Japanese Cars Are Still Most Reliable, Says Warranty Specialist

2013 Honda HR-V
Honda is the UK’s most reliable car manufacturer, for the eight consecutive year.

Honda is the most reliable used car manufacturer in the UK for the eighth consecutive year, according to research by What Car? and Warranty Direct.

The Japanese brand topped the survey of 38 manufacturers and 50,000 live Warranty Direct policies on three to eight-year old vehicles.

Once again, Asian manufacturers dominated the study of the most reliable brands, with Suzuki and Hyundai second and third behind Honda. Only Chevrolet and Ford break the Far Eastern stranglehold of the top 10.

At the other end of the scale, luxury and prestige marques Bentley, Land Rover and Porsche are the most likely to break down – 86% of Bentleys suffer a problem each year, making it Britain’s least dependable car maker.

Meanwhile, Bentley’s owner Volkswagen —  the company that coined the phrase if only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen — lags behind the Asian marques, down in 21st position. Somewhat embarrassingly for the reputation of German engineering, VW is also behind French and Italian brands Fiat, Citroën and Peugeot!

What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett said:

“Honda’s success in the reliability stakes is down to low failure rates, and when cars do go wrong they’re easy and cheap to fix.

Reliability is one of the key attributes that buyers look for when looking to make a used purchase, so manufacturers that can demonstrate that quality will always fare well.

The manufacturers at the bottom end of the table could learn a thing or two from their Japanese counterparts.”

Here’s the full table for you:

Reliability rating of all manufacturers

Position Make Ave Mileage RI Average cost
1 Honda 43,916 39 £356.46
2 Suzuki 36,094 46 £258.03
3= Hyundai 48,162 63 £252.95
3= Subaru 50,803 63 £300.40
5 Toyota 44,231 70 £392.40
6 Lexus 47,610 81 £432.47
7 Chevrolet 33,590 88 £259.20
8 Mitsubishi 46,543 89 £422.56
9= Ford 47,298 94 £296.49
9= Mazda 42,831 94 £441.33
11 Nissan 44,702 96 £369.80
12 Fiat 39,141 97 £272.67
13= Citroën 43,954 101 £308.64
13= Skoda 45,134 101 £319.29
15 Peugeot 44,730 105 £285.96
16 Daewoo 34,847 117 £337.40
17 Smart 32,804 118 £300.32
18 Kia 44,134 119 £389.96
19 SEAT 47,256 126 £293.58
20 Vauxhall 47,208 127 £310.24
21 Volkswagen 49,192 135 £336.30
22 MINI 38,094 138 £385.57
23 Renault 44,276 142 £266.32
24 Rover 40,281 151 £379.23
25 Saab 51,370 168 £319.70
26= BMW 51,521 173 £427.32
26= Volvo 54,597 173 £403.85
28 MG 34,301 183 £406.46
29 Jaguar 45,876 185 £436.19
30 Mercedes-Benz 48,961 219 £468.32
31 Audi 52,963 230 £525.49
32 Jeep 47,357 232 £430.02
33 Chrysler 49,367 246 £403.15
34 Ssangyong 43,782 247 £387.78
35 Alfa Romeo 47,095 251 £385.54
36 Porsche 36,654 270 £616.22
37 Land Rover 52,733 325 £437.91
38 Bentley 35,494 482 £560.27

Data courtesy of Warranty Direct

Warranty Direct managing director Duncan McClure Fisher said:

“Household budgets are already strained, so the last thing you want is a vehicle that costs you yet more unwanted bills.

“That is why it pays to research cars before you buy – make the wrong choice and you could land yourself with a car that causes you nothing but hassle and money.”

Overall, the most reliable models are the Mitsubishi Lancer and Vauxhall Agila, both of which also star as the cheapest to repair. The least reliable model is the Audi RS6 but the iconic Porsche 911 is the most expensive to fix, with an eye-watering average repair bill of £1157.04.

Electrical faults are the most common across all cars, with almost a quarter (23.5%) needing a visit to the garage in an average year. Axle and suspension faults are also common, affecting 22% of cars.

Finally, what’s your experience of car reliabililty? I’ve had three Fords, a Vauxhall and a Rover 600 that was actually a rebadged Honda Accord. The most reliable of all of them was — I admit — my first ever car, a 1990 Ford Fiesta. But the Honda Rover came a close second, and remains my favourite of the cars I’ve owned.

Why not leave a comment below and let us know about your experience of car reliability?

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