Least reliable older small cars

More small hatchbacks are sold than any other type of car, so there are plenty of used examples to choose from. But which are the most and least dependable?...

Skoda Fabia front three quarters

The least reliable older small cars 

3. Skoda Fabia (2007-2014) 

What Car? reliability rating 71.8%

Engine issues affected 14% of the Fabias we were told about, accounting for almost half of the 29% of faults overall. Although 55% of the afflicted cars were put right in a day or less, none of them was fixed for free and 25% of owners were left £310 or more out of pocket, with some paying more than £1500.

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2. Seat Ibiza (2008-2017)

Seat Ibiza cornering front three quarters

What Car? reliability rating 69.6%

The Ibiza’s fault rate of 29% was relatively high, and problems in areas such as the battery, braking system, exhaust, non-engine electrics and steering rendered a third of cars undriveable. Most cars cost less than £500 to rectify, but 5% of owners were hit with bills of between £1001 and £1500.

Read our full review of the used Seat Ibiza >>

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1. Vauxhall Corsa (2006-2014)

Vauxhall Corsa

What Car? reliability rating 67.1%

The Corsa is one of the most popular cars for new drivers, but it’s also one of the most prone to problems, with 44% of owners having issues. Faults were reported in a range of areas, including the brakes, engine electrics, exhaust, fuel system, gearbox/clutch and steering. 

Although two-thirds of cars were put right within a day and 10% of work was done for free, 10% of owners had to shell out £501 to £1000 for each fault.

Owner comment: “My Corsa has left me stranded too many times. It’s been bugged by a constant stream of electrical issues, and the door locks are temperamental.”

Read our full review of the used Vauxhall Corsa >>

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