What Car? Reliability Survey - what does it reveal about owners and their cars?

Owners tell us what went wrong with their cars - find out which were the most common and most unusual faults...

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Claire Evans
25 March 2019

UK motorists could save 285m on servicing

Has your car had any faults in the past 12 months? 

Good news here – 70% of owners of cars up to four years old told us their cars hadn’t suffered a fault in the past year. We only asked you to tell us about problems that weren’t related to wear and tear on components that had simply worn out rather than broken or stopped working.

Were diesel cars more reliable than petrols? 

No, 31% of diesels had a fault, compared with 24% of petrol cars.  

What were the most common faults? 

Non-engine electrical systems, including sat-nav and infotainment systems, were the most frequently cited problem areas with 24% of faults relating to these components. 

BMW 1 Series Convertible catches fire and is then recalled

What were the most unusual faults? 

As well as the most common electrical issues, some owners told us about seat frames that buckled, convertible roofs that refused to close, door locks that won’t open and even the occasional fire. 

How much did it cost to fix the faults? 

The good news is that just over half (52%) of cars were fixed for free under warranty, and 22% of repair bills totalled £101-£200 and only 6% exceeded £1500. 

To find out more about the 30% of cars that had faults read the What Car? Reliability Survey


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