The best car shocks in the UK 2023

Shock absorbers are essential parts of a vehicle's suspension system, helping to absorb shocks and impacts during a ride. Because of this essential role, this component is extremely stressed and must be replaced when necessary. That's why we've put together this guide to the best car shock absorbers to help you make your choice.

Ridex 854S0138 1

Best value for money

Ridex 854S0138

The best car shock in 2021

If you're looking for a heavy duty shock absorber that will give you the best handling and comfort in your car, the Ridex 854S0138 is for you.

26,86 £ on Piecesauto24

Looking for a solid shock absorber from a manufacturer that's proven itself to millions of motorists? Choose the Ridex 854S0138. It's a strut and gas pressure design. This twin-tube shock absorber is designed for the rear axle. In terms of mounting systems, you should know that the device has a stud at the top and a boss at the bottom. In short, there is nothing to worry about. In terms of fastening, it's solid.

Also note that the maximum length is 532 mm and the minimum is 354 mm. This shock absorber is compatible with the Mitsubishi and Volvo brands. By opting for this model, you guarantee yourself optimal comfort during the rides. Both the driver and passengers will appreciate the exceptional absorption capacity of this model, a characteristic of all products distributed by the Ridex brand.


Best value for money


The best entry-level car shock

Solid, versatile and very affordable, this shock absorber model signed Master-sport will allow you to ride comfortably and safely.

11,74 £ on

Master-sport shock absorbers have proven themselves to motorists around the world with their performance and unbeatable price. With the 314759-PCS-MS model, the brand guarantees strength and durability. It is a twin-tube gas pressure system that can be used on both the front and rear axles. This strut model is fixed with a stud at the top and a boss at the bottom.

This shock absorber represents an excellent deal considering its selling price. With this model, you will have a solid suspension to drive serenely while ensuring comfort, both for the driver and passengers.

Stark SKSA-0130085 3

Best value for money

Stark SKSA-0130085

The best high-end car shock

Do you want to equip your car with a reliable shock absorber that can withstand different types of wear and tear? The Stark is all you need.

57,98 £ on Piecesauto24

The Stark brand is one of the references in terms of car parts and its range of shock absorbers honors its reputation. Indeed, despite its relatively high price compared to other models currently available, the SKSA-0130085 from Stark is very popular on the current market. Designed for the rear axle, it is a gas pressure type part equipped with a twin tube system. This shock absorber is classified as a strut model.

With a stud at the top and a boss at the bottom, you can rest assured that it's solid. Choose the Stark SKSA-0130085 shock absorber if you want a solid, sturdy and long-lasting suspension. Comfort and safety are guaranteed by this brand of parts, one of the symbols of German know-how in terms of car mechanics.

Ridex 854S0086 4

A great choice

Ridex 854S0086

A great alternative

The Ridex brand is one of the most popular brands of car parts and this is confirmed by the 854S0086, one of the most popular shock absorbers available today.

16,54 £ on Piecesauto24
Buying guide • November 2023

Best car shock absorber

Any specific needs?

The best car shock in 2021

The best entry-level car shock

The best high-end car shock

A great alternative

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best car shocks

Ridex 854S0138 5
Stark SKSA-0130085 7
Ridex 854S0086 8
Ridex 854S0138
Stark SKSA-0130085
Ridex 854S0086
If you're looking for a heavy duty shock absorber that will give you the best handling and comfort in your car, the Ridex 854S0138 is for you.
Solid, versatile and very affordable, this shock absorber model signed Master-sport will allow you to ride comfortably and safely.
Do you want to equip your car with a reliable shock absorber that can withstand different types of wear and tear? The Stark is all you need.
The Ridex brand is one of the most popular brands of car parts and this is confirmed by the 854S0086, one of the most popular shock absorbers available today.
Assembly side
Rear axle
Rear and front axle
Rear axle
Rear axle
Damper type
Throttle pressure
Throttle pressure
Throttle pressure
Throttle pressure
Damper system
Damper model
Suspension strut
Suspension strut
Suspension strut
Suspension strut
Tightening method
Pin at top, boss at bottom
Bossing at bottom, Stud at top
Pin at top, boss at bottom
Pin at top, boss at bottom

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Buying guide - car shock absorber

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How to choose your car shock absorber

It is essential to know the criteria for choosing a good shock absorber to avoid replacing them every month. Apart from compatibility, there are other factors you should take into account which are :

#1 - Compatibility

This is the main thing to consider when choosing a new shock absorber. You need to make sure that the part you are going to buy is compatible with the model and make of your vehicle. To do this, check the manufacturer's part number of the used shock absorber.

