Most reliable student cars

As students prepare to pack up their belongings and head off to university, Warranty Direct has named the top ten affordable runabouts which are least likely to break down on the way to scholarly pursuits, or eat into the student loan with costly repairs.

Peugeot topped off the table of reliable campus chariots, with the 107 boasting a highly dependable gearbox, braking and fuel system. With an average repair costing under £179, the 107 is a safe buy for any student looking to maintain a tight budget.

For students needing a bit more space, the supremely practical Honda Jazz is also extremely unlikely to break down. The additionally Japanese made previous generation Nissan Micra will also appeal, with funky looks and very low failure rates, thanks to its trusty gearbox and braking system.

Like its Peugeot 107 sibling, the Citroen C1 also benefits from exceptional engine reliability, without a single report of engine failure on Warranty Direct records. Adding to its student car credentials, insurance ratings as low as group 1 make the C1 an economical option.

Just making the top 10 is Toyota’s B-segment offering, the Yaris. The entry-level Yaris boasts a low group 2 insurance rating and a steering and fuel system which is statistically unlikely to fail, cementing its reputation as a favoured choice for the budget-conscious student.

Warranty Direct analysed its 50,000 live policies, using the Company’s unique Reliability Index (www.reliabilityindex.com) to measure overall reliability by combining rate of failure, average mileage, age and repair cost.

Top ten most reliable student cars

(A higher Reliability Index rating means the vehicle is less reliable and more expensive to run)

Car make and model Year Reliability Index Score Average repair cost Largest claim seen Insurance group (1-50)
Peugeot 107 05- 4 £178.66 £348.64 3 -5
Honda Jazz 08- 5 £160.49 £357.51 13 – 19
Nissan Micra 02- 6 £138.38 £1,032.42 6 – 17*
Peugeot 1007 05-09 8 £121.18 £279.83 3 – 12
Mazda 2 07- 10 £172.31 £500.67 9 – 16
Fiat Panda 04- 12 £245.15 £1,242.83 1 – 8
Citroen C1 05- 13 £313.28 £1,030.00 1 – 7
SEAT Ibiza 06-09 14 £226.22 £628.00 5 – 30
Ford Fusion 02- 15 £351.48 £1,262.81 7 – 14
Toyota Yaris 06- 16 £303.15 £1,346.42 2 – 10**

David Gerrans, managing director at Warranty Direct commented, ‘As students from across the UK prepare to take the next step in their education and new found independence, choosing a reliable car to head to university with, will no doubt remove some of the worry about moving away from home felt by some.’

‘Stretching the budget is historically tricky for students with so many things to account for, however, selecting the right car will ensure undergraduates arrive at their new university digs without a hitch, or a hole in their bank account before the term has even started.’