If your car is constantly breaking down and leaving you stranded at the side of a busy dual carriageway, you won't be keeping it for much longer!

No amount of horsepower or tech is worth the worry that comes with an unreliable car!

And that's why I've written this guide to the cheapest cars to maintain (in other words, the most reliable) in the UK. So take a read and if I've missed out your favourite reliable car, let me know about it in the comments!

The Hyundai i10 is a dinky city car designed for darting through traffic and reverse parking into a space little bigger than a shoebox.

Hyundai released the second generation i10 in 2013 and has updated it pretty diligently every year. The most recent iteration has a bunch of new tech like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which keeps it feeling fresh and relevant for younger drivers.

The exterior design has also been refreshed a bit with a more refined and simplistic look from front to rear.

As with most of Hyundai’s cars, the i10 is a simple mechanical car with few common problems. Whether you pick up a five-year-old i10 or one just out of the factory, you can feel pretty confident that both are just as reliable as each other!

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Hyundai I10 Hatchback

12 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.2
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 93 - 141g/km

From £107.14 Per Month

Initial Rental: £642.84 inc VAT

A two-door sports car on a list for reliability? You better believe it. The first Mazda MX-5 arrived back in 1989 and was a breath of fresh air in the sports car world.

It was fast and small and had a back-to-basics naturally aspirated engine under the bonnet. There was nothing special or fancy about it. It was just you, the car and the road.

Even now, 29 years later, Mazda has stayed true to that back-to-basics mentality. The new fourth-generation MX-5, unveiled in 2014 and released in 2015, is just as fast, just as small and just as basic as the first one off the production line.

And it’s that basic design that provides its reliability and longevity. Nothing much breaks because there’s nothing that can break.

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Mazda Mx-5 Convertible

10 derivatives available

  • Doors: 2
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Sports
  • Drive: M
  • CO2: None

From £154.15 Per Month

Initial Rental: £924.91 inc VAT

Small, French city cars aren’t known for their reliability, especially if you drive them round the pinball machine that is the Arc de Triomphe! Well, things are changing. The Citroen C1, for example, is a completely different beast to its cheap-as-chips predecessor.

The larger 1.2-litre Puretech petrol engine was developed in partnership with BMW, which gives you an idea of how well engineered the C1 is.

Inside, things are utilitarian with hard plastics and a fairly uninspiring design. But everything feels solid enough and, judging from the real driver reviews, it more than lives up to everyday use.

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Citroen C1 Hatchback

10 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.4
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 88 - 109g/km

From £114.07 Per Month

Initial Rental: £684.42 inc VAT

The original Ford Ka was a brilliant workforce of a car. Little bigger than a Little Tykes toy car, they were usually seen with a dozen or so teenagers in the back en route to some party.

Well, like all things the Ford Ka had to grow up.

The new Ford Ka+ isn’t, as you might expect, an evolution from the original icon. Instead, it's a miniaturising of the stupidly popular Ford Fiesta from which it borrows most of its mechanical DNA.

As the cheapest model in Ford’s extensive lineup, you might expect the Ka+ to feel a bit budget.

It doesn't.

The new platform — the Ford B3 platform, if you’re interested — feels super solid and gives the Ka+ an amazingly planted feeling.

The interior design is classy and robust, the soundproofing is decent, reducing wind and road noise to a dull hum and the driver's seat is comfortable and supportive.

On the road, the Ka+ feels smooth, ironing out all but the roughest of roads. The steering, as you’d expect from a city car, is superbly light and precise. Combine that with a wide windscreen and wing mirrors and you’ve got a car that can nip through traffic like a dainty rabbit.

Under the bonnet, you’ve not got too much choice. Well, you might say you’ve got two choice(s).

There’s two engines on offer (technically two versions of the same engine), which produce either 69bhp or 84bhp. They're both nippy on city streets but struggle to get up to motorway speeds without mashing the accelerator to the floor.

All in all, I really like the Ford Ka+ and think they made the right choice to re-engineer the car as a slimmed down Ford Fiesta. With a big boot, spacious interior and great driving experience, it's is a great choice whether you’re looking for a dinky city car or a larger supermini.

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Ford KA+ Hatchback

6 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 1.2 - 1.5
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M
  • CO2: 99 - 129g/km

From £144.42 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,299.78 inc VAT

The Mazda2 (also marketed under the names Mazda Demio, Mazda 121, Mazda Metro and Ford Festiva Mini Wagon) is a pint-sized supermini with a decent interior, good drive and great build quality.

