Japanese and Korean makes are the best choice for a used car you can rely on, according to the What Car? Reliability Survey 2011, run in association with warranty specialist Warranty Direct.
The top 10 manufacturers all come from either Japan or Korea. Honda tops the standings for an unprecedented sixth year, recording a failure rate of just 9%.
For the full results see our Reliability Survey 2011
The new figures show that cars from European brands fail most often, but they are also typically cheaper to fix. The combined What Car? and Warranty Direct study names Land Rover as the least-reliable brand, with 55% of its vehicles suffering faults. The top two European brands are Skoda and Smart in 11th and 12th respectively.
Warranty Direct compiles the data for its www.reliabilityindex.com website, which rates cars according to its 'Reliability Index' formula, taking into account repair costs, age, mileage and rate of failure; the What Car? and Warranty Direct annual study surveys manufacturers according to the number of faults in a 12-month period.
What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett said: 'This year's study is a stark reminder of the disparity in reliability between Far Eastern brands, which dominate the top 10, and European brands, which contribute the bulk of the bottom 10.'
The most expensive brand to repair is Porsche, at an average cost of £690. By contrast, Fiats cost the least to repair, at around £241 on average. European cars make up seven of the cheapest 10 brands to fix.
Further differences between European and Far Eastern manufacturers can be found in the problems they suffer the most. A third of faults found on European cars are down to electrical malfunctions, while owners of Japanese Lexus, Subaru and Suzuki cars report the most axle and suspension issues – accounting for nearly two in five of all their breakdowns.
Warranty Direct managing director Duncan McClure Fisher said: 'All most people want is hassle-free motoring. Finding a car that can be relied upon is one factor, and maintenance is another; even the most trustworthy vehicles need some TLC to keep going.'
The What Car? Reliability Survey is the most robust of its type in the UK, and up-to-date information can be found at any time at Warranty Direct's www.reliabilityindex.com website.
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