If there is one company in the UK that is considered the premier brand for ensuring your home is well heated, then probably no other company can beat British Gas. One of the biggest providers of gas boilers and boiler installation services. Started way back in 1812 as The Gas Light and Coke company. It was the first utility company in the world to supply gas to the public.
It now serves around eleven million homes. With such a large reach British Gas are also moved into the insurance business with a service called ‘HomeCare’. This provides cover for your boiler, heating system and many other household appliances. The selling point really as with any insurance is about giving peace of mind and getting items back into use as quickly as possible.
Having this reach plus the peace of mind of ‘HomeCare’ has allowed the company to be the first port of call when it comes to boiler replacement. However, British Gas are also considered to have the most expensive boilers. Whilst the company does offer interest-free loans for people who can’t afford to buy British Gas boilers with their original price, the price tag is still considered heavier than most cheap gas boilers.
Are British Gas boilers really that efficient to command such heavy price tags? And are these gas boilers really worth buying?
How Expensive are Gas Boilers Today?
Take note: gas boilers, even if they are not from British Gas, are already expensive.
Our research shows that the ‘normal’ top end price for a boiler in the UK is around £7,764. Meanwhile cheaper models go for around £1,500. This doesn’t include installation costs, the fees for the heating engineer, additional cylinders and pressure tanks, and others.
To clarify British Gas do not actually have their own brand of boiler but have partnered with some of the best boiler companies in the industry. They are Worcester Bosch, Vaillant, Glow worm and Viessmann. As for British Gas boilers, expect the price range to be in the middle. Of course, there are factors that you have to consider too, such as the installation fees, additional tanks, and others. Think about these options when you’re about to ask your boiler provider for a quotation.
Also think about the type of boiler you’re getting. If you’re getting the combi boiler and you have a fairly simple pipe system in your house, then your quotation may not be as expensive compared to an apartment owner with multiple gas boilers.
People who live in London have cheaper installation fees compared to customers who live in the rural areas. This is probably in relation to service fees, since the depot is closer to customers so it is easier to haul the boiler and all needed equipment and tanks if you live in London compared to someone who lives outside of the city. For the rural dwellers, there are local boiler providers who can also install new or replacement boilers.
Are British Gas Boilers really that good?
When choosing boilers, you’ve probably heard your sales representative tell you about the advantages of getting British Gas boilers instead of the boilers suggested by local firms. In fact, with a 4 out of 5 overall rating coming from over 17,000 Trustpilot reviews, it’s no wonder why British Gas boilers remain incredibly popular despite the more expensive price tag.
According to professional boiler installers, British Gas boiler prices differ according to the boiler size, type, manufacturer and how sophisticated the technology is behind the building or installation of the boiler. Thus, if you want a boiler that can perform and remain efficient over and above the intended requirement, then expect a very expensive British Gas boiler for that kind of need. Most British Gas boilers have a guaranteed warranty of 5 years. Sure, they’re expensive but with the warranty, expect free maintenance and repair services from British Gas as long as your boiler is still under warranty.
British Gas boilers are also into replacing old boilers for theirs. If you go on to their website, they do make the offer enticing – £400 trade in for your old boiler. It sounds incredibly good, but the “pleasant surprise” is always gone once you receive how much the total cost will be not just for the boiler, but for the installation too. Remember, British Gas not only market their recommended boilers; they also install boilers, therefore boiler installation is almost always going to be a part of their quotation.
Some people claim that British Gas is expensive because they employ people who are certified when it comes to installing and maintaining gas boilers. That is good and all, but in case you’ve forgotten, almost all boiler installation teams only hire people who are certified to handle gas boiler installation and maintenance. This is why it’s illegal to install gas boilers for the public on your own if you’re not certified, like, say, Gas Safe in the UK. It’s a rule being implemented for safety purposes, since carbon monoxide poisoning is not a joke.
Therefore, don’t be fooled with the notion that they only employ certified and well-trained personnel because almost all boiler providers have installation teams that are certified, well-trained and well-equipped. Modern safety technology already allows that today.
The bottom line is, if you have the extra money to pay for British Gas boilers together with the installation fee, then go ahead and do exactly that. But if you’re looking on the cheaper side of getting a new or replacement boiler, then perhaps it’s time to look for alternatives.
Local Gas Boilers are cheaper and efficient
People who want to avoid the overly expensive British Gas boilers have found out that it is actually cheaper and more efficient to find their local gas boiler providers and installers.
Taking from experience, British Gas can quote up to £4,000 for replacing a regular standing boiler to a wall mounted boiler. That is too much, so I ended up researching the Internet for a cheaper alternative. Luckily, someone pointed me to the right direction and I ended up paying around £2,600 instead.
Now don’t think that we’re bashing British Gas; they obviously have very good boilers but during times of financial worries, it’s more practical to find ways to save money. If you have a simple boiler system inside your apartment or home, get onto your computer or mobile phone and start looking for recommendations of your local gas boiler provider or installation team. If it’s your lucky day, you might end up saving a lot more money because of discounts and sales and potentially with the same boiler as British Gas had recommended.
The Power of Getting Multiple Quotes
British Gas is definitely one of the best gas boiler providers in the country but just like the statement says, there are other gas boiler providers that offer the same level of quality boilers like British Gas does. When you do find these companies, one good practice is to compare multiple quotes together. Remember, most of these companies offer free quotations, so take advantage of that fact to get a clear picture of what type of boiler you want and how much you are willing to spend on your new gas boiler.
The problem with most people is that they have no idea where to start when it comes to finding cheaper alternatives, so they end up checking British Gas first. With a big company like British Gas, advertising messages are everywhere.
One solid advice is to get British Gas to quote for a new boiler – you then have your top end quote. Once that’s done, you can start talking to local installers to see what price they would charge to do the work. You can also take a look at this article to give you a bit of help if you are completely new to all this and need to know estimated guide prices for new boilers!
As for British Gas HomeCare – with prices starting from £8.50 per month, we suggest looking elsewhere, especially if your boiler is new, since it should already come with a sizable warranty. We appreciate there will be some people who want that peace of mind of always having the ability to get someone in if they have an issue, but at over £100 a year, if you have a nice local plumber then we recommend just paying them a one off fee.
British Gas is not for Everyone
As one review website mentioned, almost everyone thinks that British Gas is owned by the government therefore, they are the better option for getting new or replacement boilers. However, simply check review websites such as Review.com and it won’t take you around 20 seconds to get reviews coming from unsatisfied British Gas customers.
The hefty installation costs and expensive boilers is definitely not a thing for everyone. British Gas’ price mark is definitely for those who are not planning to skimp their budget in order to get top quality boilers. The only issue that I see here is that with more and more new boilers coming out in the market, British Gas is no longer considered to be the best. Other brands are coming out with new types of combi boilers and central heating systems. Local boiler installers are also coming out, with discounts and new ways to install boilers for a cheaper price.
For those who are interested, here is the latest price range for all boiler services:
- Combi to combi swap – Average price £1,899
- System to combi conversion – Average price £2,499
- New boiler install – Average price £2,899
- Back boiler to combi – Average price £3,299
- System to system – Average price £1,999
- Megaflo unvented boiler – Average price £2,499
In the end, it’s you who gets to decide whether British Gas is expensive or not. If you want to buy boilers that can last more than five years despite the expensive price range, then you are certainly most welcome to try out British Gas boilers. If you’d like the cheaper alternative though, then spend some time searching online or you can ask your friends or family relatives for recommendations.