How Much Is a Car Diagnostic Test in the UK?

If you are one of the 61% of car owners interested in diagnostics technologies, there is a high chance you may be wondering how much these tests cost. Diagnostics are an accurate method of testing the current functionality of a vehicle to highlight any issues that may need resolving. As is the case for any form of mechanical duty, the price can fluctuate based on a few factors, such as vehicle type and age, but we will shed light on that in this article.

As used car sales in the UK continue to rise, keeping vehicles in great condition isn’t just essential for maintaining their performance but also for strengthening their value. Considering that 49% of owners have put off car repairs due to rising living costs, we think it’s time to lift the lid on how much this essential service costs.

Keep reading to learn how much you should set aside for a full car diagnostic test.

What Is A Car Diagnostics Test?

Do you find yourself driving around hearing random bumps and rattles? What you assume is a small issue could become a major problem that takes your car off the road. Car diagnostics test for all problems affecting the throttle, transmission, fuel injectors, engine performance and more.

They not only detect problems that need attention but can also highlight parts of a vehicle that are starting to falter so that fixes can be made before they get worse.

The test is simple to carry out by registered professionals using specialist devices. These attach to a car’s engine control unit, highlighting if anything is not working as it should. Any faults in a car are automatically detected by the built-in computer system, which can then be accessed via the diagnostic instrument. Faults are recorded as codes, so all a mechanic has to do is see what code an area of a vehicle is reporting. There are more than 200 fault codes, which won’t mean much to a novice owner but equate to different meanings for professional mechanics. This is why having an expert complete the task is so important.

Fault codes are broken into four categories which highlight where the issue lies. These are as follows:

  • P stands for powertrain codes which relate to transmission and engine components.
  • U represents vehicle networking such as writing and computer parts.
  • B relates to a bodywork issue which could include anything from airbag faults to heating system failures.
  • C is for chassis which is anything mechanical such as suspension or steering faults.

How Much Are Car Diagnostic Tests?

Car diagnostic tests can cost anywhere from £50 – £100 in the UK. The price is reflective of the high skill level required to perform the analysis. The range in these costs reflects differences like regional areas, which is the case for overall mechanic prices. It also ranges based on the vehicle itself. Older cars, for example, may take longer to test and analyse as the in-built computer systems are not the same as modern designs.

The test itself takes around an hour, which gives a mechanic time to examine the various results. Considering that garage labour rates in some locations are as high as £230 per hour in the UK, the price of a diagnostic test is great value when compared with how much a full repair would cost.

Where Is The Best Place To Get Car Diagnostics Tests Completed?

You should always choose a professional mechanic to undertake a diagnostic test for a car. If not performed properly, not only could the vehicle end up being damaged but the results may not be interpreted as intended. This means issues can be left to get worse leading to a vehicle deteriorating much before its time!

Benefits Of A Car Diagnostics Test

There are many reasons as to why spending out a little on a car diagnostics kit can save you lots in the longer run. We have gathered some of our top benefits below:

Not Tested For In MOT or Service

We all put money aside for our annual car maintenance. MOT testing is a legal requirement, and although services are not required by law, they do offer car owners a good chance to keep their cars running smoothly. Although servicing and MOTs offer lots of advantages, they don’t include diagnostic testing.

This means that only existing issues are picked up, not ones that are just starting to become an issue. Book your car in for a diagnostics test at a time other than during its servicing or MOT is a great way to highlight any issues.

Find Problems Rapidly

Another major benefit, that we have already touched upon briefly, is that problems can be picked up in the earliest stages. These intelligent systems check the entire vehicle based on how it has been performing. Reaching these problems before they have a chance to snowball means smaller fixes can be made which will cost less.

Improve Overall Performance

We have likely all had a car that has had a niggling problem that just lingers. This is often due to the issue lying in a couple of areas that are working together negatively. A diagnostic test is used to check all four sections of the fault codes to ensure that an entire vehicle works together more harmoniously.

Add Value To A Vehicle

Finally, keeping a car in good working order by using diagnostic checks is a great way to get the best price when it comes to making a sale. Not only does it ensure any problems are fixed, but being able to prove that a test has recently been completed and sharing the results can be the final thing needed to sweeten the deal for potential purchasers. After all, we recommend that maintenance to ensure a car is in good condition is essential when preparing it for sale.

Signs You Should Get A Car Diagnostic Test

Whilst you can simply choose to book a car diagnostic test for your peace of mind, a few other indicators show it’s time to visit the garage.

A major one is if any warning lights come on that you can not easily resolve. Something like the engine warning light could represent a multitude of problems that the naked eye cannot always see. As well as warning lights, if a vehicle is making any odd rattles, creaks or vibrations, it may be time for a test. Additionally, a diagnostic test is a good idea if mechanical parts don’t sound right, like the exhaust or breaks. Finally, if a car is showing obvious signs of damage, like smoke or leaks, this form of testing is also recommended to get to the source of the problem rapidly.

Choose Byron Wynn Autos For Professional Car Diagnostics Testing

Are you now feeling more clued up on how much car diagnostics costs and why they are worth these prices? We believe they are an essential consideration for many, whether you are looking for the best way to maintain a vehicle or planning to trade in your car.

At ByronWynn Autos, we offer car diagnostic testing as one of our many services designed to help you keep your vehicle in top working order. Our expert team can not only help determine any problems but also offer a full garage set of services to offer any fixes should an issue arise. Aside from our car maintenance, we also offer a range of other services, from our request for a car for motor customers to competitive financing options helping you to source the best vehicle for your budget. Contact our team now to learn more about our car diagnostics or anything else.

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