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

Make

Model

Range

Claim / break down rate

Largest claim

Sector

Most common reason for claim

Toyota Corolla (01 – 07)

7

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

10

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

10

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

10

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

11

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

12

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

14

£828.90 MPV Electrical
Ford Mondeo (07 – )

15

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

16

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

16

£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

Make

Model

Range

Claim / break down rate (%)

Largest claim

Sector

Most common reason for claim

Renault Espace (02 – )

74

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

74

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

57

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

57

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

56

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

55

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

48

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

47

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

46

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

46

£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.

Oct 262011
 

Honda HR-VWith the Indian summer making way for chillier climes, Warranty Direct has revealed the most – and least – dependable 4x4s and SUVs.

performed best, with only three in 100 recording a fault in the last 12 months, followed by Suzuki’s Grand Vitara (2005 onwards).

In stark contrast, Land Rover’s Range Rover (2002-onwards) was shown to be the most break down prone off-roader – two thirds of its reported faults were suspension or electrical hiccups – behind the Jeep Grand Cherokee (1999-2005) and Volkswagen’s Touareg (2003 onwards).

The study of nearly 16,000 three- to eight-year-old 4x4s and SUVs revealed the market segment to have some of the most expensive to run vehicles on Warranty Direct’s books.

Nevertheless, with another harsh winter predicted, there’s no better type of vehicle to tackle the snow and ice.

Predictably, the top-10 is dominated by Japanese and Korean manufacturers, but Land Rover’s Freelander (2006 onwards) breaks their stranglehold, with only one in five breaking down annually and a modest average repair cost.

As used 4×4 prices rise prior to the inevitable cold snap, buyers are advised to seize the moment.

The study used Warranty Direct’s unique Reliability Index rating (www.reliabilityindex.co.uk), which takes into account how often vehicles break down, average repair cost and time spent in the garage to calculate its overall reliability. The lower the Reliability Index number, the more reliable and cheaper to repair the car.

Top 10 rated 4×4/SUVs

(A lower Reliability Index rating means the vehicle is more reliable and less expensive to run)

Make Model Year

Reliability Index Rating

Average Repair Cost (£)

Honda HR-V (98-06)

6

213

Suzuki Grand Vitara (05-)

20

186

Honda CR-V (07-)

21

254

Subaru Forester (02-08)

46

235

Mitsubishi Shogun Pinin (99-06)

50

351

Kia Sportage (05-)

56

259

Land Rover Freelander (06-)

56

264

Nissan X-Trail (07-)

69

591

Kia Sorento (03-)

69

391

Hyundai Santa Fe (01-06)

74

292

Warranty Direct’s Duncan McClure Fisher said: “Modern 4x4s are a far cry from the noisy and uncomfortable off-roaders of the past. They are fairly expensive to run but our study shows that there’s a handful of incredibly reliable 4x4s which won’t break the bank.

“A four-wheel-drive vehicle is most definitely the transport of choice for any motorist during our cold months, particularly judging by our last few winters.”

Bottom 5 rated 4×4/SUVs

(A higher Reliability Index rating means the vehicle is less reliable and more expensive to run)

Make Model Year

Reliability Index Rating

Average Repair Cost (£)

Land Rover Range Rover (02-)

305

519

Jeep Grand Cherokee (99-05)

253

502

Volkswagen Touareg (03-)

232

525

BMW X5 (00-07)

216

468

Volvo XC90 (02-)

205

460

In contrast to the top 10, none of the bottom 5 rated 4x4s hail from the East, instead they originate from Europe or America.

For more information on the reliability of your vehicle, visit www.reliabilityindex.com, or for a quote, go to www.warrantydirect.co.uk.

Jul 282011
 

Far Eastern CarsJapanese and Korean makes are still the best choice for a used car you can rely on, according to What Car? and warranty specialist Warranty Direct.

The new figures, released today, show that cars from European brands fail most often. However, based on Warranty Direct’s 50,000 live policies on cars of between three to eight years of age, they are also typically cheaper to fix.

Honda tops the standings in the annual car reliability study for an unprecedented sixth year in a row, recording an impressive 9% failure rate. The top 10 manufacturers all come from either Japan or Korea.

The combined What Car? and Warranty Direct study names British marque Land Rover as the least reliable brand, with 55% of its upmarket vehicles suffering faults in a 12-month period. Alfa Romeo (46%), Renault (45%) and Saab (43%) – all European brands – are the next most breakdown-prone manufacturers.

