Revealed: Most reliable used cars in the UK

We drill into our latest reliability to identify the most reliable used cars you can buy...

For anyone choosing a used car, reliability is key.

BMW X1

While new car buyers have the benefit of a decent warranty, this is less often true for used – and buying the wrong car can lead to hefty repair bills down the road, especially as cars get increasingly complex with more technology.

Limiting the scope to models up to eight years old, What Car?’s Reliability Survey asked nearly 13,000 owners if their vehicle had experienced a fault in the past 12 months, what the type of fault was, how much it cost to repair and the amount of time the vehicle was off the road as result. From this data we gave each model a What Car? Reliability Rating, and the cars featured here are the 50 most reliable according to our data.

We start and number 50 and work our way up to the most reliable used car you can buy - where does your next car appear?:

Slideshow - click the right-hand arrow above to continue

49=: Audi Q5 (2018-present)

Audi Q5 driving

Reliability rating: 95.6%

Electrics issues were the biggest concern for Q5 owners, who told us 19% of their cars had gone wrong. There were also a smaller proportion of problems reported with the bodywork, brakes, engine and exhaust. However, all repairs were covered under warranty and all cars were driveable, although a third took longer than a week to fix. 

49=: Renault Captur (2013-2019)

Renault Captur

Reliability rating: 95.6%

The small French SUV is proving pretty dependable with only 14% of cars suffering a fault. The most common areas of concern were engine electrics and the exhaust system, with a small number of complaints about bodywork, engine and non-engine electrical issues. The good news is that all repairs were fixed under warranty and nine out of 10 cars could still be driven, although a third were in the garage for more than a week. 

47=: Volkswagen T-Roc (2017 – present)

Volkswagen T-Roc driving

Reliability rating: 95.7%

The T-Roc is one of our favourite small SUVs and it’s proving reliable so far. Twenty percent of cars suffered a fault with the two main areas of complaint the engine and non-engine electrical systems. Nine out of 10 cars were fixed for free and the remaining owners only paid out a maximum of £50. Most cars could still be driven and only a third took more than a week to repair. 

47=: Porsche Macan petrol (2014 – present)

Porsche Macan front three quarters

Reliability rating: 95.7%

Petrol versions of the smaller Porsche SUV are marginally more dependable than the diesels, with 14% of owners reporting a fault, compared with 17% for diesels. Issues were spread across a wide range of areas including the bodywork, engine, fuel system, gearbox/clutch and non-engine electrics. While 80% of owners didn’t have to pay for repairs, the remaining 20% shelled out between £751 and £1000. All cars could still be driven, though and all were put right in less than a week.  

46: Seat Leon petrol (2013 – 2020)

Seat Leon 1.4 ECOTSI 150 FR

Reliability rating: 95.8%

The petrol Leon is much less troublesome than the diesel: 14% of petrol models went wrong compared with 24% of diesels. Electrical problems were the main bugbear, followed by broken bodywork and interior trim. Almost 80% of faults were fixed under warranty and no owners paid out more than £200. All cars could still be driven, although half spent more than a week in the garage. 

44=:Skoda Kodiaq petrol (2016 – present)

Skoda Kodiaq

Reliability rating: 95.9%

Buying a petrol rather than a diesel Kodiaq means you’re less likely to have to take it back to the service department; 32% of diesels went wrong, but only 19% of petrols did. The most common problems were minor niggles with the electrics. All cars could still be driven and all work was done under warranty.

44= Skoda Octavia petrol (2013 – 2020)

Used Skoda Octavia 2013-present

Reliability rating: 95.9%

It’s a similar story with the Octavia: only 14% of petrol-engined cars had a problem compared with 19% of diesels. The engine and associated electrics were the most common areas of concern, and while two thirds of cars were fixed for free, some owners paid out between £50 and £750. All cars remained driveable and most were put right in less than a week.

43: Mini hatchback petrol (2014 – present)

Mini 3dr Cooper S

Reliability rating: 96.0%

Only 11% of petrol-engined Minis went wrong and the engine and gearbox were the most commonly cited areas. Virtually all cars were fixed for free, though, with only a small number of owners paying up to £500. All cars could still be driven and three quarters were back on the road in less than a week.

