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

The average motorist drives 6000-12,000 miles a year and keeps their car for at least five years. We reveal how satisfied they are with their motors...

What Car? Reliability Survey
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Claire Evans
25 Apr 2019 15:00

With more than 18,000 responses, the annual What Car? Reliability Survey provides plenty of data about car ownership patterns in the UK.

As well as asking owners for details of any faults and breakdowns their cars had suffered in the previous 12 months, we ask lots of other questions ranging from whether they bought their car new or used and how much they paid for it to how many miles they drive each year. 

Here we reveal what it tells us about UK drivers and their cars.  

What’s your occupation? 

The largest segment (40%) of those who completed the survey were professionals or holders of higher managerial jobs, and 32% were intermediate managers. A further 13% worked at supervisory level and 10% were skilled manual workers. Only 2% were unskilled manual workers or unemployed and just 1% were in full-time education.  

Man driving orange car

How long have you owned your current car? 

More than half of respondents (51%) have owned their current car for more than two years. The others are fairly evenly split between those who’ve owned their car for less than a year (26%) and those who’ve had their car for one to two years (23%).

How many miles do you drive a year? 

Almost half (48%) of them drive between 6001 and 12,000 miles a year. Just under a third (29%) cover less than 6000 miles, and 23% cover more than 12,000 miles.

How many miles has your car covered? 

A little over two thirds (38%) of the cars we were told about had covered between 20,000 and 60,000 miles, and just over a quarter have done more than 60,000 miles. Only 18% had clocked up less than 10,000 miles.

Digital car odometer

How satisfied are you with your car? 

A whopping 67% of owners said they were very satisfied with their current car, and 25% were satisfied. Only 3% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with it.


Next: What do owners like most and least about their cars? >

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