Reliability is always on your mind when buying a used car - it's a big factor in choosing what to buy second-hand. A car that works consistently is a top priority for those using it to commute - but most drivers don't want to buy a car that's going to cost them extra money to fix. It's true of every type of car, so we've brought together a list of the most reliable used cars in each class.
It's difficult to judge how a car will fare a few thousand miles down the road from the purchase, but thanks to the 2014 Driver Power survey we can reveal Britain's most reliable cars - and that should apply whether you buy a new, nearly new or used model. It's the UK’s biggest car customer satisfaction survey, with over 50,000 drivers providing details on their ownership experience.
The Driver Power results for the most reliable used cars are detailed below. We've picked out the most reliable model in each class - but make sure you remember that just because a model is reliable, that doesn't mean a specific car will be - always check the car you want to buy carefully for faults or potential problems before you hand over the money.
Driver Power reliability score: 98.89%
The Honda Jazz isn't just the most reliable small car - it's also the most reliable car in Britain, according to 50,000 Driver Power responses. Don't worry if your budget can't quite stretch to the current-generation Jazz, as the first-gen model also placed very highly as well. Neither are particularly stylish or fun to drive, but when it comes to reliability, owners say you can't beat it. The Jazz ranked 47th in Driver Power 2014 overall.
Driver Power reliability score: 98.84%
The Toyota Prius is the most reliable car in the small family car class, but it also came second in the overall reliability chart - and the Honda Jazz beat it by just 0.05 per cent. That means that not only is the Prius an efficient and practical family transport, it's also very dependable (the previous-generation model came in third, as well). It might seem odd that a car with a complex hybrid powertrain would be so reliable, but the tried-and-tested parts have proved themselves, and the Prius should be a very solid used buy.
Driver Power reliability score: 96.90%
The Lexus CT feels well built and the dealer network is highly rated by customers, but it's back to that excellent Toyota hybrid powertrain for the compact executive class' most reliable car. A used Lexus CT should see many miles of trouble free motoring according to its owners - in fact, it finished just behind the Toyota Prius for reliability in the 2014 Driver Power poll.
Driver Power reliability score: 96.83%
The Audi Q3 is a compact SUV that rivals the BMW X1, and it looks like going for a smaller 4x4 like this is the best way to get a reliable car in this class. While the Q3 scored the best, it was followed by several small SUVs: Skoda Yeti, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.
Driver Power reliability score: 96.25%
The Mazda MX-5 is one of the best-selling sports cars, so there are plenty of used examples on the roads - and that's also partly because they are so reliable. A good reputation goes a long way, and it's really helped the MX-5, but thanks to the Driver Power results we now know that the reputation holds up. With a fourth-place finish for road handling, the MX-5 promises to provide plenty of driving fun without worries about reliability.
Driver Power reliability score: 95.84%
The Dacia Logan MCV might not have style or performance on its side, but thanks to a very low price as a new car and a top score for reliability in the family car class, it's a great choice of used car. It's very basic inside, but it should make up for that with a low price - in fact, this car is so cheap that you might even consider buying it new - at £6,995 it could tempt you away from buying used at all.
Driver Power reliability score: 95.12%
The BMW 5 Series isn't just the highest-ranking executive car for reliability in the 2014 Driver Power survey, it's the highest-ranking executive car overall as well - with owners ranking it highly for build quality, running costs, performance and comfort as well. The 5 Series has always been a top buy in the executive class, but it's now backed up with the evidence from owners that it will be a dependable one too.
Driver Power reliability score: 92.93%
The Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic five and seven-seater is the most reliable MPV, but be aware - it ranked a disappointing 67th overall, with the rest of the MPVs in the survey falling further behind it. It appears that MPVs don't have the best record with their owners for reliability - in fact, it's only the practicality category that gets significant praise from MPV owners. If you're after a dependable used MPV, though, the Scenic range is top of the list.