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Top 10 most reliable used cars to buy 2024

We reveal the most reliable used cars in the UK, using data from our latest Driver Power survey

​When buying a used carreliability is likely to be one of the biggest concerns going through your mind. From electrical bugs to breakdowns and major mechanical problems, an unreliable second-hand car can bring major headaches and potentially hefty bills. This is why it’s important to do your research first, and we're here to help you find the most reliable used car for your budget.

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The last thing any of us want is to be left stranded at the side of the road or to face huge repair bills to keep our cars roadworthy - especially if they have run out of warranty. 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 in the UK, according to data from our 2023 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey.

Driver Power allows us to get a unique look into a 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 to tell us all about their cars, and it's thanks to them that we can identify the most reliable cars in each class and help other buyers find the car that’s best for them.

What are the most reliable used cars?

These are the most reliable used cars in the UK according to our latest Driver Power survey data, listed in reverse order... 

10. Subaru XV Mk1 - 94.38%

  • Years of manufacture: 2012-2017
  • Price now from: £6,500
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The Subaru XV isn’t exactly a common sight on UK roads, but it doesn’t really deserve to be so overlooked by potential buyers. As one of two Subarus to make this top 10 list, the XV isn’t only a reliable model, but it bagged first place in Driver Power for its safety features, too. Plenty of safety kit is fitted as standard, and owners praise both how well these systems work and how easy they are to use.

9. Skoda Yeti Mk1 - 94.57%

  • Years of manufacture: 2009-2017
  • Price now from: £4,400
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Skoda’s first SUV still boasts a loyal fanbase. Not only is it a family-friendly car that’s affordable to run, but it’s very well put together, too. The Yeti ranked in first place for its seating flexibility and child-focused features, while owners also rate its driving dynamics. It’s a solid package that should make for a sensibly-priced used buy.

8. Lexus CT Mk1 - 94.94%

  • Years of manufacture: 2011-2022
  • Price now from: £8,500

Now that its eleven-year production run has finally come to an end, the Lexus CT continues to be a hit with owners. This compact hatchback is just one of several Lexus models to appear on this list, and along with the excellent build quality, owners are also fans of its edgy styling and the reasonable cost of servicing. The touchscreen infotainment system is certainly feeling its age, though.

7. Lexus NX Mk1 - 95.46%

  • Years of manufacture: 2014-2021
  • Price now from: £16,500
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The NX is another one of the many showings on this most reliable used cars list for Lexus. This car isn’t without its flaws, though, and while reliability is a very strong point, this compact SUV received some concerningly low scores in the running costs and infotainment categories. 

6. Skoda Karoq Mk1 - 95.80%

  • Years of manufacture: 2017-present
  • Price now from: £11,500
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Following in the footsteps of the highly-popular Yeti, the Skoda Karoq is the brand’s current mid-size SUV, and manages to shine in the face of the huge level of competition. Not only is the Karoq proving trouble-free to own for most buyers, but it was, in fact, rated as the second-best used car to own overall in Driver Power 2023. One of the only real downsides is its rather conservative design.

5. Toyota Prius Mk4 - 95.90%

  • Years of manufacture: 2015-2022
  • Price now from: £12,500

A firm favourite of minicab drivers across the country, the Prius Mk4 has certainly proved its ability to rack up the miles with ease. The exterior styling isn’t exactly to everyone’s tastes, but it’s underneath where the Prius really shines. Toyota’s hybrid powertrain bagged top-20 scores for its fuel economy and servicing costs, and drivers are big fans of the low insurance costs and driving experience, too.

4. Lexus RX Mk4 - 96.07%

  • Years of manufacture: 2015-2022
  • Price now from: £23,800
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Much like its predecessor, the Lexus RX Mk4 is a common sight in the Driver Power reliability rankings. Owners are big fans of this SUV’s dependable powertrains, along with the brisk acceleration, smooth gear changes and even the engine sound. Safety is another strong point but some owners find the interior controls quite difficult to fathom.

3. Subaru Outback Mk5 - 96.18%

  • Years of manufacture: 2014-2020
  • Price now from: £9,500
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Subaru’s other mid-size SUV, the Outback, shares many of the XV’s strengths including its solid reliability. One difference, though, is that this car has the edge when it comes to practicality according to owners. The Outback earned second place overall in Driver Power for rear-seat space, boot space and flexibility. Its high running costs and poor fuel economy are disappointing, though.

2. Lexus RX Mk3 - 96.55%

  • Years of manufacture: 2008-2015
  • Price now from: £11,000

The RX Mk4 may rank highly on this list, but it can’t quite top its older sibling. The Mk3 went off sale several years ago, but it’s still proving to be a reliable SUV that also has the edge over the newer car when it comes to practicality, style and cabin comfort. Owners seem to find the controls and infotainment system much more straightforward to use than in the new model.

1. Lexus GS Mk4 - 97.73%

  • Years of manufacture: 2011-2015
  • Price now from: £12,000

Once again, the Lexus GS finds itself at the top of the charts; it’s not only the most reliable used car but it was also voted as the best used car to own overall. This is the third year in a row that this executive saloon has found itself at the top of the Driver Power tree, and it bagged a huge amount of first-place finishes across the board. Exterior quality, interior style, front-seat comfort, visibility, ride comfort, safety-systems, overall quality, climate controls, and the audio system were all top scorers.

The top 10 most reliable used cars

  1. Lexus GS Mk4 - 97.73%
  2. Lexus RX Mk3 - 96.55%
  3. Subaru Outback Mk5 - 96.18%
  4. Lexus RX Mk4 - 96.07%
  5. Toyota Prius Mk4 - 95.90%
  6. Skoda Karoq Mk1 - 95.80%
  7. Lexus NX Mk1 - 95.46%
  8. Lexus CT Mk1 - 94.94%
  9. Skoda Yeti Mk1 - 94.57%
  10. Subaru XV Mk1 - 94.38%

Click below to find out the most reliable cars by sector... 

Tell us what you love (and hate) about your car. Take the Driver Power survey now and you could win a £100 Amazon voucher...

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Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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