Buy second-hand for a more reliable motor

Car dealership
What would you say if we told you that a ten-year-old Vauxhall Zafira is likely to be more reliable than the newest model?

Well, it sounds inconceivable but automotive specialist Warranty Direct has found that a number of older model cars are actually more reliable than their newer counterparts, saving you money on repairs and list price.
Figures on Warranty Direct's reliability index show that newer cars are up to 10% more likely to break down than older cars. This is done by analysing the chances of failure for nearly new cars compared to those that are up to 17 years old.

So what second-hand cars should you choose? Well, a Vauxhall Zafira between 7-13 years old could be a bargain, with average repair bills coming in over £100 cheaper. Starting from £18,650 new, a 2005 model can be had for as little as £2,495.

Commuter favourite, the BMW 3-Series can cost up to £140 more in repairs if you choose an '05 model or newer.

The table below shows which models could save you money in the classifieds.

Top 10 age-defying cars

Make Model Chance of failure* Difference
Jaguar XJ Series ('97-'03) 35%
Jaguar XJ Series ('03-) 56% 21%
Renault Espace ('93-'03) 51%
Renault Espace ('02-) 62% 11%
Vauxhall Zafira ('99-'05) 27%
Vauxhall Zafira ('05-) 38% 11%
Porsche Boxster ('96-'04) 28%
Porsche Boxster ('04-) 38% 10%
Audi A4 ('00-'05) 26%
Audi A4 ('05-'09) 34% 8%
Ford Fiesta ('95-'02) 11%
Ford Fiesta ('02-'08) 17% 6%
Volkswagen Golf ('97-'06) 30%
Volkswagen Golf ('04-'09) 36% 6%
Jeep Grand Cherokee ('99-'05) 49%
Jeep Grand Cherokee ('05-) 54% 5%
Mercedes CLK ('97-'03) 28%
Mercedes CLK ('02-) 33% 5%
BMW 3 Series ('98-'06) 27%
BMW 3 Series ('05-'11) 30% 3%

Despite advances in technology between models, the tendency to cut costs can have a detrimental effect on the quality of parts used, with the electrical system highlighted as a weak point on new motors.

Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: "Buying new may be the most desirable option when it comes to purchasing a car but it isn't always the most cost-effective route."

Have you been shocked by the price of some repairs, or is your new car not as reliable as you hoped it would be? Let us know below.
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