#2 - Type and condition of driving


choice of a shock absorber also depends on the road you usually drive on and how you drive. If you often drive a rough route, such as roads full of potholes or in poor condition, and if you like sporty driving, gas shocks are the most recommended. On the other hand, if you are used to driving in the city or on highways, oil and gas shocks will be the most suitable for your vehicle.

#3 - The design

Frequent shock absorber changes will not benefit you. So, choose shock absorbers made of durable materials such as steel and aluminum. The former may weigh your vehicle down and is also less robust than other materials, but shocks designed with it are less expensive. Aluminum shocks, on the other hand, are lightweight, easy to install, but are more expensive.

#4 - The brand


shocks from well-known and reputable brands. Of course, there are less famous brands, but they make quality shock absorbers, but it is better to bet on reputable suppliers to avoid disillusionment.

#5 - The technology


are many technologies deployed during the design of shocks. Gas, oil, monotube, twin-tube, threaded combination, adjustable? It's up to you to see which one fits your needs and your vehicle.

#6 - Before changing a shock absorber


need to get a new bump stop kit if you plan to replace your failing shocks. Keeping the one you have in place is not very advisable.

What is a shock absorber and what are its advantages?

As one of the main parts of a vehicle, a shock absorber plays an important role in the safety of passengers. It softens the impact of various elements and contributes to the proper functioning of the suspension mechanisms. In addition, it keeps the car stable by means of pneumatic arms that retract or extend depending on the situation. But a shock absorber also ensures comfort inside the vehicle by reducing vibrations to a minimum, as well as its performance.

Note that the shock absorber and the suspension work together to swallow shocks. The shock absorber eliminates shocks and rebound risks so that the vehicle remains balanced on the road. It also ensures that the springs move smoothly and the tires stay on the ground.

But its attributes are not limited to these different points. A shock absorber, if in good condition, also reduces braking distance and improves driving quality.

The different types of car shocks

The shock absorber plays an important role in the comfort of your car and the safety of the passengers on board. Therefore, it is essential to know all types of shock absorbers to better choose them.

Monotube dampers

Monotube dampers have a simple design. Typically, they consist of a compartment filled with gas and oil, a rod that operates the piston in the cylinder, a piston with a bypass valve that allows oil to pass from one cavity to the other, and another piston that serves to partition the chambers that contain the two fluids.

Twin-tube dampers

This is

the most commonly used type of damper today. It consists of a housing with another container in which the spaces between the walls are filled with gas and other elements; there is also a kind of balloon that contains liquid to dampen shocks; the rod imitating the operation of the monotube and a piston with a valve that opens or rises depending on the model.

Gas or oil shock absorber?

Gas shock absorber

Gas-charged shock absorbers provide better handling and limit vertical movement. They are ideal for vehicles driving in areas with bad roads. In addition, this type of shock absorber is better able to withstand vibrations. But the main advantage is that they reduce the braking distance with less heat build-up.

However, they are more expensive than other types of shock absorbers for a limited period of use. And if you are looking for a great driving comfort, gas shocks will surely make you miss.

Oil damper

Oil dampers are simple devices, easy to install and reasonably priced. They also have a longer life span than gas shocks. Moreover, riding with this type of shock absorber is very pleasant, because they are very smooth, especially on rough roads.

But they also have their drawbacks, as these shocks are not suitable for sporty driving. They are also less responsive to braking and have a much poorer handling.


The choice between the two shocks depends mainly on your driving style and expectations. Gas-charged shock absorbers are designed for owners of sporty or city cars and do their job well in the city. Oil dampers, on the other hand, will be your best bet if you often drive on rough roads.

Why buy a car shock absorber?

Ensuring comfort

As part of a car's suspension, a shock absorber absorbs shocks, especially if you often drive over rough terrain. Basically, it ensures the comfort of the driver and the passengers inside the vehicle. It is therefore important to choose shock absorbers according to your needs. If comfort is your priority, you should opt for a softer device, but if handling is your main concern, a stiffer shock absorber will be the best option.

Ensuring the longevity of the parts

The shock absorber keeps all suspension parts working properly and maximizes their life. It also supports the bodywork to keep it in good condition. This saves you premature replacement of parts, which saves you money and time.

