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How to get a cheap boiler service

Getting your boiler serviced regularly is the best way to keep it running safely and efficiently. Yet these costs can add up. We’ll help you find a cheap boiler service by weighing up the difference between a one-off boiler service and ongoing boiler cover.

Getting your boiler serviced regularly is the best way to keep it running safely and efficiently. Yet these costs can add up. We’ll help you find a cheap boiler service by weighing up the difference between a one-off boiler service and ongoing boiler cover.

Written by
Helen Phipps
Insurance comparison expert
Last Updated
17 FEBRUARY 2023
5 min read
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Why should I get an annual boiler service?

Most boiler companies recommend having your boiler serviced 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 winter.

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.

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 are quiet and may be more inclined to offer you a better deal.

What does a boiler service include?

If you book a gas boiler service, an 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 might also look at your central heating system, if that’s included in your plan.

An annual service 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.

Do they check radiators on a boiler service?

No, radiators aren’t checked during a standard boiler service. If you’re having issues with your radiators, you could ask the engineer for advice, but fixing them there and then won’t normally be part of the deal.

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.  

You can either pay a one-off charge for your boiler service or take out a boiler cover plan 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 as your local independent plumber may offer lower rates than a big, nationwide company.

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

Boiler insurance with an annual service included can start from around £13 a month, whereas a one-off boiler service could typically cost you around £100 but can be up to £200 or more, depending on the type of boiler you have.

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 prefer the peace of mind knowing you won't 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 £60 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

£80-£120

Biomass

£180-£450

Oil

£80-£180

Electric combi

£60-£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 gas boiler service:

  • A British Gas boiler service costs from £99
  • HomeServe charges £96 for a boiler service
  • A Baxi boiler service costs from £108.

Prices correct as of February 2023.

These days you’ll find that most big companies like EDF, Worcester-Bosch, Corgi and Ovo 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 often 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.

This table shows you what our partners at Hometree charge for boiler care plans that include an annual service. You can choose a call-out fee or excess to suit your needs.

Boiler cover and central heating plans from Hometree
Plan options – all include annual boiler service Billed monthly Billed annually Call-out fee/excess
Boiler cover £15 £180 £60
Boiler and central heating cover £17 £204 £60
Boiler, central heating, plumbing and electrics cover £22 £264 £60

Prices correct as of February 2023.

Read our guide to boiler cover

Alternatively, you can add boiler cover to your home insurance by choosing home emergency cover as an extra. Be aware that emergency cover may specify a boiler age limit, whereas a Hometree package won’t. And boiler cover as part of your home 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 can sometimes save money by paying upfront for a year’s plan, rather than spreading the cost over monthly instalments.

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, for example, 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

How often should a boiler be serviced?

Every year should be enough to keep it ticking over nicely, ready for the cold winter months. If you have a warranty or buildings insurance with home emergency cover, check the policy to see how often you need to get your boiler serviced for the cover to remain valid.

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

How long does a boiler service take?

Generally speaking, a full boiler service will take between 30 and 60 minutes. If it’s anything less than that, the engineer probably hasn’t done a thorough job. How long exactly will depend on the make and model of your boiler, its age and the speed at which the engineer works. It could take longer if there’s a fault that needs to be investigated further.
 
After they’ve carried out the check, the engineer will usually write up a summary of what they found and whether your boiler is up to a satisfactory standard. If further work is required, they will advise you on what action you need to take.

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