Companies which have set extended replacement cycle policies need to keep a close watch on service, maintenance and repair costs as their cars move into the fourth – or even fifth - year.
According to warranty provider Warranty Direct, there is a huge variance between the best and worst cars for the regularity and cost of warranty-related claims.
Its analysis of its 50,000 UK policies (cars aged three to six years old) for the 10 biggest fleet sellers in 2009 revealed the Vauxhall Vectra to be the worst with a staggering 43% incidence rate (the likelihood it will require a warranty claim per year). Its average repair cost was £271.
Vauxhall also had the best performer with the Astra, which suffered an 11% incidence rate, with average repair costs of £247. While the Astra rarely breaks down, when it does its electrics are usually to blame, causing 42% of its failures.
Three Vauxhalls and three Fords feature in the top 10. The Vauxhall Corsa was the costliest to repair, with an average bill of £346 due to recurring engine and electrical problems, from an incidence rate of 25%.
In contrast, its big rival, the Ford Fiesta, was least expensive to repair, at £187. The Fiesta was third lowest in terms of incidence rate, at 19%.
The Volkswagen Golf suffers a 20% incidence rate. One in 12 will suffer either cooling and heating or electrical systems failure.
Of the five top fleet manufacturers, BMW performed best with an average 24.5% incidence rate. Vauxhall was bottom with a 27% incidence rate.
Duncan McClure Fisher, Warranty Direct managing director, said: “As firms look to shave money from their fleet operations, knowing which vehicles are likely to delivery reliability and are quick and cheap to repair is vital. The last thing you want is your cars sidelined with mechanical problems especially while fleet cars are being kept on the books for longer.”
Go to the Fleet News Reliability section for more on car reliability from the FN50, JD Power and Which? surveys.
Rate of failure by manufacturers
Manufacturer average incidence rate (%)