If your car is pulling to one side whilst driving or when you brake, you’ll most likely need replacement brake discs or pads or your car’s wheels may need realigning.


Diagnose the issue here or if you’re still unsure, book a vehicle diagnostic check with our highly-experienced mechanics to get to the root of the problem.

Why does my car pull to one side when driving?

The most likely reason your car pulls to one side is due to the wheel alignment being off. Wheel alignment is altered by driving conditions – it can become skewed over time, if you hit a particularly vicious pothole or mount a curb awkwardly. Your wheel alignment should be checked regularly, as it can prolong the life of your tyres by up to 12,000 miles, increase fuel efficiency and fix steering and suspension issues.


Your car’s wheels and axles should form a rectangle, parallel to each other and at a right angle to the road. If the alignment is off you will notice that your car may drift in one direction when driving. This can make it hard to focus on safe driving if you’re constantly tugging your wheel left or right just so you can drive in a straight line.


However, the reason your car is pulling to one side could be more simple; uneven tyre pressure. It’s important to check the pressure of all your tyres is the same before jumping to conclusions.

Why does my car pull to one side when braking?


If you’ve noticed that your car pulls to one side when braking, this is probably due to unevenly worn brake pads or a stuck brake caliper. Calipers are powered by the hydraulic brake system and apply pressure to the brake pads to bring the car to a stop. Each wheel has its own caliper and if one of them is sticking, the vehicle will pull to that side.


Brake pads wear down over time and as they do, they will exhibit a number of symptoms, one of which may be your car pulling to the side when braking.


If your brake pads are worn you may also hear a squeaking or squealing noise when applying the brakes. If you hear a grinding sound, it typically means that your brake pads are completely worn down, and the metal backing plate of the pads is now grinding on the rotors. It is dangerous to drive your car with the brakes in this condition. We recommend booking your car in for a brake pad replacement as soon as possible.

What are the common reasons a car pulls to one side?

Wheel alignment issues

Risk level – Medium


What to do – To test whether your car is dragging to one side when driving, take your car out when there are no other vehicles around. Remove your hands from the steering wheel for a couple of seconds (keeping them close by for safety) and check if the car drags towards the left or right. If there aren’t any alignment issues, you’ll continue traveling straight. But if your car pulls to one side this could indicate that your vehicle needs to be realigned. In addition, if you inspect your tyres, you’ll likely notice uneven tread wear. This is another indication of wheel alignment issues.


To fix the issue, your car will require a full inspection as to whether it needs a two-wheel or four-wheel alignment. If your car’s wheels do need to be realigned, one of our highly-trained mechanics will use a series of advanced, high-definition imaging sensors to measure the angles on your vehicle. They will then compare the positioning and angles of your car’s wheels to the manufacturer data for your vehicle, to ensure the vehicle is set up perfectly for you to drive.


Unevenly worn brake pads

Risk level – High

What to do – Visually check the thickness of your brake pads or book your car in for a vehicle diagnostic check.

If your car is pulling to one side when you brake, the most likely cause is that the lining on one (or both) of your brakes has become worn. As the lining wears off, a common symptom is that the vehicle will begin to pull to one side when braking. The braking system is a critical safety component of your car and it can be dangerous to drive with very worn brakes. Therefore, we recommend that you book your car in for a vehicle diagnostic check so that it can be professionally inspected by a trained mechanic. Severely worn brakes can quickly ruin the most expensive mechanical parts of the brake system, so must be fixed as soon as possible.

At Fixter we aim to make car care as easy and convenient as possible. With our seamless collection and delivery service and our in-house experts just a phone call away, you’ll be in safe hands from start to finish. There’s no need to stress about your car’s next brake pads repair.

Stuck brake caliper

Risk level – High

What to do – If you begin to notice your car pulling to one side, make a note of when it pulls and which side it pulls towards. If you notice that your vehicle is only dragging to one side when you apply the brakes, and that it pulls to the same side each time, you most likely have a stuck brake caliper. With a stuck or seized brake caliper, your car will have the tendency to pull towards the side that has the sticky caliper.

Continuing to drive when your vehicle won’t stay straight, especially when braking, is very dangerous. You should get your vehicle checked by a mechanic as soon as possible. They will be able to inspect the car’s brakes and will be able to advise whether or not you need new brake calipers, discs or pads.

Uneven tyre pressure

Risk level – Low

What to do – Sometimes the solution is as simple as checking your tyres. Tyre pressure fluctuates as you drive, and sometimes one tyre will have less pressure than the others. If your car has been pulling to one side when driving, the first thing you should do is check your tyre pressure and add more if necessary. Make sure your tyres are cold when you check them as driving on them affects the pressure. If this fixes your problem, great news! However, if you notice that your car is still veering to the left or right, you might be dealing with a more serious issue.


And remember, checking your tyre pressure every few weeks is a good habit to get into. It’s important for your car’s safety, how your car drives and its fuel economy. Make sure you check yours regularly to keep your car running smoothly.

How do you fix a car pulling to one side?

If your car is pulling to one side, depending on the reason, there are a number of different ways to go about fixing the issue. Firstly, it is a good idea to check the pressure of all your tyres, as uneven pressure can cause your car to pull to one side when driving. If uneven tyre pressure is not causing the problem, you may need to have your car’s wheels checked and realigned. If you’ve noticed that your car is pulling to one side when you brake, there could be a problem with your brake pads or caliper. We recommend that you have your brakes looked at by a mechanic and get a replacement or repair as soon as possible, especially if you are also experiencing squeaking or grinding brakes.

How much does it cost to stop a car pulling to one side?

The cost of fixing this issue depends on the cause of the problem. If your car requires replacement brake discs and pads on the front brakes, this will cost between £140-£400 with an average price of £224.


If your wheels need to be realigned to stop your car from pulling to one side, this will cost between £25-£50, depending on the make and model of your car. The average cost in the UK is £34.

If you’re unsure why your car is pulling to one side, you can book a vehicle diagnostic with Fixter. We’ll book your car in at one of our trusted garages near you and our highly-trained mechanics will get to the root of the problem. We’ll also collect and deliver your car to your preferred location and update you throughout the whole process, so you’re always kept in the loop.

About Fixter

Fixter is revolutionising the car maintenance industry, one repair at a time. Fixter was founded to make car maintenance as easy as booking a taxi. Digital, transparent and stress-free, with world-class customer service. Since launching in Manchester in 2017, Fixter has expanded to more than 100 towns and cities across the UK and provided thousands of car owners with honest, convenient and affordable car repair services.