Top 10 most reliable cars

Honda Civic - The UK's most reliable car

Honda Civic - The UK's most reliable car

The Honda Civic has been voted the most reliable car in the UK in a survey of 840,000 cars operated by UK fleet and lease companies.

Everybody seems to have a take on what constitutes the ‘Best’ car on the road. Some want best performance, some want most economical, some want most beautiful. But one thing every car buyer wants is a reliable car, whether they’re buying a Hyundai i10 to run around town or a Bugatti Veyron to blat to the South of France.

The JD Power Survey is a good benchmark of real world feedback on the reliability of cars, and this year saw Lexus come out on top. So it’s interesting to see that Fleet News has put together a list of the Top 10 Most Reliable Cars in the UK – based on feedback from lease and contract hire companies who between them run 840,000 cars – and Lexus doesn’t feature at all (although Toyota does).

Top of the heap comes Honda with the Civic (with the Jazz in 3rd and the Accord in 4th) with BMW a close second with the 3 Series. BMW actually pipped Honda to the top of the most reliable car makers, even though it tied with Honda on points it was voted top by more companies.

It’s probably fair to say that the JD Power Survey is about overall satisfaction, rather than pure reliability. Many of the cars on the Fleet News list also feature on the JD list, but if reliability is your main aim the results should ,point you where you need to go.

Top 10 Most Reliable Cars

  1. Honda Civic
  2. BMW 3 Series
  3. Honda Jazz
  4. Honda Accord
  5. BMW 5 Series
  6. Audi A4
  7. Mercedes Benz C-Class
  8. Mini
  9. Toyota Avensis
  10. Volkswagen Golf

Top 10 Most Reliable Car Manufacturers

  1. BMW
  2. Honda
  3. Audi
  4. Toyota
  5. Volkswagen
  6. Mercedes-Benz
  7. Ford
  8. Mazda
  9. Nissan
  10. Skoda
Source: Fleet News

Cars UK Motoring Directory


  1. MPVS says

    I am Dutch, I have had a lot of cars, during my life;
    Dutch/Swedish, French, Italian, German, USA, Japanese, you name it, I had it.

    But honestly, I have to say that French and Italian cars, are far out the most worst cars I ever had – all of them, especially: FR: Citroën, Renault, Peugeot, Talbot, and for IT: Fiat.

    Best reliable cars, with less repair costs I have had over 40 years of driving:
    VW(DE), Audi(DE), Opel(DE/GM-USA), Volvo(SE).

    Mid-Class are (I.M.H.O.): Mercedes(DE), Seat(ES), Mini(UK), Land Rover(UK), Skoda(SE), HondaJA), Toyota(JA), Mitsubishi(JA), General Motors(USA), Daf(NL), Spijker(NL).

    But that is just in my experience….

  2. James B. Bleeker says

    The J.D. Power survey is likely a very poor guide for reliability. It terms its study of 3-year-old vehicles a dependability study; however, as it measures complaints that may be of secondary, tertiary, or lower value to consumers, it should best be termed a satisfaction survey.

    In the U.S., the only good guide of automobile reliability are the Consumer Reports survey results. It measures the infrequency of reported serious problems. And by the infrequency of serious problems, the top ten brands, per the 2010 survey, are:

    Toyota Motor Corporation’s Scion
    Honda Motor Company’s Acura
    Nissan Motor Company’s Infiniti
    Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s Subaru
    Toyota Motor Company’s Lexus

  3. jason says

    I have a BMW 2005 320i. I have been in the garage three times with injector coil problems, also the cam chain snapped around 50k km and now at 85k km it is using oil like there is no tomorrow. how the hell did they get such a good rating.

  4. Ansu says

    I have read with interest, all the various opinions regarding the reliability of varies cars. From experience, I have driven most of those cars discussed in the survey.

    I must say, with no prejudice, the Japanese cars – Honda, Toyota, Nissan are the most reliable. They get my top marks, say what you may.

