As tens of thousands of new students leave home and head for university this month, Warranty Direct reveals the best car to pack them off in, for the student-sized budget of under £3000, is the Honda Jazz.
The diminutive Jazz is the least likely runabout to leave its driver stranded on the hard shoulder, and is also cheap to repair if it does break down.
Warranty Direct analysed its 50,000 live policies to produce the reliability list of small used cars that come with the price tag suitable for parents or cash-strapped students.
The Vauxhall Astra is second in the list, and Toyota’s trusty Yaris completes the top three recommendations.
Top 10 most reliable student favourites
Reliability Index rating Vehicle
1 18.53 Honda Jazz (02-08)
2 26.90 Vauxhall Astra (04-09)
3 27.35 Toyota Yaris (99-06)
4 27.99 Nissan Micra (02-10)
5 30.11 VW Lupo (99-05)
6 37.99 Fiat Punto (03-06)
7 41.24 Ford Fiesta (02-08)
8 41.49 Smart FourTwo (03-07)
9 41.75 Daewoo Matiz (98-03)
10 48.74 Citroen C3 (02-10)
To measure overall reliability, Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index reviews rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost to calculate its rating.
The Honda Jazz has only an eight percent chance that it will break down in an average year, and costs an average of £231.59 when a fault does occur. Likewise, only 11 percent of Astra owners make a claim during a typical year.
At the other end of the table, 23 percent of Citroen C3s suffer a fault in an average year, although owners can expect bills of just £211.90.
Just over half of Daewoo Matiz drivers report axle and suspension faults, while a fifth of Fiat Punto models suffer engine woes.
Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “Sending a son or daughter off to university can be a worrying experience for a parent, so having the peace of mind that you’ve sent them off in a car that’s least likely to break down is a bonus.
“Our research should be reassuring to those with a modest budget, although any vehicle can land you with a large bill if you are unlucky, particularly when a car moves into its fourth and fifth year.”