When buying a new car, reliability may not be top of your list – looks, functionality and safety usually come first - but it is worth considering how much time and money you're like to spend on repairs.
Consumer group Which? has asked drivers how many days their car has spent off the road due to repairs over the last 12 months. Here are the five cars up to three years old that are likely to be off the road longest, and the five cars that should keep you on the road all year round.
Cars likely to be off the road most
1. Peugeot 3008 – 1.94 days
The spacious, family-friendly MPV from Peugeot tops the list of cars off the road the longest. It spends an average of just under two days a year in a garage. The main fault seems to be the automatic transmission, so you might want to go for a manual instead if you buy a 3008.
2. Land Rover Discovery 4 – 1.82 days
This desirable 4x4 is a true off-roader – not just in design but also because it spends an average of 1.82 days a year being repaired. Luckily, the majority of faults are fairly minor and repair costs average out to £36 throughout the year.
Alfa Romeo has a poor reputation when it comes to reliability. Unfortunately, its latest model, the Giulietta, does little to remedy that. Striking looks and excellent safety credentials appeal to many customers, but issues with the interior mean it spent an average of 1.37 days off the road.
4. BMW 3 Series Convertible – 1.33 days
The 3 Series Convertible is not a cheap car. So it's disappointing that after splashing out more than £30,000, for at least one day of the year you're unlikely to be able to drive it due to a fault. On the bright side, average annual repair costs are just £14.
5. Citroën C5 and C5 Tourer – 1.29 days
The Citroën C5 is not only one of the cars most likely to be off the road, it's also one of the most expensive to fix. Average annual repair costs come to £103, and faults with the washers/wipers, air-con and onboard computer are most common.
Cars likely to be off the road least
1. Renault Scénic – 0.02 days
Another MPV tops the charts, this time for all the right reasons. The Scénic is the car least likely to be off the road, with an impressive average of 0.02 days in the garage over 12 months. It's also one of only five cars which will cost you nothing in repairs over the same period.
2. Vauxhall Meriva– 0.05 days
A range of faults affected the Meriva throughout last year, such as problems with the dashboard display and engine control unit. However, none of these faults kept it off the road for long, with an average of just 0.05 days on the ramp.
3. Kia Cee'd – 0.09 days
The Cee'd has plenty of all-round ability, plus impressive reliability data with an industry-leading warranty to back it up. The 2012 model has recently been launched, but if you're buying the old model it should still be covered by the warranty. Those under three years old stay on the road almost all year on average.
4. Kia Picanto – 0.09 days
Another Kia, the Picanto, gets fourth spot. This data refers to the 2004-2011 model, but we would expect similar results for the latest version. Overall reliability for this car is great and the average annual repair bill is just £5.
5. Lexus RX – 0.09 days
The Lexus RX is comfortable, luxurious and has fantastic reliability. On average, models under three years old will only spend 0.09 days off the road a year and any faults tend to be minor, with electric windows the main problem.
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