Which car should you rely on?

It’s one of those issues when buying a used car – just how long will it last before I get saddled with a massive repair bill?

Now a firm which offers warranties on cars has come up with the answer. And, unlike the JD Power Survey which we featured recently, this is based on used and not new cars.

The good news is that the British-built Toyota Corolla (01-07) is the most reliable car.

An analysis of 30,000 of Warranty Direct’s policies flag up the Renault Espace (02-12) and Mercedes R-Class (06-) as the most likely to disappoint (and I’ve known a lot of disappointed Espace owners).

Warranty Direct also say that Honda’s Civic (06-) and Accord (02-’08) are also among the most dependable family vehicles, both with claim rates of 10% but separated by the Accord’s more costly maintenance bills.

Used car buyers looking for a reliable family vehicle should also consider the Mazda 3 and another UK-built car, the Toyota Auris (07-).

Electrical issues and axle and suspension troubles cause the majority of claims, with the latter often a result of a collision with a pothole or other road defect.

The only European manufacturer to make Warranty Direct’s top 10 rundown is Peugeot, with its 308 – the majority hail from Japan. In contrast, no Asian manufacturers feature in the 10 least reliable vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Peugeot 807 attracted the largest individual bill with a claim for repairs totaling nearly £5,000.

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