Far eastern brands top new car reliability ratings

All-season tyre test 2015 - garage
30 Dec, 2015 12:01am Martin Saarinen

Car brands from Japan and Korea come out on top in the latest Warrantywise UK car reliability and cost of repair ratings

Japanese and Korean cars are more dependable than their European or US rivals, according to exclusive data provided to Auto Express by leading warranty provider Warrantywise. And we can reveal which brands have the highest – and cheapest – repair bills.

Each make was ranked by a dependability factor, based on the number of reported faults or breakdowns, with a score of 75 representing the average. Any rating above that is considered good; below 60 signifies a high incidence of repair work is required. Average costs, age and model were also considered.

Most reliable cars 2015

To be included in the data, each brand was required to have at least 100 active Warrantywise policies, and in our tables analysing the cost of repairs (right), we’ve listed the models with the most policies. 

Toyota was ranked top for dependability – backing up our 2015 Driver Power satisfaction survey, which rated the iQ as the most reliable model – ahead of Honda and Suzuki. UK big-sellers Ford and Vauxhall were eighth and 17th respectively. The figures also show that list price doesn’t guarantee hassle-free motoring as Bentley, Jaguar and Porsche all scored below 60.

Cheapest cars to run

When your car does break down, the Warrantywise figures show the average repair cost is £639, with the lowest average bills from Smart and MG. Makers such as Peugeot and Ford also produce models that are among the cheapest to repair. 

Average car repair costs: highest and lowest

Most expensive cars to repair
Ferrari £2,046
Maserati  £1,430
Bentley  £1,356
Porsche £842
Mitsubishi £833
Cheapest cars to repair
Smart £390
MG  £399
Peugeot £406
Fiat  £417
Ford £421

The data also reveals owners’ warranty habits, with the car’s average age recorded. MG owners may enjoy some of the lowest repair bills, but they’re among the most risk-averse owners, as the average age of an MG with an extended warranty is 8.34 years.

The average age across our data is 6.29 years, but owners of premium makes such as Land Rover or Mercedes purchase policies for cars over eight years old, suggesting they fear more for reliability than others. 

Warrantywise CEO Lawrence Whittaker told us: “There are some obvious trends – such as the more exotic you go in your car choice, the more expensive the repair bills will be. 

“But there are exceptions lower down the scale, with some more mainstream brands showing costly repair bills should things go wrong. Unsurprisingly, the Japanese top the chart, with the more exotic Euro brands – and some Brits as well – nestling at the bottom.”

Driver Power 2015: full results

New car reliability ratings 

Our table below reveals all on the most – and least – reliable car manufacturers, according to Warrantywise. We ranked all brands with at least 100 active policies.

Dependability score Make Average cost of repair
93 Toyota £592
93 Honda £535
92 Suzuki £424
89 Mitsubishi £833
88 Mazda £617
88 Hyundai £577
86 Nissan £521
85 Ford £421
85 Subaru £791
84 Peugeot £406
84 SEAT  £475
83 Smart £390
82 Lexus £603
82 Fiat  £417
82 Volkswagen £631
82 MINI £497
81 Vauxhall  £467
81 Renault £441
80 Kia £522
79 Chevrolet £548
78 Skoda  £492
77 MG  £399
77 Volvo £553
77 Land Rover £453
76 Saab £425
75 Citroen £501
74 Audi  £620
70 Mercedes £751
69 BMW £701
64 Chrysler £464
64 Jeep £505
64 Ferrari £2,046
60 Alfa Romeo £590
57 Porsche £842
54 Jaguar £794
41 Maserati  £1,430
14 Bentley  £1,356

Does the data back-up your view on the most and least reliable cars? Let us know what you think in the comments section below...