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.

Mar 022015

New research from Warranty Direct has revealed the top 10 most reliable city cars.
With the cost of public transport increasing, the canny urbanite may find that getting behind the wheel of a small car is a more comfortable and convenient solution.

Warranty Direct can assign any car with a Reliability Index (RI) score. This applies a formula to measure overall reliability by looking at rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost. The lower the RI number, the better a car is.

Whilst city cars are often perceived as being uncomplicated and cheap to run, picking the wrong one could result in disruption and expensive repair bills. Warranty Direct’s study revealed that repairs to some city cars exceeded £2,000, but 10 emerged as dependable ownership options, offering motorists hassle-free, low-cost urban transportation.

1. Peugeot 107 (05-)
RI Score: 19
Largest repair bill: £763.88

The Peugeot 107 takes the top spot for reliability in the A-segment with proven mechanicals that have given owners little to complain about since its launch a decade ago. Its funky styling still looks fresh and modern, inside and out and the 107 is cheap to tax and insure.

2. Citroen C1 (05-)
RI Score: 22
Largest repair bill: £1030.00

A close relative of the category winner, the Citroen C1 scores very well for the reliability of its engine, brakes and air con. The C1 was also better value than its Peugeot and Toyota siblings when new and remains an affordable choice.

3. Kia Picanto (04-)
RI Score: 27
Largest repair bill: £724.00

Lauded for its generous equipment list and affordability, the Kia Picanto is also sound beneath the skin, with a pristine record for the reliability of its gearbox and fuel system.

4. Volkswagen Lupo (99-05)
RI Score: 31
Largest repair bill: £486.75

Upholding Volkswagen’s reputation for quality, the Lupo still impresses with robust mechanicals that will keep this stylish little car on the roads for many years to come.

5. Toyota Aygo (05-)
RI Score: 32
Largest repair bill: £976.05

Like its stablemates, the Peugeot 107 and the Citroen C1, the Toyota Aygo has strong reliability credentials and low repair costs which make it a sound choice as city transport. Electrical problems are rare and the numerous special editions are well-equipped.

6. Volkswagen Fox (06-12)
<strong>RI Score: 44
Largest repair bill: £1144.28

Successor to the Lupo, the Fox is trumped by its predecessor for reliability though it is still a solid performer with proven Volkswagen mechanicals. The Fox was praised at launch for its surprisingly spacious interior and low running costs and the VW badge brings brand kudos.

7. Ford Ka (96-09)
RI Score: 48
Largest repair bill: £1226.38

The original Ford Ka revolutionised the sector when it was launched 18 years ago with its combination of sweet handling, quirky styling and mechanical simplicity. It is one of the most reliable city cars you can buy and also now tipped to become a future classic.

8. Smart ForTwo (07-)
RI Score: 53
Largest repair bill: £918.89

For motorists who rarely venture beyond city streets and only need to seat two, the distinctive ForTwo could be ideal. It scores well for the dependability of its brakes, transmission and steering and repair costs are reasonable given its Mercedes-Benz parentage.

9. Fiat Panda (04-)
RI Score: 56
Largest repair bill: £1345.44

Fiat has long been reputed for building great little cars for city driving, and the recent incarnations of the Panda have been no exception. A low failure rate for its engine, brakes and transmission mean Fiat’s Panda is unlikely to ever face extinction.

10. Chevrolet Matiz (05-)
RI Score: 65
Largest repair bill: £319.60

The smallest Chevy is a great value proposition and makes a strong case with a good reputation for mechanical reliability. The transmission, steering and ventilation system give little cause for complaint. The 1.0 engine will happily keep up with faster traffic and most have air con as standard.

Jul 292014


Mitsubishi, arguably the least known Japanese brand in the UK, is celebrating 40 years of selling its vehicles. These are cars and 4 x 4s that have turned out to be incredibly reliable. Indeed Warranty Direct celebrated its fifteenth birthday by announcing that the Mitsubishi Lancer had been the most reliable car on sale in that period.

Although the Lancer in its ordinary model incarnation was quite dull, the rally specification Evolutions were incredibly exciting. Meanwhile the Shogun off roader got on with being the world’s workhorse. In terms of motor-sport, the strength of Mitsubishis 4×4 heritage was demonstrated by a record breaking 12th victory in the 2007 Dakar rally – the seventh successive victory for the Japanese manufacturer.

The number one selling Mitsubishi vehicle in the UK in recent years has been the L200 pick-up. The L200 drove forward the success of Mitsubishi in the pick-up segment in the UK, remaining the retail market leader for over 10 years. The i-MiEV was, and is, an important vehicle for Mitsubishi and made a statement back in 2009 to the global car industry as the very first mass-produced, zero emission full electric vehicle ever. Mitsubishi continually strengthen and refresh our product line-up with the introduction of new and innovative products such as the ASX crossover vehicle launched in 2010, the compact Mirage and the all-new Outlander both launched in 2013 and the PHEV version of this Outlander will be Mitsubishi Motors’ first EV-based, Plug-in Hybrid, drawing on our extensive electronic know-how and 4-Wheel-Drive expertise.

Sep 262012

2009-mercedes-benz-e-class-e-guard-photo-260076-s-1280x782As Europe’s most hotly anticipated new car showcase, the Paris Motor Show, kicks off next week, Warranty Direct has revealed Europe’s most reliable used car: The Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2006-).

While the world gazes at the exotic vehicles of the future, Warranty Direct’s study lays bare the everyday reliability of cars currently on the road.

