Far Eastern models may be best for contract car hire

JonathanJuly 28, 2011

Far Eastern makes may be a particularly good choice for contract car hire customers this year, since new research has revealed that Japanese and Korean vehicles are the most reliable.

According to What Car?’s Reliability Survey 2011, the top ten manufacturers come from these two nations, with Honda registering a failure rate of just nine per cent and coming top of the ranking for the sixth year.

Chas Hallett, editor-in-chief of What Car?, noted that this year’s poll is a “stark reminder of the disparity in reliability between Far Eastern brands, which dominate the top ten, and European brands, which contribute the bulk of the bottom ten”.

European cars were found to fail most often, although they do tend to be cheaper to fix than their Asian counterparts. Land Rover was revealed as the least trustworthy make, with 55 per cent of vehicles experiencing problems, while the top brands in Europe emerged as Skoda and Smart, taking 11th and 12th places in the list respectively.

The index – compiled in conjunction with Warranty Direct – takes repair costs, mileage, age and rate of failure into account when ranking motors.

Other differences between Far Eastern and European manufacturers include the types of problems that are seen the most. For example, Lexus, Suzuki and Subaru vehicles experience suspension and axle issues the most, while one-third of the problems with European makes are electrical malfunctions.

According to Jonathan Visscher, spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, there is increasing demand in the UK for eco-friendly cars, a trend that carmakers are particularly aware of at the moment.

He explained that incentives and tax relief have made these low-carbon motors cheaper for people to run compared with traditional diesel and petrol cars so it could benefit drivers to invest in Far Eastern environmentally-friendly models.

Posted by Michael Jones


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