The UK’s most and least reliable used cars have been revealed in new research looking at the dependability of older cars.
The wide-reaching study by What Car? set out to find the best and worst second-hand options for drivers and found that the Toyota Yaris was the most reliable used car while the BMW 1 Series was bottom of the heap.
More than 18,000 drivers with vehicles aged between four and 10 years old took part in the study, rating how reliable their cars have been over the previous year, the type of problems they’ve encountered as well as whether they were fixed under warranty.
The study ranked cars based on the proportion of owners who reported problems and the severity of those problems. Those with more faults and costly repair bills were rated lower.
Japan leads the way
Japanese manufacturers dominate the top 10 of most reliable vehicles, occupying seven out of the 10 positions.
Overall, nearly a third of drivers had experience a problem but only nine per cent of Yaris owners reported any issues. The supermini, which received a 99.1 per cent reliability rating, was joined in the top three by the Lexus CT (98.8 per cent) and the previous generation Audi Q3 (96.5 per cent) – one of only three European models to make the top ten.
The 10 most reliable used cars
Make and Model What Car? reliability rating Toyota Yaris (2011 –present) 99.1% Lexus CT (2011 – present) 98.8% Audi Q3 diesel (2011 – 2018) 96.5% Mitsubishi ASX (2010 – present) 96.3% Seat Leon (2013 – present) 95.9% Lexus RX (2009 – 2016) 95.4% Honda Civic diesel (2012 – 2017) 95.0% Honda CR-V (2012 – 2018) 94.6% Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015) 94.2% Volkswagen Touareg (2010 – 2018) 94.1%
At the other end of the scale, the study found that the last-generation BMW 1 Series was the most problematic used car. The small hatchback achieved a reliability score of just 40.1 per cent, with nearly two-thirds of owners reporting problems. Battery and engine issues were the most common and repairs cost up to £1,500.
The 2008-12 Ford Kuga was the only other car to get a reliability score of less than 50 per cent (44.2 per cent), while the 2007-13 version of the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai was the third least reliable, with a score of 55.4 per cent.
The 10 most unreliable used cars
Make and Model What Car? reliability rating BMW 1 Series (2004 – 2011) 40.1% Ford Kuga (2008 – 2012) 44.2% Nissan Qashqai (2007 – 2013) 55.4% Vauxhall Astra (2004 – 2009) 58.3% Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017) 58.3% Ford Focus (2004 – 2010) 59.0% Volkswagen Passat diesel (2005 – 2015) 59.9% Land Rover Discovery (2004 – 2017) 60.3% BMW 5 Series (2003 – 2010) 60.8% Renault Clio (2005 – 2012) 62.6%
The investigation found that while nearly a third of owners had seen their car had suffered a fault, 22 per cent had it fixed free of charge under warranty.
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “Reliability is often at the forefront of any vehicle purchase. With nearly eight million used vehicles sold last year, there is huge scope for things to go wrong. By shining a light on the reliability of various makes and models, we hope to help buyers make the right decision when choosing their next used purchase.”