UK’s Most and Least Reliable Used Cars Revealed by What Car?

UK's Most and Least Reliable Used Cars Revealed by What Car?

The UK’s most and least reliable used cars have been revealed, with the Lexus CT named as the country’s most reliable second-hand purchase, as part of new research by the UK’s leading consumer champion and new car buying platform, What Car? 

lexus ct front right view
The Lexus CT was named as the country’s most reliable second-hand purchase

More than 18,000 drivers took part in the survey, revealing how reliable their cars have been over the previous 12 months, the type of problems they’ve encountered and how much they cost to be repaired. 

Japanese manufacturers dominate the top 10 table for most reliable vehicles, occupying seven out of the 10 positions. The Lexus CT was voted as the UK’s most reliable used purchase by owners, with a 99.5% reliability rating. Only 4% of CT owners reported a fault with their vehicle, with the battery the only area affected. The Suzuki Swift and Toyota Auris Hybrid came second and third. 

At the other end of the reliability spectrum, the 2003-2013 Audi A3 diesel was voted as the least reliable motor in the UK, with a score of 40.0%. More than a third (37%) of diesel A3s had a fault, and 22% of them were with the engine; around a third of bills cost between £500 and £1500 to fix. The Ford Focus diesel (2004-2011) and Vauxhall Zafira (2005 – 2016) came second and third from the bottom. 

Across all vehicles, a third of owners told What Car? their car had suffered a fault, with non-engine electrical issues most common, followed by suspension and brake woes. However, 19% of owners said the manufacturer picked up the repair bill under warranty.  

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “Reliability is often at the forefront of any vehicle purchase. With nearly eight million used vehicles sold last year*, there is huge scope for things to go wrong. By shining a light on the reliability of various makes and models, we hope to help buyers make the right decision when choosing their next used purchase.”     

The 10 most reliable used cars 

Make and Model  What Car? reliability rating
Lexus CT (2011 – present)      
99.5% 
Suzuki Swift (2010 – 2017)  98.6% 
Toyota Auris Hybrid (2013 – present)  98.5% 
Honda Civic (2012 – 2017)  97.8% 
Peugeot 107  (2005 – 2014)  97.8% 
Lexus RX (2009 – 2016)  97.7% 
Toyota RAV4 (2013 – 2019) 97.6% 
Fiat Panda (2012 – present)  96.0% 
Skoda Yeti diesel (2009 – 2017)  96.0% 
Honda CR-V (2012 – 2018)  95.9% 


The 10 most unreliable used cars 

Make and Model       
What Car? reliability rating
Audi A3 diesel (2003 – 2013)  40.0% 
Ford Focus diesel (2004 – 2011)  46.5% 
Vauxhall Zafira (2005 – 2016)  51.7% 
Audi A6 (2004 – 2011)  52.0% 
BMW X5 (2007 – 2013)   54.5% 
Peugeot 3008 (2009 – 2017)  56.1% 
BMW 3 Series Coupe / Convertible (2006 – 2013)  57.0% 
Renault Grand Scenic (2009 – 2012)  58.1% 
Volkswagen Golf diesel (2003 – 2009)  59.4% 
Mazda 6 (2007 – 2012)  59.8% 


To take part in the 2020 What Car? reliability survey visit: www.whatcar.com/reliability-survey 

To find your next car, visit: https://www.whatcar.com/new-car-deals

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