For many motoring experts, when a vehicle approaches 200,000 miles on the clock, it’s nearing its life expectancy.
But there are many vehicles in the UK that have gone further, exceeding the 250,000 mile barrier.
And the Skoda Octavia – on sale in Britain since 1998 – tops the list, with more 250,000-mile-plus Octavias on the road compared with any other car.
Second in the longevity stakes is the VW Passat, which has been facelifted and reinvented countless times since the mid 1970s.
Meanwhile a hybrid occupies third spot in the list – a Toyota Prius – which appears to have longer legs than its nearest rival, the Ford Mondeo.
The stats have been uncovered by MotorEasy, the UK’s fastest growing motoring association, thanks to a Freedom of Information request to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
MotorEasy founder Duncan McClure Fisher said: “Finding a car that’ll run and run is the Holy Grail for most motorists on a budget. “If you’re investing in a vehicle you want it to last as long as possible, and many of the cars in this list will also have been used in the taxi trade, too.
“And with more high-mileage examples on the road than any other car, the Skoda Octavia appears to have real staying power.
“It’s also slightly surprising that the Toyota Prius is in the top three.
“But when a car has such good fuel economy – around 80 miles to the gallon for the latest model – it’s no wonder Prius owners want to keep them on the road for as long as humanly possible.”
According to the DVSA stats, there are currently 1,950 Octavia’s with a valid MOT showing 250,000 miles or more, with the test passed between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019.
That compares with 1,874 entries for the Passat, 1,742 for the Prius, 1,278 for the Mondeo, and 1,047 Golfs. Other cars making up the top 10 are the Toyota Avensis, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz E Class, Ford Galaxy and the Audi A6.
Meanwhile the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was at the head of a separate list for vans and taxis – trouncing nearest rival the Ford Transit, with 9,295 high mileage Sprinters compared with 4,773 Transits legally on the road.
The research also tallies with MotorEasy’s own findings. Earlier this year the firm, which provides car servicing, MOTs, repairs and protection products including GAP and warranty cover, released a ‘reliability’ run down. It analysed 47,000 warranty plans, over a period of two and a half years and involving 33 manufacturers, to asses the number of repairs requested, as well as the cost of those fixes. While Japanese firm Subaru topped the list – with nearest rival Honda proving almost four times more likely to need a repair – Czech brand Skoda came a respectable sixth in the top 33.
Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, was the brand most likely to break down – with 43 out of every 100 cars developing a fault each year – at an average cost of £215.
McClure Fisher says there are a number of things motorists can do to increase the longevity of their vehicles. He explains: “Key to extending a car’s life is thorough, regular servicing and maintenance, making sure the oil and relevant filters are changed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
“Adopting a smooth driving style will also decrease wear and tear on a car’s engine and components, as well as reducing repair bills.
“Keep fluid levels topped up – with a car running low on oil a recipe for disaster.
“And also vital your car is kept clean in order to combat accelerated wear, corrosion and the dreaded rust.”
According to the DVSA, there are 73,110 vehicles with an MOT conducted where the recorded mileage was greater than 250,000.
The models listed below account for around 42,5000 of these vehicles – which means 58% of all cars with more than 250k on the clock are one of the following:
TOP 10 CARS – NUMBER OF VEHICLES WITH A MILEAGE OF 250,000 OR MORE:
Skoda Octavia – 1,950
VW Passat- 1,874
Toyota Prius- 1,742
Ford Mondeo- 1,278
VW Golf- 1,047
Toyota Avensis- 1.027
Audi A4 – 997
Mercedes Benz E Class – 956
Ford Galaxy – 899
Audi A6 – 637
TOP VANS – NUMBER OF VEHICLES WITH A MILEAGE OF 250,000 OR MORE:
Mercedes Sprinter – 9,295
Ford Transit – 4,773
London Taxis Int TXII – 4,274
VW Transporter – 3,128
London Taxis Int TX4 – 2,808
Mercedes-Benz Vito – 1,833
Peugeot Expert – 1,437
Renault Master – 756
Iveco Daily – 744