Jul 262012
 

Eight out of top 10 reliable brands are Japanese

Expensive premium cars break down more often

 What Car? and Warranty Direct research reveals that Honda is the most reliable used car brand in the UK for the seventh consecutive year.

Japanese cars most relaibleHonda, which is about to launch a new version of its CR-V, has an enviable reliability record, with just a one in 10 chance of cars suffering a breakdown in any given 12-month period. Toyota and Lexus are close behind in the league table.

However, while Japanese makes once again dominate the top 10 most reliable manufacturers, the research, based on 50,000 Warranty Direct policies on cars between three and 10 years old, shows that many more expensive brands will actually let you down more often.

Premium marques Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar are languishing in the bottom 10, with fellow executive maker Audi little better. Land Rover is the UK’s least reliable manufacturer, with a shocking 71% of cars breaking down at least once every year.

What Car?’s editor in chief, Chas Hallett, commented: “Reliability is so important to motorists, especially when times are tough. Japanese car makers really do deliver on reliability and Honda is exceptionally good at this.

“What will be surprising to many is the fact that several of the more desirable brands did not fare so well regarding reliability, and the cost of their repairs are high. They need to do better.”

Table showing reliability rating of all manufacturers

Position

Make

Ave

Mileage

RI

Failure Rate

1

Honda

47,190

39

10%

2

Toyota

47,610

68

17%

3

Lexus

51,016

82

18%

4

Suzuki

35,612

50

19%

5

Subaru

57,403

68

20%

6=

Hyundai

51,776

68

21%

6=

Mazda

44,510

91

21%

6=

Mitsubishi

48,693

91

21%

9

Chevrolet

30,468

50

22%

10

Nissan

46,356

96

25%

11

Kia

44,310

95

26%

12=

Ford

51,207

87

31%

12=

Skoda

49,827

96

31%

14

Citroën

46,712

95

32%

15=

Peugeot

48,770

99

35%

15=

Daewoo

40,628

102

35%

15=

Smart

36,381

104

35%

18

Mini

40,812

146

37%

19

Fiat

44,214

97

38%

20=

Seat

50,223

118

39%

20=

Volkswagen

53,000

134

39%

20=

Volvo

59,482

161

39%

20=

Porsche

38,742

243

39%

24

Vauxhall

50,269

123

40%

25

BMW

57,766

175

41%

26

Audi

56,813

197

42%

27=

Rover

49,620

167

43%

27=

Jaguar

49,630

184

43%

29

Mercedes-Benz

53,386

215

45%

30

MG

45,005

197

48%

31=

Saab

56,149

161

50%

31=

Chrysler

51,110

207

50%

33=

Renault

47,194

137

52%

33=

Jeep

49,085

228

52%

35

Alfa Romeo

52,370

202

55%

36

Land Rover

55,451

300

71%

Warranty Direct’s managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “For most used car buyers, there are only a couple of factors that are taken into account when choosing a car. Reliability is always one of the top priorities.

“Cars have become increasingly complex, with lots of gadgetry on board, especially on executive models, where buyers expect more and more bang for their buck. Owners of these cars pay over the odds for the premium badge, but our study shows they could also be paying over the odds just to keep the car on the road.

“It’s a balancing act for used car buyers. You can get cars that break down less often, but have higher repair bills, or you can buy a car that won’t cost you much when it fails, such as a Renault, but lumbers you with more than a 50% chance of doing so. The one thing you do appear to be able to rely upon is buying Japanese.”

Axle and suspension woes are the most common fault reported by the UK’s motoring public, largely due to the perilous state of the nation’s roads, accounting for 28.56% of all breakdowns handled by Warranty Direct. Electrical gremlins are the second most likely cause of an unwanted garage bill, with 24.3% of drivers reporting problems.

US brand Chevrolet is the only manufacturer from outside the Far East to break into the top 10. It also has the lowest average repair bill, £227, of the most reliable marques. Unsurprisingly, Porsche models are the most expensive to repair, with an eye-watering average garage bill of £623.