  5. theArtist says

    This list is spot on. BMW is definitely more reliable that anything else out there. The Japanese do not come near German reliability

    • rick says

      Had them all. Jap Cars are far more reliable. Honda Engines Rock. Who wants a Tank?? Only Porsche are any good from Germany, in my opinion.

  6. Clatchyrock says

    I had a Peugeot 607 for a number of years and it cost me a bomb, there was always something going wrong with it.
    I changed to a 320d in March and that broke down last night.
    What is the most reliable type of horse…..

  7. racerx says

    This list is totally wrong. Japanese
    cars are 10 times more reliable
    than German cars in any class. My family
    and I have had bmv and vw, and now
    it is Japanese. And I like German cars
    put they are just not reliable.
    By the time you fix all the problems
    with German cars you could of had
    2 Japanese and less headaches.
    If you are going to get a German car
    get a honda for back up

  8. Charles says

    People are always full of praise or prejudice for brands they have not driven. So most of us will tell you Japanese and German is good, American, French, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Korean not so good, etc but it is not as clear cut as it seems. To be fair you also have to compare the value for money. What do you pay for your car and did you have to take it often to the mechanic? Given the price of the German cars, you would not expect them to break down so often. But they do and they do it as much as the cheaper brands. Most magazines and institutions are not independent anyway, not only they are indirectly financed by the automotive industry but the automotive industry is their reason to be. Without manufacturers you would not have any surveyors.

  9. Charles says

    Ranking the car manufacturers by reliability nowadays is about the most stupid thing one car magazine can do. All manufacturers (regardless of the country of origins) are using the same suppliers at present. There is not a single car manufacturer left in the World that actually build their own parts, it is all sub-manufactured. Only the way cars are being assembled change from a manufacturer to another, only the quality of the paint and interiors. Many cars even share the same chassis and engine within a same category. It is called globalization. The issue that Toyota met in US recently, you can be sure than all manufacturers in the World checked it immediately to avoid a somber repeat. Manufacturers meet identical problems across their range with electrics, with turbos, with water pumps, etc. The only difference between them is how they react. Lexus are good because they often replace quickly at no cost from what I was told. Others are not so good. I had a Peugeot 306 1.9 HDi and drove 370,000ks with it while skipping many visits at the mechanics, before that a Mitsubishi Legnum 1.8 GDi model 1997 a real piece of junk, it used to make the sound of a coffee grinder after only 80,000ks and all visits to the mechanics made on time. So reputation means nothing, there are probably batches of well and poorly assembled cars for every manufacturers. My father used to be a Mercedes client he dropped them in the middle of the 90’s when he encountered too many problems of all sort, went to Audi and found out it was hardly better, returned to Mercedes and spend more time at the garage than I would with my current Citroen C4. So reliability should not be observed by manufacturers, it is simply a downward trend. Car manufacturers do not make money with the cars, they make money with the maintenance, hence the reason why they all use the same suppliers and all meet the same problems. You just have to be lucky. As far as I am concerned, I like my car stripped of all the electronic and electric luxury. Cars are made to be from A to B, if you think like me, you will be more likely to buy the right car. Sure it will not say a lot about you socially, but at least it will not cost you the eyes to maintain.

  10. Leo says

    this is bullcrap..

    I got a 2007 BMW 3 series range topping 335i and I got problem like every week, from the rear view mirror fell off to suspension noise.. Come on, I know it’s damn quick but reliability is what it lacks. at least for my case.

