fill your tank up and change tyres more often!
To keep your wheel alignment cost low, compare deals on BookMyGarage. Our comparison tool can save you up to 70% vs going directly to a main dealer! Enter your reg and postcode today to find the best deal near you.
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Mandy is an ex-mechanic, with 22 years’ experience in the motor industry. As an in-house motoring expert, Mandy is the go-to woman for any relevant questions that our customers have; both garages and drivers. From specific problems with your car to general maintenance, Mandy is a reliable source of information and advice. Her passion for motoring is a huge factor to her success and the huge wealth of knowledge that she has. She now uses her remarkable grasp of the industry to write regular content for our readers to help drivers understand their car better, avoid being ripped off by garages and save money on their motoring requirements.