The abundance of service plans included in the purchase prices of new vehicles these days means that actual parts prices are not always at the top of consumers minds when kicking tyres on showroom floors.
Yet not withstanding the fact that one might end up having to keep the vehicle beyond the plan's expiry period, another factor that can't be ignored is that expensive crash replacement parts can affect insurance costs.
The 2016 Kinsey Report, compiled by motoring journalist Malcolm Kinsey, highlights just how expensive it can be to replace what you might have thought of as a relatively simple part. The front door for a Mercedes-Benz GLE or Lexus ES, for instance, can cost you over R18 000. In some instances a single wheel can set you back over R20 000, the survey uncovering prices of R26 904 for an Audi Q7 3.0 TDI's rim and R22 401 for a Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI's wheel.
Modern 'intelligent' headlights can also cost an alarming amount, with Kinsey finding several exceeding R30K: Audi A4 2.0 TDI (R45 486), Audi Q7 3.0 TDI (R43 890), Lexus ES 250 (R36 059) and Mercedes GLE 250 (R33 915).
“Accident and crash parts are a valid concern for all vehicle owners and can impact the finances from day one, whatever insurance policies you may have,” Kinsey said.
“Aluminium clad vehicles are very expensive to repair and the doors, headlights and rims already mentioned add up to an alarming amount - affecting excess, write off points etc.”
Altogether, Kinsey's survey covered 34 common parts needed in servicing, repairs and crashes and his sample included 69 vehicles across multiple segments.
Below is a summary of the highlights and lowlights in each category. For more detail, you can download the full report HERE.
In the 'City Car' category, the Datsun Go had the cheapest parts basket of the 11 cars sampled, at R43 193. However when we look at the basket as a percentage of the car's purchase price, it was VW's Polo Vivo 1.4 Trendline hatch that triumphed at 32.91 percent, pipping the Nissan Micra 1.2 Visia+ (34.4%) and Datsun Go (36%). Worst performers were the Kia Picanto 1.0 LS (60%) and Chevrolet Spark 1.2L (63.9%).
The 'Supermini' segment above that (eight cars) saw fewer extremes, with the Peugeot 208 1.2 Active (R79 690, 35.4%) beating the VW Polo 1.2 TSI Comfortline (R90 161, 37.1%) and the Renault Clio Dynamique (R95 796, 41.49%). The Toyota Yaris 1.0 XS (50.2%) and Renault Sandero Dynamique (51.4%) were the costliest relative to their purchase prices.
Moving up the size ranks to 'Family Favourites' (nine cars), Toyota's Quest 1.6 had the cheapest basket (R72 659) but the far more expensive Corolla 1.6 Prestige scored the best percentagewise (27.6% versus 36.4%) as its basket was only slightly costlier at R76 267. Other strong performers were the VW Golf 1.4 TSI Comfortline (35.7%) and Mazda3 1.6 Dynamic (36.4%). At the other end of the scale, the Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Premium's basket cost more than double the Corolla’s, at R162 147 (54%).
Among the most expensive saloons in the 'Exec Saloon' class, Volvo's S60 T4 had the cheapest basket at R113 822 (24.8%), while the far pricier Jaguar XE 2.0D scored the better percentage (20.8%).
In the German wars, the BMW 320i auto (R134 630, 27.9%) beat the Mercedes C200 (R189 750, 36.8%) and Audi A4 (R201 007, 37.7%). The Lexus ES250 was priciest at R218 122 (43.7%).
Four vehicles were sampled in the ever-popular 'Compact Crossover' segment, with the Citroen Cactus 1.2 Feel (R87 422, 33.6%) beating (percentagewise) the Ford EcoSport 1.0T Trend (R91 730, 34.1%), Renault Duster 1.6 Dynamique (R91 609, 36.2%) and Toyota Avanza 1.5 SX (R90 060, 38.7%).
The 'Crossover' category included 10 SUVs ranging from compact to large, and it was the Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD auto that triumped with the cheapest basket overall (R91 250) and lowest percentage (17.2). It was followed closely by the Chevrolet Trailblazer 2.8D auto (R98 574, 18.5%), while Mitsubishi's ASX 2.0 GLX fared worst at 52.7% (R192 325). Toyota Triumphed again in the 'Executive Crossover' class with its Prado 3.0 DT TX at 20.8% (R156 851), and no vehicles here edged above 31%.
Toyota's Hilux dominated the bakkie categories, with the 2.4 GD faring best among the seven 'Single Cab' contenders (R63 905, 24.6%) and the 2.8 GD-6 (R76 274, 16.3%) acing the 'Double Cab' segment. Only one of the bakkies exceeded the 40% barrier, this being the Ford Ranger 2.2D SC (R95 769, 41.66%).
Among the smaller 3/4-tonne bakkies, Nissan’s NP200 1.6i (R43 967, 27.8%) beat the Chevrolet Utility (R54 347, 33%).
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