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Revealed: the most reliable cars for student drivers

Reliable cars for student drivers

Students have enough to worry about, so buying an unreliable car shouldn’t be an option. Thankfully, Warranty Direct has analysed around 50,000 policies to rate vehicles in order of reliability. By overlaying the results with factors relevant to college and university goers, the warranty company has created a list of the most reliable cars for students. Here, we present the top 10, with the results presented in reverse order.

10. Honda Jazz

Reliable cars for student drivers

Warranty Direct looked at three key factors when compiling the list, namely: a keen list price with low running costs, ease of use and an ability to tackle to the long trip back home to the parents. Well, somebody has got to clean the dirty washing. Japanese and Hyundai cars dominate the top 10, occupying 70 percent of the dorms. Most of the cars slot into low insurance groups, with the Honda Jazz the only exception.

The Honda Jazz (2001 – 2008) is more commonly associated with more mature drivers, but it makes the Warranty Direct list by virtue of its legendary reputation for reliability. Prices start from £500, but we’d suggest spending at least £1,000 on a Jazz with service history. They might not be the most exciting cars to drive, but you’ll grow to appreciate the spacious cabin, and because it will break down less frequently than many of its rivals, you’ll have more cash to spend on ‘pound-a-pint’ evenings in the student bar.

9. Ford Ka

Reliable cars for student drivers

Simon Ackers, CEO of Warranty Direct, said: “When new or young drivers are looking to purchase their first vehicle, it’s important they are not swayed only by the latest trends or cheap deals. They should prioritise vehicles based on their overall reliability, to get the best value for money.”

“We hope resources such as the Reliability Index help student motorists get a better indication of the models best suited to their individual needs. However, all drivers should remember any vehicle can land you with a large bill if they are not regularly checked and professionally serviced,” he continued. The second-generation Ford Ka is ninth on the list of best cars for students.

8. Suzuki Alto

Reliable cars for student drivers

Thanks to the cheapest average repair cost in the top 10, the Suzuki Alto was in with a chance of finishing top of the table. But a high proportion of claims for axle and suspension issues (78 percent) saw the Alto fall down faster than a new student on freshers’ week.

The seventh-generation Suzuki Alto arrived in 2009 and was closely related to the Nissan Pixo, albeit with a prettier face. Prices start from around £1,500 for a high-mileage early example, rising to about £6,500 for a late car.

7. Hyundai i20

Reliable cars for student drivers

The majority of the vehicles listed here are city cars, but if you’re after something a little bigger, the Hyundai i20 is worth a look. What it lacks in charm, personality and desirability, it makes up for in refinement, quality and space.

We were surprised to find early examples for as little as £1,000, with initial sales boosted by Hyundai’s active involvement in the scrappage scheme. A couple of grand is a more realistic outlay, but it’s worth noting that the very latest examples will still be covered by Hyundai’s excellent five-year warranty.

6. Citroen C1

Reliable cars for student drivers

While the platform-sharing Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo fail to make the grade, the Citroen C1 secures a place in the top 10. Some models slot into the lowest insurance group, which will help with the annual running costs.

Research conducted by GoCompare found that new drivers are spending around £7,000 just to get on the road, with insurance the second highest expense after the cost of the car itself. Finding a vehicle with a group one insurance rating would reduce the initial cost.

5. Hyundai i10

Reliable cars for student drivers

The Hyundai i10 is another car that capitalised on the scrappage scheme, with demand reportedly exceeding supply by as much as 50 percent. Sales were also helped by the low cost of the base models and a comprehensive warranty package.

It means that there’s a healthy supply of used i10s for sale on Auto Trader, although some of the earliest examples are looking a little like a student after an all-night bender. It will also take more than an Alka-Seltzer and a long lie-in to improve matters. Used Hyundai i10 prices start from £1,000.

4. Honda Jazz

Reliable cars for student drivers

As any student who has spent their study time watching re-runs of Bullseye on Challenge TV will know, you don’t get anything for two in a bed. But the Honda Jazz does appear twice in this gallery. This time it’s the turn of the version built from 2008 to 2015.

It’s worth noting the average repair cost for a Jazz from 2008 onwards is £371.08, with a quarter of claims linked to expensive electrical issues. In truth, this Jazz is more reliable than its predecessor, so the chances of something going wrong are reduced. Prices start from around £2,500.

3. Hyundai Getz

Reliable cars for student drivers

Before Hyundai got all down with the kids with its iThis an iThat naming policy, the Getz was as good as thingz gotz. The i20’s predecessor was lacking in sparkle, but it represented a monumental leap forward from the Pony.

Although the Hyundai Getz sits in third place for reliability, a series of complex issues with its engine and gearboxes results in an average repair of time of over four hours. You had better Getz yourself a decent warranty if you’re splashing out on this tasty South Korean delicacy.

2. Vauxhall Agila

Reliable cars for student drivers

Ask yourself this question: in later years, when you’re talking to your children about your wild and reckless student days, do you seriously want to tell them that you drove a Vauxhall Agila? Well, do you?

In fairness to the dull-as-ditchwater Vauxhall, it has an lower average repair cost than the car at the top of the table and its closely related to the Suzuki Splash. But it’s nowhere near as cool as the car at the top of the class…

1. Toyota iQ

Reliable cars for student drivers

For just £2,500, you could own one of the cleverest small cars of the past decade. This diminutive city car was smarter than a ForTwo and cooler than a Fiat 500, but arguably a little expensive when new. As the smallest four-seater in the UK, it has a genuinely compelling USP.

Warranty Direct said: “The Toyota iQ took the number one spot to be named the most reliable student car with its average time off the road for repairs at only an hour. Repair costs averaged at around £223.94, with the low number of claims concerning mainly issues with engines.”

