WhatCar Magazine have released their annual Reliability Survey for 2011. Asian Manufacturers take the top 11 spots in the Manufacturers rankings; Škoda is the first European entry at 12 and Ford takes the US top spot at number 13.
The issue that causes the most complaints is electrics. Unsurprising in this time when all parts of the car are communicating with each other and most Company Cars and Executive Vehicles are filled with gadgets. The Electrical Control Units are a vital, and expensive, part of any car set up and if these fail it’s an expensive piece of kit to replace.
Surprisingly, the most expensive cars don’t always have the biggest service bills.
Obviously, you’d expect that repairing a Peugeot would cost less than repairing a Porsche, but that’s not always the case. In this year’s survey, the least-reliable Peugeot, the 807 (’02-), produced a claim of £4975, compared with the largest claim for the Porsche Boxster (’96-’04) at £3310
Outside factors come into play as well, with the state of Britain’s roads and the proliferation of speed humps being specifically mentioned in the report
Suspension components are smaller and lighter than ever, as car makers strive to make cars lighter, faster and more efficient. While these might aid a car’s ride and handling, they don’t always prove as durable as the older, heavier parts. On top of that, suspension systems are ever more complex, with more moving parts. That can mean a greater possibility of component failure over time.
Other issues include the general deterioration in the quality of UK roads and the introduction of traffic-calming measures such as sleeping policemen and speed humps.
Duncan McClure Fisher from warranty provider Warranty Direct says: ‘Over the years, claims have increased as more speed humps are introduced. Many drivers think they can charge over speed humps and potholes with no effect. Not so. Problems appear later on.’
So, what’s the most reliable car on the survey? The Kia Picanto.
Available from as little as £7995. it generates an average annual repair bill of only £90.37, but it’s not your typical company car. In that class, the Subaru Legacy may have the lowest average annual repair bill, but the Honda Accord has a lower failure rate.
How do the company cars in your fleet compare in the survey? What happens when you have servicing, breakdowns or repairs to deal with?