How much does a catalytic converter replacement cost?

Price Guide

£150 - £800

low

£150

median

£400

high

£800

Experiencing car issues? Before you hire a mechanic for your catalytic converter replacement, cost research is a good idea. That way, you’ll know what typical replacement costs look like and what you can expect your local mechanic to charge.

 

How much does a catalytic converter replacement cost in the UK? You can expect it to be anywhere from £150 up to thousands, but your mechanic might quote you higher or lower. The cost of replacing your catalytic converter will depend mainly on what type of car you drive, how much the parts cost, and how complex and time-consuming the replacement job is likely to be.

 

This catalytic converter replacement price guide will break down everything you need to know about the average catalytic converter cost in the UK, based on our data from mechanics and car manufacturers. By the end of this guide, you’ll be familiar with standard catalytic converter repair costs and what you can expect to pay a professional mechanic, plus you’ll know how to get started with booking your catalytic converter replacement via Airtasker.

 

What’s a catalytic converter?

 

A catalytic converter is an important car part. It’s fitted inside your exhaust pipe before the muffler to reduce harmful emissions from your car and turn unused fuel particles into harmless gases.

 

The outside of a catalytic converter has a steel shell, and the inside looks a bit like a honeycomb. It’s this “honeycomb” that does all the work filtering the gases.

 

A catalytic converter helps keep your car’s emissions within the legal limits and also stops harmful gases and particles from escaping and potentially damaging your car. 

 

Do I need to replace my catalytic converter?

 

The only way to know for sure if your catalytic converter needs replacing is to book in with a mechanic. They’ll be able to check and run some tests. But a few warning signs that your converter is on its way out are:

 

  • Your car isn’t performing like it used to - if your converter isn’t functioning well, it’ll make your engine dirty and sluggish

  • Your check engine light is on - this could mean a lot of things, but it certainly could be your converter

  • Smelly exhaust - if you smell rotten eggs coming from your car’s exhaust, it could mean the neighbour’s kids have played a prank on you, or perhaps your catalytic converter isn’t burning up all the particles and pollutants properly

  • Poor fuel economy - if you’re going through fuel a bit faster than usual, it’s an indicator that there’s something wrong with your engine and this may be due to an ineffective converter

 

Those are some symptoms, but the only way to properly diagnose your car is to book in with a qualified mechanic. 

 

What happens during a catalytic converter replacement?

When you book a mechanic to replace your catalytic converter, you can expect them to take anywhere from 1-2 hours for a simple job or longer if your car’s design makes it more complex. During your booking, your mechanic will…

 

  • Use their equipment to confirm if your catalytic converter is the problem

  • Raise your car to work underneath it

  • Unclamp, unbolt or extract (depending on the make and model) your old catalytic converter from your exhaust pipe

  • Fit your new convert securely

  • Lower your car and run the engine

  • Perform tests, including a road test, to make sure it’s working properly

 

What other services might you need during the replacement?

 

If your car is booked in with a mechanic, you might get them to look at a few other parts and do some other services for you at the same time. You might request a:

 

  • General car service - including an oil and filter change, fluid top-up, general safety inspection, and brake check

  • Full car service - change spark plugs, check components, logbook entry, and suspension adjustment

  • Tire services - wheel alignment, rotation, repair, and/or tyre replacement

  • Roadworthy certificate - required in some states if you plan to sell or transfer your car

 

You could book these services separately, but booking them together can help you get a better deal. You can always list the different jobs you need to be done when you post your task and book your car in.

 

How much does a catalytic converter cost?

 

The main catalytic converter replacement cost is buying the parts. Depending on availability, you may be able to get a new catalytic converter or save some money by buying a secondhand/reconditioned one. 

 

Your mechanic will be able to advise you on specific costs and help you source the right part. But in general, here’s what you can expect to pay for a converter for the most popular cars in the UK. The average cost of replacing a catalytic converter ranges between £150 to £800, however, if you’re looking for a cost by a specific Brand, refer to the list below:



Car make and model

Catalytic converter price guide

Citroen C1

£318

Vauxhall Corsavan

£406

Ford Fiesta

£450

Volkswagen Caddy

£535

Mazda 6

£558

Audi TT

£822

Peugeot 308

£937


 

You can also get universal catalytic converters. These vary in price based on the shape and size. This can be a good option if your converter is difficult to source in the UK and is no longer manufactured.

