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!
Rachel Richardson
Latest posts by Rachel Richardson (see all)

58 Comments

  • Bob Lafferty| 20th June 2020 at 6:15 pm Reply

    want to buy a very low mile Bentley GT convertible 3 to 4 years old that has all the bells and whistles . The light blue with cream interior would do

    • Rachel Richardson| 22nd June 2020 at 11:17 am Reply

      Hi Bob,
      Thank you for your comment. We would recommend you go to a local Bentley dealer in the US as we are only able to look after UK-based clients.

  • James and Judy Beck| 16th June 2020 at 3:25 am Reply

    I have a Lexus sc430 and it is all the luxury tahat anyone needs. Head turn and everyone think I am wealthy and it is a chick magnet.

  • Yemi| 10th May 2020 at 7:54 pm Reply

    Hi Rachel, I can definitely confirm that Bentley in this case the Continental GT are unreliable. Firstly no transparency with their labour cost and parts prices. I have a Bentley Continental 2010, under 14000 miles all serviced by Bentley and rarely driven then one day an issue which a Bentley specialist having examined said should not cost half the price I was charged a whooping £7k circa. In all honesty, I believe the Porsche is far better on reliability and solid. Its like the Bentleys should be kept in the garage and only driven once in a while to avoid an issue popping up. That really works me up on Bentley reliabilty. Maybe the most recent models. But it has been dissapointing.

  • Hart Golding| 3rd May 2020 at 11:42 pm Reply

    This is a really stupid review. As an owner of a Bentley Arnage, I do not find it at all unreliable. The car is my daily driver. If one wants to gripe, it is the cost of parts, not that you’ll need them too often on a well maintained example. But cars will be cars, and things do go wrong. But day-to-day reliability, as the reviewer keeps on harping about, should not be an issue at all. These cars were designed to be used as everyday cars, not to be preened in one’s garage.

    • Rachel Richardson| 4th May 2020 at 8:28 am Reply

      Hi Hart,

      Thank you for your feedback. This review was written using UK data – it was intended for a UK-based audience and used information gathered from multiple resources in the country, including consumer reports and information from warranty/insurance companies. One thing that was taken into serious consideration was the price of repairs. Whether it’s used for daily driving or weekend jaunts, if something goes wrong it can be costly to repair and this is something that people do like to know prior to spending money on a luxury vehicle.

  • keith| 28th April 2020 at 1:56 am Reply

    I am looking at buying a particular 2011 Mulsanne as I like the colour, etc.
    It is well priced because it has 90,000 miles.
    These have been long country drives and regularly serviced by the Bentley dealer for its one owner.
    Are thee any problems I should look out for?
    Is this a reliable model?
    Thanks keith.

    • Rachel Richardson| 29th April 2020 at 8:46 am Reply

      Hi Keith,

      We would recommend you ensure that you are getting all the documents with your vehicle and you check its history (to make sure it hasn’t been written off at any point). The best place to find out if there have been issues with this particular model and year would be on owner forums. Bentley is such an iconic manufacturer that there are ownership forums on the internet where people who own this model and others (older and newer) will be able to offer guidance to a prospective or new owner.

      Of course, if you decide you would like a brand new Bentley, please get in touch with our vehicles experts on 01903 538835 and they will be happy to help.

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