Who makes the most reliable cars?

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Looking for a secondhand car that won’t break down and cost you the earth in repairs? Perhaps you should consider a Honda… The Japanese company has been revealed as the most reliable used car manufacturer in the UK – for the ninth year running – according to annual research from What Car? and Warranty Direct. Think twice before shelling out for a secondhand Bentley, though. The luxury brand – which makes cars that retail at more than £100,000 – came out bottom for reliability in the survey of three to eight-year old vehicles.

Made in Japan

Warranty Direct’s reliability survey analysed 50,000 of its live policies across 38 manufacturers. The list of reliable manufacturers was dominated by Japanese brands. An incredible eight of the car makers in the top 10 are based in Japan, with Suzuki and Toyota claiming second and third place behind Honda, and Mazda in joint fourth with Chevrolet. At the other end of the scale, however, luxury names such as Porsche and Bentley fared less well. A massive 93% of the Bentleys on Warranty Direct’s books have a problem each year, making the prestigious brand Britain’s least dependable car manufacturer. And the repairs when they’re needed probably don’t come cheap!

Unwanted bills

David Gerrans, Warranty Direct managing director, said: “Household budgets continue to be stretched further in the current economic climate; the last thing people need is a car that costs them money they don’t have in unwanted bills. “So it is imperative that consumers research their intended purchases thoroughly before taking the plunge. “Our Reliability Index make sit easier to avoid landing yourself with a car that causes you nothing but hassle and a financial headache.”

How it works…

To find the UK’s most reliable cars, Warranty Direct has developed a Reliability Index (RI) that calculates each vehicle’s reliability using its failure rate, age, mileage and cost of repair. And the lower the RI number, the more trustworthy the car… Jim Holder, What Car? Editor, said: “Honda’s success in the reliability index is chiefly down to low failure rates. When things do go wrong, the cars are also relatively cheap to fix.”

Top marques

Make 

 RI number     Average cost of repairs
Honda     41 £336
Suzuki  48  £256
Toyota   66      £378
Chevrolet 82  £258
Mazda  82    £398
Ford 85 £289

 

Other manufacturers in the top 10 include Lexus in sixth place, Skoda in seventh and Hyundai, Nissan and Subaru all getting the same RI number of 94 – putting them in eighth position. Rounding up the leaders, there’s Daewoo and Peugeot in joint ninth place and Fiat at number 10. Down at the bottom of the list, meanwhile, it’s Bentley with a huge RI number of 637, followed by Porsche at 380 and Land Rover at 322.

What about models?

Overall, the most reliable models are the Honda Jazz and Mitsubishi Lancer, both of which also carry reasonable average repair costs. The good news for motorists on a budget is also that neither car will break the bank to buy. A quick online search shows that a three-year-old Honda Jazz costs about £9,000, while you can pick up a five-year-old Lancer for around £6,000. For those with deeper pockets, on the other hand, it’s worth knowing that the least reliable model is the Audi RS6 – even though a two-year-old Audi RS6 will set you back about £60,000. Other used cars to avoid if you are worried about big repair bills include the Subaru Impreza. The average bill faced by its owners is an eye-watering £1,636.

Reliability rating of all manufacturers

Position Make Ave Mileage RI Average Cost (£) Highest Cost (£)
1 Honda 50,892.73 41 335.87 2,913.40
2 Suzuki 39,280.27 48 256.04 1,684.84
3 Toyota 50,641.03 66 378.22 5,020.00
4= Chevrolet 35,956.80 82 258.15 2,118.90
4= Mazda 47,649.48 82 398.42 4,546.94
6 Ford 53,214.21 85 289.74 8,014.33
7 Lexus 53,305.39 89 415.90 5,699.94
8 Skoda 50,675.24 90 292.84 3,854.76
9= Hyundai 53,281.01 94 318.54 4,637.66
9= Nissan 48,738.90 94 367.19 20,747.88
9= Subaru 56,991.20 94 456.75 3,933.45
12= Daewoo 40,148.60 97 263.82 1,170.37
12= Peugeot 49,787.60 97 284.62 4,975.00
14 Fiat 43,219.17 98 268.35 2,520.90
15 Citroën 48,805.54 105 311.58 4,026.40
16 Smart 37,672.35 108 291.75 2,544.00
17 Mitsubishi 52,882.69 109 456.29 4,832.59
18 Kia 49,608.72 114 390.01 4,056.00
19 Vauxhall 52,546.81 123 310.07 15,000.00
20 SEAT 51,710.06 125 299.11 5,993.08
21 Renault 48,537.36 130 262.42 4,711.75
22 Mini 44,017.29 136 380.74 4,721.72
23 Volkswagen 54,982.88 137 345.94 5,657.38
24 Rover 44,873.26 150 362.73 3,217.40
25 Volvo 60,664.66 151 377.35 5,604.10
26 Saab 56,991.42 158 327.4 8,862.35
27 Land Rover 67,011.84 162 428.47 15,350.00
28= BMW 58,174.77 180 447.18 35,000.00
28= MG 38,370.18 180 401.96 3,901.46
30 Jaguar 50,879.61 185 419.57 9,347.00
31 SsangYong 49,884.41 211 431.55 2661.39
32 Mercedes-Benz 54,341.10 215 452.7 16,115.38
33 Chrysler 52,454.94 221 399.47 3,747.22
34 Audi 59,054.52 223 515.41 15,438.42
35 Jeep 52,582.81 227 439.89 3,694.00
36 Porsche 41,829.73 380 784.71 10,348.00
37 Bentley 38,113.59 637 678.5 8406.65

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