NO-HEADLINE

Just as in the Eighties nobody admitted to voting Tory but everybody did, so we are now equally hypocritical about our cars. Most of us would love to use public transport, if only it were better/ cheaper/ cleaner/ safer/not used by smelly psychotics/ not managed by Richard Branson. Until such time, we'll stick with our cars, thank you.

A new survey done by Lex, the leasing company, highlights what a disingenuous bunch we are. Forty-five per cent of motorists said they'd love to use their cars less, if only public transport were better - up from 23 per cent in 1988. And yet, even if congestion got twice as bad, only 7 per cent of commuters said that if push came to shove they'd switch to public transport. For school runners and shoppers, the figure is even lower (4 and 5 per cent respectively). Yet these very same people demand better public transport, presumably so that other drivers can use it.

Personally, I'm not in the least surprised by drivers' reluctance to "go public", but I am somewhat perplexed at the reasons why they want to stay clear of rail and Routemasters. One reason, apparently, is that most drivers surveyed actually enjoyed "chore" journeys. Sixty-six percent of the 1,287 motorists interviewed said they liked driving to work, and six out of ten drivers said they enjoyed school runs. If that's true, then there is surely no hope of prising people out of their cars.

Within a fortnight of that Lex survey, another one landed on my desk (how do these people ever have time to run a business?). This one, however, proved rather more instructive. Whereas the great British motorist's views on motoring are inevitably skewed by social mores and the need to "say the right thing", you can't get away from plain facts and figures. And the Lex Vehicle Leasing Reliability Survey is a straight mechanical reliability report on the 88,048 vehicles in that company's vast fleet.

It could well be the most representative reliability survey of them all because, unlike the Which? and Top Gear JD Power surveys, forms are not filled out by moaning Minnies who self-select themselves to air their grievances. Equally, unlike the JD Power survey, dealer support cannot twist the results: it's just down to the car, in this case all L-to-R- registration vehicles.

There are a number of big surprises. First, cars are getting less reliable, just as manufacturers try to pretend otherwise. You now have a one-in- four chance of getting stranded during the year. Last year, you had a one-in-five chance.

Japanese cars built in Britain are much less reliable than Japanese cars built in Japan. This makes common sense to you or me, but it's certainly not what Nissan and Toyota have been propagating. Also, the second most reliable make of car in use in Britain is a Jaguar. I personally find this amazing, not least because a couple of years ago Jaguars were about as trustworthy as Bill Clinton's marriage vow. They are now more than four times as reliable as Fords, whose "best practice" reliability standards Jaguar has allegedly been copying.

The most reliable make of car is Mitsubishi, which is about the only Japanese maker who hasn't set up shop in Britain. Surely this is no coincidence. Citroen is the maker of the least reliable vehicles on British roads (although my father-in-law's five-year-old ZX has never let him down), followed by Alfa Romeo (no surprise). Third worst maker is Rover, whose alleged and much hyped reliability renaissance - first under Honda's guidance, now BMW's - has proved to be about as believable as the great British public's views on giving up motoring.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: HR Benefits Manager

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

    £30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

    Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

    £250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

    Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

    £230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003
    Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

    Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

    Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

    Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

    Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
    Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

    Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

    Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
    New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

    Dinner through the decades

    A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
    Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

    Philippa Perry interview

    The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

    Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

    Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
    Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

    Harry Kane interview

    The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?