The 10 Most Reliable Used Car Brands You Can Buy

Posted by: Dan on 15/02/2017

Category: General

Reliable Car Brands

When it comes to buying a car, there are a few questions that always come up every time. Is it a good colour? Does it have a good stereo? And oh, yes: does it actually run properly? Buying a used car is always going to be complex, but it can be made much easier with a trusted brand.

A reliable used car not only gives you the opportunity to buy with confidence, but it also means you can avoid the problems that plague less-reliable brands, which always mean more time and expense for the new owner. Here are the 10 most reliable brands you should consider.

1. Toyota

Toyota has long enjoyed a great reputation for its reliability. As the world’s largest manufacturer of vehicles, the production of its lineup, which includes the Camry, Prius, and Celica, has given the Japanese automaker vast expertise in producing cars that simply won’t quit.

Even if you do encounter the odd problem or need for a replacement part now and then, with the wide availability of parts, and mechanics who know Toyotas in and out, it’s never difficult to fix the car if need arises.

2. Lexus

Lexus, Toyota’s luxury vehicle division, manufactures a range of vehicles from sedans to sports cars, and has won a reputation for reliability over many years. So much so that while the Lexus and Toyota brands are both at the top of Consumer Reports’ annual survey surrounding car reliability, Lexus actually outperforms Toyota.

3. Honda

Different drivers in different nations each have their own unique requirements for a car. While chic little 2-doors may be wonderful for the avenues of Paris or Brussels, they face a harder test when on a road trip down a huge Australian freeway.

Nonetheless, by many measures the UK is comparable to much of Australia in terms of our roads and driving demands. For this reason, the reliability and acclaim Honda has found in the used car market in the UK for the better part of a decade cannot be ignored.

4. Ford

When your brand is credited with bringing cars to the masses, it's a safe bet you know a thing or two about reliability. While some scrutiny when buying a used Ford in Australia is wise, as the years between 2011 and 2016 were felt to be a rough patch, used car buyers on a budget can find a fantastic bargain in the 2005-2010 era of Australian Fords.

5. Mazda

Speaking of the UK, Japanese manufacturer Mazda enjoys a great popularity in the British Isles just as it does in Australia. Given the particular affection for Mazda in the sports car realm – most drivers of cars like the MX-5 are generally more zippy and rigorous in their driving – the reputation for reliability Mazda enjoys is a beacon for all other sports car manufacturers to follow. 

6. Kia

Recent years have seen Australians buy cars in record numbers. This has impacted not only the buyer’s market for new vehicles, but used cars as well. For this reason, anyone buying a used car is wise to look at the offerings across the market for new cars – and look to take advantage.

The Kia brand is great in this regard, having won great acclaim for its 7-year warranty, introduced in 2014. While this is certainly a good indicator of the brand’s reliability if buying from its original owner, that the warranty is transferrable across multiple owners (meaning you can buy it used but retain the 7-year deal) makes Kia a very attractive consideration for a used car buyer.

7. Mitsubishi

When it comes to the market for used electric cars, many Australians are still deciding whether to buy now or in the future. Nonetheless, while brands like Tesla have certainly led the market in the popular imagination, it’s Mitsubishi that has led in reliability. So, while the lure of an Elon Musk-made car will certainly attract many to an electric Tesla, if you’re looking for reliability in the used market, look to Mitsubishi first.

8. Suzuki

When it comes to iconic 4WDs, Suzuki is often a peg or two below in the pecking order. Make no mistake, Suzuki is a great brand, but it has won fame for its rally cars and motorbikes over its 4WDs.

While other more famous brands may enjoy a greater place in 4WD – we won’t name them, but their names rhyme with “sheep” and “mange over” – their reliability has long been a big issue in the used market. Suzukis, by contrast, are extremely reliable, and the ideal pick for a used 4WD.

9. BMW

Just as the 4WD world holds a rivalry between different manufacturers, so too do German fans have strong opinions on which of the sports car manufacturers is best. While there are other great candidates on the market, it’s hard to pass by a BMW if you’re looking for a reliable used car.

Of all the brands listed here, BMW is the one that gets a bad rap. So much so that many looking for a reliable used car may be tempted to look elsewhere. Yet, once a buyer understands what to look for – that buying a used BMW that is well-maintained is especially crucial – oftentimes they’ll happily buy used (and carefully-selected) BMWs for years to come.

10. Mercedes

Mercedes has long been in the business of producing great cars. This is why, even used, many Silver Arrows are more expensive than brand-new, entry-level budget cars on the market. While paying more for a used car may seem strange at first, with many Mercedes owners still happily driving vehicles that are over 40 years old – and still in great condition – it is entirely possible to buy a car from your grandfather’s generation and find that it runs like it was made yesterday.

With 20% of car buyers purchasing a vehicle because their old one broke down, reliability is an important consideration for your next car and the one you buy after it. Yet, while a car’s reputation for reliability is a great starting point, it’s also just the building block for the future.

Once you’ve got your keys in hand, be sure to block out time once every six months for a check-up and maintenance. Also look to address any problems that arise right away. Do this, and you have every chance of enjoying a long and drama-free experience with your new used car.


What other brands do you think are great for reliability? Let us know in the comments below:


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