Jul 272010

reliability cars 2010The UK’s most comprehensive guide for used car reliability, www.ReliabilityIndex.co.uk, has been relaunched with a raft of improvements.

Designed to provide the nation’s motorists with an unparalleled resource of information and a unique insight into cars aged three to 10-years old, ReliabilityIndex.co.uk is free to use and now contains extra functionality.

The backbone of the website is provided by historical data over the last 10 years from automotive warranty company, Warranty Direct, which has covered hundreds of thousands of cars during the last decade.

Boasting additional features, such as the ability to compare vehicles, select vehicle sectors like MPV and convertibles, a graphical representation of data and buying guides, the revamped site is live now. 

“Since its inception, the Reliability Index has helped tens of thousands of car buyers make a better, more informed decision when it comes to their purchase,” explains Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct.

“We are totally independent of any motor manufacturer so the information we provide, which is based on millions of pounds worth of claims every year, can be trusted.

“While no car is immune from a breakdown, the information now available at the fingertips of motorists at least offers a degree of peace-of-mind.”

The revamped website can be visited at www.ReliabilityIndex.co.uk.

For cover starting at £15 a month call 0800 731 7001 or visit www.warrantydirect.co.uk for information.

Jul 232010

Air conditioningAs temperatures rise, leading warranty provider, Warranty Direct, reveals that the UK’s motorists will be sweating over £237m worth of air con repairs to their cars*.

Data from the past 12 months shows that air conditioning units account for 1 in 60 mechanical failures.

By using the air con only during the summer, or simply on hot days, British drivers are leaving it prone to failure. Internal components rely on lubricating oil which is mixed with the air conditioning gas – when the system is inactive, the compressor isn’t lubricated properly and can fail.

While the average repair stands at £479, the most expensive claim paid by Warranty Direct, on a Mercedes S-Class, cost a staggering £2,293. Audi A4 drivers, too, could see four-figure bills up to £1,485.

Warranty Direct’s Duncan McClure Fisher said: “The last thing you want on a hot day is to find your air con has failed. Too many drivers leave the system dormant for long periods of time, particularly during the winter, so we highly recommend that it’s used at least once a week to avoid causing expensive repairs.”

Volkswagen Golf owners could be hit with a bill of £713, and Ford Focus drivers might not get off lightly either, with the highest claim paid by Warranty Direct as high as £650.

Repairing the air con is a labour-intensive job, requiring on average 2h37m of a mechanic’s time to put right.

Jul 012010

hondaIf you want a reliable used car, buy Japanese – that’s the message from What Car? and automotive insurance expert, Warranty Direct, as they reveal the findings from their annual car reliability study.

While Honda topped the rankings as the most trustworthy car builder for the fifth consecutive year, with just 7% requiring repairs in a 12-month period, manufacturers from the Far East dominated the chart, filling eight of the top 10 places.

Only Skoda and MINI broke the trend at the top spots of the report, compiled using data from Warranty Direct’s 50,000 live policies on cars aged three to 10-years old.

British marque, Land Rover, proved to be the least reliable manufacturer out of 32 included in the study, with 53% of cars suffering a fault, while Alfa Romeo and Renault are also among the most likely to break down. Many of the models analysed have since been replaced.

Most and least reliable car manufacturers 

  Most reliable   Least reliable
1 Honda 32 Land Rover
2 Subaru 31 Alfa Romeo
3 Mitsubishi 30 Renault
4 Lexus 29 Saab
5 Toyota 28 MG
6 Mazda 27 Vauxhall
7 Nissan 26 Peugeot
8 Skoda 25 Audi
9 Kia 24 Rover
10 MINI 23 BMW


What Car? editor, Steve Fowler, said: “This year’s survey produced some interesting results. Several prestige manufacturers have suffered embarrassing failure rates, while brands that buyers may not associate with reliability have shown a marked improvement.”

The most expensive make of car to repair is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Porsche, at an average cost of £717.36 while, despite an excellent reliability record, Mazda has the second-highest average garage bill, at £481.26.

Conversely, Renault’s cars may break down a lot, but at least you will only have to fork out an average £226.54 each time, the lowest in the report.

Manufacturers by average repair cost

Most expensive   Least expensive  
Porsche £717 Renault £226
Mazda £481 Fiat £237
Audi £478 Smart £251
Mitsubishi £460 Skoda £255
Mercedes-Benz £445 Ford £256
Alfa Romeo £420 Citroen £262
Jaguar £420 Vauxhall £268
Land Rover £412 Peugeot £283
Volvo £409 SEAT £288
Lexus £403 Saab £289


Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “When buying a car, certain factors loom larger in your mind than others. For the majority of drivers, how much they can trust that car to get them from A to B is most important.

“Car manufacturers are constantly making great strides in building more reliable vehicles, so this survey is not a reflection on new cars coming out now – we won’t see hard data on those vehicles for three or four years.”

While undeniably more dependable, Japanese cars are not without their issues – Hondas suffer the highest percentage of air conditioning issues, with over 10% of cars affected, as well as the highest number of transmission woes at 15%.

Subarus suffer the highest failure rate for axle and suspension issues, with 50% of cars suffering, and generate more brake problems than any other make, with just under 17% of cars reporting a problem.

Calculated using a formula that takes into account frequency of failure, length of time spent in the workshop, average repair cost, age and mileage, the What Car? and Warranty Direct study is the most robust of its kind in the UK, and up-to-date information can be found at any time at Warranty Direct’s www.reliabilityindex.co.uk website.