The large German saloon may not be a show-stopper but, despite its size and advanced technology, the E-Class is certainly dependable, with just one in 10 breaking down on average each year.

Warranty Direct analysed around 20,000 live policies on European cars* aged 3 to 6 years for its Reliability Index website (www.reliabilityindex.com).

At the other end of the reliability scale, a whopping 85% of Land Rover Discovery (2004-2009) models covered by Warranty Direct recorded a fault in the last 12 months, followed by the Bentley Continental GT (2003-2010), of  which 78% needed attention.

Skoda, once the butt of many a joke, builds the second most reliable used European car, the Fabia (2007-) – only 15% of owners will be paying for repairs each year. Next most reliable is the Smart ForTwo (2007-) and the Volvo C70 (2006-).

The most costly single claim among the bottom 10 cars was £10,120 for a BMW 7-Series fault, but a small number of cars typically cost far less. Over the last 12 months even the largest claim for a Skoda Fabia was only £180.

Top 10 most reliable European cars



Model year

Incident rate**

Largest claim

Most common Reason for fault/claim***

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (06 – 09)



Axle & suspension: 49%

Skoda Fabia (07 – )



Electrical: 33%

Smart ForTwo (07 – )



Cooling & heating 28%

Volvo C70 (06 – )



Electrical: 41%

Renault Scenic (03 -09)



Axle & suspension: 28%

Peugeot 207 (06 – 12)



Engine: 24%

Volvo S80 (06 – )



Cooling & heating 25%

Citroen C3 Pluriel (03 – 10)



Axle & suspension: 30%

Mini One (07 – )



Transmission: 25%

Seat Ibiza (06 – 09)



Axle & suspension: 46%

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “It is very interesting to see the Mercedes at the top of the pile for European cars. It’s big and it’s packed with technology, which is not usually the recipe for a reliable car, but it’s proved to be excellent.

“With the imminent opening of the Paris Motor Show, we thought it’d be a good moment to discover which European marque makes the most and least reliable cars.

“Running a car is more expensive than ever, particularly when it moves into its fourth and fifth year and most cars leave the protection of a manufacturer warranty. If you do your research though and buy the right car or at least protect yourself with a warranty, you’re in a much better position.”

Top 10 least reliable European cars



Model year

Incident rate**

Largest claim

Most common reason for fault/claim***

Land Rover Discovery (04 – 09)



Axle & suspension: 42%

Bentley Continental GT (03 – 10 )



Electrical: 52%

Renault Espace (03 – )



Engine: 18%

Mercedes-Benz SL (02 – 11)



Axle & suspension: 34%

Land Rover Range Rover Sport (05 – 10)



Axle & suspension: 42%

Renault Grand Scenic (04 – 09)



Electrical: 29%

Saab 9-3 (02 – )



Electrical: 30%

BMW 7 Series (01 – 08)



Electrical: 36%

Mercedes-Benz CLS (05 – )



Axle & suspension: 37%

Renault Megane (02 – 09)



Electrical: 47%

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

Jun 252012

Air-conAs UK temperatures soar, so does the cost of keeping cool. British drivers have to spend £102 million each year ¨C an average bill of £426 ¨C to fix faulty air-conditioning systems in their vehicles, according to new research by Warranty Direct.

Porsche owners are the most likely to feel the heat. The high-end German manufacturer’s product range is more prone to air-con failure than any other brand. SEAT and Chrysler are the second and third most likely vehicle makes to experience cooling problems.

The most common cause of the expected 238,000* air-con failures in the last 12 months is underuse or a simple malfunction; by using the air con only during the summer, or on hot days only, British drivers are leaving it prone to failure. When the system is inactive, the compressor isn’t lubricated properly and can fail.

The Warranty Direct study of three to seven year-old vehicles, which analysed 50,000 of its live policies, estimates the UK spends £102 million annually to keep its cars cool. While the average cost is £426, garage bills can soar to as high as £2,292 just to fix the air-con.

According to the data, the SEAT Alhambra (1996¨Cpresent) is most likely to leave occupants hot under the collar with 7.5%, or one in thirteen models, expected to develop an air-con fault. The Porsche Boxster (2004¨C2012) and Volvo C70 (2006¨Cpresent) also top the list of vehicles with unreliable air-conditioning systems.

Top 10 manufacturers for air-con failure

(Based on chance of failure in 3-7 year-old cars)

MakeLargest air-con claim (£) Porsche 1,325.322 Seat 435.323 Chrysler 1,013.104 Saab 1,476.805 Jaguar 988.056 Mercedes 2,968.527 Renault 921.608 Skoda 637.949 Ford 511.9110 Vauxhall 1,641.93

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “An air-conditioning fault won’t typically leave you stranded on the hard shoulder but it can be one of the most expensive components to fix.

“Temperatures have already peaked above 28-degrees this year and it is usually the summertime when drivers realise their air-con has packed up. We highly recommend that drivers use the air-con from time-to-time, even if it is not particularly hot, to keep it in good order.”

Top 10 cars for air-con failure

(3-7 year-old cars)

 MakeModelModel yearChance of air-con failure (%) SeatAlhambra(96 – )7.52 PorscheBoxster(04 – )5.33 VolvoC70(06 – )4.74 MercedesR-Class(06 – )4.35 VolkswagenSharan(95 – )4.06 NissanNote(06 – )3.97 SuzukiSX4 Saloon(09 – )3.68 ChryslerGrand Voyager(01 – 08)3.69 ToyotaLand Cruiser(03 – )3.410 SeatAltea(04 – )3.1

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