Electrical faults in cars more common and more expensive

21 March 2014

More complicated electronics in cars are making them more prone to expensive breakdowns, according to new data.

A Reliability Index compiled by Warranty Direct has shown that the number of cars that recorded an electrical fault has increased by 66 per cent over the last five years, while the cost of repairs has gone up by 32 per cent in the same period. The study found that luxury cars like Bentleys and Porsches were the most likely to suffer an electrical fault.

For the motor trade industry this means that garages and mechanics are going to need to make sure they are able to cater to complicated electronic failures. As electrical faults require specialist equipment to identify and fix, it is important that any motor trade insurance policy accounts for the protection of these expensive tools onsite.

Moreover, companies will also need to ensure their motor trade insurance quote covers the increasing number of vehicles they might have to deal with as a result of the increasing prominence of electrical faults, and specifically, prestigious high value vehicles.

The study stated that just under a quarter (23 per cent) of the 50,000 cars it had records for required attention for electrical faults every year it found the number of electrical faults have risen from roughly 5,300 in 2008 to 11,500 in 2013.

Meanwhile the average price of a repair for such a failure stands at £300, but in some cases this can rise to £2,804. Relays and alternators were highlighted as the most likely components to break, but newer electronic innovations like parking sensors are also common among the many faults reported.

The 10 least reliable manufacturers for electrics are, in order: Renault, Bentley, Porsche, Saab, MG, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Citroen, Seat and BMW.