Maximum number of cars added to compare list.

What's your postcode?

We need your postcode in order to provide accurate search results.


Enter your first name
Enter your last name
Enter your phone number

Got a part exchange?

Tell us your reg plate and receive a part exchange valuation on your car?

What's this?

Compare cars side by side to save time clicking backwards and forwards between them.

Most reliable student carsBack

If you’re a student looking to buy your first car, or a parent hoping to find the right car for your child, Trusted Dealers takes a look at some of the most reliable cars currently on the market for young people.

Warranty Direct conduct a reliability survey every year to reveal the most reliable used cars currently on the road. The study examines city cars and superminis and looks at Warranty Direct’s database of 50,000 policies to find out where they ranked in its Reliability Index Score (RIS) which scores on rate of failure, average mileage, age and cost of repair.

We’ve included some of the most reliable student cars according to Warranty Direct in our picks below.

Peugeot107Peugeot 107 (2005-)

The Peugeot 107 came top of the list of small cars that students are most likely to buy with an RIS of just four after recording not a single engine failure in any of the cars covered by Warranty Direct. The Peugeot 107 sports a highly dependable gearbox, braking and fuel system with average repair costs of under £179. The 107 remains a safe buy for any student who wishes to retain a tight budget.

Citroen C1 (2005-)

Like its Peugeot 107 sibling, the Citroen C1 also scored well with a RIS of 13 and average repair costs of £313.28. In addition, it 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.

HondaJazzHonda Jazz (2008-) 

Last year’s favourite, the Honda Jazz, was nudged into second place scoring an RIS of 5. The Jazz is one of the most practical cars on the road, making it a strong favourite with students seeking a car they can pack themselves and run smoothly without the fear of a breakdown. The Honda Jazz offers masses of space despite its compact size and resale values are particularly strong.

Nissan Micra (2002-)

The Nissan Micra took third place with an RIS of six. The Micra has proved popular with students for a number of years due to its funky looks, low failure rates and trusty gearbox and braking system. The Micra is not only a cheap car to buy, it’s a cheap car to run and you get the reliability of the Nissan badge too.

FordFiestaFord Fiesta (2008 -)

The Ford Fiesta is Britain’s most popular car and it’s not hard to see why. Good looks, a spacious interior, average running costs and plenty of equipment are just some of the reasons why it has remained the number one best seller in the UK for years. With a reliability index rating of 18, it’s a reliable choice of car to drive and you can also take advantage of some great discounts if you choose to buy new.

Mazda 2 (2007-)

The Mazda 2 received an RIS of 1o and is a good small car which offers a decent ride and handling as well as a set of clean and frugal engines and plenty of equipment included as standard. One of the drawbacks to the Mazda 2 is its higher price tag – its relatively expensive compared to rivals, but you do benefit from additional safety equipment.

Fiat500Fiat 500: (2008 -)

The Fiat 500 is one of our favourite choices of car for students. The Fiat 500 is a quirky, affordable alternative to a MINI and offers a range of flexible engines. It is highly economical to drive and thanks to its high level of standard safety equipment, it’s also  rated as one of the safest superminis on the road.

Skoda Fabia (2007-)

Our final pick is the Skoda Fabia. This car is an excellent choice if you’re seeking a reliable and affordable car to own and run. Sharing the same engine make-up as the Volkswagen Polo and Seat Ibiza, the Fabia offers a smooth ride with good refinement.  Furthermore, the Fabia sports one of the most spacious cabins perfect for University accessories.

Top ten most reliable student cars

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

Posted by Leana Kell on 06/06/2016