How much does a clutch replacement cost in the UK?

How much does a clutch replacement cost in the UK?

The clutch is an essential part of any vehicle and a durable component. However, the job of the clutch plate is to allow the car to change gears smoothly at the expense of slowly wearing out the clutch. Over time, you’ll likely need a replacement to keep your car healthy.  

Today, we’re looking at clutch replacement costs, signs your clutch needs a replacement, and whether you need to change your flywheels. Scroll down to learn the clutch and flywheel replacement cost in minutes. 

What is a clutch?  

The clutch is a mechanical device that controls the delivery of rotational power from the engine to the wheels.

Clutches are not exclusive to cars. Any machine where there is a constantly spinning shaft - the output from the engine - and a need to stop and start the power delivery needs a clutch. 

In the case of a vehicle, the clutch is needed not only to set off and when stopping but to change gears, too. Electric vehicles don’t have one because their motor engine can be stopped and started when required. 

How does a clutch work?  

In a manual vehicle, a clutch connects and disconnects the car’s engine from the transmission.  

Clutches comprise three main components: a flywheel, a pressure plate and a clutch plate. There are also ancillary components in cars with a hydraulic clutch, such as the master cylinder and slave cylinder, or a cable and linkage.  

The flywheel is a heavy plate attached to the engine's output shaft, sandwiched between this and the pressure plate, which is the clutch plate. The clutch plate is secured onto the gearbox input shaft.  

When the clutch is engaged, i.e., the pedal is not depressed, the pressure plate applies clamping force, pushing the clutch plate to the flywheel, which transfers power from the engine to the gearbox.  

When the clutch pedal is pressed, a hydraulic system transfers the force - similarly to the braking system - to the clutch fork, which acts as a lever against the pressure plate, allowing the clutch plate to slip and disconnect the power transfer.   

How long should a clutch last?  

The clutch’s longevity depends heavily on the car type and usage. With good care and a considerate driving style, a clutch should last upwards of 60,000 miles on a petrol car.   

There are certain things that will shorten the life of your clutch considerably:  

  • Towing heavy loads  
  • ‘Dropping’ the clutch in order to launch the car from a standstill quickly  
  • Holding the car on the clutch instead of using the brake - for example, on a hill in traffic  
  • Riding the clutch pedal when driving - this can cause the clutch to slip very slightly, accelerating wear.  

Clutch replacements can be time-consuming for mechanics, making them a costly repair for drivers, as you’re about to find out!  

How much does a clutch replacement cost?  

The average cost of a clutch replacement in the UK is £454.55, but prices range from £300 to £700. Not all vehicles can be fitted with the same clutch, so prices may vary between different makes and models.  

You may want to consider using an approved manufacturer’s garage for your vehicle, to ensure the correct clutch is fitted for your car.  

If car repairs and replacement parts have you worried, Bumper could help you with 0% interest car repair financing paid for in easy-to-manage monthly payments. 

Clutch replacement costs for popular car models 

The clutch replacement cost varies between different makes and models. Here’s a list of popular UK cars and their approximate replacement fees.

  • Audi A3 Sportback — £700 to £1,200
  • BMW 3 Series — £700 to £1,200 
  • Ford Fiesta — £400 to £700 
  • Mercedes A Class — £700 to £1,200 
  • Perugeot 208 — £600 to £1,000 
  • Vauxhall Corsa — £600 to £1,050 
  • Volkswagen Polo — £600 to £1000 

Clutch replacement cost breakdown 

As you can see above, clutch replacement costs vary a lot. So, it’s good to know where your money is going. Here’s a general breakdown of what’s included in a clutch replacement fee: 

  • Mechanic labour 
  • Clutch kit 
  • Oil, liquids, and small parts 

Factors that affect a clutch replacement cost 

Why do clutch replacement costs change so much? Here are the main factors that may affect the price of your repair. 

1. Your location 

Some garages have higher costs than others. This is usually due to demand and expertise. If you only have one garage in your area, their prices might be higher as there aren’t any competitors. 

2. The model of your car 

The rarer your car is, the higher the clutch replacement cost. This is because some cars need expert knowledge, whereas others most mechanics can fix. So, if your car is popular (e.g. an Audi or Polo), any mechanic can fix it.  

3. Rear-wheel vs front-wheel drives 

Clutch replacements are more affordable on rear-wheel drives because they’re easier to access. Front-wheel drive clutch replacements cost more as it’ll take the mechanic longer to fix.  

4. Your car’s age 

Your car’s age may also affect the replacement cost. Older cars might cost more as the required parts are out of circulation.  

Do I need to change the flywheel as well as the clutch?  

Like many components in a car, the clutch interfaces with other parts. In some instances, the flywheel and pressure plate can be required to be replaced.  

If your clutch has been worn down too far, the rivets that hold it together can begin to contact the flywheel and pressure plate when the clutch is engaged, causing irreparable damage.  

However, if the clutch was replaced when it was just starting to show signs of wear, the flywheel should be fine to use again.  

What is a flywheel? 

A flywheel is a heavy wheel attached to a rotating shaft connected to the engine. It’s designed to smooth out power delivery from the motor to the machine.  

