How to get a cheap boiler service

Getting your boiler serviced regularly is the best way to keep it running safely and efficiently. We’ll help you weigh up the costs so that you can decide if a one-off boiler service or ongoing boiler cover is better for you.

Getting your boiler serviced regularly is the best way to keep it running safely and efficiently. We’ll help you weigh up the costs so that you can decide if a one-off boiler service or ongoing boiler cover is better for you.

Chris King
Head of Home Insurance
5
minute read
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Posted 21 OCTOBER 2021

Why should I get an annual boiler service?

Most boiler companies recommend having your boiler serviced at least once a year to keep it in tip-top condition. After all, the last thing you want is to find yourself without heating and hot water in the middle of January. 

Boiler servicing is a great way to flag up potential issues. Even if your boiler seems to be working fine, you can’t always see problems until it’s too late. Regular checks can help you deal with issues before they become serious and spiral into potentially expensive boiler repairs. 

An annual service is usually a condition of your home insurance or boiler warranty and should only be carried out by a Gas Safe-registered engineer. This applies to all types of gas boiler, whether you’re having a service for a conventional or combi boiler.

When should I get a boiler service? 

It’s a good idea to get your boiler serviced in autumn, before the cold weather kicks in. Not only will that mean your boiler is good to go for winter, you’re also likely to find that engineers have more availability. You may even find that it pays to get your boiler serviced in summer, when local engineers may be more inclined to offer you a better deal.

What’s included in my boiler service? 

If you book a boiler service, a gas engineer will visit your home and carry out various tests on your boiler to make sure it’s working safely and efficiently. A service will usually include: 

  • Boiler control checks, including room thermostats
  • Gas and pressure-flow tests
  • An inspection of the boiler’s insides
  • Checks for corrosion and leaks
  • Flue checks (both inside and outside) to make sure no unsafe emissions are coming from your boiler
  • An inspection of water and gas pipework
  • Cleaning any boiler parts (if necessary)
  • Checks on all electrical connections
  • Seal checks 

The engineer may also look at your central heating system if that’s included in your plan.

How much does a boiler service cost?

There’s no set cost for a boiler service in the UK. How much you’ll pay will depend on a number of factors, including: 

  • Your boiler’s model and age
  • Where you live
  • Which company you book
  • The cost of any repairs  

You can either pay a one-off charge for your boiler service or take out boiler cover that includes an annual service in the price. 

You might find that your boiler manufacturer or energy supplier offers you an annual boiler service, but you’re under no obligation to go with them. You’ll probably find that it pays to shop around for a cheaper deal. Your local independent plumber may be cheaper than a big, nationwide company.

What’s cheaper: boiler cover or a one-off service? 

Boiler cover can start from around £13 a month, whereas a one-off boiler service could cost you up to £200. However, in the long run, boiler cover might end up costing you more if you don’t make a claim. You have to weigh up the costs of each and decide if you can risk being landed with a potentially expensive repair bill.

How much is a one-off boiler service? 

One-off boiler services can cost anywhere between £55 and £200. The price you end up paying will depend on your boiler’s age and how long it’s been since your last service. It can also depend on the type of boiler you have.

Boiler type

Approximate average cost of service

Gas

£70-£100

Biomass

£180-£200

Oil

£80-£180

Electric combi

£55-£100

Prices can vary significantly. And if the engineer discovers a fault, you may have to pay for repairs on top of the service fee, which could set you back hundreds of pounds. 

Here’s a few examples of how much providers charge for a one-off boiler service: 

  • A British Gas boiler service costs from £85
  • An SSE boiler service costs from £90
  • HomeServe charges £96 for a boiler service
  • A Baxi boiler service costs from £96 

Prices correct as of October 2021. 

These days you’ll find that most big companies like EDF, Worcester-Bosch, Corgi and Scottish Power offer annual boiler services as part of their cover plans, rather than one-off boiler services.

How much does boiler cover cost? 

Boiler cover is a type of care plan that covers the costs of repairing your boiler if it breaks down. There’s usually an annual service included in your policy, which means you can avoid one-off fees. 

You can pay for cover in monthly instalments or as an annual subscription. Check how much your provider charges for each as it’s usually cheaper to pay annually. 

As with any insurance plan, it’s important to check it carefully before signing up, as each policy will be different. 

This table shows you what our partners at Hometree charge for boiler care plans. The policies include an annual boiler service (except for Boiler Essentials). You can choose a lower call-out fee, but this will mean you pay a higher price.

Subscription

Boiler Essentials
(exclusive for Compare the Market customers)

Boiler cover

Boiler and central heating cover

Boiler, central heating, plumbing and electrics cover

Call-out fee

Monthly cost

£2.44

£12.95

£14.50

£19.95

£0 (except Boiler Essentials), £60 or £95 call-out fee option

Annual cost

£29.28

£155.40

£174

£239.40

£0 (except Boiler Essentials), £60 or £95 call-out fee option

Prices correct as of October 2021

Read our guide to boiler cover

Alternatively, you can add boiler cover to your home insurance by choosing home emergency cover as an extra. Again, make sure your insurance covers your particular boiler, as cover may depend on its age and condition. Boiler cover as part of your home insurance may specify a boiler age limit, whereas a Hometree package won’t. Also, boiler cover as part of your insurance won’t usually include an annual service.

How to get cheap boiler cover

If you’re looking for a boiler-care plan, these tips can help you find an affordable deal: 

Pay annually
You could save money by paying upfront for a year’s plan, rather than spreading the cost in monthly instalments. With Hometree, you can save up to 5% if you pay annually.


Only pay for what you need
The cost of boiler care varies hugely, depending on whether you choose a basic plan or full-home-care plan. Don’t pay for more cover than you need, and check if your home insurance policy already covers you for things like electrics, pipes and drainage, so that you’re not doubling up.


Switch boiler cover provider
Don’t automatically renew your plan each year. Switching suppliers may mean you can save money on your boiler care plan.

Frequently asked questions

Are there legal regulations for when a boiler should be serviced?

It’s not a legal requirement to have your boiler serviced every year, but many professionals recommend it to lengthen your boiler’s lifespan and lower the risk of it breaking down. 

If you’re a landlord, you’re legally required to have your gas appliances certified by a GasSafe heating engineer every year.

How often should a boiler be serviced?

Every year should be enough to keep it ticking over nicely, ready for the cold winter months.

Who is eligible for a boiler service grant?

Some local councils, including Eden in Cumbria, are offering £100 grants so that low-income residents can have their boilers serviced. The grant only applies to homeowners, because if you’re renting the boiler is your landlord’s responsibility. Check with your local council to see if they’re running a similar scheme.

What are the boiler fuel types?

There’s a few different types of boiler out there. Most people in the UK have gas boilers. People in rural areas who can’t connect to the gas mains might have boilers that run on electricity, oil or even wood pellets. 

Those who are concerned about reducing their carbon emissions are switching to heat pumps or biomass boilers, which burn renewable fuel.

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