Most reliable used cars 2019
We reveal the most reliable used cars in the UK, using data from our latest Driver Power survey
Everybody's heard horror stories of dodgy second-hand cars – the threat of malfunctions and breakdowns is often the reason that people steer clear of the used car market entirely and buy new. That's why, for those braving the classifieds and used car forecourts, reliability is the most important factor, especially if the used car in question has run out of warranty.
The last thing any of us want is to be left stranded at the side of the road, but equally we don’t want to deal with huge repair bills to keep our cars roadworthy. So to try and help you decide which second-hand cars are the most dependable and trustworthy, we've rounded up the most reliable used cars here in the UK, according to data from our 2019 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey.
Driver Power allows us to get a look into car's long-term reliability in a way that simply isn’t possible during our own extensive road tests. Each year, thousands of owners take the Driver Power survey, and it's thanks to them that we can identify the most reliable cars in each class and help other car buyers make the best decisions.
The scores below work as a percentage, with 100 per cent being a car all owners have had no reliability issues with and rate as almost perfect in terms of durability and build quality. The cars included here are between 2 and 10 years old so some models have been well proven over several years, others are nearly new but already impressing the people who own them. It means there's a good mix of options for buyers.
Most reliable used cars
10. Nissan Leaf - 92.76%
Years of manufacture: 2010-2017Price now: From £5,000
The first generation Nissan Leaf was a smash-hit in the EV segment, thanks largely to a combination of decent range, interior space, driveability and price. Nearly ten years on from the Mk1’s launch, reliability has become another reason for you to consider the Leaf as over 90 per cent of first-gen owners have not reported a single fault and the rumours about electric car longevity appear to be greatly exaggerated.
9. Skoda Yeti - 92.80%
Years of manufacture: 2009-2017Price now: From £2,800
You’d expect the Skoda Yeti’s reliability to be good considering it won our used car survey in 2017. Only 16.7 per cent of Yeti owners reported faults with electrical issues the most common. Overall build quality of the Yeti is another plus point.
8. Toyota Verso - 93.10%
Years of manufacture: 2009-2018Price now: From £3,000
MPVs might not be the most fashionable car out there currently but happily for Toyota Verso owners, decent reliability should go some way to offset the lack of style. 12.1 per cent of Verso owners reported faults and issues with seats and electrics made up for just over a quarter of those snags.
7. Volvo V40 - 93.42%
Years of manufacture: 2012-2019Price now: From £4,000
Sales of Volvo’s only hatchback ended in the UK in 2019, but like the Toyota Auris above it, the V40 is likely to still be a common sight on our roads in the future. A fifth of V40 owners had a fault with their car with the suspension the most likely issue. However, the general consensus on the V40’s build quality is very positive.
6. Jaguar XF - 93.56%
Years of manufacture: 2008-2015Price now: From £2,800
Jaguar XF owners were keen to voice their praise for the reliability of their cars with an average proportion of faults found and no single area standing out as problematic. The big cat is also the highest rated used car not from a Japanese manufacturer.
5. Toyota Auris - 94.29%
Years of manufacture: 2012-2018Price now: From £4,000
The Auris name might be dead after the Corolla made a comeback but thanks to its reliability, you’re still likely to see lots of them on the road in years to come. Only 11.3 per cent of owners reported faults with the Auris and the majority of those were electrical.
4. Toyota Avensis - 94.34%
Years of manufacture: 2008-2018Price now: From £1,700
Toyota features once again with the now-defunct Avensis saloon. 2018 was the last year you could pick up a new Avensis so there’s plenty of nearly-new examples available. While 18.8 per cent of owners have reported issues, the proportion of serious (and by association, costly) faults is relatively low.
3. Toyota RAV4 - 94.68%
Years of manufacture: 2012-2018Price now: From £8,000
A new Toyota RAV4 was released in 2018, but the previous generation car still looks tempting if reliability is a priority with just 10.2 per cent of owners report issues and no obvious fault pattern. The interior is also praised by owners for being robust.
2. Lexus GS - 95.18%
Years of manufacture: 2010-2018 Price now: From £9,800
Lexus’ vice-like grip on the top spots for reliability is cemented by its used cars too. The fourth-generation GS saloon was produced from 2010 to 2018 and used examples have proved impressively reliable. Just 10.4 per cent of owners reported an issue, with a quarter of those problems being related to the electronics.
1. Lexus RX - 95.35%
Years manufacture: 2015-presentPrice now: From £23,500
With the new RX coming in a strong third place in the most reliable new cars, it’s not surprising to see the previous generation RX model top the used car list. The majority of RX variants might have a relatively complicated hybridised petrol powertrain and lots of safety equipment, but it appears the most common faults are minor ones with exterior trim and paint.
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