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Britain's most reliable used cars


Snake Plissken
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Snake Plissken

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/cars/article-10313891/Britains-reliable-cars-REVEALED.html

  • Suzuki tops the reliability standings with a 97% score overall, says What Car?
  • Land Rover is the worst ranked maker, slumping to a 65.3% reliability score
  • The data is based on feedback from over 16,000 UK drivers of cars 6-15 years old
  • Three models scored 100% for reliability: Ford's Mondeo, Suzuki Vitara and the original Nissan Leaf EV

 

Interesting, some surprises, top is full of Japanese/Korean and Dacia ...... Land rover bottom.

Thing is though its all relative, you don't see a huge amount of old Japanese cars on the road compared to say French cars. Are cars just generally ok now and good for 15 years or so ?

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I'd say that most cars are too complex now such that I actively want a car from 2014/15 in preference to one from 2021.

Prestige cars seem to be built to only last 5 or 6 years before beginning to seriously fall apart as most of their owners are only interested in them when they're shiny and new.

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The one big problem with older Jap cars is rust.

If they had European levels of corrosion protection with Jap levels of mechanical reliability there would be millions of them on the road still.

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3 hours ago, Royston said:

The one big problem with older Jap cars is rust.

If they had European levels of corrosion protection with Jap levels of mechanical reliability there would be millions of them on the road still.

 

Yup.

My mother had a Toyota Wagon R which was very low mileage but once it reached about fifteen years corrosion started to be a problem, as seen in multiple advisories, and this was amplified by the difficulty of obtaining parts for a Japanese car of that age; most had to be ordered from Japan.

The crunch point was something like taking a week to obtain a replacement wiper motor.

Parts availability in the local market is critical for keeping an older car going. Scotty Kilmer always recommends not buying VWAG cars in the US as they aren't common so parts are hard to obtain and mechanics aren't used to them but says nothing inherently wrong with the car and fine to buy if living in the UK or Europe.

I watch Hubnut and his choice of obscure older cars usually leads to problems in obtaining parts; he recently had a first model Fiat Multipla and was unable to obtain a replacement clutch so sold it at a loss. I think he said that there was an actual waiting list for reconditioned old ones because no new ones were available.

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Bricks & Mortar

My 06 Corsa has been my favourite car for maintenance.  No more reliable than most of the others, but a thriving market in used, and compatible new parts at cheap prices.
Mitsubishi was the most reliable, but when it broke and they quoted me £2.5K for a recon fuel pump (inc fitting - at an independent garage), it was scrap.

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@Frank Hovis your mother did well to get it to 15 years, most go quite a bit sooner than that.

I'm amazed at the insane price increases for 'iconic' Jap rally reps in the last couple of years, Impreza Type R's and Mitsubishi Evo's... if on average miles they will almost certainly be thoroughly rotten but the problem is they rust from the inside out, so what looks like a few minor cosmetic rust bubbles on the rear arches (even to some inexperienced mot inspectors) is actually a guarantee that all of the inner rear arches and suspension mountings will be completely rotten and require thousands spending to rectify.

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2 minutes ago, Royston said:

@Frank Hovis your mother did well to get it to 15 years, most go quite a bit sooner than that.

I'm amazed at the insane price increases for 'iconic' Jap rally reps in the last couple of years, Impreza Type R's and Mitsubishi Evo's... if on average miles they will almost certainly be thoroughly rotten but the problem is they rust from the inside out, so what looks like a few minor cosmetic rust bubbles on the rear arches (even to some inexperienced mot inspectors) is actually a guarantee that all of the inner rear arches and suspension mountings will be completely rotten and require thousands spending to rectify.

 

I don't if you follow Hubnut on YouTube but he has had a long running struggle to buy a reliable daily driver; not helped by his liking for "interesting" cars.

He has about six cars and pays £1k to £2k each.

The "daily driver" he bought yesterday was a late 90s Toyota estate which he seems to have bought primarily because it was "interesting" because it had twin rear wipers.

I know he's trying to generate views but I think we would all forgive him just buying an Astra as a daily driver and be done with it; then he can concentrate on getting his fleet running.

The one I like us a Yugo Sana but that is slowly rusting away at the back of the unit with nothing having been done on it for a year IIRC.

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1 minute ago, Frank Hovis said:

 

I don't if you follow Hubnut on YouTube but he has had a long running struggle to buy a reliable daily driver; not helped by his liking for "interesting" cars.

He has about six cars and pays £1k to £2k each.

The "daily driver" he bought yesterday was a late 90s Toyota estate which he seems to have bought primarily because it was "interesting" because it had twin rear wipers.

I know he's trying to generate views but I think we would all forgive him just buying an Astra as a daily driver and be done with it; then he can concentrate on getting his fleet running.

