With many Britons already returning to their offices and planning to head back next month following lockdown, the demand for second-hand cars is on the rise as people look for alternative commuting means away from public transport.
While price and affordable running costs will be top of buyers’ demands when drawing up a wishlist of used motors, reliability will also be a huge factor in their decision.
And fortunately one measure of second-hand vehicle dependability has just been updated, with Warrantywise’s Reliability Index showing that flashy and expensive models – especially big SUVs – tend to have the most issues that are pricey to repair.
Problematic motor: The Bentley Continental GT has been named the least reliable used car by Warrantywise. When it comes to mainstream models, large SUVs don’t perform well
The warranty provider’s data is based on 131,000 used cars that have extended cover in the last two years.
That means the cars reported on are at least three years old and are no longer covered by the manufacturers warranty. A reliability score is only provided to models and makers with a sample of more than 100 examples to ensure that the data is representative.
The Reliability Index ranks every car on a combination of factors that include the frequency of repairs and the costs associated.
The Bentley Continental GT is in the unenviable position as the least reliable used model, according to the index.
The most common faults with this luxury sports car relate to the fuel system, electrics and engine, with one of the most expensive Warrantywise repairs on this model costing over £10,000 to rectify an electrical issue.
Average repair costs across the 144 Warrantywise plans for Bentley Continental GTs sits at an eye-watering £2,298.97.
Most and least reliable used cars
1. Lexus RX
2. Honda Jazz
3. Mitsubishi ASX
4. Dacia Sandero
5. Mazda 2
6. Volkswagen UP!
7. Nissan LEAF
8. Lexus CT
9. Ford Ecosport
10. Suzuki Alto
1. Bentley Continental GT
2. Audi A7
3. BMW X6
4. Porsche Cayenne
5. Chevrolet Captiva
6. Land Rover Range Rover Sport
7. Jaguar XJ
8. Audi Q7
9. Mazda CX5
10. Land Rover Range Rover
Source: Warrantywise Reliability Index
All data based on a minimum sample size of 100 vehicles per make and per model and relates to repairs between 01/01/2018 and 30/04/2020
Premium SUVs like the BMW X6 dominate the standings for the least reliable used cars
Luxurious SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne tend to be jammed full of electronics and have complicated and expensive suspension systems. And when these things go wrong, they result in hefty garage bills
When it comes to more mainstream models, the Audi A7 was rated second worst.
It was closely followed by a raft of flashy SUVs, including the BMW X6, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport, Audi Q7 and conventional Range Rover, which all appeared in the top 10 list of cars causing plenty of headaches for owners.
All are premium SUVs that might be appealing to second-hand buyers having depreciated considerably after three years, but the figures should be a stark warning to motorists that these can be expensive motors to run and they will need to do their homework to ensure used examples they’re interested in have been well maintained.
Luxurious SUVs like these tend to be jammed full of electronics and have complicated and expensive suspension systems. And when these things go wrong, they result in hefty garage bills – as this data suggests.
The Audi Q7 is a huge seven-seat SUV. While it might be a spacious family car, Warrantywise says it often has reliability issues and is expensive to fix
Land Rover’s reliability history in the last few decades isn’t what you’d call particularly strong. So it’s no surprise to see the Range Rover Sport (pictured) and Range Rover in the list of the 10 least reliable used cars
At the opposite end of the spectrum, it was the flawless Lexus RX that topped the charts.
The hybrid SUV proves that not all large family 4X4s have ropey reliability records, with over 100 Warrantywise customers not claiming for a single fault or repair.
Also among the most reliable motors is the Honda Jazz, Mitsubishi ASX and the no-frills and budget-friendly Dacia Sandero.
Brand reliability rated
Honda reigns supreme when it comes to overall reliability by brand, scoring an impressive 89.38 out of 100 in Warrantywise’s judgement.
With more than 1,500 active plans on Honda vehicles, the cover provider says the brand has built up a solid reputation for being ultra-dependable as average repairs across the board totalled £538.59.
Lexus occupies second position thanks in part to the RX and the smaller CT hatchback further reinforcing the brand’s standing, with the luxury compact car coming eighth overall in the Reliability Index.
Toyota and Suzuki rank third and fourth respectively while Dacia cements its position at number five.
Despite there being over 100 Lexus RX models with extended warranties on them, not one was forced to have a repair, the Reliability Index claims
Honda has yet again proved it can build bulletproof motors. The Jazz is among the most reliable models and the Japanese brand as a whole is best rated
Lawrence Whittaker, ceo of Warrantywise, said: ‘Warrantywise boasts one of the largest data samples when it comes to painting an accurate picture of the dependable – and not so dependable – used cars currently on the market.
‘Our business continues to go from strength-to-strength as we are seeing a very noticeable upswing in the number of car buyers turning to pre-owned cars where they can get a high-specification vehicle for less.
‘However, any savings on purchase price can be immediately off-set if a used car develops faults outside of manufacturer warranty and our Reliability Index continues to provide precise, quantifiable data on the best and worst-performing used cars on the market.’
At the other end of the standings, the least reliable car brands are dominated by high-end luxury and supercar marques.
Extended warranties on these types of vehicles are very popular, as it allows owners to avoid huge one-off garage bills if something does go wrong.
While their repair costs are commensurate with their purchase prices, it’s the frequency of repairs that contribute to the low scores, Warrantywise says.
Ferrari scored a mere 13.84/100 in the Reliability Index with an average repair cost of £4,913.46 and 36 repairs logged out of 116 warranty plans in total.
Next comes McLaren (15.12/100) followed by Rolls-Royce (26/100), which both have a proportionally high number of bank-account-busting repairs to reduce their scores.
Bentley and Lamborghini round out the Top 5, while in order of scores, Subaru (a huge surprise, given the Japanese marque has always been deemed reliable), Chrysler, Maserati, Land Rover and Tesla occupy the remaining positions at the foot of the brand list.
SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING
Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.