Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Skoda Octavia hatchback?
The Skoda Octavia has earned itself a reputation for being a durable and dependable car, but do be aware that some of the faults it can succumb to will be expensive to rectify. Look for a lower-mileage car with a full Skoda service history and make sure the mileage tallies with the car’s condition. Octavias have proven very popular with the taxi trade and they wear their miles well, so make sure you don’t buy a clocked example (as ever, paying for a history check is well worthwhile).
Check all the warning lights extinguish after the car is started and ensure that all the car’s electrical systems operate correctly, especially if it has a navigation system, as older models can suffer with software problems.
There have been some reports of timing chain failure on 1.6- and 2.0-litre petrol engines which gives no prior warning and has happened at relatively low mileages. What’s more, the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine found in the Octavia vRS has been known to consume oil at quite a high rate, so make sure you check the level frequently.
Is a used Skoda Octavia hatchback reliable?
Overall, Skoda has an impressive reliability record, often finishing at the top of ownership satisfaction surveys. However, with the earliest models of this Octavia now well over a decade old, it’s perhaps not surprising that its overall score in the What Car? Reliabilty index has fallen to average.