What Car? Reveals UK's Most Reliable Cars

Car buyers about to order a new ‘55’-reg car should think twice about choosing a so-called prestige model, says What Car? today.

According to What Car?’s fifth annual reliability survey - in association with independent warranty provider Warranty Direct - a Land Rover, Saab, Audi or Alfa Romeo could give their owners more headaches than a Skoda, the most reliable European car maker in the survey. Mercedes-Benz is the only prestige European manufacturer among the top 10 brands.

However, for true trouble-free motoring, buyers should look beyond European makers to Japanese and Korean cars. Honda is now the UK’s most reliable brand, narrowly beating Mazda to top spot - a position it had occupied for the last four years. In third place is Toyota, followed by Nissan, Lexus, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Daewoo (now Chevrolet).

Just 9.9% of Hondas in the survey needed repair in the last two years, while Land Rovers – the least reliable brand - had a claim rate of 45.4%.

There are also huge variations in typical repair costs for different makes. While few things are likely to go wrong with a Honda, average repair bills of £325 may make some owners wince. Toyota (£437), Mitsubishi (£603) and Subaru (£835) are other reliable Japanese brands that are expensive to fix. Costliest to repair are, perhaps not surprisingly, Porsches at £972. Cheapest to fix are Hyundai cars, at an average of £135 per garage trip, with Skodas (£168) not far behind.

Steve Fowler, Group Editor of What Car?, said: "One of Honda’s famous advertising slogans in recent years has been ‘Isn’t it nice when things just work?’. The good news for Honda owners is that the company is living up to its claims. The same can’t be said of some of the prestige makes in the latest What Car? survey."

What Car?’s research also pinpoints the top 10 most reliable cars and the bottom 10 least reliable models. Five of the top 10 most reliable cars were built in UK factories - the previous generations of the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Nissan Micra, Nissan Primera and Rover 25 all came off UK production lines. The Rover 25’s appearance in the top 10 is slightly surprising, although perhaps partly explained by the number of fairly new - and hence more reliable - 25's covered by Warranty Direct policies since the collapse of MG Rover voided owners’ warranties earlier this year.

Top 10 most reliable models (repair claims per 100 cars)
1 Honda Accord (’99-’03) 2
2 Honda Civic (’96-’01) 7
3 Rover 25 (’99-’05) 11
4 Volvo V40 (’96-’04) 12
5 Volvo S40 (’96-’04) 13
6 Nissan Micra (’98-’02) 13
7 Nissan Primera (’96-’99) 15
8 Mercedes CLK (’97-’02) 15
9 Audi A4 (’00-’05) 16
10 Ford Ka (’96-) 17
Top 10 least reliable models (repair claims per 100 cars)
1 Renault Espace (’97-’02) 69
2 Audi TT (’99-) 59
3 Saab 9000 (’91-’97) 58
4 BMW 7 Series (’94-’02) 57
5 Land Rover Freelander (’97-’00) 55
6 Saab 9-5 (’97-’01) 53
7 Renault Laguna (’00-) 50
8 Fiat Coupé (’95-’01) 49
9 Jaguar XK8 (’96-) 48
10 Fiat Punto 48
2 August 2005 Staff

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