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What’s The Most Reliable Second-Hand Car Out There?

Some of us may have a family with teenagers; some of us may have kids in their early twenties and at university; some of us will be single and not on a rich person’s wage.  There will be many of us who just can’t justify paying loads of money on a brand-new car, at least not yet.  Fair enough, too, as some cars are expensive when bought new (although here at Private Fleet, we will do everything we can to help you find the best deal). 

For most of us, a good second-hand car is the right way to go to ensure we can do life, get to and from work, hang out with friends, and go on that roadie around Australia that we’ve always wanted to.  For 2023, by the end of the year, almost 2.1 million used cars were sold in Australia.  These stats were from the Automotive Insights Report (AIR) published by the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) and AutoGrab. 

Thanks to two UK businesses, Carwow and Warrantywise, here are some really good second-hand cars that should be on our radar if we are looking to buy one that has proven reliability.  Carwow and Warrantywise teamed up to reveal the most reliable cars in the UK based on warranty and repair data.  All of the vehicles in the analysis were outside their manufacturer warranty.  In order to be included in this analysis, Warrantywise had to have at least 100 examples of a specific car on its books. 

The analysis revealed that the Honda Jazz is the most reliable second-hand car you can buy, boasting an overall reliability rating of 93.7%.  The next most reliable model is the Mazda 2, while the Toyota Auris (Corolla) comes in third in the rankings. Though this survey is UK-based, most of the cars that dominate the top 15 can be bought over here.  And they’re probably just as good here as they are there.

Note that in analyses done in previous years, the Lexus RX was the most reliable car, but for 2022 (the year of this particular analysis), there were not enough (couldn’t find 100 of them) Lexus RXs to make the Warrantywise’s books, so let’s just chuck this Lexus into the top four most reliable second-hand cars you can buy and be done with it!

Here is a list of the 15 most reliable second-hand cars you can buy in the UK.  The top four have a bit more info about them (albeit with the currency in British pounds, given that that’s where the research was done).  Most of the cars in the reliability analysis can be easily looked up in our Private Fleet Car Reviews page if you want to know more about them.  The Toyota Aygo and the Peugeot 107 will require some more searching, as they were are not really sold here in Australia. 

1. Honda Jazz (2007–2020), 93.7% reliability score.

The top spot goes to the trusty Honda Jazz.  This is a surprisingly practical small car that is also very fuel efficient.  It has put in a stunning performance for reliability, with the average cost of repair being low (£424.31).  The most common fault was with the central locking mechanism.  The most expensive repair happened to be with the air conditioning system (£973.66).  The average age of the Jazz cars in this analysis was 8.3 years old.  You won’t go far wrong buying a second-hand Jazz.

2. Mazda 2 (200–-present), 89.9% reliability score.

The average age of the Mazda 2 cars was 8.4 years old, suggesting that the Mazda 2 remains reliable even as it ages.  It also suggests that you will get a very good run for your money if you get a new version as well.  The average repair bills were impressively low (£319.22), and the most common fault was to do with the suspension.  The most expensive repair was with the electrical power steering pump (£2,422.31).  The Mazda 2 is a comfortable small car with plenty of style.  You can buy with confidence here.

3. Toyota Auris/Corolla (2013–2018), reliability score 89.7%. 

Spacious and comfortable, the zippy Toyota Corolla/Auris is a car that is hard to fault.  With an average age of 8.3 years old in this survey, these are great small/medium cars.  The average repair bill was £767.84.  The Gearbox/Transmission seemed to be the most common fault with the car and was also the most expensive repair (£1841.60).  Based on Warrantywise’s experience, you’re unlikely to go far wrong with the Toyota Corolla.  Sometimes, because Toyotas are so reliable, the first few owners may have skimped on maintenance and are happy to pass the bills onto the new owners.  Make sure the car you’re looking has a service record and has a smooth-operating gearbox. 

4. Mazda MX-5 (2005–2015), reliability score 86.5%.

Here is the most fun and reliable second-hand car you can buy!  The Mazda MX-5 averaged 8.4 years old in the reliability analysis, with an average repair bill being a remarkably low £341.78.  The most common fault was with the suspension, and the most expensive repair was with the air conditioning (£586.94), also remarkably low.

5. Toyota Aygo (2005–2022)

  • Reliability score 85.5%
  • Average age 7.5 years
  • Average repair £375.66
  • Most common fault was with the alternator.
  • Most expensive repair was the clutch (£1,339.36).

6. Kia Ceed (2012–present)

  • Reliability score 85.0%
  • Average age 7.9 years
  • Average repair £485.36
  • Most common fault was wheel bearings.
  • Most expensive repair was with the gearbox (£1,914.00).

7. Kia Rio (2011–present)

  • Reliability score 84.9%
  • Average age 8.3 years
  • Average repair £528.23
  • Most common fault was the gearbox.
  • Most expensive repair was the turbocharger (£1,655.39).

