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NOT everyone chooses to drive a company car in the traditional sense.

For all the pros of not having to worry about running costs there’s an equally compelling tax reason for using your own personal car for work purposes.

If you’re one of the people who opts to pay less company car tax and take on the running of your own vehicle then it’s likely that reliability sits high on your list of priorities.

After all nobody deliberately chooses to buy a lemon. So it wouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that the most popular hatchback amongst British drivers is also the most reliable. Or vice versa.

Which is why leading car warranty provider, Warranty Direct, may have been a little surprised by the results of its recent reliability study.

If you analyse the data it turns out that the most reliable hatchback on the market sits at number six in the popularity chart. It also transpires that the largest price tag doesn’t necessarily equate to the most reliable car.

Being a warranty provider means Warranty Direct has access to a lot of data that shows not only how often a particular model suffers a breakdown, but also how much those faults cost to repair and how long the vehicle is off the road.

With around 50,000 live policies, and after more than a decade of keeping motorists mobile, this translates to hundreds of thousands of cars covered, and millions of pounds worth of claims analysed.

This data is compiled in a Reliability Index that looks at the cost, inconvenience, and failure rate across more than 40 manufacturers to give a real world picture of how reliable a car is.

It even offers information on which parts fail most often, including air conditioning, axle and suspension, braking, cooling, electrical components, as well as engines. Vital information when it comes to choosing a car without the safety net of a company car scheme.

As Simon Ackers, CEO of Warranty Direct, commented:

“When buying a new car, motorists should look beyond the initial purchase price and examine resources such as the Reliability Index to get a better indication of whether a particular model suits their individual needs.”

So now you’re wondering what the most reliable is take a look at the top ten before you make a decision about your next car.

Hatchback reliability top 10

Reliability       Make/Model           Popularity

1               Volkswagen Polo           6

2               Ford Fiesta                   1

3               Ford Focus                   3

4               Volkswagen Golf           2

5               Vauxhall Corsa             4

6               MINI Cooper                   7

7               Mercedes A-Class         8

8              BMW 1 Series               10

9               Vauxhall Astra               5

10             Audi A3                         9

Source: Warranty Direct