42: Ford C-Max (2011 – present)

Ford C-Max

Reliability rating: 96.1%

Ford’s people carrier has been on sale for a long time, but it’s still proving a dependable choice with only nine percent of owners telling us their car went wrong. The only areas concerned were the battery, gearbox/clutch and interior trim. Even though many of the cars reported on will be out of warranty a third were fixed for free, with other bills ranging from £100 to £1000. Two thirds of cars could still be driven and were fixed in less than a day. 

41: Mazda 6 (2013 – present)

Mazda 6

Reliability ranking: 96.2%

Infotainment issues were the main concern for the 15% of owners who noted a fault with their vehicle, followed by a small number of reports of problems with the bodywork, brakes, engine and interior trim. However, three-quarters of all repairs were covered under warranty and those who had to pay shelled out between £100 and £750 for repairs. All cars were driveable, but a quarter took more than a week to put right.  

39= Skoda Karoq Diesel (2017 – present)

Skoda Karoq driving

Reliability ranking: 96.3%

Diesel variants of the Karoq gain a slightly lower Reliability rating than their petrol counterparts because two thirds of those that went wrong were undriveable and off the road for more than a week. However, problems only affected nine percent of cars and all repairs were covered under warranty. The problem areas were the bodywork, engine and non-engine electrics.

39=: Volvo XC40 Diesel (2017 – present)

Volvo XC40 front studio - 67 plate

Reliability ranking: 96.3%

Diesel variants of the XC40 suffered slightly more problems than their petrol counterparts. According to owners, 16% of diesel cars had a fault, compared with 13% of petrol. Bodywork was the main area of concern, followed by the battery, engine and infotainment system. However, all repairs were covered under warrant and the vast majority of cars could still be driven and were repaired in less than a week.

38: Ford Focus Petrol (2018 – present)

Ford Focus front action

Reliability ranking: 96.4%

The latest-generation Ford Focus is proving a dependable used car. Although 21% of owners of petrol-engined cars reported an issue, most were minor niggles with the exhaust system, infotainment and other non-engine electrical systems. All repairs were covered under warranty, with 90% of cars still driveable and 60% of repairs completed within a day. 

37: Mazda CX-5 petrol (2017 – present)

Mazda CX-5 driving

Reliability ranking: 96.4%

Petrol CX-5s are proving sturdier than diesels: 19% went wrong compared with 28% of diesels. Non-engine electrics were the most common issues for owners, followed by problems with the bodywork and gearbox/clutch. All repairs were done for free, and although more than three-quarters of cars remained driveable a third took longer than a week to fix. 

35=: Mazda 2 (2015 – present)

Mazda 2 1.5 75 SE+

Reliability ranking: 96.5%

Twenty percent of Mazda 2 owners highlighted a fault with their vehicle, with brakes the main concern, followed by non-engine electrical issues. However, 80% of all repairs were carried out under warranty, with no driver paying more than £50 for work. Likewise, all vehicles were driveable, although in 20% of cases repairs took longer than a week.

35=: Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2009 – 2016)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class saloon (2009-2016)

Reliability ranking: 96.5%

The previous generation E-Class is ageing well with only 13% of owners telling us their car had gone wrong in the past year. Non-engine electrics and exhaust problems were the most common issues. Although three-quarters of cars were put right for free, remaining repair bills ranged from £100 to £750. That said, three-quarters of cars could still be driven and most were back on the road in less than a week. 

31=: Jaguar I-Pace Electric (2018 – present)

LUXURY SUV: Jaguar I-Pace EV400 S

Reliability ranking: 96.7%

The highest ranked pure electric vehicle on the list, the Jaguar I-Pace is also one of the most capable EVs on the used market, with a 292-mile range. Battery problems were the most common complaint of the 15% of owners who reported an issue, followed by non-engine electrics. All repairs were covered under warranty and two thirds of cars could still be driven although a third took more than a week to put right.

=: Lexus RX Petrol/Electric Hybrid (2009 – 2016)

Lexus RX

Reliability ranking: 96.7%

The first hybrid in our top 50 is the RX SUV. Owners told us 20% of cars went wrong with the most commonly cited problem area the battery, followed by the bodywork, fuel system and non-engine electrics. All cars could still be driven and 80% of repairs were done under warranty, with no owner paying more than £50.

31=: Skoda Fabia (2015 – present)

Skoda Fabia S 1.0 MPI 60PS

Reliability ranking: 96.7%

As well as being an affordable small hatchback, the Fabia is a reliable one, with just 12% of cars we were told about going wrong. The two main areas of concern were the engine and interior trim. While 80% of repair work was done for free, some owners had bills ranging from £100 to £300. All cars could still be driven, though, and half of them were fixed in a day or less.

