Oct 072015

Aiming to inform all the Reliability Index , made possible by Warranty Direct, helps car owners find out how reliable their vehicle will be in the years to come after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

Taking factors into account include breakdowns, age, mileage and car efficiency, the results help inform motorists what to possibly expect with their cars.

This week’s car: Toyota Avensis (2003-2007)








Reliabilty Index Score: Average

After the first-generation Avensis, the second take on the model was a revelation. Okay, so Toyota still didn’t understand the concept of driving for fun or creative design, but when it comes to a painless ownership experience, there isn’t much that can compete with this family car. Offered in saloon, hatch or estate variants, the Avensis doesn’t excite you, but it is an easy car to own.

Written by Richard Dredge

What’s great about this car?

Reliability / Safety / Comfort / Equipment levels / Diesel engines

What’s not so great?

Unadventurous design / Dull dynamics

Things to keep an eye on

  • Engines can cut out for no apparent reason, usually because of a faulty fuel safety cut-out switch.
  • Diesel engines can also cut out because of a build up of residue on the hot wire in the air flow mass sensor.
  • Look for damaged rear suspension; speed bumps can wreak havoc with the car’s underside.
  • The petrol engines can use a litre of oil every 600 miles. So check the engine isn’t running on empty.
  • Make sure the headlight bulb surrounds are intact; they can melt, ensuring bulbs can’t be replaced. Damaged units should have been replaced under warranty.
  • Clutches aren’t always very durable, so check there’s no slipping.

For more in-depth details of this car, visit the page at the Reliability Index.

Sep 252015

Skoda RoomsterVauxhall Meriva







Skoda Roomster vs Vauxhall Meriva

Small, practical and slightly funky cars are all the rage and perfect for equally funky families.

Why Buy?

We buy cars on looks and when we do that we end up with a Roomster. Cheaper to buy and run than the Yeti, with a less odd name but bags of space. The Meriva is good to drive and has groovy doors as the rear ones hinge the other way. Lots of space inside of course.

Which models?

The Skoda Roomster dates from 2005. There is a Scout model which made it look a lot more like an off roader, so its all for show and no 4 x 4 go. 2010 is when the Meriva became really interesting with those hand clap style doors. Also more refined and better to drive too.

Are they reliable?

On the whole both vehicles are pretty reliable and the Skoda seems to have faults spread around the fewest components. Both the Vauxhall and the Skoda suffer from the modern malady which is electrical issues. Both though rate above average according to Warranty Direct.

How much do they cost?

The Roomster can now be bought below £2000 and at the other end of the scale a two year old example is just over £12,000. You might get a 2010 Meriva with high mileage for £3300 rising to £13,500.

Sum Up: Both are great small family cars. The Roomster does not look it, but is the more conventional. Most of all both are interesting.

Skoda Roomster

Average Repair Cost: £333.75

Electrical: 45.45*

Axle/Suspension: 18.18%*

Gearbox: 13.64*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average to Good

* failure rate

Vauxhall Meriva

Average Repair Cost: £287.23

Electrical: 32.95%*

Steering System: 16.76%*

Transmission: 13.29*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average

Sep 092015

Aiming to inform all the Reliability Index, made possible by Warranty Direct, helps car owners find out how reliable their vehicle will be in the years to come after it’s fallen out of its manufacturer’s warranty.

Taking factors into account including breakdowns, age, mileage and car efficiency, the Reliability Index’s results come from over a decade’s worth of data provided by Warranty Direct. These results come from data formed from the many claims it has paid to keep UK motorists mobile.

This week’s car: Volkswagen Lupo









Reliability Index Score: Good

Ask any Lupo owner what they think of their car and you’ll be regaled with tales of how it’s under-rated, able to cope with anything, and the best thing to come out of VW in years. And it’s not just hype; the Lupo may have been a tad costly when new – used values can also be steep – but the car makes up for it by being quite brilliant. While the 1.0-litre engine struggles on long-distance journeys, the bigger units are great, the car is brilliant around town and it’s much more practical than you might think. Proof indeed that sometimes the best things do indeed come in small packages.
[Written by Richard Dredge]

What’s great about this car?
Agility / Solidity / Cruising ability / Fab diesel / Great for two

What’s not so great?
Cramped for four

Things to keep an eye on
The automatic transmission can increase the fuel consumption more than you’d expect.
The GTi is costly to insure, despite its diminutive proportions; get a quote first.
The electrics can play up, so make sure everything works.

For more in-depth details of this car, visit the page at the Reliability Index here!

Aug 272015

mazda SuperbFamily cars only have to be spacious and reliable. Does the Mazda or Skoda offer anymore than that?

Why Buy?
The Mazda 6 is a good looking car, plus it has loads of room inside and for the enthusiast driver it is huge fun too. The Skoda Superb is rather more laid back majoring on masses of space and equipment and a range of versatile engines. It is all about comfort.

Which models?
The Mazda 6 is from 2007 and lasted two years with a decent specification especially if you go for the middle order TS or TS2. The 2008 Superb ran up until this year and hatchback has a huge range of engines to choose from and SE has plenty of kit despite not being top of the range.

Are they reliable?
Although Warranty Direct finds that the average repair cost is high for the Mazda the number of problem areas is restricted to a few key areas. The opposite is true of the Superb, but overall the indication is that the Japanese car will be the more durable.

