Feb 162004
 

Car MOTBritons paid out £1.6bn in 2003 to repair their cars with the average garage bill ranging from just £85 to a bank busting £1,623.

Analysis of claims paid by independent warranty provider, Warranty Direct on cars aged between 3-10 years old found the Ford Ka as the cheapest to repair with an average £86.49 bill for each visit.

At the other end of the scale, engine failure on the World Rally inspired Subaru Impreza pushed it to an average of £1,623. With 36 percent of its Impreza bills over the £1,000 mark, the largest repair claim handled by Warranty Direct in 2003 stood at £4,500.

The majority of new cars come with a three-year manufacturer supported warranty as standard to protect the consumer against unwanted bills. With 12.689m vehicles falling within the 3-10 year old bracket on British roads according to the DVLA register, Warranty Direct claims suggest the chances of failure run at more than a third. The average bill paid by the specialist insurer last year stood at £379.31.

Top   10 Models

Model Cost Claims per 100 policies
1.   Ford Ka (96-on) £86.49 22%
2.   VW Polo (95-00) £103.72 24%
3.   Volvo S/V40 (96-on) £113.72 17%
4.   Renault Clio (98-01) £128.54 9%
5.   Mazda MX-5 ( 90-on) £133.81 8%
6.   Vauxhall Corsa (93-00) £137.92 27%
7.   Vauxhall Astra (98-on) £138.44 16%
8.   Ford Mondeo (93-00) £140.85 25%
9.   Ford Focus (98-on) £143.06 21%
10.   Volvo 850 (93-96) £146.70 19%

Bottom   10 Models

1.   Subaru Impreza (93-00) £1,623.00 25%
2.   Jeep Cherokee (93-01) £693.36 49%
3.   Porsche Boxster (96-on) £671.95 19%
4.   Range Rover (94-02) £523.90 52%
5.   Ford Scorpio (95-98) £521.05 55%
6.   Fiat Coupe (95-01) £493.52 39%
7.   SAAB 9000 (88-98) £459.57 50%
8.   Mitsubishi Shogun (83-00) £407.15 22%
9.   Rover 600 (93-99) £406.39 30%
10.   Nissan Primera (96-99) £402.51 14%

Although Britain’s biggest selling model, the Ford Focus, shows an average spend of £143.06, the biggest claim stood at £353. The Blue Oval does, however, prove to be the cheapest manufacturer to repair. Three models – the Ka (1), Mondeo (8) and Focus (9), fall inside the Top 10 giving an average of £195.44.

“The figures offer an indication of the cost of repair if something did go wrong for the owner,” explained Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct. “It is also a valuable guide for people looking at a new car so that they can make a more educated judgement on future running costs.”

In terms of market segment, superminis cost an average of £197, less than half the £414 faced by 4×4 owners. Small family models like the Ford Focus cost £221 on average, Executive models £335, Sports at £328 and MPVs, like the Renault Espace, £325.80.

McClure Fisher added: “Repair bills vary dramatically but as a rule of thumb the bigger, more complicated the vehicle in terms of electronic wizardry, the more expensive it is likely to be to put things right.”