31=: Vauxhall Mokka Petrol (2012 – 2019)

2013 Vauxhall Mokka review - updated

Reliability ranking: 96.7%

The first-generation Mokka is an affordable and dependable small SUV, with owners only reporting faults on 16% of cars. Issues were split evenly between the braking system,, exhaust and engine electrics. All cars remained drivable and were fixed in less than a week; 80% were fixed under warranty and none of the remaining repair bills topped £300.

30=: BMW 2 Series Coupe & Convertible (2014 – present)

Used BMW 2 Series Coupe 14-present

Reliability ranking: 96.8%

The first drop-top in the top 50, the BMW 2 Series Coupe Convertible is s sound secondhand option. Only 14% of owners reported a fault, with the most common issues relating to the bodywork, followed by the gearbox/clutch, non-engine electrics and suspension. All cars could still be driven and all repair work was done for free, although half of cars spent more than a week in the garage.        

27=: Alfa Romeo Giulia Saloon (2016 – present)

Used Alfa Romeo Giulia long-term test review

Reliability ranking: 96.9%

Alfa Romeo doesn’t have the best reputation for reliability, but the Giulia is proving dependable so car. Of the 14% of owners who reported a fault, the majority pointed to the bodywork or non-engine electrics, with a smaller percentage telling us their cars had engine issues. All repairs were covered under warranty and two thirds of cars could still be driven, although 20% of cars took more than a week to repair.

27=: Honda Jazz (2015 – present)

Honda Jazz EX 1.3 i-VTEC Manual

Reliability ranking: 96.9%

Just six percent of current-generation Honda Jazz owners reported a fault with their car in the previous 12 months. Brake problems were most common, followed by a small proportion of issues with the battery, bodywork, gearbox and non-engine electrics. Only half of all repairs were done under warranty, leaving the remaining owners with bills ranging from £100 to £500. All cars were driveable, but two thirds took more than a week to put right. 

27=: Volkswagen Tiguan Petrol (2016 – present)

2019 Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 TSI 230

Reliability ranking: 96.9%

Petrol versions of the latest Tiguan had slightly fewer faults than the diesels: 16% compared with 15% for the latter. However,  90% of repairs to petrol models were done under warranty, compared with only 76% of diesel repairs. The most common problem areas for petrols were the engine, exhaust, and battery. Two thirds of cars could be driven, but a third took longer than a week to fix.

26: Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013 – present)

2013 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross review

Reliability ranking: 97.1%

Only 12% of Suzuki SX4 S-Cross owners said their car had developed a fault, and all repairs were covered under warranty. Non-engine electrical gremlins were most common, followed by bodywork, brakes, gearbox/clutch and interior trim. Although all cars could still be driven and half of repairs were done in a day or less, 17%of owners had to wait more than a week for their car to be fixed.

24=: Ford Mondeo (2014 – present)

Ford Mondeo

Reliability ranking: 97.2%

Once one of Britain’s biggest selling cars, the Ford Mondeo remains a great used buy. Just 14% of owners said their car had gone wrong, with engine electrics the most common problem area, followed by a small percentage of issues with the air con, exhaust, interior trim, infotainment and non-engine electrics. Nearly three-quarters of repairs were covered under warranty, and no bills exceeded £50. All cars could still be driven and three-quarters were put right in a day or less.

24=: Toyota Auris Hybrid (2013 – 2019)

Toyota Auris front three quarters

Reliability ranking: 97.2%

Hybrid variants of the Auris are proving highly dependable, with only 13% of owners reporting a fault. Suspension issues were most common, followed by the bodywork, brakes and interior trim. We were told that 80% of repairs were done under warranty and no owners had to spend more than £100. All cars remained driveable and two thirds of repairs were done in a day or less.

23: Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (2017 – present)

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid front three quarters

Reliability ranking: 97.3%

The Ioniq Hybrid has a five-star rating from What Car?’s road test team and a creditable Reliability rating. Only 16% of owners reported a fault with their vehicle, citing the battery as the most common problem area, followed by the air con and bodywork. All cars were fixed under warranty, with the vast majority put right the same day, although around a quarter were rendered undriveable.

