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The reliability of a new or used car is very important because it means the driver does not have to worry about unexpected and possibly expensive repairs. Considering the reliability of a vehicle should be a key consideration when buying a certain make and model. RepairPal does the hard work and ranks popular car brands based on data to determine safer ones. So, what’s the least reliable car brand, according to RepairPal data?

RepairPal rates the reliability of automakers

RepairPal offers a reliability measurement that includes the average yearly repair cost, frequency, and severity of actual repairs. Different people have different ideas of what reliability means. Parents are usually most concerned with the safety of their children in a car. While other people focus on the cost of repairs. The cost of ownership can be pretty predictive with car payments, insurance, and gas, but it can be hard to predict out-of-pocket repairs and maintenance costs. Reliability ratings can help consumers anticipate annual repair costs alongside the cost of ownership. 

The average yearly repair cost for all cars on RepairPal is $652, which considers both major scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repairs. If your vehicle has a higher repair cost, that does not necessarily mean it is less reliable. It can just mean that your car needs more expensive parts, such as European luxury cars. Vehicles with more expensive parts can still be considered reliable if severe issues and annual average visits to the shop are low. 

The average frequency, or the number of visits to a repair shop, is about once every two years for major unscheduled repairs. That is about 0.4 visits per year. The most reliable cars average about two to three years before needing any major repair. It is important to remember this metric does not include regularly scheduled maintenance, such as oil changes. 

The severity metric measures the probability of a repair being a significant issue. An issue is considered major if it costs three times the average annual repair cost for all models. Luxury and premium brands with higher labor rates and part costs have a higher threshold. The average severity for all models is about 12% of repairs. 

This German automaker rated last in reliability 

A steel blue Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT midsize luxury crossover SUV model parked in an empty warehouse garage
Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT | VW Group Media

The German automaker Porsche came in dead last in the reliability ratings, according to RepairPal. Porsche scored 2.0 out of 5.0 and ranks at No. 32 out of 32 for all covered car brands. 

The average repair cost for all Porsche models is $1,192 per year for scheduled and unscheduled repairs. This is $540 more than the average repair cost of $652 across all models. 

The average frequency is 0.4 visits per year for unscheduled trips to the repair shop, and Porsche has a frequency of 0.8 visits per year. For Porsche, 21% of repairs are considered severe, or three times the average annual repair cost. Across all other models, the average severity is 12% for major issues.

This Japanese automaker ranked first 

On the flip side, Honda ranked as the number 1 most reliable car brand, according to RepairPal. Honda’s rating is 4.0 out of 5.0 and ranks No. 1 out of 32 car brands. 

The average repair cost for a Honda model is $428 per year. This is a good bit below the $652 across all models. 

The Honda’s frequency of unscheduled trips to the repair shop is 0.3 times per year, less than the average of 0.4 times yearly. Additionally, only 10% of repairs are considered severe. The average is 21%, making Honda a good choice if you want a reliable car. 

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