German Brands are Less Reliable than you may think

  • Warrantywise survey finds that UK buyers think German cars are among the most reliable on the road, despite Warrantywise data showing many are ‘below average’
  • In a survey of more than 750 people, Mercedes, Audi and BMW were all in the top 10 for reliability – Warrantywise data, however, puts them at 27th, 28th and 29th respectively
  • Fiat, Renault and Vauxhall all perform badly in the public’s perception of their reliability but are actually well above the UK average according to Warrantywise
  • Japanese brands Toyota and Honda are the two most reliable manufacturers as picked by the public – a result also backed up by Warrantywise’s data
car brands

Warrantywise has found that many UK car buyers believe cars produced by big German manufacturers are more reliable than they actually are. Warrantywise asked more than 750 people who they thought were the most reliable manufacturers in the UK, with Mercedes, Audi and BMW all coming in the top 10. Conversely, Warrantywise’s data shows those brands a lot further down the rankings, with scores that are ‘below average’.

An open-ended survey question asked users to pick from all manufacturers on sale in the UK, to identify who they believed were the most reliable. Honda came out on top, followed by Toyota and Ford, with BMW in fourth place. But according to Warrantywise’s Dependability Rating, the public’s perception of BMW’s reliability is wildly different to the reality, with BMW placing 29th in a list of most reliable manufacturers.

Fellow German brands Mercedes and Audi also placed in the public’s top 10 most reliable manufacturers, but finished well outside of the top 10 in Warrantywise’s Depdendability Table, in 27th and 28th places respectively. Both had scores that are considered ‘below average.’

Each car manufacturer has been ranked by a dependability factor, based on the number of reported faults or breakdowns, with a score of 75 representing the UK average. A rating above 75 is considered good, and below 60 signifies a high incidence of repair work is required. Average costs, vehicle age and model are also considered in the Warrantywise ranking.

Warrantywise also asked buyers who they believed to be the least reliable manufacturer in the UK, with Fiat, Vauxhall and Renault all in the top five most popular answers. The reality is, though, both brands perform ‘above average’ in the Warrantywise Dependability Table. Fiat, Vauxhall and Renault finished at 14th, 17th and 18th respectively, with scores of 82, 81 and 81.

Warrantywise CEO, Lawrence Whittaker, said:

“This research proves that you can’t go buying a car on reputation alone; many people will flock to certain brands and stay away from others but our data shows that those prejudices may actually be leading people in the wrong direction. If you will be buying a car soon it’s well worth taking a look at our Dependability Table and then at our after-market warranty offerings – they may just end up saving you from a big bill.”

Warrantywise Dependability Table

Dependability Score Make Average Repair Cost
93 Honda £535
93 Toyota £592
92 Suzuki £424
89 Mitsubishi £833
88 Hyundai £577
88 Mazda £617
86 Nissan £521
85 Subaru £791
85 Ford £421
84 SEAT £475
84 Peugeot £406
83 Smart £390
82 MINI £497
82 Volkswagen £631
82 Fiat £417
82 Lexus £603
81 Renault £441
81 Vauxhall £467
80 Kia £522
79 Chevrolet £548
78 Skoda £492
77 Land Rover £453
77 Volvo £553
77 MG £399
76 Saab £425
75 Citroen £501
74 Mercedes £751
74 Audi £620
69 BMW £701
64 Ferrari £2046
64 Jeep £505
64 Chrysler £464
60 Alfa Romeo £590
57 Porsche £842
54 Jaguar £794
41 Maserati £1430
Find out what we’ve paid out in car repair bills for your car here – Simply choose your vehicle’s make from the drop-down menu.