Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy.

Boilers broke down in one fifth of UK homes last year

Find out how you can avoid an expensive boiler repair bill

A fifth (18%) of UK homes were left out in the cold in the past year, after their boilers broke down. Repair bills cost £270 on average, but 5% of people faced a breakdown bill of more than £1,250. If your boiler broke down unexpectedly this winter, could you afford the bill?

The research from price comparison site uSwitch also revealed that for unexpected boiler breakdowns, more than half of households (52%) said they would use their savings to cover the costs.

If those statistics have sent you into a boiler-related panic, don’t worry, as there are a number of things you can do to lower your chances of having a broken boiler and to save you money protecting it.

If you thought the way to avoid such high breakdown costs was to invest in a comprehensive boiler insurance plan, you’d be wrong. Our research found that that only 3% people would save money by paying for annual boiler cover.

Find out if boiler cover is right for you and how to choose the best boiler cover.

Avoid a costly boiler breakdown

The reason so few people would save money with boiler insurance is that the most frequent boiler problems come from small preventable things that cost little to repair. You’re only better off with boiler cover if you need an expensive repair. There are some very simple ways to cut down on costly repairs and save a packet in the process.

The most important consideration is to buy a boiler from a reliable brand rather than just choosing the cheapest option. The more reliable your boiler is, the less money you’ll need to shell out on expensive repairs.

Next, get an annual boiler service. This is like an MOT for your boiler to make sure it ticks all the boxes and is running safely and efficiently. We’d recommend you get an annual service regardless of whether you have boiler breakdown cover. Getting a boiler service from a trusted engineer can help protect against expensive call-outs and may help prolong its life.

However, you should also be aware of what your boiler service engineer is doing. An investigation we carried out in September 2016 showed that seven out of ten providers failed to carry out the minimum legal checks required during a boiler service and none fully followed the manufacturer’s instructions. Find out what you should expect from a good boiler service.

How reliable is your boiler?

Choosing a brand that makes reliable boilers that last the distance and don’t cause expensive and inconvenient problems can seem like a difficult process, especially as our research reveals nearly a quarter (23%) of boiler owners have had a problem with their boiler bought since 2010.

So, to simplify the process and tell you exactly which brands you can rely on, we spoke to more than 10,000 boiler owners about the brand of boiler they own. Our research reveals the boilers that last and those that don’t. See the most reliable boiler manufacturers to avoid a costly mistake.

More on this…

Back to top