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States of Repair – Japanese and French brands top international league table of car reliability

Posted: 16/07/2014

Japanese and French brands produce Europe’s most reliable cars, according to new research by Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index.

As a major international football event comes to a close in South America, Warranty Direct has put together its own league table of which countries develop the most dependable vehicular exports. The vehicles analysed were an average of five years old with mileages of around 50,000.

Japanese brands dominated the top of the table with marques including Honda, Toyota, Mazda and Nissan producing some of the most reliable models on the market.

French carmakers – Citroën, Peugeot and Renault – come second in the reliability rankings with South Korea completing the top three – Hyundai and Kia amongst the country’s more dependable exports.

Japanese brands are most susceptible to axle and suspension problems, responsible for an average 25% of faults. French and South Korean vehicles however are more likely to develop electrical faults, at 29% and 22% of cases respectively.


S Korea-3

It’s not all bad for the UK - despite its home brands scoring low for reliability, Japanese manufacturers Honda and Nissan both have successful models built in Britain. The Nissan Qashqai is produced in Sunderland, while the Honda Civic rolls out of Swindon. MINI also scored well for reliability and, despite being owned by the BMW Group, its cars are manufactured in Oxford.

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “Though the automotive industry has many blurred lines now in terms of countries of origin, the average consumer maintains certain preconceptions about car brands and the countries that create them. ‘German reliability’ is an oft-used phrase, but as demonstrated here, the country’s output as a whole doesn’t match up to its close neighbours, the French, whose cars as a whole are more reliable.”

Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index score is calculated on a combination of vehicle criteria from a database of more than 50,000 live policies:

• Frequency of failure
• Cost of repair
• Duration of repairs
• Average age and mileage

The higher the Reliability Index score, the worse the car is – the lower the score, the better and the average RI number is 100. For more information on Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index, visit; www.reliabilityindex.com/what-is

Warranty Direct (www.warrantydirect.co.uk) is the UK’s leading direct-to-consumer insurer for car, van and bike mechanical and electrical failures.


Japan Honda, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota
France Citroën, Peugeot, Renault
S.Korea Hyundai, Kia, SsangYong
USA Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Jeep
Sweden Saab, Volvo
Germany Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Smart, Volkswagen
Italy Alfa Romeo, Fiat
U.K Jaguar, Land Rover, Vauxhall

Czech Republic (Skoda) and Spain (SEAT) were omitted from the rankings.