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Reliability tops list of car buyers concerns - despite overwhelmingly positive ownership experiences 

Reliability tops list of car buyers concerns - despite overwhelmingly positive ownership experiences 

Long-term reliability issues are the biggest worry for more than half of today's car buyers, despite most drivers having overwhelmingly positive long-term ownership experiences in the real world. 

But, according to analysis by the online car supermarket, more than a third of car buyers report ZERO worries when changing their vehicle. 

More than 700 motorists were asked 'what are your main worries when buying a car' and long-term reliability was the runaway biggest concern, cited by 54% of drivers. 

The worry that a car won't be reliable is, however, at odds with actual performance data which shows that more than nine out of 10 car owners have a completely positive long-term experience of their latest car. 

According to the Auto Express Driver Power survey of real world new car ownership experiences, gathered from tens of thousands of drivers over the past three years, the rate of faults reported by owners fell to affect just 14.8% of cars this year. 

In the research, maintaining long-term interior comfort and the affordability of future fuel costs come in joint second place among potential future concerns, both reported by one in four car buyers. 

Some motorists worry that they will become bored of their car sooner than they would like - a concern cited by one in 10 drivers - while a significant minority of 6.2% worry about 'buyers' remorse' - which refers to regretting having bought a car. 

Christofer Lloyd, editor of, believes that media headlines about car reliability lead to disproportionate concerns among buyers that are not borne out by real life experience. 

He said: "There is an obvious tension between reliability issues being experienced by just over one in 10 new car drivers and worries about reliability being reported by more than 50% of car buyers. 

"But there is better news in the fact that more than a third of drivers say they have no worries at all about the next car that they will buy.  

"With cars becoming ever more loaded with technology it is a tribute to the quality of modern cars that only around 14% experience a problem. And it is worth remembering that faults are often misreported by complex in-car monitoring systems, so that an engine warning light symbol on the dashboard is often merely an electrical glitch rather than revealing a serious issue. 

"However, it seems that worries about reliability remain stubbornly out of proportion with actual reliability. 

"It is tempting to recall the famous words of the writer Mark Twain when we think of motorists worrying about the reliability of their next car, when he said I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.' 

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