Hydrogenated diamond-like carbon (DLC) (H-DLC), argon-incorporated DLC (Ar-DLC) and nitrogen-incorporated DLC (N-DLC) coatings were deposited on flat rectangular Ti-6Al-4V samples. The DLC coatings were characterised by Raman spectroscopy and nanoindentation. Fretting wear tests were conducted on uncoated and DLC coated samples with an alumina ball as the counterbody. As the Ar-DLC and N-DLC coatings had relatively more sp2 network compared to the H-DLC coating, they exhibited lower values of hardness and elastic modulus. At both loads of 4.9 N and 14.7 N, all DLC coated specimens showed lower values of tangential force coefficient (TFC), wear volume and specific wear rate compared to the uncoated samples. While the Ar-DLC coated sample exhibited the lowest TFC, wear volume and specific wear rate at 4.9 N load, the N-DLC coated specimen exhibited the lowest TFC, wear volume and specific wear rate at 14.7 N load. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.