The one I like us a Yugo Sana but that is slowly rusting away at the back of the unit with nothing having been done on it for a year IIRC.

I'll give that a watch, in theory I'm a fan of interesting cars but having zero practical maintenance skills and not knowing any decent reliable mechanics means its not really an option and I have to stick to something boring and mainstream.

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22 minutes ago, Royston said:

I'll give that a watch, in theory I'm a fan of interesting cars but having zero practical maintenance skills and not knowing any decent reliable mechanics means its not really an option and I have to stick to something boring and mainstream.

 

You will like this then because he is a terrible mechanic as he freely admits.

He keeps breaking things but has a go.

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35 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

 

You will like this then because he is a terrible mechanic as he freely admits.

He keeps breaking things but has a go.

A combination of have-a-go attitude and a bit of aptitude can get you a long way.

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2 minutes ago, Bornagain said:

A combination of have-a-go attitude and a bit of aptitude can get you a long way.

 

Absolutely, he does manage to fix a lot purely by having a go.

I tried to fix a sealed unit monitor (not car) this week where the internal rechargeable battery had gone by forcing it open, finding what the battery pack was (it wasn't individual batteries) and ordering another up on eBay for £12.

When I fitted it and plugged it in I noticed first a faint smell, then an acrid smell, then smoke.

I have now binned the whole unit and bought a new one for £70 so I'm £12 down but it could have worked and I also now know for next time. It lasted seven years on the original rechargeable battery (it's plugged in).

I don't know if it was the battery pack at fault or whether I broke something in forcing it open.

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1 minute ago, Frank Hovis said:

 

Absolutely, he does manage to fix a lot purely by having a go.

I tried to fix a sealed unit monitor (not car) this week where the internal rechargeable battery had gone by forcing it open, finding what the battery pack was (it wasn't individual batteries) and ordering another up on eBay for £12.

When I fitted it and plugged it in I noticed first a faint smell, then an acrid smell, then smoke.

I have now binned the whole unit and bought a new one for £70 so I'm £12 down but it could have worked and I also now know for next time. It lasted seven years on the original rechargeable battery (it's plugged in).

I don't know if it was the battery pack at fault or whether I broke something in forcing it open.

Prior to buying a replacement almost anything, I have a poke about in the old one that has died - it is surprising how often you can fix things more-or-less for free.

It costs nothing to have a fiddle - as long as you don't burn your house down in the process....:)

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2 hours ago, Bornagain said:

Prior to buying a replacement almost anything, I have a poke about in the old one that has died - it is surprising how often you can fix things more-or-less for free.

It costs nothing to have a fiddle - as long as you don't burn your house down in the process....:)

One of my regrets is buying a new (used) freezer. I decided to have a look at the old one before chucking it out, realised a few things inside were blocked and frozen to an extent that usual day of defrosting didn't help. Full defrost cured it. 

So I gave the old freezer away to one of my colleagues. It's still working fine to this day; its replacement however seems to have an air leak at the bottom somewhere, so there is always condensation under it. 

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What baffles me with Dacia, they use Renault/nissan running gear yet they consistently outperform them in reliability surveys. They obviously don't have all the bells and whistles to go wrong, but in terms of what counts - mechanical reliability, you'd expect them to be similar to Renault/nissan. 

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9 hours ago, Albo said:

What baffles me with Dacia, they use Renault/nissan running gear yet they consistently outperform them in reliability surveys. They obviously don't have all the bells and whistles to go wrong, but in terms of what counts - mechanical reliability, you'd expect them to be similar to Renault/nissan. 

Over complex electrical systems are the bane of modern cars. Maybe Dacia are simpler? I don't know because I have never looked at one.

 

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19 hours ago, Royston said:

@Frank Hovis your mother did well to get it to 15 years, most go quite a bit sooner than that.

I'm amazed at the insane price increases for 'iconic' Jap rally reps in the last couple of years, Impreza Type R's and Mitsubishi Evo's... if on average miles they will almost certainly be thoroughly rotten but the problem is they rust from the inside out, so what looks like a few minor cosmetic rust bubbles on the rear arches (even to some inexperienced mot inspectors) is actually a guarantee that all of the inner rear arches and suspension mountings will be completely rotten and require thousands spending to rectify.

I can second the rusting from the inside, had a couple of FTO’s and the glue they used to keep the headlining attached to the roof caused them to rust in bizarre areas in the roof. Maybe I should have turned them into ragtops. I also had an old Beetle from the mid 70’s that the rear pillars rotted the same due to the interior materials used but after 40 years that’s forgivable.

my Nearly 17 yo Mitsubishi 380 is going very strong no dramas for ages..touch wood.