The new fourth-generation Mazda2 launched in 2014 up against the wildly popular Ford Fiesta, the stalwart Vauxhall Corsa and the classy Volkswagen Polo. With so much competition, the Mazda2 needs something a bit more special than just good reliability to stand a chance.

Thankfully, the new generation does more than enough to be worthwhile considering.

You’ve got four engines on offer — well, four variants across two engines — with a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol tuned to 74, 89 or 113 bhp and a super clean 104 bhp 1.5-litre diesel that emits just 89g/km of CO2.

It loses a little bit of mid-range oomf with the lack of the turbocharger but the engine more than makes up for it in sheer pluckiness.

Its lightweight design also helps a lot. The Mazda2 weighs just 1,050 kg so gets off the line and round corners like a finely poised ballet dancer.

Inside, the simple motif continues with a minimal and ergonomic design applied throughout the cabin.

As you might have guessed, the stripped back simplicity of the Mazda2 makes it remarkably reliable with very very few components or systems prone to failure.

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Mazda Mazda2 Hatchback

12 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 1.3 - 1.6
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 89 - 157g/km

From £135.08 Per Month

Initial Rental: £810.48 inc VAT

The second South Korean car on the list, the Kia Picanto is a bit of a dark horse in the super congested city car niche but if you’re looking for something that will drive and drive and drive, you’ll struggle to do better.

Like pretty much every other car on this list, you can choose between a small petrol engine (1.0-litre) and a slightly less small petrol engine (1.25-litre). Neither is particularly fast but you’ll notice the extra pull from the larger unit, especially at low revs.

The ride in the Picanto is decent, if a touch bumpy over rough roads and there's not much body roll in tight, twisty corners.

Oh, and talking of corners, the handling on the Kia is superb. It’s supremely light and pinpoint accurate. It’s an absolute dream to drive!

Unlike a lot of car manufacturers who just boast about building reliable cars, Kia has put its money where its mouth is with a massive seven-year warranty. Yes, there are exclusions — battery, glass, wheel balance, air con — but the nuts and bolts of the car are all covered.

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Kia Picanto Hatchback

15 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.2
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 99 - 138g/km

From £116.60 Per Month

Initial Rental: £699.60 inc VAT

Jumping from Ford Ka+ over the Ford Fiesta to the Ford Focus. The Ford Focus is the quintessential family car, the de-facto ruler of the class since it first launched in 1998. Twenty years later, it’s still leading the way in terms of affordable, family-sized cars.

Ford have gone for an ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach, opting to play it safe with the basic design of the Ford Focus and changing only a few things very gradually with the design in recent years. That approach seems to have worked.

You’ve got Isofix child seat fittings on the rear seats, good all-round headroom and legroom, as well as excellent safety features too, like autonomous braking systems.

378 viewed this car Focus Hatchback

Ford Focus Hatchback

77 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.5
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £164.98 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,484.82 inc VAT

The Peugeot 108 is part of an automotive trio, sharing its chassis, engine, transmission and electrics with the the Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1.

But, just like the Up-Mii-Citigo triangle, there’s enough between these cars for it to be worth considering them individually.

Now into its second generation, Peugeot has ironed out a lot of the niggles we had with its first iteration, which was already a super solid city car.

Style-wise, the 108 fits into Peugeot’s understated range quite nicely. It’s neither brash nor boring and walks a nice line between youth and childishness.

Under the bonnet, you’ve got two engines to choose from — a 1.0-litre petrol and a 1.2-litre petrol — and both are efficient and economical. And while they won’t drag you round the Nurburgring in under ten minutes, they’ll get you about town just fine and they’ll hold their own for short motorway stints.

On the road, it’s a surprisingly sporty affair. The steering's been tightened up a fair bit and new, stiffer suspension makes tight corners a blast.

The cabin’s received a bit of an update too with a nice new design and utilitarian materials used throughout. Higher trim models receive a big infotainment system too, which is a nice bonus for a city car!

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Peugeot 108 Hatchback

9 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 1.0 - 1.2
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 88 - 99g/km

From £131.27 Per Month

Initial Rental: £787.62 inc VAT

In either its petrol or petrol-electric hybrid guise, the Toyota Yaris is a fantastic car. For a small car, cabin space is pretty good with a decent amount of legroom all round. You also get a Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system, complete with a 7-inch screen too, so it’s great if you’re keen on your tech.

As an interesting aside, the powerpack included in the car is essentially a mini-version of that in the Prius, so you get a hint of luxury in the Yaris, as well as proper practicality.

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Toyota Yaris Hatchback

71 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.8
  • Fuel: D, P, H
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 75 - 170g/km

From £153.30 Per Month

Initial Rental: £919.80 inc VAT