The least and most reliable used cars

To help you find your next used car, here’s a list of the least and most reliable used cars on the market.

Researching used cars for their reliability is hard work. We’ve made it a bit easier by compiling a list of the least and most reliable used cars on the market.

Shopping around for a second-hand car can be stressful. After all, you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’ve fallen in love with a car, you’ve test-driven it and everything runs smoothly, you’ve handed over your hard-earned cash and, in a couple of months, you’re spending money on repairs and maintenance.

There are plenty of online resources and reviews to help guide you to the least and most reliable used cars available in New Zealand. We’ve done some research and compiled a list using information from various sources, primarily the UK used car warranty provider Warranty Wise.

This 2018 information is based on the number of claims against faults and how much they’ve cost owners. The results have been filtered according the models generally available in New Zealand. This can give you an idea of which vehicles to be wary of when you’re on the hunt for your next used car.

Least reliable used cars

Range Rover Sport

This car is a pricey performance SUV that tends to be used for school runs rather than trips across mountain ranges or in the bush. According to Warranty Wise, this is the least dependable model, with the most common problem being suspension faults, which can put you out of pocket for around $1,000.

Problems start to arise when the car is around 8 years and 7 months old.

Peugeot 207 

A handy little zip-around car that may seem like a steal on the used car market, but can be quite costly in the long run for its owners. According to the report, the Peugeot 207 has issues such as engine faults and cylinder gaskets which cost an average of $1090 to repair. While this may not seem as expensive as other repair costs for the different models on the list, the overall cost in terms of vehicle value is pretty high.

Problems start to arise when the car is 10 years and 2 months old.

Mercedes Benz C-Class

There’s nothing worse than buying a car that’s expensive only to find that it’s going to cost you more in the long run. Unfortunately, the Mercedes C-Class falls under this category. Some common problems include electrical and sensor faults which can cost an average of $703 and $420 respectively to fix.

Problems start to arise when the car is 9 years and 5 months old.

Mini Cooper

While an iconic vehicle, the Mini Cooper has become far more expensive to run since its ownership changed to BMW. Common major issues include clutch, engine and gearbox fixes which cost over $378 to fix. Unfortunately, this is just a small list of problems that have been reported.

Problems start to arise when the car is 1 year and 6 months old.

Fiat 500

Similar to the Mini Cooper, the Fiat 500 is a small retro car that has made its comeback to the market in a heavily modernised format. While it may look great, it is on top of the list of vehicles with costly repairs in the long run. The most common issues include gearbox, suspension and electric faults, costing on average $1406, $567 and $681 respectively.

Problems start to arise when the car is 7 years and 7 months old.

Most reliable used cars

We’ve covered the most unreliable cars, here are the most reliable cars, including the Warranty Wise information.

  1. Volkswagen Polo
  2. Ford Fiesta

Most reliable used cars

  1. Ford Focus
  2. Ford Transit
  3. Audi A3

How this list lines up within New Zealand

According to editor, Clive Matthew-Wilson, Warranty Wise’s list of unreliable cars is true but does not paint a complete picture. This is because of how UK car owners buy their vehicles compared to Kiwi car owners.

Based on his reliability studies, which measure reliability over ten years over several hundreds of kilometres, Toyota and Lexus generally come out on top, followed by Japanese makes like Mazda and Honda, then Korean makes like Hyundai and Kia.

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