    • silviu says

      … to say if a car is reliabil you have to asume a risk traveling betwin uk-ro and bak (2600 m), without any problems…i got luck named mercedes 190e, but i can’t say the same about my BMW323i,i own it for 6 month…i spend in BMW garage same amount of money i paid for the car… and the ,,JOI”doesn’t seem to comeback, so, i go for SAAB 9 3(05 reg)… no… good luck everyoane in finding the best and reliabil car, i am afraid i have to come back to my old lucky car, sun…

  11. nick says

    seriously????renault? I’ve never met a renault that hasn’t had problems with leaks, engines, electrics, etc……and seriously citroens would never make the top ten, i know loads of people who have been locked out of their own vehicles due to unreliable electrics, shoddy gaps. defo 1.Honda both my previous vauxhall and vw were useless spent most of the time in the garage. my most reliable cars have been corolla, jazz, crv all three types.

  12. says

    I dont think that is in the right order. Seat and Peugeot are my favourite cars but none of them are in the top ten. It should be more likely like 1 Renault 2 Vauxhall 3 Ford 4 Toyota 5 BMW 6 Hyundai 7 Vw 8 Peugeot 9 Seat 10 Fiat

  13. Steve says

    Fair enought I guess. I had a Toyota Yaris and I did not like it. Apart from having the worse interior ever and a horrible gear box it did have a few engine problems which was suprising. I now own a Peugeot 308 GT and I must say i really do love it. Not had any issues with in and its a joy to drive.

    • hain says

      i feel sorry to say that u r wrong. for your kind information japanese r the best auto maker in world and HONDA n TOYOTA is the best among all generation. most reliable n paractical car is honda and its vtec engine which french auto maker cant come near to it . japanese car u can see around the world n its works in very hot summer and bitterly cold weather . it wont say no to u like your honest wife. in the end i would say honda n toyota is the best you should try accord , civic type S. civic type R .honda S2000 then u will come no difference between real car. i love u HONDA your r best.

      • sean says

        hondas are shyt man and the germans are the best car manufacturers and everyone knows that.
        mercs are the best !!!!

  14. Miguel says

    Yeah, you may have a point but i drive 1250 kms each five days, i don’t want it fun, i want it reliable, safe and cheap to maintain. At the end, i want my cars to drive 400000kms without any serious problem and therein lies the reason why i bought a Toyota, apart from that, not many cars could overtake the 2.0 D-4D vehicle that i drive. I enjoy it very much, i drive much time and i never got any problems with my back or neck. So far,it is perfect.

  15. Steve says

    Yea but you need to ask, which would you rather own a Audi or Toyota.

    1) Toyota may be reliable but they are boring to drive and look bland.
    2) Audi actually make really stylish looking cars and they are good fun to drive :)

  16. Joe says

    These surveys are definitely misleading. I don’t believe there are any European car manufactures in the top 10.I know for sure Audi is at the bottom. Should be more like:

  17. Miguel says

    Apart from that, a car is not reliable because you own it for 14 years and drive to the local bakery and back home without many problems, a car shows to be reliable when you drive between 40000 to 70000 kms a year and it still responses like in the first days and I can assure you my Corolla does so. That’s something many VAG group cars drivers can’t affirm.

    • CarsUK says

      We didn’t take it personally, and we do agree! The problem with a survey by a lease company is that the cars are all probably less than 3 years old. And you’re right that long-term a Toyota is far more reliable than just about anything else.

  18. Miguel says

    It’s all right, it wasn’t a mean attack on your publication. I’m permanently tied to Germany due to personal/family reasons, and even though they prefer to buy their national products, especially cars, they agree mostly with the fact that Toyota and Honda are the most reliable cars… Greetings, Miguel.

  19. kenneth okeeffe says

    i own an 07 plate citroen c4 picasso exclusive diesel 1.6 . had it from new. it is a superb vehicle it has never let me down,neither did the two previous sara picassos.

    • paul says

      just wait iv got a french car and i know other people who has french cars and as soon as they do so many miles thats it my car in the last two yaers have cost me just over £4,000 and it 5days ago it broke down on me and its looking to cost me about £1,300 coz the diesel pump has gone and a few other things i wish i could turn back time and spend a bit more money to get a bit more off a RELIABLE car like a bmw audi Toyota Volkswagen just wait time will tell.

What do you think?