Revealed: the UK’s most reliable cars 2018

The 2018 JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study named Hyundai as the country’s most dependable car brand. The study, which is based on the responses of 13,536 motorists, measures problems experienced during the past 12 months after 12-36 months of ownership.

Question is, what model should you buy if you’re after something you can rely on? Here we run through every sector and reveal the most dependable motors in each category.

City car winner: Hyundai i10

JD Power examined 177 problem symptoms across eight categories: vehicle exterior, driving experience, features, controls and displays, audio, communication, entertainment and navigation, seats, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, vehicle interior, and engine and transmission.

The Hyundai i10 drives away with the award for the most dependable city car. Looks like you won’t be needing that five-year, unlimited mileage warranty.

Runner-up: Kia Picanto

The i10’s Korean rival – a previous winner in this category – finishes as a runner-up. In the Vehicle Dependability Study, overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. Kia finished third overall, with a score of 94 problems per 100 vehicles. Hyundai scored 78.

Runner-up: Vauxhall Viva

The Vauxhall Viva is named as another runner-up behind the Hyundai i10, which is a good result for the value-driven city car. The likes of the Volkswagen Up, Skoda Citigo, Seat Mii and Renault Twingo might have more showroom appeal, but none of them have made the cut.

Small car winner: Peugeot 208

Moving up a segment, the Peugeot 208 is the highest ranked small car in the JD Power study. Peugeot finished eighth overall, with a score of 107, two points behind Dacia. But unlike Peugeot, Dacia hasn’t been named in the models section of the Vehicle Dependability Study.

Runner-up: Hyundai i20

The 2018 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study makes for good reading for Hyundai, its dealers and prospective purchasers. Not content with finishing top in the city car class, Hyundai secures a runner-up slot in the small car category.

Runner-up: Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris is another runner-up in the small car category. It’s not the most exciting car in its class, which explains why it is often overlooked, but the Yaris is available as a hybrid. Prices start from £13,015. What price dependability?

Compact car winner: Skoda Octavia

Skoda finished fourth overall in the JD Power study, while the Octavia finishes top in the compact car category. Prices start from around £20,000, and the Octavia is available as a hatchback, estate and sporty VRS model.

Runner-up: Kia Cee’d

There’s a new Kia Ceed on the way – note the missing apostrophe – but the enemy of the search engine optimiser secures a runner-up berth in the JD Power study. Prices start from just over £15,000 and, with a new version waiting in the wings, it shouldn’t be too hard to secure a sizeable discount on the outgoing Cee’d.

Runner-up: Hyundai i30

They will be throwing a party at Hyundai HQ, with news of yet another medal for the Korean brand. Pass the cheese and pineapple on sticks and the Wotsits, because the i30 is a runner-up in the compact car category.

Small SUV winner: Skoda Yeti

Hurrah! JD Power has confirmed what we have suspected for a long while: the Skoda Yeti is the best small SUV… in the world. Admittedly, that’s not quite what JD Power is saying, but it will be interesting to see if the Karoq is as dependable.

Runner-up: Vauxhall Mokka/Mokka X

The Vauxhall Mokka/Mokka X is unlikely to win many awards – unless they’re dishing out gongs for mediocrity and anonymity – but finishing runner-up behind the Yeti is no disgrace. Buy more Mokkas. Said nobody, ever.

Runner-up: Renault Captur

Renault didn’t perform particularly well in the JD Power study, with a score of 139 putting it above the industry average of 128 and in the bottom half of the table. Fortunately, the Captur managed to lift the entire squad, making it the Ronaldo of the Renault range.

Compact SUV winner: Volkswagen Tiguan

Moving up another segment, where we find the Volkswagen Tiguan named as the most dependable compact SUV. We’re struggling to find something interesting to say here, so how about a random fact: the African elephant has the greatest sense of smell among mammals.

Runner-up: Hyundai ix35/Tucson

Hyundai is going to be writing press releases long into the night, with news that the Tucson is a runner-up in the compact SUV category. Steer clear of the waffle, Hyundai, because an African elephant can sniff out that stuff from a mile away.

Runner-up: Nissan X-Trail

Pushing the ‘compact’ tag to the limit, the Nissan X-Trail is another runner-up in this category. Prices start from around £25,000 and you can upgrade to a seven-seat version. That said, the five-seater is a better option, as you get a larger boot. Or should that be trunk?

Midsize car winner: Vauxhall Insignia

Leaving the elephant mentions at the side of the room for a moment, here’s the news that the Vauxhall Insignia is the most dependable mid-size car you can buy. This is a terrific result, as the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class are conspicuous by their absence.

Runner-up: Jaguar XE

To paraphrase the great Barry Davies, where are the Germans? But, frankly, who cares? While BMW, Audi and Mercedes can’t manage a slot in this category, the Jaguar XE is on hand to keep the great British end up.

Runner-up: Ford Mondeo

Once upon a time, Little Chef restaurants lined the streets, the Spice Girls were a thing, and the Ford Mondeo ruled the road. Today, rather than fighting the Vauxhall Cavalier and Vectra, it must withstand the rise of the crossover and SUV. On this evidence, it’s a dependable car.

Large and luxury car winner: Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is victorious in the final category, seeing off its German rivals to secure top billing. With an overall score of 124, Mercedes secured a mid-table position, while BMW finished bottom with a score of 192.

Runner-up: Jaguar XF

There’s only one runner-up in the large and luxury category, with the Jaguar XF playing second fiddle to the E-Class. It’s interesting to note that there’s no MPV category this year, with the segment under pressure from the dominating SUVs.