The top two European brands are Skoda and Smart in 11th and 12th respectively. Only they prevent an even stronger showing for Far Eastern manufacturers, by nudging ahead of Daewoo.

Most and least reliable car manufacturers

 Most reliable, Chance of fault in 12 months, Least reliable Chance of fault in 12 months

Honda9%35 LandRover55%2 Toyota14%34 Alfa Romeo46%3 Suzuki15%*33 Renault45%4 Lexus15%*32 Saab43%5 Mitsubishi15%*31 Jeep42%6 Mazda16%30 Chrysler38%7 Subaru17%29 MG37%8 Hyundai20%28 Mercedes34%*9 Kia21%27 Vauxhall34%*10 Nissan22%26 Audi33%

Warranty Direct compiles the data for its www.reliabilityindex.com website, which rates cars according to its ‘Reliability Index’ formula, taking into account repair costs, age, mileage and rate of failure; the What Car? and Warranty Direct annual study surveys manufacturers according to the number of faults in a 12-month period alone.

What Car? editor, Chas Hallett, said: “This year’s study is a stark reminder of the disparity in reliability between far Eastern brands, which dominate the top 10, and European brands, which contribute the bulk of the bottom 10.”

Manufacturers by average repair cost 

 Cheapest repair costs£, Most expensive repair costs£

Fiat241.6335 Porsche689.992 Renault242.2234 Mazda462.583 Ford253.9233 Jeep437.814 Suzuki255.1232 Mercedes-Benz428.135 Peugeot257.3331 Mitsubishi427.98

Meanwhile, the most expensive brand to repair is sportscar maker, Porsche, at an average cost of £690, followed by Mazda and Jeep, which cost £463 and £438 respectively.

In contrast, Fiat, Renault and Ford models cost the least to repair, at around £250 on average. European cars make up seven of the cheapest 10 brands to fix.

Further differences between European and Far Eastern manufacturers can be found in the problems they suffer the most. A third of faults found on European cars are down to electrical malfunctions, while owners of Japanese Subaru, Lexus and Suzuki cars report the most axle and suspension issues – accounting for nearly two in five of all their breakdowns.

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “Car buying is a tricky business, but all most people want is hassle-free motoring.

“Finding a car that can be relied upon is one factor, a great place for that is www.reliabilityindex.com, and maintenance is another – even the most trustworthy vehicles need some TLC to keep going.

“While our study is the most comprehensive of its kind, we won’t see robust data on the very latest cars to be launched. We’ll have to wait around three years for that – nobody has a crystal ball to assess cars launched recently.”

The What Car? and Warranty Direct study is the most robust of its type in the UK, and up-to-date information can be found at any time at Warranty Direct’s www.reliabilityindex.com website.

Mar 202011
 

Peugot 207As Europe’s leading motoring showcase, the Geneva Motor Show, comes to a close, Warranty Direct has revealed that the most reliable car to come out of our great continent is the Peugeot 207.

It might not be a show-stopper like the Lamborghini Aventador launched at Geneva, but the diminutive French hatchback is certainly dependable, with only one in 17 breaking down in an average year.

Warranty Direct analysed more than 20,000 live policies on European cars* aged 3 to 7 years for its Reliability Index website (www.reliabilityindex.com).

At the other end of the scale, 47% of the Mercedes SL models covered by Warranty Direct recorded a fault, with 36% of those suspension-related.

Top 10 most reliable European cars 

Make

Model

Reliability   Index Rating

Incident   Rate

Average   Repair Cost (£)

1

Peugeot

207   (06-)

22

6%

331.92

2

Fiat

Panda   (04-)

28

14%

195.95

3

Peugeot

206 CC (00-07)

32

17%

185.40

4

Volkswagen

Polo   (05-)

35

18%

190.48

5

Renault

Clio   (05-)

36

21%

173.40

6

Volkswagen

Beetle   (99-)

39

20%

198.25

7

Smart

Forfour   (04-07)

48

25%

194.67

8

Volvo

S40   (04-)

51

23%

223.13

9

Peugeot

107   (05-)

54

21%

248.46

10

Mercedes-Benz

SLK (96-04)

55

18%

296.73

 

Fiat’s Panda is the second most reliable, with only 14% of owners likely to have to pay for repairs, followed by another Peugeot, the 206 CC, which, as well as needing relatively little attention, is also cheap to repair when it does go wrong, costing on average £185 to put right.

