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Honda tops used car reliability study

1st July 2010 Print

If 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.

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.

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.