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

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

    Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

    £30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

    Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

    £55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor