The latest JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study has seen Kia and Volvo come out joint top as manufacturers of Britain's most dependable cars. The two firms scored the lowest number of problems per 100 vehicles, leading Skoda in third place and Suzuki in fourth.

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It was a surprise at the other end of the chart, though: the least dependable brands were Land Rover, Audi and, in dead last place, BMW. The Munich brand suffered 198 problems per 100 vehicles, compared to just 83 for Kia and Volvo.

The 2017 industry average was 131 problems per 100 vehicles.

More than 12,000 vehicle owners were surveyed as part of the study, which looks at cars between one and three years of age. It quizzes owners about problems experienced over the past 12 months, investigating 177 problem areas from vehicle exterior and interior, engine and gearbox, features and controls plus the driving experience itself. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey found that premium car owners are more demanding than volume or value brands. 58 percent of those who experience no problems say they will definitely buy the same brand of car again. If problems arise, though, that plummets to less than 50 percent.

Fewer than 50 percent of volume car brands will buy the same make again even if they don't experience any problems. If they do, it drops to 40 percent – and the more problems they suffer, the lower the likelihood of a repeat purchase. This alone shows just how important good vehicle reliability is for car brands. 

"Minor issues... can be very frustrating for owners and can negatively affect brand loyalty," said JD Power Europe head of research March Lendrich. 

"These design problems aren't easy to fix at a service appointment and, if the owner has to live with these problems for the duration of the time they have the vehicle, they're less likely to purchase the same brand in the future."

Source: JD Power