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Top 50 most reliable used cars

Buying a used car doesn't have to be a gamble, because we've rounded up the most dependable models aged up to eight years old...

Breakdown survey 2019

Reliability is one of the most important factors for used car buyers, with many people spending hours researching the most dependable models before making their purchase. 

To save you a lot of time, though, here we’re revealing the 50 most reliable used cars you can buy, based on the results of our most recent Reliability Survey.

Nearly 13,000 people took part, telling us if their vehicle had experienced any faults in the past 12 months, what areas were affected, how much each fault cost to repair, and how long the vehicle was off the road for.

We then used this data to give each model a What Car? reliability rating, with three proving 100% dependable. However, nothing in the top 50 scored worse than 95.6%, so all of the cars listed below are worth considering as your next used buy. 

We’ve limited the age of the models included to those up to eight years old, because these account for more than half of all used car purchases.

If any of them take your fancy, just click on the relevant links to find out more about them or to see examples for sale that have covered less than 100,000 miles and come with a warranty.

We're also running our Reliability Survey again right now, and you could win £250 if you take part. Complete the survey here, or by clicking on the link at the end of this story.


Top 50 most reliable used cars

=49. Audi Q5 (2017-present) 

Reliability rating 95.6% 

Audi Q5 driving

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 cars were driveable and all repairs were covered under warranty, even though a third of them took longer than a week.  

Read our full used review of the Audi Q5 

Shop for a used Audi Q5 here


=49. Renault Captur (2013-2019) 

Reliability rating 95.6% 

Renault Captur front

This small 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. 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.  

Porsche Macan front

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.   

Read our full used review of the Porsche Macan

Shop for a used Porsche Macan here


=47. Volkswagen T-Roc (2018-present)

Reliability rating 95.7% 

Volkswagen T-Roc front

The T-Roc is one of our favourite small SUVs and it’s proving pretty reliable so far. True, 20% of cars suffered a fault, with the two main areas of complaint the engine and engine and non-engine electrical systems. However, 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, too, and only a third took more than a week to repair.  

Read our full used review of the Volkswagen T-Roc 

Shop for a used Volkswagen T-Roc here


46. Seat Leon petrol (2013-2020)

Reliability rating 95.8% 

2019 Seat Leon front

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.  

Read our full used review of the Seat Leon  

Shop for a used Seat Leon here


=44. Skoda Kodiaq petrol (2016-present)

Reliability rating 95.9% 

2020 Skoda Kodiaq front - 69-plate car

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. 

Read our full used review of the Skoda Kodiaq 

Shop for a used Skoda Kodiaq here


=44. Skoda Octavia petrol (2013-2020)

Reliability rating 95.9% 

Skoda Octavia front cornering

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. 

Read our full used review of the Skoda Octavia  

Shop for a used Skoda Octavia here


43. Mini hatchback petrol (2014-present)

Reliability rating 96.0% 

Mini Cooper S 2016

Only 11% of petrol-engined Minis went wrong, although the most common areas of concern were fairly serious ones: the engine and gearbox. Fortunately, virtually all cars were fixed for free, with only a small number of owners paying up to £500. All cars could still be driven, too, and three-quarters were back on the road in less than a week. 

Ford C-Max 1.0 Ecoboost Titanium Navigation

Ford’s compact people carrier has been on sale for a long time, but it’s still proving a dependable choice, with only 9% 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 were 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 repaired in less than a day.  

Read our full used review of the Ford C-Max 

Shop for a used Ford C-Max here


41. Mazda 6 (2013-present) 

Reliability rating 96.2% 

Mazda 6

Infotainment issues were the main concern for the 15% of Mazda 6 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. Three-quarters of all repairs were covered under warranty, while those people 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.