Used cars are a good way to get on the road without forking out big sums of cash.
While they may be good as a quick fix, they’re going to have some issues if they’re quite a few years old.
This could mean they can end up costing more in the long run due to repairs.
More than 18,000 drivers with vehicles aged between four to 10 years old took part in a study to reveal which were the most unreliable used cars.
The research by What Car? asked motorists to rate how reliable their cars have been over the previous year, and asked the type of problems they’ve encountered, as well as whether they were fixed under warranty.
While Japanese manufacturers dominated the list for being the most dependable, the previous-generation BMW 1 Series was voted as the least reliable motor in the UK, with a score of 40.1 percent.
Nearly two-thirds of 1 Series owners said their vehicle suffered a fault, with battery and engine problems most common – and repairs costing up to £1,500.
The Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai came in at a second and third place.
The UK’s most unreliable used cars
Starting in descending order:
- Renault Clio (2005 – 2012)
The WhatCar? the survey found the model suffers from electrical faults, while gearbox problems have been reported on the faster Renault Sport models.
Rating: 62.6 percent
- BMW 5 Series (2003 – 2010)
Listed issues with this car include axle and suspension problems, and problems with the iDrive infotainment system.
Rating: 60.8 percent
- Land Rover Discovery (2004 – 2017)
This is a big and heavy car, so it’s no surprise there are a few different reported problems with his model.
Common faults are with the air suspension and air compressor, along with electrical and software problems – which produced a range of symptoms including cruise control failure.
People also reported glitches with the infotainment system and problems with the pre-heat facility for the engine and interior.
The electronic parking brake can revert to its failsafe mode, too.
Rating: 60.3 percent
- Volkswagen Passat diesel (2005 – 2015)
Common faults are with the suspension on heavily-used cars, while the steering system can also give problems. On automatics, the DSG system is also a cause for concern.
Rating: 59.9 percent
- Ford Focus (2004 – 2010)
Issues with this model include blocked diesel particulate filters, rusting front wheel arches, while coil packs can be problematic on the petrol models, causing stuttering performance.
Spark plugs can also corrode badly, and the heated windscreen often fails.
There were also reported issues with the power steering.
Rating: 59.0 percent
- Vauxhall Insignia (2008 – 2017)
40 percent of the problems with this used car related to engine electrics.
Some surveyed stated they had engine stop-start system issues, with other faults equally split between the wheels, fuel system and exterior lights.
Rating: 58.3 percent
- Vauxhall Astra (2004 – 2009)
Axle, suspension issues, and electrical faults are among the most common complaints.
WhatCar? says the front suspension bushes can wear quickly, the instrument cluster can give false readings and electric windows have been known to fail.
Rating: 58.3 percent
- Nissan Qashqai (2007 – 2013)
Several owners reported clutch problems, while squeaks and rattles can appear, especially around the dashboard and front seats.
There were also complaints about poorly fitted door trims.
Rating: 55.4 percent
- Ford Kuga (2008 – 2012)
The second Ford model on the list, this car sees a range of reliability issues.
Rating: 44.2 percent
- BMW 1 Series (2004 – 2011)
Nearly two-thirds of 1 Series owners said their vehicle suffered a fault, with battery and engine problems appearing as the most common – with repairs costing up to £1,500.
Rating: 40.1 percent
A BMW spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “The BMW 1 Series is the UK’s favorite BMW. We’ve just launched the third generation of this very popular model – since it was originally launched 15 years ago, nearly 400,000 BMW 1 Series have been sold in the UK.
“While we’re always sorry to hear of customers who are not entirely happy, the customer feedback we receive regarding the BMW 1 Series is overwhelmingly positive.”
The top 10 most reliable used cars
On the other hand, these are the most trustworthy used cars – again, in descending order:
- Volkswagen Touareg (2010 – 2018)
Rating: 94.1 percent
- Honda Jazz (2008 – 2015)
Rating: 94.2 percent
- Honda CR-V (2012 – 2018)
Rating: 94.6 percent
- Honda Civic diesel (2012 – 2017)
Rating: 95.0 per cent
- Lexus RX (2009 – 2016)
Rating: 95.4 percent
- Seat Leon (2013 – present)
Rating: 95.9 percent
- Mitsubishi ASX (2010 – present)
Rating: 96.3 percent
- Audi Q3 diesel (2011 – 2018)
Rating: 96.5 percent
- Lexus CT (2011 – present)
Rating: 98.8 percent
- Toyota Yaris (2011 –present)
Rating: 99.1 percent
Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “Reliability is often at the forefront of any vehicle purchase.
“With nearly eight million used vehicles sold last year, there is a huge scope for things to go wrong.
“By shining a light on the reliability of various makes and models, we hope to help buyers make the right decision when choosing their next used purchase.”