25 September 2013

Why Car Reliability Doesn't Seem To Matter That Much

The previous blog showed that some cars are consistently more reliable than others. However, providing the car isn't always in the workshop, then reliability isn't a deciding factor. Why? I have come up with a few reasons:

1) When buying new, the warranty covers the repair cost anyway. Therefore, that assurance is enough reason for some no doubt.

2) It's desirability is what entices the purchaser. They like the car and want to own it.

3) A love of a particular brand and and even becoming a loyal supporter of it.

4) Image. The car they buy has prestige and they want to be seen driving such a car.

5) A problem with a car brings contact with the dealer. If they handle the problem well, it reassures the customer that the local dealer of this marque looks after you. You then trust them and even build a rapport with the dealership.

6) Even when you see some cars more reliable on lists, the truth is even the lowest ranked brands are not breaking down that much anyway. Not enough to question whether to buy one.

In Summary: Of course, those who value reliability above all else will choose on that basis. Unfortunately, the cars that seem to go and go are also the dull ones to drive. So what do you want? Driving pleasure or total reliability? It seems you can't have both!


  1. Spot on, Ray Cee!

    It is all about desirability, else we would all be driving the cheapest vehicle to fulfill our transportation needs.

    In the end it the choice of car is a very visible statement - even if the statement may be "I do not care about cars".

    I think it is even simpler, I think, than the 6 points you mention. Desire and budget set the choice; after this choice a lot of rationalisation happens.

    Somethimes this can be very amusing. Most people are desparate to justify on (pseudo-)rational grounds why their choice is "the correct" one. And as soon as something fits that purpose it will be used; if not then it is either twisted until it does, or else ignored.

    Me I am all in the camp of "I drive what I like", as long as all rational requirements (reliability, budget, space, refinement...) are met .

  2. Thank you Grunt. I am thinking about changing the car, and as usual I get torn between simply a logical choice and one that touches the heart too. I cannot afford to keep changing so whatever the decision, I will have to live with it for some time.