The 25 most unreliable older cars

If you're buying a secondhand car, check our list of the least dependable so you can avoid the models that could let you down.....

Whatever type of car you're getting, if you're buying secondhand, reliability is an important consideration. Image 1 of 26

Help is at hand from the What Car? Reliability Survey. It is based on data from car owners and should help you buy a car that won't leave you stranded at the roadside or land you with sky-high repair bills. 

We asked the owners of nearly 13,000 cars to tell us if their vehicles had suffered from any faults in the past 12 months. We classified the faults in 14 groups: air conditioning, battery, bodywork, brakes, engine, engine electrics, exhaust, fuel system, gearbox/clutch, infotainment/dashboard, interior trim, non-engine electrics, steering and suspension.

For each fault, we asked the owner to tell us how long the car was off the road and how much the repairs cost. This information was used to create a unique reliability rating for 175 models spanning 31 brands. Those that cost the most and kept the car off the road the longest gained the lowest scores, and those with few or no problems got the highest ratings.

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