Sep 262012
 

2009-mercedes-benz-e-class-e-guard-photo-260076-s-1280x782As Europe’s most hotly anticipated new car showcase, the Paris Motor Show, kicks off next week, Warranty Direct has revealed Europe’s most reliable used car: The Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2006-).

While the world gazes at the exotic vehicles of the future, Warranty Direct’s study lays bare the everyday reliability of cars currently on the road.

The large German saloon may not be a show-stopper but, despite its size and advanced technology, the E-Class is certainly dependable, with just one in 10 breaking down on average each year.

Warranty Direct analysed around 20,000 live policies on European cars* aged 3 to 6 years for its Reliability Index website (www.reliabilityindex.com).

At the other end of the reliability scale, a whopping 85% of Land Rover Discovery (2004-2009) models covered by Warranty Direct recorded a fault in the last 12 months, followed by the Bentley Continental GT (2003-2010), of  which 78% needed attention.

Skoda, once the butt of many a joke, builds the second most reliable used European car, the Fabia (2007-) – only 15% of owners will be paying for repairs each year. Next most reliable is the Smart ForTwo (2007-) and the Volvo C70 (2006-).

The most costly single claim among the bottom 10 cars was £10,120 for a BMW 7-Series fault, but a small number of cars typically cost far less. Over the last 12 months even the largest claim for a Skoda Fabia was only £180.

Top 10 most reliable European cars

Make

Model

Model year

Incident rate**

Largest claim

Most common Reason for fault/claim***

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (06 – 09)

10%

£637.22

Axle & suspension: 49%

Skoda Fabia (07 – )

15%

£180.35

Electrical: 33%

Smart ForTwo (07 – )

15%

£347.32

Cooling & heating 28%

Volvo C70 (06 – )

16%

£1,888.62

Electrical: 41%

Renault Scenic (03 -09)

17%

£967.31

Axle & suspension: 28%

Peugeot 207 (06 – 12)

17%

£1,992.70

Engine: 24%

Volvo S80 (06 – )

18%

£856.31

Cooling & heating 25%

Citroen C3 Pluriel (03 – 10)

19%

£1,544.57

Axle & suspension: 30%

Mini One (07 – )

20%

£1,078.72

Transmission: 25%

Seat Ibiza (06 – 09)

21%

£343.64

Axle & suspension: 46%

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “It is very interesting to see the Mercedes at the top of the pile for European cars. It’s big and it’s packed with technology, which is not usually the recipe for a reliable car, but it’s proved to be excellent.

“With the imminent opening of the Paris Motor Show, we thought it’d be a good moment to discover which European marque makes the most and least reliable cars.

“Running a car is more expensive than ever, particularly when it moves into its fourth and fifth year and most cars leave the protection of a manufacturer warranty. If you do your research though and buy the right car or at least protect yourself with a warranty, you’re in a much better position.”

Top 10 least reliable European cars

Make

Model

Model year

Incident rate**

Largest claim

Most common reason for fault/claim***

Land Rover Discovery (04 – 09)

85%

£2,856.38

Axle & suspension: 42%

Bentley Continental GT (03 – 10 )

78%

£2,972.09

Electrical: 52%

Renault Espace (03 – )

76%

£2,756.88

Engine: 18%

Mercedes-Benz SL (02 – 11)

67%

£3,102.76

Axle & suspension: 34%

Land Rover Range Rover Sport (05 – 10)

65%

£6,400.27

Axle & suspension: 42%

Renault Grand Scenic (04 – 09)

63%

£2,652.27

Electrical: 29%

Saab 9-3 (02 – )

59%

£3,203.83

Electrical: 30%

BMW 7 Series (01 – 08)

58%

£10,120.39

Electrical: 36%

Mercedes-Benz CLS (05 – )

58%

£1,614.17

Axle & suspension: 37%

Renault Megane (02 – 09)

57%

£2,250.00

Electrical: 47%

Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. For more information or for a quote, go to www.warrantydirect.co.uk.