Top 10 most reliable cars in the UK

Most reliable cars UK

  • Most reliable cars in the UK in terms of warranty claims
  • Japanese cars head the list – as usual
  • Plus, the most reliable company cars of 2021 rated

Which cars are most reliable in the UK? If you’re buying a used car, reliability is considered to be the most important consideration for Parkers readers. Once you’re read this page, it will be clear what are the most reliable cars out there. 

We’ve gathered the lowest-rated cars in terms of claims recorded by Warrantywise. Below, we reveal the Top 10 most reliable used cars bought by private individuals in the the UK. Stick to one of these cars and you can be sure you are buying a trustworthy vehicle that is not going to cost you the earth to keep on the road.

For higher-mileage drivers, the findings of Parkers’ sister title Fleet News will also be highly interesting. Reliability is judged by the largest fleets in the country and refects the reliability of all of those company cars you see thundering down the outside lane of the motorway day-in, day-out, keeping the wheels of our economy turning. A very different-looking Top 10, but just as relevant.

We’ve listed the individual model from 2020 – the most reliable used cars that you can currently buy in the UK taking into account warranty claims. It’s no surprise to see Japanese car manufacturers top the results, although there are one or two surpises in there.

What are the Top 10 most reliable cars in the UK?

Jump straight to the most reliable cars in the UK.

1. Lexus RX

2. Honda Jazz

3. Mitsubishi ASX

4. Dacia Sandero

5. Mazda 2

6. Volkswagen Up

7. Nissan Leaf

8. Lexus CT

9. Ford Ecosport

10. Suzuki Alto

1. Lexus RX

Lexus RX - most reliable cars UK

This is a sharp-looking car that its owners love to keep coming back to – with Lexus dealers renowned for great service and nurturing repeat business. But the overall reliability of the RX is the starring quality for this car, with extremely low warranty claims and high customer satisfaction.

Read our full Lexus RX review

2. Honda Jazz

Honda Jazz - most reliable cars UK

The previous-generation Honda Jazz has an enviable repuation for reliability and longevity that rival manufacturers would dearly love to replicate. With low failure rates and competitive parts prices, there’s no reason not to recommend one of these to any of your dearest relatives.  

The current model scores 4.4 out of 5 in Parkers reader reviews.

Read our full Honda Jazz review

3. Mitsubishi ASX

Mitsubishi ASX - most reliable cars UK

Remember the Mitsubishi ASX? The compact SUV that might have dropped your list is certainly one that warranty companies like to back, thanks to its low claim rates. It’s a car that you buy with your head not your heart, and thanks to its excellent reliability, one that you’d have to be very unlucky to have breakdown on you…

This model scores 3.7 out of 5 in Parkers reader reviews.

Read our full Mitsubishi ASX review

4. Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero - most reliable cars UK

We really rate the Dacia Sandero for its combination of reliability, good value and well-considered tech. It might not be the sexiest car on this list, but it’s certainly the most worthy, with the current car scoring particularly well. The old most was less smooth, but seriiously reliable.

This model scores 4.1 out of 5 in Parkers reader reviews.

Read our full Dacia Sandero review

5. Mazda 2

Mazda 2 - most reliable cars UK

The Mazda 2 is one of those great cars that annoyingly gets overlooked by more flampboyant opponents. It’s difficult to understand why, given its chic looks and solid reliability – and it’s so solid that it beats the establishment completely off the Top 10 most reliable cars list.

This model scores 3.4 out of 5 in Parkers reader reviews.

Read our full Mazda 2 review

6. Volkswagen Up

Volkswagen Up - most reliable cars UK

Parkers readers love their Volkswagen Ups if the reader reviews are anything to go by – with the majority of them giving their cars a solid five-star score. Reliability is clearly a big factor in this car’s popularlity, but not the only one – it’s cheap fuel and insure and great fun to drive.

This model scores 4.2 out of 5 in Parkers reader reviews.

Read our full Volkswagen Up review

7. Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf - most reliable cars UK

Electric cars are inherently more reliabile than their internal combusion engined counterparts due to there being fewer moving parts. So it’s a surprise that there’s only one EV in our list – a fact that reflects that there are so few examples out there that have dropped into the secondhand market yet. We suspect that the excellent Nissan Leaf will probably be the start of a flood in years to come.

This model scores 4.0 out of 5 in Parkers reader reviews.

Read our full Nissan Leaf review

8. Lexus CT

Lexus CT - most reliable cars UK

Another unsurprising and well-deserved placement in the Top 10, the Lexus CT relies heavily on Toyota Prius technology, and we know just how reliable they can be. The CT is hugely reliable, and a great used bet, but also be mindful that it can be expensive to repair if things do go wrong… not that they do very often.

This model scores 4.3 out of 5 in Parkers reader reviews.

Read our full Lexus CT review

9. Ford Ecosport

Ford Ecosport - most reliable cars UK

We might have said that the Ecosport is ‘one to avoid’ on our Best small SUVs page, but seeing as it’s the best performing Ford according to Warrantywise’s numbers, there’s something going for it. It’s been around a few years, so any problems have clearly been ironed out by now.

This model scores 3.8 out of 5 in Parkers reader reviews.

Read our full Ford Ecosport review

10. Suzuki Alto

Suzuki Alto - most reliable cars UK

And the joker in the pack comes from Suzuki. It might have been off-sale since 2014, but the reliability of the pint-sized Alto remains undimmed all these years on. It’s a great example of a likeable, modestly-priced car that’s also fun to drive, and indecently cheap to run. Overlook it at your peril.

This model scores 4.0 out of 5 in Parkers reader reviews.

Read our full Suzuki Alto review

Fleet News FN50 Top 10 most reliable cars 2021

If you’re in the market for a new car, and drive more miles, the Fleet News FN50 listing will be right up your street. It’s the most comprehensive company car reliability survey in the business, using data from the 50 biggest fleet operations in the UK. It asks fleet managers to rank their cars for breakdowns and warranty claims.

The resultant FN50 survey generates a huge amount of reliability data about the individual cars and carmakers that perform best.

1. BMW 3 Series

2. Audi A4

3. Volkswagen Golf

4. Audi A3

5. Honda Civic

6. BMW 5 Series

7. Nissan Qashqai

8. Toyota Corolla

9. Volkswagen Passat

10. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

BMW 330e (2021) profile view, driving

The BMW 3 Series was the most reliable car in the FN50, achieving the lowest number of mechanical breakdowns and warranty repairs among the UK’s 50 largest leasing companies. It rose to victory from second place in 2019 and 2020 pulling ahead of the previous winner, the Audi A4.

In total, 80 models received a ranking by leasing companies in the 2021 listing.

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