Most reliable car brands
By Martin Pratt
Article 2 of 2
Looking for a reliable car? We've surveyed more than 44,000 car owners so we can reveal the most reliable car brands - and the least.
A reliable car is a car you can trust not to let you down. But no amount of test drives or chats you have with your local car dealer will tell you how reliable a car really is. Which is where our extensive car research comes in.
It's easy to see if you like a car - you're attracted to the design and the sound of the engine. You can see the car in the showroom, sit in the drivers seat and check how comfy it is, test the legroom, even put your pushchair or luggage in the boot and find out how much space is left. But you won't know your car has a long-standing problem with the fuel intake until it's been to your local garage for the third time in two years.
Buying a car shouldn't be a gamble - you shouldn't roll the dice and hope the car that looks so sturdy and robust on the forecourt won't sputter and shudder to a stop in the middle of the M25 with 10,000 miles on the clock.
Every year we survey thousands of drivers to find out if they've had any problems with their car. These can range from minor issues to catastrophic failures. We use the results to identify which brands make the most reliable cars.
An established brand with a household name is no guarantee of reliability. Likewise, a high purchase price is no guarantee of hassle-free ownership, and some leading brands perform rather poorly.
We know the reliability ratings of specific cars, too. Use our tool to see the fault rate and cost of repair of hundreds of models in our guide to the most reliable cars.
Only Which? members can log in to access our tool and see which manufacturers make the most and least reliable cars.
Not yet a Which? member? Take a £1 trial to Which? to unlock this page and see the brands you need to avoid. You'll also get access to all of our online reviews, including our expert, independent new and used car reviews.
Most reliable car brands
Only four brands managed a full five-star score for reliability in the first three years and years three to eight. Nine brands achieved four stars in both categories. That means 15 of the 36 brands in our survey got three stars or less for reliability in at least one age group.
A five-star score means that in the few instances the brand's cars did go wrong, they generated relatively low repair bills. This helps to cement our top brand's position as the most dependable car brand there is. Its crossover was our most reliable model overall. It had only two minor faults reported amongst 40 owners.
Only Which? members can access our tool and see which manufacturers make the most and least reliable cars. Take a £1 trial to Which? to see the brands you need to avoid.
Least reliable car brands
Common issues we found amongst the least reliable cars were problems concerning electric windows and suspension springs, which led to expensive repairs.
One of the most recognisable car brands in the UK is also one of the least reliable - 60% of owners reported issues, with an average repair cost of £800.
How are the UK's bestselling car brands rated for reliability? Take a £1 trial to Which? to unlock our tool and find out which manufacturers makes cars that won't let you down.
|2017 car reliability table|
|Rank||Car manufacturer||Reliability 0-3 years||Reliability 3-8 years|
How we work out car reliability
The Which? Car brand reliability score is calculated from the number of breakdowns and faults suffered by all models in the past 12 months, reported to us through the annual Which? Car Survey.
Faults are weighted according to seriousness. So the more severe the fault and the more time the car is off the road, the harder the model will be hit in our results.
The scores for each of these areas are then combined to provide an overall reliability score for each manufacturer, which is represented by a star rating, with one star being the poorest and five the best.
Take a £1 trial to Which? to unlock this page and see the brands you need to avoid. You'll also get access to all of our online reviews, including our expert, independent new and used car reviews.