Oct 132016

The latest results from Warranty Direct reveal the Mitsubishi Lancer is the most reliable family car according to the latest data from their Reliability Index website.

The Reliability Index analyses all the vehicle data on live Warranty Direct and collates it into creating a reliability rating. The lower the rating, the better the reliability. As well as finding out the overall reliability of a car, the index offers information on which car parts fail most often  such as air conditioning, axle & suspension, braking, cooling, electrical components, engines and fuel.

Family cars are usually chosen for being specifically good at daily domestic work, which means considering a certain set of parameters rather than just an outright type of model. Many couples are more likely to choose a vehicle based on its ability to meet family needs. Practicality, running costs and price all score high on the hit list, though some want style and something fun to drive, too.

Top ten most reliable family cars

Position Model Sector
1 Mitsubishi Lancer Small Family
2 Honda Insight Small Family
3 Mercedes-Benz CLC Small Family
4 Honda Accord (08-) Family Car
5 Honda Civic (00-06) Small Family
6 Toyota Prius (03-09) Family Car
7 Hyundai i30 Small Family
8 Nissan Almera Small Family
9 Honda Civic (06-) Small Family
10 Toyota Prius (09-) Family Car

The Mitsubishi Lancer, is the most reliable family car with the time spent off the road for repairs typically less than an hour and the average repair cost only £69. The Honda Insight came in at second place, but due to a high number of reported issues occurring with its axle suspension, the costs of repairs are over double that of Mitsubishi’s averaging at around £137. This lowered its position in the rankings.

Both cars received good family car reviews with the Mitsubishi Lancer being praised for its practicality spaciousness and superb value and the Honda Insight deemed a good choice for those who need more space than you find in a small hatchback, but who still want a town-friendly, smooth and fuel-efficient car.

80% of the top ten most reliable cars were Japanese models and Honda did particularly well with 4 of its models making the top ten. The only non-Japanese cars to enter the top ten were the Mercedes-Benz CLC which came in at position number three and the Hyundai i30 which came in at position number seven.

The reliability of Japanese vehicles is believed to stem from Japan’s superior production processes and more meticulous testing regimes. Japanese brands also tend to be more conservative when it comes to adopting complex new technologies – though hybrid technology is an obvious exception to this trend.

The least reliable family car is the Skoda Superb, due in part to the large number of reported issues occurring in its engine (30%) and repair time averaging at around 3 hours. Costs of repairs were also particularly high averaging around £578. Results such as this are an example of how typically reliable cars can be pulled down in the rankings by unreliable parts.

Speaking about the latest results Philip Ward, COO of Warranty Direct commented:

 “Families demand a lot from their cars and need vehicles that won’t let them down. Mitsubishi’s success in the reliability rankings is chiefly down to low failure rates and when things go wrong, they are cheaper to fix. It’s imperative for buyers to consider reliability when purchasing a used family car. Manufacturers demonstrating their cars are durable and cheaper to maintain will continue to be the most popular choices amongst buyers.”

A more extensive list of vehicle information is available on the Reliability Index website.

Sep 232015

Your Child will Choose your next car More than three quarters of parents (78%) claim that having  kids forced them to buy a new car. And nearly four in ten  (37%) say that children go on to influence decisions to buy  their next car.

These were the key findings of research carried out for Auto  Trader in August, the UK’s largest digital automotive  marketplace, pooling the views of 1,000 parents and children  aged between 5 and 11.The aims were to look at what parents  and children looked for in their perfect family car – and to what extent children influenced their parents’ buying decision.

Findings pointed to a number of differences in the success of pester power. More than half of Londoners, for example (55%), said they were likely to be influenced by their children, compared with just 24% in the North East. When it comes to the sexes, the research suggests dads should probably be the target of lobbying. 39% of dads said they were open to influence compared with 33% of mums.

“A substantial amount of research has been done looking at how the decision of the car buyer can be influenced and at what stage in the buying journey,” commented Nathan Coe of Auto Trader, “but few have really considered the role that children play, or the influence of pester power. If one of the kids doesn’t like the shape or colour of your next car, or it doesn’t come with plug-in for an i-Pad, then you’d better be prepared for some serious pestering!”