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15 hours ago, Albo said:

What baffles me with Dacia, they use Renault/nissan running gear yet they consistently outperform them in reliability surveys. They obviously don't have all the bells and whistles to go wrong, but in terms of what counts - mechanical reliability, you'd expect them to be similar to Renault/nissan. 

 

What Pinny said and also I would suggest their very limited range so that they sell far more of a particular engine, for example, than would Renault or Nissan with their vast number of options.

I have a two litre VWAG diesel; I thought that meant instant oil starvation issues but it turns out that there were several different two litre VWAG diesel engines from that period (around 2010) and only some of them had that issue and it didn't include my version.

That however raises the question why did VWAG have multiple different two litre diesel engines on the go at the same time?

It's that unnecessary variation that causes parts unavailability and makes buying second hand a lottery.

Dacia cars are not only simpler but they are more standardised and that is a great strength.

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1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

Dacia cars are not only simpler but they are more standardised and that is a great strength

Dacia Dokker Camperiz - you know you want one Frank! however the toilet arrangement looks a bit bizarre to me :S

 

Dacia-Dokker-Camperiz-campervan-a11s.jpg

Dacia-Dokker-Camperiz-campervan-a04.jpg

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3 hours ago, nirvana said:

Dacia Dokker Camperiz - you know you want one Frank! however the toilet arrangement looks a bit bizarre to me :S

 

Dacia-Dokker-Camperiz-campervan-a11s.jpg

Dacia-Dokker-Camperiz-campervan-a04.jpg

I certainly do! Looks ideal tbh.

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That Scotty Kilmer bloke seems to post all the fucking time sometimes multiple times a day, and often clickbait bollocks titles so I skip those. Then the inevitable flounce 'bye' bollocks video. He's still around. xD

Another youtuber that crops up on my motoring related suggestions is High Peak Autos. A used car seller in Stockport. He seems fairly sound though I've never tried buying anything off him. xD

He often mentions that all makes are about as reliable as the next (no surprise when they're all built much the same way and to a certain standard these days) and it's often down to servicing properly that makes the difference.

So it's as much about the previous owners as the car itself as to how much hidden grief a used car may bring its next owner, especially if they're considered fragile or prone to specific issues if not looked after properly. e.g. timing chain issues if not kept an eye on the oil level so more wear and tear than if being more vigilent. Something even a full service history can't cater for, especially those long life service intervals where all manner of mistreatment could be going on between oil changes.

 

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Chewing Grass
4 hours ago, nirvana said:

Dacia Dokker Camperiz - you know you want one Frank! however the toilet arrangement looks a bit bizarre to me :S

 

Dacia-Dokker-Camperiz-campervan-a11s.jpg

Dacia-Dokker-Camperiz-campervan-a04.jpg

Take a spade and shit in the woods like a bear, couldn't be doing with driving around with the expunged contents of my arse inside a tin box with me.

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2 hours ago, BoSon said:

That Scotty Kilmer bloke seems to post all the fucking time sometimes multiple times a day, and often clickbait bollocks titles so I skip those. Then the inevitable flounce 'bye' bollocks video. He's still around. xD

Another youtuber that crops up on my motoring related suggestions is High Peak Autos. A used car seller in Stockport. He seems fairly sound though I've never tried buying anything off him. xD

He often mentions that all makes are about as reliable as the next (no surprise when they're all built much the same way and to a certain standard these days) and it's often down to servicing properly that makes the difference.

So it's as much about the previous owners as the car itself as to how much hidden grief a used car may bring its next owner, especially if they're considered fragile or prone to specific issues if not looked after properly. e.g. timing chain issues if not kept an eye on the oil level so more wear and tear than if being more vigilent. Something even a full service history can't cater for, especially those long life service intervals where all manner of mistreatment could be going on between oil changes.

 

was looking at a honda civic 50k miles full honda service history 2012, bloke puts in the ad that he's selling so he can buy a type R, so does that mean he's revved the arse off the car he's selling, what a plonker

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I think suzuki's are driven by old people who don't do much mileage, that's why they are viewed as reliable, ones I've tried have been rattly and flimsy affairs

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2 hours ago, Chewing Grass said:

Take a spade and shit in the woods like a bear, couldn't be doing with driving around with the expunged contents of my arse inside a tin box with me.

 

It's a plastic cassette toilet so if you don't want it you simply lift it out.  It shouldn't be relevant to whether you buy the van other than that you know there is a space for it if you wish.

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Chewing Grass
18 minutes ago, ashestoashes said:

I think suzuki's are driven by old people who don't do much mileage, that's why they are viewed as reliable, ones I've tried have been rattly and flimsy affairs

After the Great Reset and Levelling Up Down a small flimsy car will be all you can afford, if you are lucky.

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