The Renault Clio is the cheapest to repair at £173 on average, while the most expensive single claim among the bottom five cars was £7,239 for a BMW 7-Series fault.

To measure a car’s overall reliability and running costs, Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index reviews rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost to calculate its rating, called Reliability Index.

Top 5 least reliable European cars

Make

Model

Reliability Index Rating

Incident Rate

Average Repair Cost (£)

1

Mercedes-Benz

SL (02-)

349

47%

742.10

2

Land Rover

Range Rover (02-)

264

53%

499.43

3

Renault

Espace (02-)

264

54%

491.26

4

Mercedes-Benz

S-Class (06-)

239

47%

505.22

5

BMW

7 Series (01-08)

232

45%

514.40

 

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “Some people might be surprised to see Fiat and Peugeot claiming the top three positions, but the data doesn’t lie – these cars are very dependable – It’s perhaps less surprising to see a couple of VWs in the top 10.

“Running a car is a costly business, particularly when a car moves into its fourth and fifth year, when most cars leave the protection of a manufacturer warranty. Anything that gives a little extra peace of mind, like getting further warranty cover or simply doing research about the car you’re buying, is worthwhile.”

More information can be found at any time at Warranty Direct’s www.reliabilityindex.co.uk website.

Jul 012010
 

hondaIf you want a reliable used car, buy Japanese – that’s the message from What Car? and automotive insurance expert, Warranty Direct, as they reveal the findings from their annual car reliability study.

While Honda topped the rankings as the most trustworthy car builder for the fifth consecutive year, with just 7% requiring repairs in a 12-month period, manufacturers from the Far East dominated the chart, filling eight of the top 10 places.

Only Skoda and MINI broke the trend at the top spots of the report, compiled using data from Warranty Direct’s 50,000 live policies on cars aged three to 10-years old.

British marque, Land Rover, proved to be the least reliable manufacturer out of 32 included in the study, with 53% of cars suffering a fault, while Alfa Romeo and Renault are also among the most likely to break down. Many of the models analysed have since been replaced.

Most and least reliable car manufacturers 

  Most reliable   Least reliable
1 Honda 32 Land Rover
2 Subaru 31 Alfa Romeo
3 Mitsubishi 30 Renault
4 Lexus 29 Saab
5 Toyota 28 MG
6 Mazda 27 Vauxhall
7 Nissan 26 Peugeot
8 Skoda 25 Audi
9 Kia 24 Rover
10 MINI 23 BMW

 

What Car? editor, Steve Fowler, said: “This year’s survey produced some interesting results. Several prestige manufacturers have suffered embarrassing failure rates, while brands that buyers may not associate with reliability have shown a marked improvement.”

The most expensive make of car to repair is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Porsche, at an average cost of £717.36 while, despite an excellent reliability record, Mazda has the second-highest average garage bill, at £481.26.

Conversely, Renault’s cars may break down a lot, but at least you will only have to fork out an average £226.54 each time, the lowest in the report.

Manufacturers by average repair cost

Most expensive   Least expensive  
Porsche £717 Renault £226
Mazda £481 Fiat £237
Audi £478 Smart £251
Mitsubishi £460 Skoda £255
Mercedes-Benz £445 Ford £256
Alfa Romeo £420 Citroen £262
Jaguar £420 Vauxhall £268
Land Rover £412 Peugeot £283
Volvo £409 SEAT £288
Lexus £403 Saab £289

 

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “When buying a car, certain factors loom larger in your mind than others. For the majority of drivers, how much they can trust that car to get them from A to B is most important.

“Car manufacturers are constantly making great strides in building more reliable vehicles, so this survey is not a reflection on new cars coming out now – we won’t see hard data on those vehicles for three or four years.”

While undeniably more dependable, Japanese cars are not without their issues – Hondas suffer the highest percentage of air conditioning issues, with over 10% of cars affected, as well as the highest number of transmission woes at 15%.

Subarus suffer the highest failure rate for axle and suspension issues, with 50% of cars suffering, and generate more brake problems than any other make, with just under 17% of cars reporting a problem.

Calculated using a formula that takes into account frequency of failure, length of time spent in the workshop, average repair cost, age and mileage, the What Car? and Warranty Direct study is the most robust of its kind in the UK, and up-to-date information can be found at any time at Warranty Direct’s www.reliabilityindex.co.uk website.