8. Suzuki Alto (2008–2013)

  • Reliability score 83.9%
  • Average age 6.8 years
  • Average repair £328.92
  • Most common fault was the electrical system.
  • Most expensive repair was with the engine cambelt (£733.70).

9.Hyundai i20 (2008–2020)

  • Reliability score 82.5%
  • Average age 7.6 years
  • Average repair £520.25
  • Most common fault was with the electrical system.
  • Most expensive repair was with the suspension (£2,361.36).

10. Peugeot 107 (2005–2014)

  • Reliability score 81.6%
  • Average age 7.9 years
  • Average repair £434.89
  • Most common fault was the heater fan motor.
  • Most expensive repair was the clutch (£1,128.44).

11. Honda Civic (2011–2022)

  • Reliability score 80.7%
  • Average age 7.2 years
  • Average repair £630.86
  • Most common fault was with the air conditioning.
  • Most expensive repair was with the fuel system injectors (£3,055.73).

12. Renault Kangoo (2007–2021)

  • Reliability score 80.1%
  • Average age 7.3 years
  • Average repair £576.37
  • Most common fault was with the electrical system wiring looms.
  • Most expensive repair was the gearbox (£1,173.00).

13. Toyota Yaris (2011–2020)

  • Reliability score 79.8%
  • Average age 8.2 years
  • Average repair £795.89
  • Most common fault was with the electrical system.
  • Most expensive repair gearbox (£3,106.92).

14. Toyota RAV 4 (2013–2018)

  • Reliability score 79.2%
  • Average age 8.0 years
  • Average payout £846.83
  • Most common fault was the fuel system injectors.
  • Most expensive repair was engine related (£2,055.74).

15. Fiat 500L (2012–2020)

  • Reliability score 78.7%
  • Average age 6.0 years
  • Average repair £551.58
  • Most common fault was the clutch.
  • Most expensive repair was the clutch (£1,880.21).

Of course, it’s not compulsory to get a second-hand car, and the safety net of the warranty period is certainly attractive with new cars.  Have a wee chat to one of our team and we might just be able to find you a brand new car for a price that’s not that much more than what you’d pay for a second-hand vehicle.

How to Avoid Car Buyer’s Remorse

Buying a car is a significant investment, both financially and emotionally. It’s a decision that can impact your daily life for years to come. However, it’s not uncommon for buyers to experience remorse after making such a substantial purchase. To avoid this feeling of regret, there are several steps you can take to ensure you make the right choice.

Firstly, do your research. Before stepping foot onto a car lot or browsing online listings, take the time to research different makes and models. Consider your needs, preferences, and budget. Look into factors such as fuel efficiency, reliability, safety ratings, and resale value. By arming yourself with knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision.

Next, set a realistic budget and stick to it. Determine how much you can afford to spend on a car, taking into account not only the purchase price but also ongoing expenses such as insurance, maintenance, and fuel. Avoid the temptation to overspend or stretch your budget too thin, as this can lead to financial stress down the line.

When it comes to financing, explore all your options. Shop around for the best interest rates and loan terms. Consider whether buying new or used is the right choice for you. Keep in mind that a lower sticker price doesn’t necessarily mean a better deal in the long run if the vehicle has a higher cost of ownership due to maintenance or depreciation.

Before making a decision, take the time to test drive the vehicle. Pay attention to how it handles, accelerates, and brakes. Test out the features and amenities to ensure they meet your expectations. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or request additional information from the seller or dealership.

If buying used, have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic. A pre-purchase inspection can uncover any hidden issues or red flags that may not be apparent to the untrained eye. It’s a small investment that can potentially save you from costly repairs later on.

Consider the long-term implications of your purchase. Think about how the car will fit into your lifestyle now and in the future. Will it accommodate your growing family or changing needs? Is it a vehicle you can see yourself driving for several years? By thinking ahead, you can avoid the need to upgrade or replace your car sooner than anticipated.

Lastly, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right or if you’re feeling pressured into making a decision, take a step back and reassess. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment or sway you into a purchase you may later regret.

In conclusion, avoiding car buyer’s remorse requires careful planning, research, and consideration of your needs and circumstances. By following these tips, you can make a confident and informed decision that you’ll be happy within the long run.

Is a Sedan or SUV Better for a Family Car?

When it comes to choosing the ideal family car, the debate between sedans and SUVs has long been a topic of discussion. Both vehicle types offer their own set of advantages and disadvantages, catering to different needs and preferences. Today we’re comparing the two to determine which is better suited for family use.

Space and Seating

SUVs typically boast larger cabins and higher seating capacities compared to sedans. This means SUVs are often preferred by families needing extra space for passengers and cargo. With the ability to accommodate up to seven or even eight passengers in some models, SUVs offer greater flexibility for larger families or those who frequently carpool.

On the other hand, sedans usually have limited seating capacity, typically accommodating five passengers. While they might be sufficient for smaller families, sedans might feel cramped during long journeys or when carrying bulky items.