22: Volvo XC40 petrol (2017 – present)

Volvo XC40 studio boot open - 67 plate

Reliability ranking: 97.7%

Bodywork issues were the most common complaint from the 13% of petrol-engined Volvo XC40 owners who highlighted a fault. There were also a small number of issues with engine and non-engine electrics,  problems related to the gearbox and engine electrics and the gearbox/clutch. All repairs were covered under warranty and a third of work was completed in a day or less. While all vehicles remained driveable, 44% took longer than a week to repair.

21: Skoda Karoq petrol (2017 – present)

Skoda Karoq driving

Reliability ranking: 97.8%

Engine electrics and non-engine electrics were among the biggest problems for the 14% of petrol Karoq owners who complained of a fault. There were also some issues with interior trim and infotainment systems. With many cars still under warranty, all repairs were covered by Skoda. And while all cars were driveable, more than a fifth of owners said their repairs took longer than a week.

16=: Kia Picanto (2011 – 2017)

2015 Kia Picanto facelift to cost from 8345

Reliability ranking: 98.0%

The previous generation Kia Picanto is a reliable used city car. Just eight percent of owners told us their vehicle had suffered a problem in the past 12 months, with the battery and non-engine electrics the only areas affected. Half of all repairs were covered under warranty, with the remaining repair bills ranging from £50 to £100. All cars remained driveable, although half took more than a week to fix.

16=: Mazda CX-3 (2016 – present)

Mazda CX-3 rear driving

Reliability ranking: 98.0%

Electrical gremlins and problems with the infotainment were the only issues reported by the 11% of Mazda CX-3 owners who said their car had gone wrong in the past 12 months. All repairs were covered under warranty, and 75% of work was completed in a day and the rest in less than a week. 

16=: Mercedes-Benz GLA (2014 – 2020)

Mercedes GLA

Reliability ranking: 98.0%

Only 12% of GLA owners told us their car had developed a fault in the past 12 months, with the problem areas split evenly between the brakes, engine electrics, fuel system and the gearbox. All repairs were covered by warranty and all cars could still be driven; 75% of work was done in a day or less and no cars took more than a week to put right.

16=: Skoda Superb petrol (2016 – present)

Skoda Superb (2016-present)

Reliability ranking: 98.0%

Petrol versions of Skoda’s roomy executive class car suffered fewer faults than diesels according to owners: 12% of diesels went wrong compared with 25% of diesels. Problems were split evenly between the engine, engine and non-engine electrics and interior trim. All repairs were done for free and 80% of cars could still be driven; although 40% of cars were off the road for up to a week.

16=: Volkswagen Up Hatchback Petrol (2012 – present)

Volkswagen Up

Reliability ranking: 98.0%

Just 6% of Volkswagen Up owners said their car had gone wrong in the previous year. The battery, bodywork, brakes and engine electrics were highlighted by drivers. A quarter of faults were fixed under warranty, with the remaining owners having to pay up to £200 for repairs. All cars could still be driven, though, and 75% were fixed in a day or less.

15: BMW X1 Estate petrol (2015 – present)

BMW X1 2015

Reliability ranking: 98.1%

Petrol-engined X1s are proving far more durable than diesels: just eight percent of petrol models went wrong, compared with 25% of diesel X1s. Electrical issues were the biggest concern, followed by the air con, exhaust and interior trim. All repairs were done for free and all cars remained driveable; 40% were put right in a day or less and the rest were back on the road within a week.

14: Toyota Corolla Hybrid (2018 – present)

Toyota Corolla GR 2020 RHD right wide front tracking

Reliability ranking: 98.2%

In spite of their complexity, hybrids are among the most dependable cars. A mere five percent of Corolla Hybrids went wrong, with the battery the only problem area. All repairs were covered under warranty, but all cars were rendered undriveable and all were off the road for more than a week. 

13: Lexus CT (2011 – present)

Lexus CT 200h

Reliability ranking: 98.3%

The efficient Lexus CT hybrid may be getting long in the tooth, but owners say it remains highly dependable. Just four percent of drivers said their car had a problem, and the only area concerned was the bodywork. No repairs were done under warranty, though, leaving owners to pay out between £300 and £500. However, all cars could still be driven and all work was completed within the day.

11=: Lexus IS Saloon Petrol/Electric Hybrid (2013 – present)

2013 Lexus IS review

Reliability ranking: 98.4%

The Lexus IS is another hybrid with impeccable reliability credentials. Just 10% of owners said their car had gone wrong over the previous year, with non-engine electrics the only area concerned. All cars could still be driven and were repaired under warranty in less than a week.

