Most reliable used cars
We reveal the most reliable used cars in the UK, using data from our Driver Power survey
Everybody knows a horror story of a dodgy second-hand car – the threat of unreliability and breakdowns is often a reason that people steer clear of the used car market in the first place. That’s why, for those braving the classifieds and forecourts, reliability is the most important factor to take into account when thinking about a used car purchase.
Despite being a used car, the model you buy will be new to you and the last thing you want is something that’s going to leave you stranded on the side of the road. You obviously don’t want a car that’s going to leave you with massive repair bills either. So to try and help you decide which second-hand cars are the most dependable and trustworthy, we’ve rounded up the most reliable used cars in the UK, according to data from our Driver Power owner satisfaction survey.
• Click here to take the 2017 Driver Power Survey
Driver Power allows us to get a look into car’s long-term reliability that we simply can’t do ourselves from a road test. This year, nearly 50,000 owners took the Driver Power survey, and it’s thanks to them that we can identify the most reliable cars in each class. Some models have been well proven over several years, others are nearly new, so there’s a good mix of options for buyers.In fact, you can view exactly where each of the 150 different models featured in the survey rank using our charts.
Make sure you remember that just because a model type appears to be reliable, that doesn’t mean a specific car will be. Don’t just go on reputation, either – plenty of manufacturers with a historic reputation for reliability showed up rather badly in the Driver Power survey. Always check the car you want to buy carefully for faults or potential problems before you hand over any money.
Most reliable used small car: Skoda Citigo
Driver Power reliability score: 97.24 per cent
The Skoda Citigo is a great city car, and it’s also reliable! The small car class is one of the most competitive out there, but the Citigo edged out the Hyundai i10 Mk2 and the Honda Jazz Mk2 for reliability, topping the sector by just 0.05 per cent. Low running costs and ease of driving also make the nippy Citigo a great option when looking for a used car.
Most reliable used compact family car: Honda Civic Mk9
Driver Power reliability score: 97.30 per cent
The Honda Civic is in its ninth generation and the latest model is living up to its reputation as one of the most reliable cars on the market. The Lexus CT, Toyota Prius Mk3 and Skoda Octavia Mk3 are strong rivals, but the Civic Mk9 was a clear winner in the compact family car class. Space is also important with a family and, thanks to a huge 477-litre boot, it’s certainly practical as well.
Most reliable used compact executive car: Lexus IS Mk3
Driver Power reliability score: 98.28 per cent
The Lexus IS Mk3 finished second overall for reliability in our 2016 Driver Power survey, beaten only by the Lexus RX. That makes it the most reliable compact executive car. In fact the Mk2 IS was its nearest challenger, finishing 3.79 per cent behind its successor. Ease of driving, road handling and build quality were also highlights, making it perfect for the long motorway trips expected of a compact executive.
Most reliable used 4×4 or SUV: Lexus RX Mk3
Driver Power reliability score: 98.49 per cent
While the Lexus RX Mk3 was beaten by the Renault Kadjar in the overall rankings for the executive car class, it’s reliability is without question. Not only is it the class leader for reliability, but it was also rated as the most reliable car in the whole of the 2016 Driver Power survey. Despite its age it remains well built and easy to drive, making it a great second-hand buy.
Most reliable used sports car: BMW 4 Series
Driver Power reliability score: 97.20 per cent
The BMW 4 Series fended off a previous winner in the Mazda MX-5 to be crowned the most reliable spots car. With high running costs and limited practicality expected from this sector, reliability is even more important when considering a second-hand sports car and the 4 Series sits at the top. Build quality and in-car tech also make it an exiting proposition.
Most reliable used family car: Dacia Logan MCV
Driver Power reliability score: 96.86 per cent
It might not have style or performance on its side, but the Dacia Logan MCV is reliable after once again topping the family car class. It’s a great choice for a used car. Despite being basic inside, it makes up for that with a low price – in fact, this car is so cheap that you might even consider buying it new instead.
Most reliable used executive car: Lexus GS Mk4
Driver Power reliability score: 98.05 per cent
The Lexus GS Mk4 finished as the most reliable executive car, giving Lexus a third category winner after the IS finished as the most reliable compact executive and the RX as the most reliable SUV. The GS fought off close competition from the overall Driver Power winner, the Tesla Model S, to win this class.
Most reliable used MPV: Toyota Prius+
Driver Power reliability score: 94.80 per cent
The MPV class appears to be the weakest overall for reliability with no ranking inside the top 40. However, the Toyota Prius+ was the best performing of all its rivals, narrowly finishing ahead of the Toyota Verso-S and the Renault Scenic/Grand Scenic. As an MPV, the Prius also makes a good used purchase thanks to its practicality and low running costs.
What do you think of our list of the most reliable used cars in the UK? Let us know below.