Buying a Used Car? You’ll Want to Avoid These Brands Then…

The second it leaves the showroom, a car’s value drops by around 20%. This figure increases to 40% in the vehicle’s first year, so buying a used car is a great way of cutting your driving costs.However, the used car market can be something of a minefield; you spend hours online and on foot seeing what cars are out there, fending off pop-up ads and pushy salesmen. When you do finally get your vehicle, you spend a large amount of your time on the road worrying that something will go very wrong, very soon.

Brand Lowdown

A recent survey has suggested that you should worry far more about certain brands of cars than others. My key interest lies in engine reliability, and that’s what this latest study focused on. The research suggested that German cars, including Audi, BMW and VW are among the worst when it comes to engine failure, so you probably want to avoid buying them second hand.

Some of you might think this is pretty odd. After all, their reputation suggests that German cars are amongst the most reliable. But the findings, released by a warranty provider, disprove this assumption.

Their statistics reveal the makes of cars most and least likely to have engine problems. According to them, the worst brands around based on engine reliability are:

  1. MG Rover, with a failure rate of 1 in 13
  2. Audi, with a rate on 1 in 27
  3. Mini, with a rate of 1 in 40
  4. Saab, also with a failure rate of 1 in 40
  5. Vauxhall, not much better at 1 in 41
  6. Peugeot, with a rate of 1 in 44
  7. BMW, slightly better at 1 in 45
  8. Renault, at 1 in 46
  9. Volkswagen, at 1 in 52
  10. Mitsubishi, with a failure rate of 1 in 59

The most reliable brands based on engine failure statistics are:

  1. Honda, with a failure rate of just 1 in 344, making them significantly more reliable than any other manufacturer
  2. Toyota, with an impressive rate of 171
  3. Mercedes-Benz, with 1 in 119
  4. Volvo, at 1 in 111
  5. Jaguar, with a failure rate of 1 in 103
  6.  Lexus, hot on their heels with 101
  7. Fiat, at 1 in 85
  8. Ford, at 1 in 80
  9. Nissan, with a failure rate of 1 in 76
  10. Land Rover, at 1 in 72

Bad News for Some Buyers

Warrant Direct, who provided the statistics, has 50,000 policies on its books, and is the UK’s leading supplier of direct consumer warranties. Duncan McClure Fisher, the company’s managing director, said: “Engine failures are the biggest fear for any motorist as they’re the ones that can lead to the most astronomical costs because of the parts and hours or labour required to fix them. The number of failures may be low compared to areas such as axle and suspension damage but engine repairs almost always result in costs reaching the thousands for motorists who aren’t covered by a warranty.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should discount second-hand cars. Forewarned is forearmed, and you now know which manufacturers to avoid if you’re looking for a car which offers long-term reliability To browse an extensive selection of new and used cars, try checking out a site such as, using their tools to filter out the less reliable brands. If you’d prefer a helping hand, go to a reputable dealer for some good, honest advice and help choosing a suitable vehicle. They’ll know which models are famed for their reliability and can help you choose something to suit you.


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