How Reliable Are Aston Martin? A Balanced View Of The Luxury Brand

We take a look at how reliable the classic British brand really are...

Aston Martin are synonymous with British luxury. They make you think of James Bond, of prestige and most of all, driving fast.

Beautifully built, incredible to drive, it seems that there is nothing that Aston Martin can’t do when it comes to making some of the greatest, and coolest, cars ever. 

Except, how reliable are Aston Martin?

You would expect that Aston Martin cars are the most dependable out there, after all, they are extraordinarily built and cost a small fortune to own, but is this the case? Are Aston Martin reliable?

In this article, we look at just how reliable Aston Martin are, and compare their reliability to some of their main rivals.  

How reliable are Aston Martin?

There’s a mixed view when it comes to Aston Martin’s longevity. At one point, Aston Martin’s were very unreliable, but they seem to have become more dependable in recent years.

How reliable is the Aston Martin Vantage?

If we look at what the owners have to say, then they are pretty reliable. Owners of the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Coupe don’t seem to have too many complaints. There have been a few, particularly with the electrics, but overall it seems that owners are pretty happy with how their Aston Martin runs. As one owner has said, ‘needs loving care to find out what’s wrong but usually it’s just a quirk’. One owner, however, said that when it did need fixing it would take days as the parts were often out of stock.

a white Aston Martin V8 Vantage coupe with Blue side view mirrors isolated on a white/silver background

The V8 Vantage has had one recall in the models lifespan. This dealt with the car’s failure to start, and those that suffered from the problem either had trouble starting or simply didn’t start at all. Whatcar also recommends checking the manual gearbox and clutch for wear and tear should you be looking at a second-hand model.

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Is the Aston Martin DB9 reliable?

Carmagazine did a long-term review of the Aston Martin DB9 and reported some problems. These included the Sat-Nav breaking quite early on and the fuel-filler cap failing to release. The emergency release was also broken. According to the review, this happened quite a few times despite it being repaired. However, that does seem to be the only problems they encountered in the ten months they had the car. And while it is an issue, they do seem to be minor issues.

Black Aston Martin Vanquish driving along a country road with the sunset in the background

Carbuyer also noted issues with the DB9 but they also noted that the DB9 shares its brakes, gearbox and electronics with other mainstream cars which means that they should be more reliable than they once were.

So, there do appear to be a few problems with Aston Martin when it comes to reliability. That said, many of these issues have been ironed out or are being worked on. The Vantage recall was quite a big issue, your car not starting isn’t exactly ideal, but that seems to have been fixed and there have been no reports of any recalls since.

Why are Aston Martin unreliable?

You may be thinking ‘if a car is so expensive, why is it so unreliable?’ and you would be justified in thinking that. A car as pricey as an Aston Martin shouldn’t have any problems, but it actually seems to be the opposite when it comes to prestigious cars.

One of the reasons Aston Martin are more unreliable than mainstream models is that they are hand-built. This means that while the quality and the uniqueness of the car is unbeatable, it doesn’t have the dependability of more mainstream models that use sophisticated and modern manufacturing techniques.

Another reason that they may be considered unreliable is due to the availability, and cost, of parts. As one owner mentioned, when they tried to get their Aston Martin repaired it took days because the parts weren’t in stock. This is quite common with cars as prestigious as the likes of Aston Martin, because they don’t use the same parts as mainstream models. They are likely to be harder to source and also more expensive. Therefore this can bring the reliability down.

Another reason why Aston Martin are considered unreliable is because they aren’t necessarily designed for constant, everyday use. Many owners state that an Aston Martin isn’t a car you use to do your weekly shop in. Therefore, if you are to use your Aston Martin on a daily basis, then you may find that it suffers more wear and tear than an Aston Martin that is used every so often, and more than your average mainstream car that is designed to be used constantly.

All of that said, it should be noted that Aston Martin are making changes when it comes to reliability. So while Aston Martin were once unreliable, they might not be in the future.

How do you measure reliability?

One of the problems with trying to measure reliability for Aston Martin’s is that they aren’t that common. When we usually assess a brand’s longevity we tend to look at consumer reports and surveys, and gather our information from there.

However, there aren’t that many Aston Martins on the road, which means that they aren’t included in any consumer reports or surveys because there aren’t enough on the road for us to gather data from. In fact, in 2015 it was reported that Aston Martin had sold just 70,000 cars in its history. That is less than what Ford sold in 2012 alone.

So, a lack of data and information makes it harder to work out how reliable a car is. However, we can go by recalls and other reports. Aston Martin owners have given feedback on how reliable the model they own is. And, there are reviews and expert opinions that predict how reliable a car will be.

Despite a lack of data, the information that we do have tends to be pretty accurate. Owner feedback is one of the most accurate ways of telling how reliable a car is, as they are the ones driving the car and are therefore the ones who know how reliable it is. Information regarding recalls is also accurate.

Orange/red Aston Martin Vanquish Convertible parked outside a building

Overall, using owner feedback is one of the best ways of knowing if a car is reliable or not.

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

We’ve established how reliable Aston Martin are, but how does this compare to some of its rivals; Bentley and Porsche?

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

Bentley are very similar to Aston Martin, in that there aren’t many on the roads. This can make it difficult to determine how reliable they are. That said, there are some reports and it appears that Bentley are of similar dependability to Aston Martin. Bentley have run into some trouble in the past, a low point being when they came last in the table for reliability by WarrantyDirect. When Bentley’s do go wrong, they also tend to take a longer time to repair and they are more costly to repair. This is essentially for the same reason Aston Martin take a longer time to repair. However, it does appear as if Bentley are working on becoming more reliable.

Porsche, on the other hand, have been making some serious strides when it comes to reliability. Once at the bottom of the reliability league tables, Porsche came first in the 2017 J.D Power Vehicle Dependability Study. This is a huge leap from being at the bottom for reliability in previous years. One of the reasons this could be is the fact that Porsche have had time to work on the modern technology they are putting in their cars and iron out any issues that they may have once had. Not only that, but their Cayenne and Macan models are very popular, and are more common on our roads than the likes of Bentley and Aston Martin. This means that their repair costs could be lower and they also might take less time to repair. This further increases a car’s reliability.

dark grey porsche 718 boxster parked on gravel road in front of forested area

If you are looking for a car brand that is going to be reliable as it is sporty and luxurious, then you will probably want to look at Porsche. That said, Aston Martin and Bentley are brands full of prestige and history, so there will be many that can overlook their rocky past with reliability.

In conclusion, Aston Martin haven’t had the best past when it comes to dependability. There have been a few issues and these issues tend to be expensive to repair and can take a long time to do so. If you want a sports car that is also solidly reliable then you might want to look at getting a Porsche. That said, Aston Martin have improved their reliability recently. And also, if you are looking at an Aston Martin then dependability probably isn’t at the forefront of your mind, and we are sure that if you are looking at Aston Martin, it’s because you want a sports car that drives like a dream and that comes with heaps of prestige and history. Because at the end of the day, Aston Martin still create some of the best cars ever made, and no amount of questionable reliability will change that.

If you would like to see other manufacturer’s reliability then you can explore this here.

Think the Aston Martin is right for you? Discover which one you should buy with  our latest car reviews
Holly Martin

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

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