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Hastings Direct news: reliability and security

What do you look for in a new car? While aesthetics will undoubtedly play a large part in your decision, security features and reliability should not be overlooked in the name of good looks. As this week's news illustrates, a car's security system and reliability are crucial to peace of mind — something aesthetics doesn't have any bearing on. So, what is the most reliable car on the market today?

Far Eastern cars trump rivals on reliability

car broken down.

Japanese and Korean cars are the most reliable on UK roads, according to the Auto Express UK Dependability Table.

Using data supplied by Warrantywise, each carmaker is ranked by a dependability factor, based on the number of reported faults or breakdowns, with a score of 75 representing the UK average.

Auto Express also took into account the average cost of the repair work, the vehicle age and the model, with the average age for the table being 6.29 years.

The table concludes the motorists will be better off choosing a Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Mitsubishi or Mazda if it is worry-free driving they are craving.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the table it is the premium brands who are propping up the rest, with Jaguar, Maserati and finally Bentley occupying the bottom three places.

Warrantywise CEO, Lawrence Whittaker, commented: "The table shows what we always believe here at Warrantywise, that it's better to be safe than sorry. There are some obvious trends, such as the more exotic you go, the higher the repair bills will be, but there are notable exceptions lower down the price scale, with some of the more mainstream brands showing rather costly repair bills."

Thousands of car thefts go uninvestigated every year

car theft.

Squeezing police budgets mean that over half of the 117,000 cars stolen on an annual basis are never found. In fact, some 30,000 of the 59,000 missing vehicles are not even investigated, according to data obtained by Accident Exchange.

The accident management company — who obtained data from 43 of the 45 police forces in the UK — suggests that £229 million worth of stolen vehicles do not enjoy the privilege of a police investigation.

While businesses appear to be the hardest hit by vehicle thefts, private owners are also affected, the research reveals.

Neil Thomas, director of investigative services at Accident Exchange's fraud investigation department APU, believes that budget cuts and overstretched resources are to blame for car thefts having fallen down police's list of priorities.

He argues that such increasing pressure means ample time cannot be dedicated to the investigation and retrieval of stolen vehicles.

Legality of ANPR database called into question

ANPR data.

It could be argued that police budget cuts are also the reason for the increasing reliance on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). The National ANPR data centre now holds 22 billion car journeys, according to the Surveillance Camera Commissioner.

However, the legality of the database has been called into question by Commissioner Tony Porter. In a report he pointed out: "There is no statutory authority for the creation of the national ANPR database; its creation was never agreed by parliament; and no report on its operation has even been laid before parliament."

With 8,300 cameras now connected into a centralised police database it is estimated that the data centre is receiving around 30 million number plate "reads" each day, the report says.

A spokeswoman from civil liberties group Big Brother Watch urged the lack of statutory oversight to be "urgently addressed", stressing that without it drivers are "none the wiser as to what is happening to their data".

Learner and instructor arrested for being over legal limit

Scottish Government to get stricter on drivers who consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

It goes without saying that before a learner and an instructor step into the car, both must ensure they are under the legal limit otherwise they are breaking the law.

Having failed to abide by this particular law, a driving instructor and his student have been arrested in Surrey.

The pair came onto Surrey Police's radar when the learner driver drove through a road closure — closed to allow police to deal with a drink-driver collision.

Roadside tests showed the learner to be under the influence of illegal drugs. Police then breathalysed the driving instructor, who tested positive for alcohol at four times the legal limit.

Both were arrested and taken into police custody. The story acts as a timely reminder for both learner drivers and their supervisors to ensure they are in a fit state to drive before climbing behind the wheel

© M2 Bespoke 2016