 

Note that these prices don’t include labour - this is usually quoted separately. We’ll talk a bit more about this as part of your total cost.



What factors affect your catalytic converter replacement costs?

 

As you can see from our price guide above, knowing how much cost to change a catalytic converter is based on the make and model of your vehicle. But the overall cost of a catalytic converter replacement needs to also include your mechanic’s labour, which will depend on:

 

  • How complex the replacement job is likely to be for your car type

  • The year your car was made in

  • Whether it’s a diesel or petrol model

  • Whether you or your mechanic will source the parts

  • How difficult the parts are to source

  • Any extras (like a car service or engine flush)

  • Your location/suburb

  • Whether you book a mobile mechanic or you bring your car into a workshop

  • How urgently you need the job done

  • Whether you need them to work on a weekend or weekday

 

How much should it cost to replace a catalytic converter?

 

You can get an idea of your total catalytic converter replacement costs by doing some simple maths. 

 



Cost of the converter

 + your mechanic’s hourly rate

 x the total time required

 = total cost


Check the price guide table above to see what you can expect to pay for the parts you need.

Different mechanics will have different hourly rates, but a normal range is from £40 to £120 per hour. If your mechanic is a specialist or they work at a dealership, they’ll be on the higher end of the scale. Private and independent mechanics tend to charge a lower hourly rate.

The time required to replace your converter will also vary, but you can expect it to take anywhere from 1-2 hours, or more if it’s a complex job.

What you can expect to pay for your service and parts combined!


 

But the best way to get an accurate price is to ask for some quotes or post a description of what you need on Airtasker’s marketplace. 

 

How to find someone to do your catalytic converter replacement

 

Ready to book a mechanic and get some quotes? It’s easy! Just write out your task, post your listing, review your offers, choose someone, and they’ll arrange to come and do your catalytic converter replacement at a time that suits you. If you’re curious, check out how it works.

 

Here’s what you might include in your listing:

 

  • Timing and budget

  • Location

  • Car make and model

  • Any issues noticed?

  • Equipment and parts provided?

  • Any additional services required?

 

The more info you include, the easier it’ll be for your mechanic to price up the job and send through a quote. Plus, they’ll rely on accurate info in your listing when they arrive to work on your car.

 

Example car mechanic listings from Airtasker

 

Need some inspiration to help you create your listing? Here are some recent examples of auto and mechanic tasks our members have posted (and successfully completed).



Mechanic to diagnose problem and fix

My car is squealing, mainly when the aircon is on but also when warming up and turning on (even when warm).


I've had a mechanic tell me it's not the fan belt but rather the aircon but I'd love a second opinion.

Car fix at my place

My Mercedes 2005 C180 could not start the engine. It's not the battery.


I wonder if you could come and fix my car. Probably it has problems with the electric something.

Remove and replace trailer plug


Need this plug removed and replaced by a mobile mechanic on Wednesday or Thursday.


Happy to pay for parts at cost if you supply.



Sign up and get started with your first auto/mechanic task.

FAQs about catalytic converter replacements and pricing

Why do catalytic converters fail?

Usually, catalytic converters fail due to damage from engine problems that cause too much heat or extra emissions. Using the wrong substances and fuels in your car may also cause it to stop working.

What happens when a catalytic converter fails?

Your converter is designed to break down exhaust fumes from your car. If it breaks, the first thing you’ll probably notice is that your car’s exhaust is a lot smellier than usual (think rotten eggs) and then it’s likely your engine will run less smoothly.

When should I replace my catalytic converter?

Many catalytic converters will last indefinitely (longer than many other parts that need replacing) but if you experience engine or exhaust issues, your mechanic may find yours needs replacing. It’s important to not delay the replacement for too long because damage to your converter can impact on your engine.

Can I drive a car with a bad catalytic converter?

Yes. You may still be able to drive your car with a damaged catalytic converter, but you risk further damage to the rest of your vehicle/engine, and your drive may be less smooth than usual.

What happens if you don’t replace a catalytic converter?

If you don’t replace a damaged catalytic converter, your car may be driveable for a bit longer, but you risk more costly damage to your engine.

How can you tell if the catalytic converter is bad?

The symptoms of a bad catalytic converter include smelly exhaust, check engine light, decreased fuel economy, and poor engine performance. A mechanic will be able to check if the catalytic converter is the issue, or if it’s another issue.

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