SUVs are renowned for their versatility, thanks to features like foldable rear seats and ample cargo space. This makes them suitable for various family activities, such as camping trips, sports events, or hauling large items.

Sedans, with their more compact design, might struggle to provide the same level of versatility. However, sedans often have larger trunks compared to similarly sized SUVs, offering ample space for groceries, luggage, or everyday items.

Fuel Efficiency

In general, sedans tend to be more fuel-efficient than SUVs due to their lighter weight and aerodynamic design. Families concerned about fuel costs or environmental impact might lean towards sedans for their superior fuel economy. However, advancements in hybrid and electric SUV technology have narrowed this gap in recent years, offering eco-conscious families alternative options without sacrificing space and utility.

Driving Experience

Sedans are typically praised for their smooth handling, precise steering, and lower centre of gravity, resulting in a more car-like driving experience. This can be advantageous for families who prioritise comfort and agility, especially in urban environments or tight parking spaces.

On the other hand, SUVs often provide a commanding view of the road, along with enhanced ground clearance and all-wheel-drive capabilities, making them better suited for rough terrain or adverse weather conditions.


Both sedans and SUVs come equipped with a range of safety features designed to protect occupants in the event of a collision. However, SUVs generally have a higher stance, providing better visibility and potentially reducing the risk of certain types of accidents, such as rear-end collisions.

Additionally, SUVs often incorporate advanced safety technologies, such as blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assistance, which can further enhance driver awareness and accident prevention.


In terms of upfront costs, sedans tend to be more affordable than SUVs, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious families. Additionally, sedans typically have lower maintenance and insurance costs compared to SUVs, which can contribute to long-term savings. However, families should also factor in fuel expenses, as SUVs typically consume more fuel than sedans, potentially offsetting the initial cost savings over time.

In the end, the decision between a sedan and an SUV as a family car ultimately comes down to individual priorities and preferences. Families requiring ample space, versatility, and off-road capabilities may find SUVs better suited to their needs, while those prioritising fuel efficiency, driving dynamics, and affordability may opt for sedans.

New Suzuki Vehicles for 2024–2026

In the near future, Suzuki is looking to bring more hybrid technology into their mix of tricks.  The current and soon to be available cars that Suzuki are delivering are exciting to look at, fun to drive, and are keeping pace with modern styling trends.  Following Suzuki’s launch of the popular long-wheelbase (5-door) version of the boxy Jimny XL 4×4, Suzuki will be introducing at least another two new models in 2024.  Hybrid technology is going to be part of Suzuki’s plan over the next year or two. 

Despite the fact that CO2 gets pumped into horticultural green houses to enhance plant growth and production, hybrid vehicles will enable Australian new car buyers to enjoy genuinely fuel-efficient vehicles with low CO2 emissions for the first time.  The fewer emissions, particularly of the toxic fume type that can cause respiratory problems, that get farted out into congested city environments the better, thus ensuring people can breathe easier as they leave the office to grab a coffee across the other side of the street or head around the block for a walk during lunch.

Suzuki’s lineup will continue to consist mainly of small cars and small SUVs (alongside Suzuki’s popular motorbikes, of course).  There will continue to be the efficient petrol-only vehicles with their low emission rates; however, this year, mild-hybrid technology comes into effect.  For those after a new car in 2024, Suzuki still offers buyers their brand-new Swift Hatchback.  The 2024 Swift’s exterior looks familiar but is definitely smoother and sleeker than before and, inside the vehicle, there is bigger, more comprehensive touchscreen technology, along with an array of safety upgrades. 

Of course, you could also buy yourself the fun little Suzuki Jimny 4×4 in three- or five-door form.  These 4x4s are really popular, particularly for people needing a low-cost, go-anywhere type vehicle.  These are truly capable 4WD SUVs that can happily tackle the toughest off-road terrain you can throw their way.  The cute little Ignis, the dynamic Vitara range, and the stylish new S-Cross SUV are great efficient Suzuki vehicles that you can buy in 2024. 

Coming soon: the all-electric Suzuki eVX.

However, 2025/2026 will see Suzuki’s first electric vehicle (EV) model arrive in Australia: the Suzuki eVX.  The small Suzuki EV SUV will be manufactured for numerous global markets, including Europe and Asia, with Australia’s introduction likely to be in 2025 or 2026.  The Suzuki eVX concept was first revealed at Delhi’s Auto Show, India, in early 2023; it also received a public viewing at the Japan Mobility Show, Tokyo, in late October 2023.  It is less than 4.5 metres long, about the same size as the recently facelifted Suzuki S-Cross SUV, and Suzuki suggests that the new eVX is targeting a 500 km driving range ahead of its launch.  Equipped with dual electric motors, the Suzuki eVX is set-up well for delivering effective AWD traction should you require off-road action.  Of course, Suzuki will also ensure it has fine on-road abilities as well.  The eVX definitely looks futuristic and has that chunky, rugged look blended into the vehicle’s lines and shape.