Feb 172017

The latest data from Warranty Direct has revealed the brands whose part problems afflicted UK drivers most frequently last year, and how much the repairs have been setting drivers back.

Analysing statistics from over 40,000 policies and more than £3 million-worth of their most recently authorised claims has shown that when examining the total paid claims against all policies*, well over a third of Alfa Romeo (40%) and Porsche (36%) drivers needed to make a claim, whilst 34% of Land Rovers also suffered from faults.

Below are the 10 manufacturer brands which had the highest percentage of claims made against them and the average cost of repairs. Note – the number of claims was measured as a percentage of the number of policies held per manufacturer:

  Make % of Total Claims Against Total Number of Policies Held Per Make Average Authorised Claim
1 Alfa Romeo 40% £355.47
2 Porsche 36% £1,019.07
3 Land Rover 34% £513.31
4 Chrysler 26% £474.28
5 Mercedes-Benz 25% £559.99
6 Jaguar 23% £442.68
7 Lexus 22% £469.68
8 BMW 16% £609.13
9 Volvo 16% £466.92
10 Citroën 15% £363.20


Alfa Romeos are often considered a true driving enthusiast’s car for their quality of performance and style, but they are known for needing frequent trips to the garage, with suspension, electrical and cooling system problems the most frequent cause for claims in 2016.

Maintenance of Porsches was a considerable expense last year, with a claims rate of 36% across policies though, at an average cost of £1,019.07 per repair. Common claims for Porsche owners included suspension and electrical issues, along with steering faults.

Amongst these results, Mercedes-Benz sitting in fifth place, is particularly significant given the brand’s popularity. In 2015 alone the company sold 145,254 units in the UK, which equated to more than 5% of the market share**. However, an average repair cost of £559.99 is the highest after Porsche and BMW.

When assessing the top five manufacturers on the list’s most frequent reasons for a claim, axle and suspension problems were common, along with electrical problems. Although not one of the most regular faults, gearbox repairs came at significant cost and averaged over £1,250 per repair across these top five brands.

The figures also revealed a trend of Japanese manufacturers overtaking European options as the most reliable vehicles on the market. Honda, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota all had between just 3% and 6% of their policies claimed on throughout the year.

Super-minis and hatchbacks did not receive many claims, largely due to the simplicity of their parts and reduced costs of labour. These included makes such as Smart, Kia, Seat, Ford and Hyundai, all with less than 10% claims being made against their policies. While these vehicle types had fewer claims, a warranty does go some way to covering the unexpected costs for sudden repairs and provides peace of mind to motorists.

Commenting on the latest data, COO of Warranty Direct, Philip Ward, said: “With many cars becoming increasingly more complex in terms of component parts, repair costs will continue to rise throughout 2017. Vehicles which might initially seem reliable and reasonably priced can end up becoming a financial liability for the owner.”

*Includes multiple claims per policy

**Report from Statista – Mercedes-Benz car sales in UK from Jan 14-17.

  8 Responses to “Repair Scares – The cars costing UK drivers over half a million a year”

  1. Good data
    Where is Mazda?

    • Thank you for your comment about this article. Mazda did not make the main top ten featured here. We did though have enough claims data for Mazda to rank 23rd out of the 33 makes we had claims data for. 9% of Total Claims Against Total Number of Policies Held Per Make attributed to Mazda cars and the Average Authorised Claim cost was £239.11. Hope that helps with your query.

  2. I’ve just had to have my Ford C-Max windscreen replaced due to a crack developing within the area criteria of the MoT test. It was, however, within a part of the screen that I normally cover with the sun visor because the light/dark contrast of excessive sky and road is too great.

    Are current generation glass areas too big to be sensible? They look great but add to first cost, vulnerability to stone damage with knock on to frequency of replacements and consequential claims.

    This doesn’t come under your normal mechanical warranties but I’d be interested to know your views.

  3. I would hope that these reliability data are used by Warranty Direct to adjust annual premium loadings to ensure that owners of the more reliable makes are not subsidising the premium brand owners whose vehicles consistently appear at the wrong end of reliability surveys!

  4. I have owned and serviced 4 Alfas over the years and not had any significant problems with them ( perhaps some rust on my Alfa Sud!)
    My 147 ran for 3 years and 97,000 miles, one clutch, some light bulbs, thats all.
    My 159 ran for 72,000 with just a hydraulic failure on the power steering, nothing else.
    My Guiletta has done 40,000 miles, nothing wrong apart from a catch broken on dash board cupboard , probably my fault.
    My previous car was a VW which needed new replacement dashboard instruments, new A/C unit, rattles, and on delivery the badge was hanging off! Luckily most of that was covered by Warranty Direct!
    Will have no problem in ordering a new Alfa Guilia which I intend to do later this year.

  5. No real surprises here except perhaps Lexus & Volvo?? VAG and especially VW very much living on past reputation. First hand family experience/or simply visit ‘Honest John’s’ website ‘Agony’ section every weekend!

  6. I notice Peugeot is not listed , does that mean the premiums are lower, as I cant see that I should subsidise others

    • Thank you for your comment about this article. Peugeot did not make the main top ten featured here. However, it placed 15th out of the 33 makes we had claims data for with 14% of Total Claims Against Total Number of Policies Held Per Make attributed to Peugeot cars. The Average Authorised Claim for Peugeot was £347.81. Hope that helps with your query.

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