The UK’s Most Reliable Used Car Manufacturers (And The Least)

Deciphering vehicle reliability on Britain’s roads. Taking a closer look at the most reliable car manufacturers in the UK today (and the least) analysing the used car market.

New research by What Car? has provided insights into the reliability of used vehicles in Britain, as drivers aim to optimise their investments amid the cost of living crisis.

The recent survey highlighted Suzuki as the frontrunner in terms of dependability, boasting an impressive brand rating of 94.7%. Notably, Suzuki’s Vitara small SUV earned an almost flawless score of 99.3%, while the Swift small car closely followed with its own commendable rating. Here are the 10 most interesting takeaways and below that are the hot list of most reliable, and least reliable, car manufacturers in the UK today.


Related Reading: Car Prices Have Gone Up – What Does This Mean For You?


10 Key Takeaways

1. Japanese Brands Shine in Reliability Rankings

The study showcased the dominance of Japanese manufacturers in the area of reliability. Remarkably, six out of the top ten positions for the most reliable brands were held by Japanese automakers.

2. Big Brands at the Bottom

Conversely, not all brands fared as well in the reliability department. Citroën and Land Rover found themselves at the less favourable end, with the lowest brand reliability scores at 60.3% and 61.3% respectively.

3. Small Cars Lead in Reliability

When it comes to dependability, small cars have taken the lead. The Honda Jazz stands out, boasting a remarkable 100% reliability score. Complementing the list of top-performers are the Kia Niro Hybrid (2016-2022) and the Kia Soul (2014-2019), both of which also secured a flawless 100% rating.

4. Luxury SUVs Fall Short in Rankings

At the other end of the spectrum, luxury SUVs struggled to impress in terms of reliability. Averaging scores of less than 70%, the category witnessed the Land Rover Discovery landing the unfortunate title of the least reliable vehicle with a rating of 47.8%.

5. Insights from Extensive Surveys

The research, grounded in thorough analysis, reached out to nearly 25,000 car owners. These individuals were prompted to evaluate and rank the reliability of used cars aged between six and 20 years, ensuring a comprehensive perspective on the vehicles.


Related Reading: UK Government Proposed MOT Changes


6. Prestige Brands Underperform

While you might expect top-tier names to dominate the reliability charts, the research findings suggest otherwise. Several esteemed brands like Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, and Jaguar found themselves on the less desirable side of the rankings. All three brands fetched scores below 77%, placing them in the bottom ten for reliability.

7. Older Drivers Feeling The Pain

In the survey when focusing on older car drivers, it was revealed that roughly 26.5% of them experienced vehicle issues within the past two years. Interestingly, nearly one in eight of these car malfunctions were addressed under warranty, saving owners from potential repair expenses. Yet, not all car owners were so fortunate; a staggering 6.5% found themselves faced with hefty repair bills exceeding £1,500 to restore their vehicles to working condition.

8. 3 Models With Near Flawless Performance

Three car models stood out for their impeccable performance records, each boasting a flawless 100% reliability rating: the Honda Jazz (2015-2020), Kia Niro Hybrid (2016-2022), and Kia Soul (2014-2019). In stark contrast, the Land Rover Discovery (2004-2017) garnered the least favourable score of all, with a concerning 47.8% rating, indicating substantial challenges faced by its owners.

9. Over 25% Report Issues In Last 24 Months

During the survey, participants were probed regarding any vehicle issues they had encountered over the past 24 months, the duration of repairs, and associated costs. Alarmingly, over a quarter of those with older car models reported malfunctions within that time frame.

10. Most Common Faults

Among these faulty vehicles, 13% underwent repairs covered by the warranty. While the majority of owners were lucky with repair costs falling below £500, a significant 6.5% faced staggering expenses upwards of £1,500. Furthermore, the repair process wasn’t always smooth – one in five cars became inoperable due to faults, and nearly 25% that did malfunction spent over a week in repair.


Related Reading: Car Colours to Avoid: Making The Best Choice For Longevity, Style And Value


The 10 Most Reliable Car Manufacturers

  1. Suzuki – 94.7%
  2. Lexus – 92.7%
  3. Toyota – 91.7%
  4. Honda – 90.7%
  5. Kia – 89.6%
  6. Mitsubishi – 87.5%
  7. Mazda – 86.6%
  8. Hyundai – 85.9%
  9. Skoda – 83.4%
  10. Seat – 83.1%


Related Reading: How Many Owners Has My Car Had? (And Why It Matters)


The 10 Least Reliable Car Manufacturers

  1. Citroën – 60.3%
  2. Land Rover – 61.3%
  3. Tesla – 69.2%
  4. Mercedes-Benz – 75.1%
  5. Subaru – 75.6%
  6. Peugeot – 75.7%
  7. Fiat – 76.5%
  8. Jaguar – 76.9%
  9. Nissan – 77.1%
  10. Mini – 77.3%


Related Reading: Do I Need Extended Car Warranty For A Used Car


What are your options for extended UK car warranty cover?

We don’t want to complicate this, so we’ve kept it nice and simple. Here’s three great options for mechanical breakdown or electrical failure car warranty cover, that’ll give you all you need, including cover for wear & tear.

3-Star Car Warranty

Select this option if you want affordable cover for a long list of covered components. Gives you up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT for the mechanical breakdown or electrical failure of covered parts.

4-Star Car Warranty

Select this option to cover a wide range of components on your vehicle, and get up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT in the event of mechanical breakdown or electrical failure, or imminent failure identified during an MOT or service.

5-Star Car Warranty

Looking for comprehensive warranty protection? Our 5-Star warranty covers an extensive range of parts and offers up to £7,000 claim limit towards the cost of parts, labour and VAT for the mechanical breakdown or electrical failure of covered parts on your vehicle.


Related Reading: The Consequences of NOT Having Click4Warranty Car Warranty Cover