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.

Nov 272015

In the last two years more than four million car owners have had to keep their car off the road because they couldn’t afford repairs needed on their vehicle. With 21 million owners saying they have needed repairs in the last two years, this could mean that one in five (19%) have been forced to go without their car while they got their finances in order.

That’s according to Kwik Fit, the automotive repair and servicing company, who also revealed half of these motorists (2 million) had to keep their car off the road for a month or longer.

A shortage of money has driven many drivers to make some risky decisions.  Over 1.2 million drivers admitted to having driven their car in an unroadworthy condition because they couldn’t afford repairs with men twice as likely as women to have done so.

Many drivers carry out repairs themselves, which is obviously not a problem in itself.  However, a third of car owners who either carried out a repair themselves or had a friend or relative do it for them say they were concerned about the quality of that repair.  In a cautionary tale for second hand car buyers, nearly half a million motorists say that although they were concerned about their DIY repairs they didn’t do anything about it as they sold the car soon afterwards.

The study also gave an indication that the policy of prevention being better than cure is as relevant to our cars as it is to our bodies.   More than three quarters (77%) of those skipping their car’s annual service had to get repairs carried out on their car in the last two years.  The equivalent figure for those who maintained their car’s annual service record was 56%, suggesting that regular servicing helps keep the need for repairs at bay.

Aug 262015

kwikFit - £154m Cost of car owners’ neglect  pictureNew research has revealed that a fifth (20%) of car owners have skipped their car’s service or other maintenance and repairs over the last twelve months. Moreover, the study carried out for Kwik Fit revealed that many of these seven million drivers are well aware that their neglect will prove more costly in the long run.

Almost half (45%) of those neglecting their car’s servicing or maintenance said that they would be spending more as a result of the delays, with the additional bill for drivers totalling £153.9 million.

Londoners are more likely to have skipped maintenance than car owners anywhere else in the UK, with a third (33%) having done so in the past 12 months. In a clear warning to the capital’s second hand car-buyers, the most common reason given by London car owners for skipping maintenance or repairs is because they were planning to sell the car.

Conversely, car buyers may benefit from travelling to the south west to buy their next used car. Only 13% of the region’s car owners say they have skipped servicing or maintenance in the last year – with almost half (47%) of them saying they have done so because they are driving fewer miles.

Kwik Fit’s research found that the UK’s more experienced car owners clearly see the benefit of keeping on top of their car’s maintenance – amongst the over 65s only 8% have skipped servicing over the last year, compared to 40% of owners aged between 18-24.

Older drivers also have a greater appreciation of the cost of delaying work. Those over 65 who have skipped on servicing believe the delays add an average of £101.44 to their eventual bill, while those under 24 think the additional cost is only £41.

Across the UK as a whole, financial constraints are the most common reason cited by car owners for skipping servicing, followed by driving fewer miles – more reasons are given in the following table.

reasons table

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, believes more drivers should appreciate that neglecting maintenance can compromise safety as well as having a financial impact. He says: “This research clearly shows that delaying servicing or maintenance often ends up hitting drivers with a bigger bill in the long run. We are sure that car owners could have put that £150 million, which was needlessly spent, to much better use.

“The old adage of a stitch in time saves nine remains as true today as when our grandmothers first told it to us as children. However, it’s not just in the pocket where car owners can feel the impact of neglecting their car. Those looking after their car will find that it looks after them when they need it most, whether that’s starting first time in an emergency or gripping the road surface in bad weather.”

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.

Feb 272015

The Honda HR-V is the SUV most likely to keep you on the road in winter, according to a study by Warranty Direct.

SUVs and 4x4s now claim 11% of the market – up from 4.5 per cent in 2000* – as motorists are attracted by the prestige, commanding driving position and 4×4 capability of SUVs and 4x4s.

Warranty Direct analysed its 50,000 live policies, using the Company’s unique Reliability Index (www.reliabilityindex.com) to measure overall reliability by combining rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost.

Honda’s HR-V (99-06) – available used from just £2,000 – performed significantly better than other SUVs, with only one in 10 recording a fault in the last 12 months. The Suzuki Jimny was second most reliable in the sector, with one in five suffering a breakdown each year.

While the average SUV repair bill is £420, Warranty Direct reports that costs can soar as high as £16,000.

Top 10 rated 4×4/SUVs
(A lower Reliability Index rating means the vehicle is more reliable and less expensive to run)

Top Rated 4x42

The 10 best performing SUVs are dominated by Japanese and Korean manufacturers, although Swedish manufacturer Volvo is cheapest to fix, with the lowest ‘largest claim’ cost of the top 10.

At the other end of the scale, the Mercedes-Benz GL is the least reliable of the off-roaders, with eight in 10 breaking down each year; the Audi Q7 and Audi A6 Allroad are not far behind.

Bottom 5 rated 4×4/SUVs
(A higher Reliability Index rating means the vehicle is less reliable and more expensive to run)

Bottom Rated 4x42

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “The SUV market segment has developed significantly in recent years. In comparison to some other vehicles, they are fairly expensive to run but our study shows that there are reliable SUVs available which are not too costly.

“Many drivers take pride in ownership of large 4x4s and SUVs, enjoying the superior driving position and practicality of a sizeable vehicle – but motorists can get their hands on one of these for £2,000 or less.

“A 4×4 is most definitely the transport of choice for motorists during winter; they cost a little more to run, but they are more likely to withstand challenging conditions.”

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.