Saturday 21 February 1998
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.
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 3 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 4 Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
iJobs Money & Business
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...
Circa £45,000-£50,000 + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ac...
Day In a Page
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
A boutique mews house, set around a central courtyard, with three bedrooms and a private roof terrace
A four-bedroom farm-conversion with three bathrooms and two reception rooms
A two-bedroom detached house with ensuite bathrooms and a sun-drenched decked terrace, £750,000
A modern and spacious two-bedroom, penthouse flat with two bathrooms in a prestigious development
A beautifully renovated five-bedroom terrace with three reception rooms and a courtyard garden, £700,000
A four-bedroom period house which has been extended to provide almost 2,500sq ft of living space, £675,000
A pretty three-bedroom Georgian home with a 22ft drawing room and a master suite with a balcony, £525,000
A substanstial family home with five bedrooms and landscaped gardens in the much sought-after Branksome Park area
A well-presented three-bedroom house with front and rear gardens, close to White City station, £475,000
A handsome five-bedroom house in a sought-after location close to the city centre
A five-bedroom country home with valley views, equestrian stables and 27 acres of land, £725,000
A six-bedroom farm house with separate, detached cottages and 371 acres of land
A two-bedroom cottage with parquet floors, chunky beams and an open fireplace
A three-bedrrom flat with 2,733sq feet of living space, a beautiful private garden and 15 acres of communal grounds
A four-bedroom chalet bungalow with three bathrooms and a spacious garden, £525,000