The deal is that you buy one set of brakes pads (or brake shoes) at retail price at Halfords Autocentres and any further replacements you need, for the rest of your life, are free. If you buy a new car, the deal can be transferred to the new car or to the new owner of your old car – in both cases, subject to an inspection within 30 days of the sale.
The free replacement deal is on a like-for-like basis – so if your front brake pads were the ones that were originally replaced, the free replacement for life policy applies to all future front brake pads, not to your rear brake pads.
The deal appears straightforward enough on paper, but a read of the terms and conditions shows that it has been carefully designed to snare new servicing customers for Halfords Autocentres. For example:
- Although you are not required to have an annual service to maintain the replacement guarantee, you are required to provide documentary evidence of any brake repairs carried out by any other garage.
- You cannot have your brake pads or shoes replaced by anyone other than Halfords Autocentres
- You must have any necessary brake repairs that are identified during an inspection or service carried out within 10 days of notification
- If you want to transfer the guarantee to a new car, you must take the new car to a branch of Halfords Autocentres for inspection within 30 days of taking ownership.
Given that most brake repairs and pad replacements are carried out during routine servicing, the terms of the deal mean either that you have to have your car serviced at Halfords Autocentres as well, or that you will be making additional trips to the garage and annoying your regular garage by refusing to allow them to replace your brake pads, even when it’s necessary.
Despite this, it still seems a fair deal – not least because Halfords Autocentres servicing prices are pretty reasonable and its online booking facility is very convenient. I’ve used them for servicing myself in the past and had no problems.