What car makes suffer the most parts failures?

April 6, 2017

New study shows Alfa Romeos, Porsches and Land Rovers have the most parts failures, with over a third of owners claiming on their warranties in 2016.

The research by Warranty Direct also found that the average repair costs varied massively for the different brands. The average cost of parts to repair a Porsche was £1,019.07, for instance, while for Alfa Romeos it was £355.47 – although they suffered more parts failures than any other manufacturer.

Old car being repaired

As car parts continue to become more complex Warranty Direct has warned that repair costs are expected to continue to increase.

To carry out the study they looked at stats from more than 40,000 insurance policies and claims worth in excess of £3 million. Viewing these claims against the amount of warranty policies each manufacturer has, it was able to identify which make of car had the highest percentage of claims per number of policy.

The resulting figures showed that 40% of Aalfa Romeos, 36% of Porsches and 34% of Land Rovers needed repair work for failed parts in 2016. Following them in the top 10 worst performers were Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Lexus, BMW, Volvo and Citroen.

In terms of the car makes least likely to suffer a parts failure, Japanese manufacturers tend to do much better than their European counterparts when it comes to making reliable vehicles. Only £5 – 6% of Honda’s, Subaru’s, Suzuki’s and Toyota’s needed parts repaired in 2016.

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Fewer claims were also made for super-minis and hatchbacks, likely thanks to their greater simplicity. Less than 10% of Smart, Kia, Seat, Ford and Hyundai warranty policies were claims against last year.

Which car parts are most likely to need repairs?

The study found that the most common repairs for the manufacturers in the top five were for suspension and axle problems, as well as issues with the electrics. Repairs to the gearbox were less common among the five worst performing brands, but these were very expensive with an average repair cost of £1,250.

When it comes to the cost of repairs, there was a massive disparity between the manufacturers – with Porsches being the most expensive to repair with an average cost £400 higher than the second most expensive, BMW.

Alfa Romeos had the most claims, with 40% of warranty policyholders making a claim, but the average cost of repairs was the lowest in the top ten. In stark contrast, the more reliable Mercedes-Benz had a lot less claims but had the third highest cost of repairs with an average outlay of £559.99.

Philip Ward, Warranty Direct’s COO, said of the results of their research:

“With many cars becoming increasingly more complex in terms of component parts, repair costs will continue to rise throughout 2017.

“Vehicles which might initially seem reliable and reasonably priced can end up becoming a financial liability for the owner.”

More research by Warranty Direct found that 25% of cars will suffer a mechanical failure during either the fourth or fifth year of ownership – which is often when the manufacturer’s standard warranty runs out.

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