JAPANESE cars, including models made in the North-East, are the most reliable, while UK vehicles are the worst, a report has said.

The Warranty Direct company, which compiled the list, said UK brands were bottom of an eight-nation table "thanks to low reliability scores from both Jaguar and Land Rover."

Drawn up from analysis of UK-owned vehicles, the table looked at cars about five-years old with around 50,000 miles on the clock.

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The lower the score given to a particular country's cars, the more reliable they were.

Japan, with a score of 80, was at the the top of the list.

The country's car industry includes Nissan, which makes about 500,000 cars every year at its Sunderland plant.

It was ahead of France, with 113, South Korea, with 123, and the US' 156.

The UK scored 209.

The most common faults for all of the cars analysed were axle, suspension or electrical problems.

David Gerrans, Warranty Direct managing director, said: "Though the automotive industry has many blurred lines now in terms of countries of origin, the average consumer maintains certain preconceptions about car brands and the countries that create them.

"German reliability is an oft-used phrase, but the country's output as a whole doesn't match up to its close neighbours, the French, whose cars as a whole are more reliable."