We all know that as cars get older they tend to develop problems and become less reliable.
But new data shows that even as cars reach an age where third-party warranty companies don’t want to know, some remain more dependable than others.
What Car?, which regularly rates cars up to five years old, has extended its research to find out which older models - those between five and 20 years old - have stood the test of time and which are storing up a history lesson’s worth of worries for owners.
Polling more than 12,000 owners to find out the frequency, severity and cost of breakdowns, the research revealed that Lexus remains the most reliable brand overall, but also looked at individual models across a range of vehicle segments.
Here we’ve broken down the best and worst performers in each category, each given a reliability rating out of 100.
1. Small cars - top 3
Korea and Japan lead the way in the supermini segment, joined by the British-built Mini.
Kia Picanto (2011 - 2017) 98.5%; Honda Jazz (2008 - 2014) 98.0%; Mini hatchback petrol (2014-) 97.3% Photo: Kia/Honda/Mini
2. Small cars - bottom 3
Bad news for a couple of best-sellers, with Vauxall and Ford among the least dependable small cars.
Vauxhall Corsa (2005-2014) 73%; Seat Ibiza (2008-2017) 82%; Ford Fiesta diesel (2008-2017) 82.3% Photo: Vauxhall/Seat/Ford
3. Family cars - top 3
The best family cars have an international flavour, with Spain, Sweden and Japan represented.
Seat Leon diesel (2013 - 2020) 98.7%; Volvo V40 (2012-2019) 95.6%; Honda Civic (2012-2017) 95.6% Photo: Seat/Volvo/Honda
4. Family cars - bottom 3
Two members of the VW Group didn't fare as well as Seat, with some serious problems arising in old models.
Skoda Octavia (2004 - 2013) 54.4%; Mercedes-Benz A Class (2005 - 2012) 56.3% Volkswagen Golf diesel (2009 - 2013) 74.9% Photo: Skoda/Mercedes/Benz/Volkswagen