How much do they cost?
The Mazda 6 starts at around £3000 and this would be a hard working ex-fleet car rising to around £7000. Around £3500 is the start for early cars rising to more than £20K for a model sold this year. £10K buys a tidy example.

Sum Up: Like we said at the beginning if you want a fun to drive car when not doing family duties you go for the Mazda 6 and if comfort and equipment is all you need then the Superb makes the perfect family car.

Mazda 6
Average Repair Cost: £473.15
Electrical: 29.27*
Axle/Suspension: 12.2%*
Engine: 136.59*
Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average to Good

* failure rate

Skoda Superb
Average Repair Cost: £341.02
Electrical: 25.93%*
Fuel System: 7.41%*
Engine: 40.74*
Warranty Direct Rating: Below Average

Apr 272015

pic_story1Honda has retained its status as the most reliable manufacturer in the UK for the ninth consecutive year, proven by our research analysed by What Car? experts. The Japanese manufacturer topped the annual survey of 37 manufacturers, which analyses 50,000 live Warranty Direct policies on three to eight-year old vehicles.

Once again, Japanese and South Korean manufacturers dominated the annual study of the most reliable brands with Suzuki and Toyota claiming second and third place. Encouragingly for other manufacturers however, Chevrolet, Ford, Skoda, Peugeot and Fiat also fought their way into the top 10.

At the opposite end of the scale, luxury and prestige marques Bentley and Porsche are the most likely to break down.

What Car? editor Jim Holder said: “Honda’s success in the reliability index is chiefly down to low failure rates. However, when things do go wrong, the cars are also relatively cheap to fix.

“Reliability is always one of the key attributes buyers look for when considering a used car purchase, so manufacturers that consistently demonstrate durability will always do well with the consumer.”

Our Reliability Index analysed by What Car? experts, calculates each vehicle’s reliability using a complex formula that takes into account its failure rate, age, mileage and cost of repair. The lower the RI number, the more trustworthy the car.

Reliability rating of all manufacturers

Position Make Ave Mileage RI Average Cost (£) Highest Cost (£)
1 Honda 50,892.73 41 335.87 2,913.40
2 Suzuki 39,280.27 48 256.04 1,684.84
3 Toyota 50,641.03 66 378.22 5,020.00
4= Chevrolet 35,956.80 82 258.15 2,118.90
4= Mazda 47,649.48 82 398.42 4,546.94
6 Ford 53,214.21 85 289.74 8,014.33
7 Lexus 53,305.39 89 415.90 5,699.94
8 Skoda 50,675.24 90 292.84 3,854.76
9= Hyundai 53,281.01 94 318.54 4,637.66
9= Nissan 48,738.90 94 367.19 20,747.88
9= Subaru 56,991.20 94 456.75 3,933.45
12= Daewoo 40,148.60 97 263.82 1,170.37
12= Peugeot 49,787.60 97 284.62 4,975.00
14 Fiat 43,219.17 98 268.35 2,520.90
15 Citroën 48,805.54 105 311.58 4,026.40
16 Smart 37,672.35 108 291.75 2,544.00
17 Mitsubishi 52,882.69 109 456.29 4,832.59
18 Kia 49,608.72 114 390.01 4,056.00
19 Vauxhall 52,546.81 123 310.07 15,000.00
20 SEAT 51,710.06 125 299.11 5,993.08
21 Renault 48,537.36 130 262.42 4,711.75
22 Mini 44,017.29 136 380.74 4,721.72
23 Volkswagen 54,982.88 137 345.94 5,657.38
24 Rover 44,873.26 150 362.73 3,217.40
25 Volvo 60,664.66 151 377.35 5,604.10
26 Saab 56,991.42 158 327.4 8,862.35
27 Land Rover 67,011.84 162 428.47 15,350.00
28= BMW 58,174.77 180 447.18 35,000.00
28= MG 38,370.18 180 401.96 3,901.46
30 Jaguar 50,879.61 185 419.57 9,347.00
31 SsangYong 49,884.41 211 431.55 2661.39
32 Mercedes-Benz 54,341.10 215 452.7 16,115.38
33 Chrysler 52,454.94 221 399.47 3,747.22
34 Audi 59,054.52 223 515.41 15,438.42
35 Jeep 52,582.81 227 439.89 3,694.00
36 Porsche 41,829.73 380 784.71 10,348.00
37 Bentley 38,113.59 637 678.5 8406.65

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “Household budgets continue to be stretched further in the current economic climate; the last thing people need is a car that costs them money they don’t have in unwanted bills.

“It is imperative that consumers research their intended purchases thoroughly before taking the plunge. Not taking the time to look over something as easy to use as our Reliability Index could mean making the wrong choice and inadvertently landing yourself with a car that causes you nothing but hassle and a financial headache.”

Overall, the most reliable models are the Honda Jazz and Mitsubishi Lancer, both of which also carry reasonable average repair costs. The least reliable model, the Audi RS6, is also the most costly to fix, with an eye-watering average repair bill of £1003.25

Electrical faults are the most common across all cars, acting as the catalyst which sends almost a quarter (22.34%) of vehicles to the garage. Axle and suspension faults are also common, affecting 22% of cars. Air conditioning is the cause of least concern to motorists, being reported by a minimal 3% of owners.

Warranty Direct cover starts from as little as £15 a month. For more information on the reliability of your vehicle, visit www.reliabilityindex.com , or for a quote on cover www.warrantydirect.co.uk.