Overall, colour is the most likely area for successful persuasion by children (26% influenced their parents’ choice of colour). Children are most likely to push for red (28%), followed by blue (21%), black (14%) and pink (13%). Perhaps unsurprisingly boys tend to favour red cars (28% v 23%) and girls preferred pink (26% v 1%). However, only 2% said they’d prefer a white car, despite white being the most popular new car colour, according to SMMT new car sales data.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT): new car registrations by colour 2014

SMMT New Car Reg








Children also influenced their parents in terms of the comfort (13%), size (12%), design (12%) and entertainment systems (9%) fitted to their new car. Safety however – top of the list of priorities for parents (27%) – was one area where parents tend to go it alone.

After safety, parents were most concerned with the size and space of the new car they were buying so they could get extra boot space or more seats (25%), how comfortable it would be (23%) and how reliable (19%) – entertainment systems were only considered important by 2% of parents.

For children however, their top ten wish list in a family car included glamour features like turbo buttons, ejector seats and flame filled exhausts, perhaps unsurprisingly alongside entertainment systems.

Coe continues: “Car retailers are becoming more aware of the need to cater for children on the forecourt, both in terms of providing entertainment for them whilst their parents are looking at cars, and actively pointing out features that they would be interested in, like in-car entertainment systems. As the technical specifications on new cars continues to advance, kids will only become more interested in the car they are transported about in.”

Is mum or dad a better driver? Overall, more children in the survey pointed to their dads (54%). However when it comes to dropping off at the school gates, mums rule the playground: 55% voted for them compared to 42% who said they’d prefer their Dad to drop them off.  More than two thirds (79%) of parents would claim they are better drivers compared to their partner.

When asked to consider their favourite superhero car, children went mad for the Batmobile. It topped the chart for all ages from 5 through to 11, other than for kids aged six year – they chose Lightning McQueen from the Cars’ films.

When buying a car, which of these factors might your children influence?

When buying a car, which of these factors might your children influence








What is the most important feature in a family car?

What is the most important feature in a family car








The top ten features for your dream car (children aged 5-11):

  1. TV Screens
  2. DVD Players
  3. Internet connection
  4. Video games
  5. Snack dispenser
  6. Toy storage cupboard
  7. Turbo button
  8. Steering wheel in back seat
  9. Ejector seat
  10. Flame emitting exhausts

Better Driver2

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

Jun 052015


Sitting in the middle seat has long been considered as pulling the short straw; siblings and family members pin you in on both sides, you’re robbed of a window seat and there’s limited leg room. However, new research conducted for the ŠKODA Octavia, shows that being a middle seat child may well set you up for success in later life, particularly in business.

The study of over 1,000 Brits with two or more siblings shows that 90 per cent of people in ‘director’ level positions sat in the middle, while nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of business owners and over three fifths (62 per cent) of senior managers also found themselves between brothers and sisters when on the road.

These developments may well be to do with the personality traits that middle seat kids develop. ŠKODA’s Octavia research shows that 44per cent of them are now described as easy going, while reasonable (28 per cent), patient (25 per cent), level headed (21per cent) and adaptable (21 per cent) also score highly. Four fifths (80 per cent) of middle seat kids attribute their work-life success to their childhood car position.
Consultant child psychologist and mother to three children, Laverne Antrobus, comments: “This research by ŠKODA into family car journeys is really interesting; cars are a unique environment and a lot can be revealed when everyone is sitting together in a confined space. It’s fascinating to see how a seating position in the back of the car, often over many years, can directly reflect or influence our personalities. Whether middle seat children were made to sit there or not, they seem to develop positive traits which prove to be of real value to them as adults, and often, interestingly, in their careers.”

Although avoiding the least popular seating position was the source of arguments for 43 per cent of families, over two-thirds (66 per cent) of middle seat children actually enjoyed their lot. Moreover, one in ten respondents remains in their allocated position to this day during family road trips.