11=: MINI Countryman (2017 – present)

2017 Mini Countryman revealed – everything you need to know

Reliability ranking: 98.4%

The current Mini Countryman is proving one of the most durable small SUVs. Only 10% of owners said their cars had experienced problems in the past 12 months, with issues relating to engine and non-engine electrics. All repairs were done under warranty and all cars could still be driven. A third were fixed the same day, a third took up to a week and the last third more than a week.

10: Hyundai i20 (2015 – present)

New Hyundai i20 vs Seat Ibiza

Reliability ranking: 98.6%

The Hyundai i20 isn’t as familiar as the Ford Fiesta, but it is a handsome and well built small car. Just seven percent of owners said their i20 had gone wrong over the past 12 months with the only areas affected being engine and non-engine electrics. All repairs were done under warranty, and while half of the cars took more than a week to fix, all were still driveable.

9: Hyundai i10 (2014 – 2020)

Hyundai i10 long-term review

Reliability ranking: 98.8%

Like its larger sibling, the Hyundai i10 is a well equipped, dependable used car. Only nine percent of cars had a fault in the past year, with the gearbox and non-engine electrical issues most common, followed by the bodywork. All cars could still be driven, and all repairs were done for free and carried out within a day.

7=: Alfa Romeo Giulietta (2010 – present)

2014 Alfa Romeo Giulietta review

Reliability ranking: 98.9%

The Giulietta is ageing well, with just 10% of cars suffering a fault according to owners. The only areas affected were with the brakes and gearbox/clutch, with all repairs covered under warranty. All cars could still be driven and the issues were fixed in a day or less.

7=: Skoda Citigo (2012 – present)

2015 Skoda Citigo Black Edition revealed

Reliability ranking: 98.9%

The Citigo is Skoda’s version of the Volkswagen Up city car. Just four percent of owners said their car had gone wrong, all pointing towards issues with the air conditioning. Repairs weren’t done under warranty, though, leaving owners with bills ranging from £50 to £100, although all cars could still be driven and were fixed within a week. 

6: Dacia Duster (2018 – present)

Dacia Duster front three quarters

Reliability ranking: 99.0%

The Dacia Duster is great value for money and dependable according to owners, who told us that just eight percent of their cars had suffered a problem in the previous 12 months. Issues were split evenly between the bodywork, engine and non-engine electrics. All cars remained driveable, and all repairs were carried under warranty within a day.

5: Lexus NX Hybrid (2014 – present)

Used Lexus NX 14-present

Reliability ranking: 99.3%

The NX is a hugely dependable premium SUV. Only 6% of owners experienced a fault with their car, with the infotainment system the main concern, followed by bodywork issues. However, all repairs were covered under warranty and none of the work took longer than a day.

4: Toyota Yaris Hybrid (2011 – 2020)

Toyota Yaris 1.5 Hybrid

Reliability ranking: 99.6%

The hybrid version of Toyota’s small hatchback is more dependable than conventional petrol-engined models. Just three percent of Yaris Hybrid owners said their car had gone wrong in the past 12 months. The only area of concern was the hybrid battery pack, but all repairs were paid for under warranty and the vehicles affected back on the road in a day or less.

1=: Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015)

Honda Jazz

Reliability ranking: 100%

The second-generation Honda Jazz is a roomy and practical small hatchback and, according to owners, it’s one of the most dependable cars to own. They told us that not one of their cars had suffered a fault in the previous 12 months. Added to that, the Jazz is an easy car to drive, as well as being hugely practical and decently affordable, and it’s backed up by a highly regarded network of dealerships.

1=: Lexus RX Hybrid (2016 – present)

Lexus RX L

Reliability ranking: 100%

For anyone concerned that buying a hybrid could prove costly in repair bills, the Lexus RX is a shining example of how dependable these models can be. With a 100% reliability rating from its owners, the current RX is the most reliable used hybrid on the market. It’s also distinctive, luxurious and efficient, and there are plenty of low mileage examples available at surprisingly competitive prices.

1=: Toyota RAV4 (2013 – 2019)

2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD review

Reliability ranking: 100%

The third vehicle to secure a perfect What Car? Reliability Rating in our used car chart is the fourth-generation Toyota RAV4. This large SUV is roomy, practical and available with a good range of petrol and diesel engines, complete with impeccable reliability.

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