Is Bentley reliable? An honest assessment of the prestigious brand

We take a look at whether one of the most prestigious brands in the world is really reliable...

Bentley is synonymous with luxury, prestige and quality car making. If you drive a Bentley, then you are sure to get a few, or several, envious looks as you drive through the city streets.

And, of course, with quality car making, luxury and prestige, you’re going to get reliability too, right, guys?

Guys?

Not so much. The thing is, Bentley aren’t exactly known for their longevity. In fact, the are possibly the most unreliable cars in Britain. A strong statement, but one that we can back up with evidence.

So in this article we are going to look at just how unreliable Bentley are, why, and how this fares against their other luxury competitors.

Is Bentley reliable?

No, not at all. That’s the quick answer. The long answer is no, Bentley are really not reliable and there are so many reports to back this up.

A report by the Telegraph, WhatCar? And WarrantyDirect found that Bentley was the least reliable car brand out of 37 manufacturers. The survey looked at used cars, rather than new, and found that the average mileage for a Bentley was just 38,113 miles. This isn’t much compared to Honda in first place, who average over 50,000 miles. The average cost of a repair on a Bentley is £678.50 and the highest cost for a repair on a Bentley reached £8,406.65 which is very expensive, even for a Bentley.

White Bentley Continental convertible on a road with grass in the background

The Week also reported that the survey found that 93% of Bentley’s suffered a problem each year, making them officially the least reliable car maker in Britain.

If we look at the reviews on carbuyer for the Bentley Continental Coupe, they are mixed. There are quite a few low star ratings when it comes to reliability, and there is an emphasis on the cost of the repairs as well. But then there are others that say that the car is great and have awarded it five stars for reliability.

Overall though, it would appear that Bentley are not that reliable.

How reliable are surveys?

Now, how reliable are these surveys? Because some might say that more people give a response if they are unhappy about something than if they were happy. Which is true in a sense, you are much more likely to know about a bad experience than a good one.

But in the case of looking at a cars reliability, consumer reports and surveys are pretty accurate. Take what we have just discovered about Bentley, the study was conducted by WarrantyDirect who have access to 50,000 extended warranty cases. This gives them a huge pool of data to draw their conclusions from. This result then matches up with other reports of unreliability from other consumer surveys and customer feedback, so we know that the findings are pretty reliable.

Bentley Bentayga Estate parked near a yacht bay

That said, there is an issue with consumer surveys in this case. And that’s that not many people actually own Bentley’s. They aren’t a common car, you aren’t going to see one parked at your local Lidl and so those doing the surveys won’t have as much data as if they were looking into the reliability of Honda, or Ford, for example. In fact, in 2013, only 10,120 Bentleys were sold. That may seem like a lot, but compared to Volkswagen, who sold 9.93 million cars in 2015, it’s a tiny amount. So, the pool of people eager to talk about their Bentley is much smaller than those who may be eager to talk about their Volkswagen.

However, overall, consumer reports and surveys are a reliable way of judging how dependable a car is.

Why is Bentley unreliable?

We’ve established that Bentley is hugely unreliable. But, why?

Well, luxury cars appear to break down more often, and the repairs can be very expensive. Also, the parts can be difficult and time consuming to source. This all adds up to unreliability. Bentley’s do cost a fortune to fix due to the price of the parts they are made with. But it seems like these parts are prone to breaking down.

Bentley vs. Porsche vs. Aston Martin; Which is more reliable?

In this section of our article, we look at three main competitors and take a look at which is more reliable of the three. In this case, we put Bentley against other luxury heavy weights, Porsche and Aston Martin.

Aston Martin fare pretty well on carbuyer when it comes to owner reviews. There are heaps of four and five stars for dependability, with only a handful of three or lower. Whatcar is a similar story for the DB9, though there are some reports of unreliability, including it cutting out and problems with the technology in the car. That said, there are only a handful of reports like this, so overall Aston Martin don’t do too badly.

Porsche, on the other hand, fare just as badly as Bentley. Only coming in one above Bentley in the worst car brands for reliability, Porsche have an average mileage of £41,828 which does fare better than Bentley’s £38,113. But, they cost more to repair. The average cost to repair a Porsche is £784.71 and the most expensive repair came to £10,348. Which is very expensive.

Porsche Cayenne red driving on the road

When looking at what owners on AutoExpress have said, there is a handful of reports of serious unreliability, with some giving it 1/5 but others being slightly more generous with higher marks. So it really does depend.

It appears that Aston Martin has come out on top in this case. That said, there isn’t much on Aston Martin’s reliability, probably because they are just as rare as Bentley’s. But, with the information we have got, it seems that Porsche and Bentley are just as unreliable as each other, and Aston Martin is slightly more reliable.

In conclusion, Bentleys are very unreliable. But, if you are going to get a Bentley, you are going to get a Bentley. One can assume that those who drive a car such as a Bentley don’t buy it because of its reliability. They buy it for its build quality, its marque and the status that comes with it. The average Bentley owner owns eight cars. Eight. Something tells me they aren’t too worried about whether their car will make it past 30,000 miles or not. But, in the event that you are concerned about reliability, maybe look at an Aston Martin. Or even better, look at a Honda or Toyota.

