Most buyers choose people carriers for their space and practicality. But it doesn’t matter how spacious or practical a people carrier is if you can’t rely on it not to break down. The latest Which? Car Survey shows that while several people carriers cost less than £30 on average in annual repair costs, some of the least reliable models can cost 10 times that to keep on the road.
Most people who buy people carriers use them to ferry around children, friends and family and the last thing you want to happen with a fully loaded car, is to be marooned at the side of the road. However, if you pick unwisely that could be exactly what happens, with the least reliable used people carrier having a breakdown rate of 18% – plus hefty repair bills to keep it on the road.
Pick our most reliable model however and average annual repair bills cost just £28. With reliability scores ranging from 93% for our top people carrier and plunging down to 59%, buying a reliable model could save a lot of headaches and unnecessary bills.
Our car survey runs every year to discover from the people who own them, which cars are a model of reliability and which leave owners fuming and out of pocket. Tell us how reliable your car is by taking part in the 2014 Which? Car Survey.
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Most reliable used people carrier
Thanks to an impressive reliability score of 93% and average repair bills of just £28, the Honda FR-V (2004-2009) is the most reliable people carrier, squeezing ahead of several other dependable models.
The most common problems afflicting FR-V drivers are related to the battery and windscreen wipers which should prove both simple and inexpensive to fix. As a result the FR-V secures a reliability score that is a substantial 34% ahead of the people carrier at the bottom of the table.
Find out the five highest-rated used people carriers for reliability
Least reliable used people carrier
Floundering at the bottom of the table is the Vauxhall Zafira (2005-). On sale since 2005 and still available new in Vauxhall showrooms, the Zafira earns the dubious title of being the least reliable used people carrier thanks to its breakdown rate of 18% for diesel models and wide range of faults.
Average annual repair costs were high at £215 and many owners complained about issues with the exhaust system, air conditioning and the engine. Automatic gearboxes also came in for heavy criticism.
Find out the five lowest-rated used people carriers for reliability