Ensuring safety

A shock absorber is like a bridge between the wheels and the ground. In other words, it keeps the tires firmly on the ground to provide the vehicle with perfect handling. This process contributes to the safety of you and your loved ones, especially when cornering or braking hard.

Improve suspension travel

This is the most important part of a suspension system. A shock absorber, as its name suggests, cushions the vehicle to prevent bouncing. Note that if the shock absorbers fail, the car may capsize and then become uncontrollable. Basically, a shock absorber strengthens the suspension while keeping you safe while driving.

Improve braking efficiency

If you have out-of-order shocks, you'll find that when you brake, the car leans forward. And if you drive too fast, there's a chance the car won't stop. Having a good shock absorber allows you to have an infallible and precise system, but to decrease the braking distance.

The best brands of car shocks

In our opinion, the best brands of car shocks in 2022 are :


Bilstein has been known for its quality products since it was founded in 1873 and is now one of the leading manufacturers of original suspension systems. Most car manufacturers equip their vehicles with the brand's shock absorbers. It is also known by racing professionals.

A Japanese company founded in 1948, KYB has made a name for itself with its range of hydraulic equipment. It is one of the largest suppliers of shock absorbers in the world and has several factories in Europe.

This brand has conquered the automotive world with its high quality parts equipment. Its ultra-resistant and flexible shock absorbers use the same design technologies as the original ones. It has several models ranging from shock absorbers for light cars to damping systems for commercial vehicles.

Koni is a world-renowned brand for its tuning and sports shock absorbers, and has also developed adjustable shock absorbers suitable for all cars. The brand has also started designing shock absorbers for Formula 1.

ZF Sachs is a well-known German brand in the manufacture of original automotive parts. It is also the originator of many models of threaded combination shocks used for racing cars.

What is the price for a car shock absorber

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

20 £ to 150 £
150 £ to 300 £
more than 300 £
Price range diagram


Check if your car is leaning

To check if your car is leaning to one side, stand in front of the hood and see if one side is lower than the other. If it is, you should change your shocks quickly.

Test if the shock absorbers are in good condition

For front shocks, give the hood or front bumper of your car a long press, then suddenly pull your hands away. If the vehicle doesn't bounce, it's proof that your shocks are still fine. For the rear ones, hold pressure on each side to see if the vehicle bounces or not.

Knowing if the springs are failing

If you notice abnormal wear on the tires or oil dripping from the cylinder, it means your spring is out. One of the most common signs, too, is the front end of the vehicle dipping forward when braking.

Replace your own shock absorbers

You should know that replacing a shock absorber follows several steps. It is therefore difficult for those who are not mechanically literate to perform this task. You should also have all the necessary tools at hand: jack, spring compressor jacks, shock gun, ball joint puller, grease and of course a toolbox. Start by unscrewing the center nut that holds the shock without removing it completely. Then, separate the shock from the spindle. You can then access the cables and hoses, which you should unhook. Continue by unscrewing the stopper to be able to release the suspension. At the same time, you can compress the spring with the compressor. Now you just have to disassemble the whole device to be able to mount your new shock absorber.

Optimizing the life of a shock absorber

Preserving the life of a shock absorber, means taking care of your car. So, you should refrain from overloading the car, control your speed on speed bumps and also avoid potholes and warped roads as much as possible.


What is the best car shock absorber?

The best car shock absorber depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide to find out which products are the best at the moment.

Can I drive for a long time with a defective shock absorber?

It is best to change them as soon as possible as your safety depends on it. A damaged shock absorber can cause enormous damage, both to the driver and to the vehicle.

Should the shocks always be replaced in pairs?

Replacing the shock absorbers two by two will guarantee a better stability of the car. However, it is possible to replace only one if the serial number matches. Preferably, choose the same brand as the original shock absorber.

How to maintain a shock absorber?

Shock absorber maintenance starts with a few precautions to take on the road. You should avoid driving into holes or frequently driving on rough roads. This will save you a few years and keep your springs intact. Also, avoid overloading the vehicle, as this will affect the proper functioning of the air arms.

How do you know when a shock absorber is out of order?

The life of a shock absorber depends on its design and manufacturer. It is difficult to determine whether a shock absorber is functional or not. The best way is to rely on the odometer. A shock absorber should be replaced when the vehicle has been driven more than 50,000 km. However, check regularly that your tires are still symmetrical and that there is no oil on the shock absorber.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Ridex 854S0138 9
Ridex 854S0138
Stark SKSA-0130085 11
Stark SKSA-0130085
Ridex 854S0086 12
Ridex 854S0086


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