Alasdair Stewart, head of brand at ŠKODA UK, comments: “As thousands of families take to the roads this bank holiday weekend, we were keen to shine a spotlight on the millions of family interactions that happen in the ŠKODA Octavia every day across the UK. It’s been fascinating to see how in-car dynamics such as seating positions can impact on us as people.”

May 282012

Toyota CorollaWith June approaching and the British ‘staycation’ making a comeback this year*, new research reveals the UK’s most dependable family car for the summer holidays: the Toyota Corolla (’01-’07).

The analysis – based on around 30,000 of Warranty Direct’s policies – shows that the UK-built Corolla (Burnaston factory, Derby) is the most likely to deliver the whole family to its holiday destination without skipping a beat – just 7% break down each year, on average.

At the other end of the scale, the Renault Espace (‘02-‘12) and Mercedes R-Class (’06-) are the most likely to leave your precious cargo stranded, with three quarters of all owners suffering unwanted garage bills.

The latest Warranty Direct study analysed three to five-year-old cars from the small family, family and MPV categories.

Honda’s Civic (’06-) and Accord (’02-’08) are also among the most dependable family vehicles, both with claim rates of 10% but separated by the Accord’s more costly maintenance bills.

Top 10 most reliable family-sized cars




Claim / break down rate

Largest claim


Most common reason for claim

Toyota Corolla (01 – 07)


£1,397.96 Small Family Axle & Suspension
Honda Civic (06 – )


£980.10 Small Family Electrical
Honda Accord (02 – 08)


£1,658.80 Family Engine issues
Mazda 3 (04 – 09)


£1,672.04 Small Family Braking System
Toyota Auris (07 – )


£528.22 Small Family Cooling & heating System
Toyota Prius (03 – 09)


£3,257.87 Family Axle & Suspension
Ford C-Max (07 – )


£828.90 MPV Electrical
Ford Mondeo (07 – )


£1,130.80 Family Electrical
Nissan Qashqai (07 – )


£1,066.00 Family Electrical
Peugeot 308 (07 – )


£728.80 Small Family Electrical

Used car buyers looking for a reliable family vehicle should also consider the Mazda 3 and another UK-built car, the Toyota Auris (’07-).

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “Most cars will go wrong at some stage but there’s nothing worse than the family’s excitement at setting off on holiday being destroyed by a morning spent on the hard shoulder.

“And, as well as the inconvenience to your holiday, a breakdown can also put a serious dent in your wallet.”

Electrical issues and axle and suspension troubles cause the majority of claims, with the latter often a result of a collision with a pothole or other road defect.

The only European manufacturer to make Warranty Direct’s top 10 rundown is Peugeot, with its 308 – the majority hail from Japan. In contrast, no Asian manufacturers feature in the 10 least reliable vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Peugeot 807 attracted the largest individual bill with a claim for repairs totaling nearly £5,000.

Top 10 least reliable family-sized cars




Claim / break down rate (%)

Largest claim


Most common reason for claim

Renault Espace (02 – )


£2,756.88 MPV Axle & suspension
Mercedes R-Class (06 – )


£1,815.68 MPV Electrical issues
Vauxhall Vectra (02 – 09)


£2,524.00 Family Axle & suspension
Renault Grand Scenic/Scenic (04 – 09)


£2,421.96 MPV Electrical issues
Renault Megane (02 – 09)


£2,250.00 Small Family Electrical issues
Skoda Superb (02 – 08)


£3,690.71 Family Axle & suspension
Peugeot 807 (02 – )


£4,975.00 MPV Cooling & heating system
Volkswagen Passat (05 – )


£2,224.09 Family Axle & suspension
Peugeot 407 (04 – )


£3,701.25 Family Braking System
Volkswagen Touran (03 – )


£2,595.19 MPV Axle & suspension

Up-to-date vehicle reliability information can be found at any time at Warranty Direct’s www.reliabilityindex.com website.

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