You know what the reports say, but what do we think?  Read our Bentley reviews here!

Holly Martin

Content Co-ordinator at OSV Ltd
Holly enjoys: Reading, music and spending time with friends.

Within a week of Holly starting work at OSV she became an indispensable part of the marketing team. She's very intuitive and gets on with the whole office effortlessly.
Holly Martin

42 Comments

  • Michael| 7th October 2019 at 2:25 am Reply

    I have a 1999 Bentley Arnage, and it is the best car I ever owned.
    With the BMW engine and twin turbos, it is Fast, Reliable, good mileage, reasonable part prices, and a pleasure to drive.
    I would not own any other year Bentley……unless I won the Lottery, or money was no consideration.

    • St. Anselm| 26th October 2019 at 8:28 pm Reply

      Fine response to a mildly irritating article–thank you for piping up! I own a ’99 Arnage, as well, and though the old boy has required some expensive love, he is a top-class performer with unimpeachable style and grace.

      • Rachel Richardson| 28th October 2019 at 8:39 am Reply

        Hello St. Anselm,

        We are sorry that you’ve found this article to be mildly irritating. We are writing for a British audience and looking at vehicles that are currently available for purchase on the UK market. We use a wide range of data to produce our articles, ranging from warranty companies and manufacturers to consumer reports.

        The article was written to help people make an informed decision on their next vehicle. Loyalty is important and it is clear that this is a manufacturer you have loyalty to.

    • Rachel Richardson| 7th October 2019 at 2:25 pm Reply

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your comment on the reliability fo your 1999 Bentley. It appears that you have found a vehicle that fits your lifestyle. I am sure that if any of our US readers are looking into the reliability of an older model Bentley they will find this post helpful.

  • It Segar| 5th September 2019 at 7:35 pm Reply

    My bentley is a 2007 with 30000 miles. Have had it now for approximately. 2 months. Love the car but already has a few problems- the trunk does not close and lock, all bolts for the seats are completely rusted and it needs new engine vatcum seals. I believe the dealer should have addressed these issues before I drove it off their lot. Although I love the car I am going to sell it as I am afraid it will become a major problem. Porsche a unreliable car? No fricking way. I have owned 7 of them including a 2016 Turbo and all have been extremely reliable. Too bad Porsche has upped the price so much over the last couple years.

    • Rachel Richardson| 11th September 2019 at 4:10 pm Reply

      Hi,

      Thank you for your comments on the reliability of Bentley and Porsche. We use multiple sources when we compile our reports and cite various consumer surveys, data from warranty companies and manufacturers in order to ensure that the information is as accurate as possible for the UK market. However, these articles are currently under review and will be updated over the coming months in order to ensure they are using the most up-to-date information available for UK consumers.

  • William D Williams| 24th July 2019 at 8:59 am Reply

    I have a Bentley Azure and a Bentley Arnage T sports level 2 and both are superb to drive and the build quality is second to none .
    Apart from normal service upkeep both cars are fantastic and up to now have been reliable.
    William D.Williams

    • Rachel Richardson| 24th July 2019 at 9:10 am Reply

      Hi William,

      Many thanks for your comments about the reliability of your two Bentley vehicles. It’s always really good for our readers to have the views of people who have been driving the cars we talk about. We wish you many good years with your vehicles, but if you are ever looking for a new vehicle, and you are based in the UK, please get in touch with Amanda in our office on 01903 223391 and she will be able to get you in touch with one of our vehicle experts.

  • Lars Patinski| 12th July 2019 at 9:15 pm Reply

    I’d take this review with a big old grain of salt. In the US Porsche is always at the top of quality surveys and reviews.

    • Rachel Richardson| 15th July 2019 at 1:23 pm Reply

      Hi Lars,

      Thank you for your comment regarding Porsche reliability in the US. We use a great number of resources in order to gather the most up-to-date and valid information relevant to UK drivers, including manufacturers, consumer reports and warranty/insurance companies.

  • Ron Beau| 7th July 2019 at 3:42 am Reply

    As with many cars, it depends on which model in the lineup. A Continental GT? Yeah, that 12 cylinder VW is going to be a nightmare. An Arnage? BMW 8 cylinder, very reliable. You can buy a Lotus Evora with a Camry engine and it’ll be very reliable – and who would guess that’s a Toyota motor under that beautiful hood? Do your research, not on the brand, but on the model.

    • Rachel Richardson| 8th July 2019 at 5:00 pm Reply

      Hi Ron,
      Thank you for your comment. I am sure that our readers will find the information helpful. We do look at reliability of individual models in the reviews of the specific ranges by each manufacturer on the website. This particular article is an overview of the brand as a whole.

    Leave comments

    Your email address will not be published.*



    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Back to top