The UK's most and least reliable cars

We all want to own a car that rarely breaks down. Now you can find out if your car, or one you are considering buying, will go the distance with a new analysis of the nation’s most and least reliable cars.

Reliability is a big factor when it comes to selecting a new car.

After all, it’s one thing to have a comfy ride or great fuel efficiency, but if you end up having to go to the garage every couple of days in order to get something fixed, then you will end up stressed and out of pocket.

But how can you work out how reliable a car is likely to be before you actually pick up the keys?

Warranty provider MotorEasy has put together a reliability index, based on its data covering how often issues develop with each model. And its latest index focuses on the most commonly owned models in the country, based on figures from the DVLA.

The various models were given a score, based on how frequently they needed to be repaired and the costs of those repairs. 

Here’s how the index breaks down just how reliable the country’s favourite cars really are:


Reliability rating

Toyota Yaris


Ford Fiesta


Vauxhall Corsa


Ford Focus


Vauxhall Astra


Mini One


Nissan Qashqai


Volkswagen Polo


Volkswagen Golf


BMW 3 Series



Clearly the Yaris is head and shoulders above the rest according to MotorEasy, with the data revealing that just 5.56% of Yaris owners made a claim, leading to average repair costs of £84.46.

That’s quite the contrast from the 3 Series in tenth place, which came with average repair costs of £1,784.70, and a claims frequency of 21.14%.

The MotorEasy study is a useful accompaniment to the reliability survey from the experts at WhatCar?, which is based on polling of car owners across the country, breaking down the most and least reliable motors in a host of categories, based on factors like how often they’d had to get their motor fixed in the previous 12 months, and the cost of putting things right should issues arise.

Here’s how the results look for each of those categories from the most recent survey.

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Value and small cars

The Skoda Citigo and Toyota Aygo  took the top spot here with an incredible 100% reliability rating, with none of the respondents experiencing any issues at all over the year. One respondent described their Aygo as “the most reliable car I’ve ever owned”.

Bottom spot was also shared, by both the Dacia Sandero and Suzuki Ignis, with a reliability rating of 85.9%.

More than one in five (21%) Sanderos had issues, with two-thirds of those taking more than a day to be fixed. In some cases repair bills were as much as £750.

With the Ignis, problems were most commonly related to the gearbox and clutch (13%) or the satnav/infotainment system.

Toyota Aygo (Image: Shutterstock)

Family cars

In the family car segment, the BMW 1 Series diesel was the winner with an impressive overall score of 99.2%.

Only 5% of respondents had an issue, each time with the interior trim, and most of these cars could still be driven. All repair work was carried out for free.

It’s also a diesel that came bottom of the category, in the shape of the Seat Leon, with a score of 82.7%.

Notably, owners of diesel Leons had almost four times as many problems as those with the petrol version, with a third of them undriveable.

While two-thirds of the repair work was carried out under warranty, some owners ended up shelling out as much as £500.

Executive cars

The Mercedes Benz C Class ended up with the worst score of any executive car at 87.3%.

A third of owners had issues, with one in four seeing their motors off the road for more than a week.

While 81% were fixed for free, the others came with hefty repair bills, in some cases for as much as £1,500.

By contrast the Tesla Model 3 finished with a score of 99.4%, with only 5% of drivers experiencing an issue, in each case related to the interior trim.

All cars could still be driven and were fixed for free within a day.

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Luxury cars

The BMW 5 Series notched up the top score in the luxury car category, with a reliability rating of 96.7%.

Around 17% of vehicles had an issue, though three-quarters of those remained driveable while half were repaired in under a day. Best of all the repair work was free.

The Audi A6 didn’t do so well with a dreadful score of just 70.6%.

Almost a quarter (23%) of A6 owners had issues, of which more than half could not be driven. While 40% of these vehicles were fixed for free, some owners faced repair bills of an eye-watering £1,500 plus.

Audi A6 (Image: Shutterstock)

Small SUVs

With a score of 98.3%, the Mini Countryman is the most reliable small SUV. Only one in 10 had issues, and in each case it was down to the electrics, meaning they could all still be driven.

The Honda HR-V comes bottom of this category, though it still racks up a respectable score of 90.2%.

Around a quarter (23%) went wrong, with problems occurring in 10 different areas of the car. The vast majority (95%) were put right for free too.

Family SUVs

The BMW X1 petrol lands top spot with a great score of 98.1%. Only 8% suffered an issue, and they were all fixed for free.

The Range Rover Evoque didn’t do so well though, with a score of 82.8%.

According to WhatCar?, more than a third (35%) developed problems, with a quarter of those rendered undriveable.

Thankfully, in 95% of cases the repair work was free, though some motorists had to pay more than £1,500 to get the problems cleared.

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Large SUVs

Look away Land Rover Discovery owners.

With a dreadful score of just 73.1% the Discovery Sport tops this hall of shame, with just shy of half (49%) of owners suffering problems last year. Half of those could no longer be driven, with a third of them off the road for more than a week.

While 88% were fixed for free, non-warranty repairs cost up to £1,000.

Things look far better if you drive a Ford Kuga though, which collected a reliability score of 97.8%. Half of the few cars that experienced issues could still be driven, and were fixed in less than a day.

Ford Kuga (Image: Shutterstock)

Electric cars

The Tesla Model 3 smashes this one, just as it did the executive car category, with a score of 99.4%.

It’s another Tesla that came bottom though ‒ the Model S scored 85.7%, with the highest percentage of faults in the entire survey.

A whopping 61% of cars experienced an issue, and while they could all still be driven, half were out of action for more than a week when being repaired.

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Hybrid cars

The Toyota Yaris was named the most reliable hybrid car, with a score of a whopping 99.5%. Only 5% of motors experienced an issue, and they all be fixed in under a day for free.

The Prius came bottom in this category but still scored a respectable 94.6%. Only 14% of motors developed a problem, and in no case did putting it right cost more than £50.


For a small category, there’s massive difference between the reliability on show.

At the top of the table is the Ford C-Max (pictured at top of article) with a magnificent score of 100%. That’s one dependable motor.

In stark contrast, the Seat Alhambra scored a paltry 70.8%. A third of drivers had issues, and more than half of them took longer than a week to fix.

The majority (82%) had repairs carried out under warranty, but some ended up paying upwards of £1,500 to put things right.

Coupes, convertibles and sports cars

Two cars share the top spot here. Both the BMW 2 Series coupe and the Volkswagen Arteon notched up a score of 97.4%.

With the 2 Series, just 13% of cars had an issue, and in each case was put right under warranty. Meanwhile only 7% of Arteons went wrong, though those that did took upwards of a week to fix. Again though all work was carried out for free.

The Porsche Cayman/Boxster finishes bottom though, with a score of 82.5%. Around a quarter of drivers had a fault crop up, with one in t10 of those related to the engine.

Just 63% of drivers had the work carried out for free, leaving the remainder to shell out on bills ranging from £300 to more than £1,500.

*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.



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