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Toyota Yaris named the most reliable popular car in Britain

The Toyota Yaris has been crowned the most reliable popular used car in Britain by a new study.

It topped the standings of the most-owned motors in Britain, scoring top results for a combination of suffering few faults and – if a problem does occur – low repair costs.

The nation’s most bought car of the last 12 years, the Ford Fiesta, was second in the list.

Yaris is the reliability yardstick: Of the 10 most-registered car models in the UK, Toyota’s supermini has been deemed the best for few faults and low repair bills

Vehicle warranty specialist MotorEasy has crunched the numbers from its data to create a reliability index to recommend dependable models.

It has ranked the cars that are most commonly owned in Britain, based on the DVLA’s licensed vehicle records as of the end of September 2020.   

MotorEasy said the index ‘reveals some of the hidden costs of ownership, as well as the likelihood of something going wrong’. 

Each model is given a reliability score ranging from -100 for a high frequency and/or high cost of repair, through to +100 where there is a low frequency and cost of repair. 

In number one spot is the Toyota Yaris, emerging with a score of +37.

The Japanese supermini, which has been on sale in the UK since 1999 across four different generations, fared best, with lower repair costs and a lower frequency for these repairs. 

A breakdown of the data revealed engine repairs for a Yaris cost an average of £84 and have a 5.6 per cent frequency of claims made.

HOW THE MOST POPULAR CARS IN BRITAIN RANK FOR RELIABILITY 
Rank  Make Model Number of UK roads MotorEasy Reliability Rating
1 Toyota Yaris 489,878 +37
2 Ford Fiesta 1,530,969 +20
3 Vauxhall Corsa 1,058,745 +10.5
4 Ford Focus 1,198,667 +5
5 Vauxhall Astra 857,081 +3.5
6 Mini One 575,831 +3
7 Nissan Qashqai 553 -4
8 Volkswagen Polo 678,366 -6.5
9 Volkswagen Golf 1,046,668 -15.5
10 BMW 3 Series 578,674 -32
Source: MotorEasy   
MotorEasy's reliability index named the Yaris - of which there are almost 500,000 registered in the UK - as the most dependable. This image shows examples of the supermini outside Toyota UK's Burnaston car factory in Derbyshire

MotorEasy’s reliability index named the Yaris – of which there are almost 500,000 registered in the UK – as the most dependable. This image shows examples of the supermini outside Toyota UK’s Burnaston car factory in Derbyshire

Of the 10 most-registered cars in the UK, the BMW 3 Series (over 578,000 on the road) had the lowest reliability rating in the MotorEasy index

Of the 10 most-registered cars in the UK, the BMW 3 Series (over 578,000 on the road) had the lowest reliability rating in the MotorEasy index

This is compared to a BMW 3 Series, which has an average engine repairs cost of £1,785 and a claims percentage of 21.1 per cent.

The only other top 10 models in positive numbers were the Ford Fiesta (+20) Vauxhall Corsa (+10.5), Ford Focus (+5), Vauxhall Astra (+3.5) and Mini One hatchback (+3).

Meanwhile, the BMW 3 Series came in tenth with a ranking of -32, while the Nissan Qashqai (-4), VW Polo (-6.5) and VW Golf (-15.5) also trailed behind the leaders. 

Duncan McClure Fisher, founder and chief executive of MotorEasy, said: ‘These top 10 models have a combined 8.5million licensed for use on UK roads, and for good reason – they are seen as dependable vehicles from trusted brands.

‘But digging deeper into how reliable they actually are shows there’s some disparity.

‘Our data revealed Toyota’s budget runaround the Yaris fared best, with lower repair costs and a lower frequency for these repairs.

‘Maybe surprisingly it was German brands Volkswagen and BMW that were bottom of our reliability list of these popular models.’ 

The Ford Fiesta is Britain's most popular car, with over 1.5 million on the road, according to DVLA figures. It was the second most reliable popular model

The closest rival to the Fiesta is the Vauxhall Corsa, with over a million owned by Britons. It ranked third in MotorEasy's index

Left: The Ford Fiesta is Britain’s most popular car, with over 1.5 million on the road, according to DVLA figures. It was the second most reliable popular model/ Right: The closest rival to the Fiesta is the Vauxhall Corsa, with over a million owned by Britons. It ranked third in MotorEasy’s index

The index looks at both claim data and car repair information supplied by members to discover which of the most popular motors – aged between 2 and 15 years old – have been dependable and affordable over the previous two years.

It takes into account the average of the frequency and cost of repairs for more than 1,200 models in total.

The index also includes model-specific data on the typical repairs needed for each model – including the percentage of claims for engine, gearbox, electrical system, suspension, braking system and fuel system repairs – and the average cost for each of these repairs. 

While the Yaris tops the charts for the most-owned cars in Britain, its calculated reliability score is bettered by other models. 

The car with the highest rating of all is the Citroen C1 supermini. However, it isn't owned in large enough numbers to feature in the list of 10 popular models

The car with the highest rating of all is the Citroen C1 supermini. However, it isn’t owned in large enough numbers to feature in the list of 10 popular models

The Citroen C1 city car was the top scorer overall, with an index rating of +43.

The Vauxhall Zafira Tourer MPV – not to be confused with the conventional Zafira model that has been linked to engine fires – also performed well with a score of +42.5, just head of the Hyundai i30 family hatchback, rated at +42.

Only cars with data available for 50 or more cars can be included in the index.

‘This is information every motorist wants to have at their fingertips when it comes to buying a new or used car,’ Mr McClure Fisher added.

‘While performance, comfort and aesthetics are all important to motorists, the bottom line is will their car keep going without encountering issues that always cause headaches?’ 

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