The most reliable older small cars

Small hatchbacks are popular first cars, and they're relied on as second family vehicles, so they need to be robust and cheap to live with. Here we list the most dependable older small cars...

The 25 most reliable older small cars aged from six to 20 years oldImage 1 of 26

Small cars may be cheaper to buy than exotic models, but if you pick an unreliable model it could land you with repair bills that are more like those of a high-maintenance performance car. 

The good news is that small cars aren't laden with high-tech gadgetry, so there's less to go wrong than there is on a luxury car but there's still a big difference in the dependability of the best and worst.

However, the What Car? Reliability Survey – conducted in association with MotorEasy – can help you to sort the good from the bad. The latest survey contains data from nearly 25,000 car owners across the UK on 248 models and 32 brands.

Here, we're looking exclusively at the results for the best 25 used small car models aged between six and 20 years old. We've rated each one according to the seriousness of the faults it's suffered, how long it spent in the garage and how much it cost to be repaired.

The 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey is open for you to tell us about your car >>