Honda Civic

Buyers searching for the most reliable new car need to look east, that’s according to the results of a car reliability study, released today.

The Auto Express UK Dependability Table – which uses data supplied by Warrantywise – puts Japanese and Korean cars at the top of the reliability tree. So while you might be tempted by the badge appeal of a European or American motor, for bulletproof reliability, you’re probably better off choosing a Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Mitsubishi or Mazda.

Each carmaker is ranked by a dependability factor, based on the number of reported faults or breakdowns, with a score of 75 representing the UK average. Anything above this is considered good, with a score below 60 signifying a high incidence of repair work.

[bctt tweet=”Anyone who has recently bought a vehicle with a premium badge may need to look away now.”]

The survey also takes into account the average cost of the repair work, the vehicle age and the model, with the average age for the table being 6.29 years. To be considered for the survey, a brand is required to have at least 100 active Warrantywise policies. So while it’s good news for owners of Far Eastern cars, anyone who has recently bought a vehicle with a premium badge may need to look away now.

Honda and Toyota owners can sleep easy

If you’ve got a Honda or Toyota parked on your driveway, you can sleep easy tonight, with the Japanese pair recording a dependability score of 93 and an average repair cost of £535 and £592 respectively. Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, is Bentley, scoring a miserly 14 points and an average repair cost of £1,356. This cost is beaten only by Maserati (£1,430) and Ferrari (£2,046).

Far Eastern carmakers dominate the top eight, with Ford – which finished joint eighth with Subaru – the highest placed finisher from the rest of the world. So the message is clear: if you value reliability above all else, choose Japanese or Korean.

[bctt tweet=”The message is clear: if you value reliability above all else, choose Japanese or Korean.”]

Five brands scored 60 or lower, while the ‘big three’ premium brands finished in the bottom half of the table. Of the three, Audi scored 74, Mercedes-Benz scored 70 and BMW weighed in with 69. But while the chart makes for interesting reading, the dependability score tells only half the story.

Smart and MG cars the cheapest to repair

With a score of 89, Mitsubishi is ranked an impressive fourth in the dependability survey, but the £833 average repair cost is the fifth highest, significantly more than the likes of Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo, Lexus and Land Rover. At the opposite end of the scale, Smart and MG recorded average repair costs of £390 and £399 respectively, much lower than the UK average of £639.

Warrantywise CEO, Lawrence Whittaker, said: “The table shows what we always believe here at Warrantywise, that it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are some obvious trends, such as the more exotic you go, the higher the repair bills will be, but there are notable exceptions lower down the price scale, with some of the more mainstream brands showing rather costly repair bills.

“Unsurprisingly, the Japanese carmakers top the chart, with the more exotic European brands – and sadly some British makers as well – nestling at the bottom.”

The results of the UK Dependability Table in full:

RankMakeScoreAve. repair cost
=1.Honda93£535
=1.Toyota93£592
3.Suzuki92£424
4.Mitsubishi89£833
=5.Hyundai88£577
=5.Mazda88£617
7.Nissan86£521
=8.Subaru85£791
=8.Ford85£421
=10.Peugeot84£406
=10.SEAT84£475
12.Smart83£390
=13.Fiat82£417
=13.MINI82£497
=13.Lexus82£603
=13.Volkswagen82£631
=17.Renault81£441
=17.Vauxhall81£467
19.Kia80£522
20.Chevrolet79£548
21.Skoda78£492
=22.MG77£399
=22.Land Rover77£453
=22.Volvo77£553
25.Saab76£425
26.Citroen75£501
27.Audi74£620
28.Mercedes-Benz70£751
29.BMW69£701
=30.Chrysler64£464
=30.Jeep64£505
=30.Ferrari64£2,046
33.Alfa Romeo60£590
34.Porsche57£842
35.Jaguar54£794
36.Maserati41£1,430
37.Bentley14£1,356