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Britain’s top 10 most reliable cars

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Honda’s Jazz is the UK’s most reliable car, according to new research, with fellow Japanese models dominating.

Honda Jazz

If you want to choose a car that is unlikely to break down and won’t be the cause of endless servicing and repair bills, go for a Honda.

That’s the message from a new piece of research carried out by What Car? in association with Warranty Direct.

Ninth year running

The motoring magazine has analysed data from the latest edition of Warranty Direct’s annual Reliability Index to find the UK’s most trustworthy make of car.

The index uses a complex formula that takes into account a vehicle’s typical failure rate, age, mileage and repair costs: these figures are derived from Warranty Direct policyholder information.

And for the ninth year running, Honda has emerged at the top of the pile.

What Car? editor Jim Holder says: "Honda’s success in the Reliability Index is chiefly down to low failure rates.

'Reliability is key factor'

"However, when things do go wrong, the cars are also relatively cheap to fix."

Holder adds: "Reliability is always one of the key attributes buyers look for when considering a used car purchase, so manufacturers that consistently demonstrate durability will always do well with the consumer."

Overall, Japanese manufacturers performed particularly well in the study: the second-most reliable brand was Suzuki, with Toyota in third place and Mazda tied in fourth spot with America’s Chevrolet.

At the other end of the scale, the makes with the worst reliability scores were luxury names such as Bentley, Porsche, Jeep and Audi.

Luxury is expensive

The study found that the average Honda had done just under 51,000 miles and incurred a typical total of £336 in repair costs over the last five years.

Average repair bills for a Suzuki came in at just £256, but the typical mileage was significantly lower – less than 40,000 miles – than the Honda, hence its slightly worse reliability rating.

At the bottom of the pile, a typical Bentley had done 38,000 miles with a total service cost of £678 on average.

The research also identified which brands had the potential for the highest repair bills: one BMW owner had spent £35,000 servicing their vehicle, while no one had spent more than £1,200 in total on Daewoo repairs.

'Do your research'

Warranty Direct’s managing director David Gerrans said:

"Household budgets continue to be stretched further in the current economic climate; the last thing people need is a car that costs them money they don’t have in unwanted bills.

"It is imperative that consumers research their intended purchases thoroughly before taking the plunge.

"Not taking the time to look over something as easy to use as our Reliability Index could mean making the wrong choice and landing yourself with hassle and a financial headache."

More than a fifth of garage visits were caused by electrical faults, the study found, with suspension issues the second most common problem.

Jazz tops the list

Honda Jazz

In terms of individual models, the Honda Jazz emerged as the most reliable car in the UK.

With an average mileage of 25,000, the typical repair costs over the last five years were just £203.

In second place was the Mitsubishi Lancer, with Vauxhall’s Agila in third.

The country’s least reliable vehicle according to the study was the Audi RS6, which had an average repair bill of more than £1,000.

Top 10 most reliable cars

  • 1: Honda Jazz

  • 2: Mitsubishi Lancer

  • 3: Vauxhall Agila

  • 4: Toyota Yaris

  • 5: Suzuki Alto

  • 6: Chevrolet KALOS

  • 7: Suzuki Liana

  • 8: Hyundai Getz

  • 9: Mazda MX-5

  • 10: Mercedes-Benz

Top 10 least reliable cars

  • 1: Audi RS6 

  • 2: BMW M5 

  • 3: Nissan GT-R 

  • 4: Porsche 911

  • 5: Bentley Continental GT 

  • 6: Mercedes-Benz CL 

  • 7: Mercedes-Benz V-Class 

  • 8: Citroen C6 512.00

  • 9: Mercedes-Benz SL 

  • 10: Mercedes-Benz GL

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