How much does a flywheel replacement cost?  

The average cost for a replacement flywheel is £350 to £450.  

Flywheels don’t always need to be replaced alongside a clutch, but there are some instances where a flywheel would need to be replaced without a clutch. A professional mechanic can tell you whether your flywheel needs replacement. 

Here are some average flywheel costs: 

  • Audi A3 Sportback — £1,100 
  • BMW 3 Series — £1,100 
  • Ford Fiesta — £850 
  • Mercedes A Class — £1,200 
  • Perugeot 208 — £900 
  • Vauxhall Corsa — £1,050 
  • Volkswagen Polo — £950 

Learn how you could split the cost with Bumper. 

Can you replace a flywheel without replacing the clutch?  

You should replace the flywheel and clutch at the same time if the flywheel is damaged.  

Dual mass flywheels are fitted in many diesel cars. These improve the engine's driving characteristics by altering the flywheel's effective weight for better responsiveness when manoeuvring and more torque when driving normally.  

As these have moving parts, they can break, wear out, and generally need to be replaced. Changing one without changing the clutch plate is possible, but it is not recommended.  

Because the clutch pressure plate bolts to the flywheel itself, whilst this and the clutch assembly are removed, there is no extra work to replace the clutch simultaneously.   

As the labour involved in getting access to both the clutch and flywheel is significant, for the cost of a new clutch, it is generally worth doing both jobs at once. 

Can you replace a clutch without resurfacing the flywheel?  

Yes and no. Whether or not you need to resurrect your flywheel depends on how worn the clutch plate was when it was changed.   

If the clutch had been slipping for a long time and was very worn, there is a good chance the flywheel would have become glazed and even experienced damage from the rivets that hold the clutch together.  

This is why it's important to get a clutch checked out as soon as it feels worn or that it is slipping.   

How do you know if your clutch needs replacing?  

There are a number of factors that indicate your clutch might need repairing, these include:  

1. High biting point  

The point at which the clutch engages is called the biting point. As the friction material wears away, this point will change, resulting in a higher pedal position when engaging.   

If your biting point is at the very top of the pedal’s range of motion, the clutch may be near its usable life. Before committing to a clutch replacement, get your mechanic to see if your clutch can be adjusted.   

2. Spongy Pedal  

Clutch pedals should have the same level of resistance through the travel; if your pedal is softer in some parts or does not feel normal, you may have an issue with the clutch’s hydraulic system.  

3. Clutch slipping  

Clutch slipping is the most common symptom of a worn clutch. As the clutch plate wears away, it not only gets too thin for the pressure plate to apply adequate pressure, but it can also become ‘glazed’.   

A similar thing can happen to brake pads when they get too hot. If the clutch plate has started to slip, the friction material will get excessively hot and form a shiny, non-grippy surface, which can cause even worse slippage.  

4. Burning smell  

Usually caused by the previous symptom - a slipping clutch - if you smell a strong chemical-like smell when driving along normally, especially on hills or when towing, your clutch may be slipping.   

5. Trouble changing gears  

Difficulty changing gears could mean your clutch struggles to disengage from the gearbox. This will not allow the gearbox input shaft to stop spinning and will stop you from putting the car into gear.   

This could also be a gearbox issue, so check out our gearbox article on repair prices and replacement costs. 

If you’re unsure or suspect your car is experiencing one of the above issues, it’s strongly advised that you arrange for an approved mechanic to inspect your vehicle.  

Failure to act could cause danger to yourself and your passengers and will usually result in a more costly bill further down the line.  

Other common clutch problems you should know 

Alongside the clutch plate, flywheel and pressure plate, there is a hydraulic system that actuates the clutch. There are a few different types of issues that can be present with these parts:  

Clutch pedal not returning  

When you release the clutch pedal, the hydraulic force from the spring in the pressure plate and often a return spring work to push the clutch pedal back up to the resting position.  

A failing clutch master cylinder can cause this problem. As the seals break down and allow fluid to pass through, the pressure required to push the pedal back is dissipated.  

Noise when the clutch pedal is pressed  

If you’re hearing a whirring or scraping noise when the clutch pedal is depressed, which gets higher in frequency with the engine speed increasing, you may have a failed clutch release bearing.  

When you press the pedal, and the system applies force to the clutch pressure plate through the clutch fork, that force is applied to the spinning pressure plate through a bearing.  

Over normal usage, this bearing deteriorates and creates noise and sometimes vibration through the pedal.  

Your driving style can affect your clutch 

That’s right, the way you drive may be causing clutch problems. Common driving faults like constantly pressing the clutch, shifting down through two gears, and overloading the car can cause expensive problems over time. 

Split the cost of your clutch replacement cost - The takeaway 

Hopefully, this article has helped you work out how much your clutch replacement will cost. Clutch replacements are, unfortunately, part of owning a vehicle. While they keep your car healthy, they can significantly dent your bank account — especially if you need a last-minute replacement.  

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You can apply online for a pre-approved credit limit, which can be used at over 2,500 approved garages across the UK.  

Simply enter a few details about yourself and your vehicle, consent to a soft credit check, and choose a local garage that suits you – it's as simple as that!  

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