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Mixed fortunes for Vauxhall in fleet reliability stakes

Posted: 16/07/2010

The Ford Focus might have the biggest sales figures in the UK, but Vauxhall’s Astra has been revealed as the most reliable fleet car on the road, according to Warranty Direct.

The automotive warranty specialist analysed the reliability of the 10 most popular fleet vehicles* in Britain from 2009, using data amassed during as much as three years of a vehicle’s life.

Although company cars are traditionally seen as hard working vehicles, they benefit from regular and timely maintenance schedules.

Vauxhall’s Astra emerged as the most dependable of the bunch, with only 11% suffering a failure once a year on average, while the Fiesta was the cheapest fleet car to repair.


Vehicle Incidence rate Average repair cost
1 Vauxhall Astra 11% £247.49
2 BMW 3-Series 13% £316.19
3 Ford Fiesta 19% £187.36
4 VW Golf 20% £287.43
4 Ford Focus 20% £306.50
6 Peugeot 206** 23%** £250.84**
7 Peugeot 307** 25%** £239.08**
7 Vauxhall Corsa 25% £346.18
9 Ford Mondeo 28% £264.44
10 Vauxhall Vectra** 43%** £271.26**

BMW’s fleet sector staple, the 3-Series, is second in the table, but pricey with an average repair cost of £316.19. The Astra’s hatchback stablemate, the Corsa, is the most expensive to fix, thanks to recurring engine and electrical problems.

Even though Warranty Direct’s data doesn’t include cars younger than three years’ old – therefore omitting Peugeot’s 207 and 308, and the Vauxhall Insignia – Peugeot’s strong showing is judged by the comprehensive reliability data for the 206 and 307, predecessors to the 207 and 308 respectively.

The Vauxhall Vectra’s 10th place suggests the two year-old Insignia might not have the lineage to be a reliability star, although the newer Astra did come top. Taking Vauxhall as a whole reveals it is nudged to last place by Peugeot among the top fleet car makers.


Manufacturer Average incidence rate
1 BMW 24.5%
2 Ford 25.1%
3 VW 26.2%
4 Peugeot 27.0%
5 Vauxhall 27.2%

“As firms look to shave money from their fleet operations, knowing which vehicles are likely to deliver reliability and are quick and cheap to repair is vital,” says Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct. “Time is money, and the last thing you want is your cars sidelined with mechanical problems especially while fleet cars are being kept on the books for longer.”

One in 12 VW Golfs will suffer either cooling and heating, or electrical system failures, and while the Astra rarely breaks down, when it does its electrics are often to blame, causing 42% of its failures.

Meanwhile, ‘Mondeo man’ reported an alarming number of engine and electrical problems, with 11% recording faults with those aspects of the vehicle alone in an average year.


Vehicle Registrations
1 Ford Focus 68,916
2 Ford Fiesta 49,121
3 Vauxhall Astra 45,876
4 Vauxhall Corsa 42,901
5 VW Golf 32,381
6 Ford Mondeo 27,389
7 Vauxhall Insignia 24,211
8 Peugeot 207 21,496
9 BMW 3-Series 21,007
10 Peugeot 308 19,702

Data compiled using Warranty Direct statistics on 3-6 year old cars from its database of 50,000 UK policies.

For more information or to find out how your car fares, visit www.reliabilityindex.co.uk.