Durban - Unless you make a point of only owning cars within their warranty and service plan shelf life, you're going to want to check out the parts pricing on that new ride to avoid any nasty surprises down the line. But how?
Motoring journalist Malcolm Kinsey has been helping consumers make sense of car parts prices for 25 years now and his latest price comparison is as pertinent as ever, given the worryingly exorbitant prices it reveals in some instances.
The 2015 Kinsey Report covers 74 vehicles within nine categories and as always, the parts prices are attained anonymously by requesting quotes from numerous dealers for each vehicle surveyed.
IT PAYS TO SHOP AROUND
As car companies only set a recommended selling price for cars, dealers are free to charge whatever they deem to be fair and reasonable, so it certainly pays to shop around when sourcing parts.
Of great concern is that this year's report shows some alarmingly high prices which Kinsey doesn't feel can be blamed entirely on the weak rand, and there were instances where items such as alloy wheels and windscreens cost over R10 000. Fixing damaged bakkies can also be unexpectedly costly as some manufacturers only offer complete load boxes, whereas others at least allow you to buy single sides.
“The area of crash parts is probably the most important in this study - most certainly the most costly,” says Kinsey. “Servicing and warranties plans cover most costs for as much as 120 000km (Mercedes) but the moment you drive your new vehicle out of the showroom you and your insurance company are potentially liable to enormous costs.”
Kinsey also warned about the high cost of replacing aluminium body panels, which are becoming increasingly common in premium vehicles, and which can sometimes sway the insurer's sums in the direction of writing it off.
Below you'll find a summary of the best and worst performers in each category and in the full report, which you can download HERE, you'll see the full list of prices for the chosen sample of 35 parts and the cost of each parts basket as a percentage of the car's selling price. Previous Kinsey Reports can be found on www.kinseyreport.co.za.
2015 KINSEY REPORT: THE RESULTS
City cars and Entry Level: 11 cars
The new Datsun Go is a clear winner with a parts basket of R37 631, followed by the Nissan Micra 1.2 at R44 479 and the Polo Vivo 1.4 at R49 805. Worst performers were the Hyundai i10 1.1 Motion (R68 440), Honda Brio 1.2 Comfort (R71 807) and Chevrolet Spark 1.2 LS (R91 209).
Super Minis: 10 cars
The Renault Sandero (R65 517) narrowly pips the Fiat 500 (R65 738) with the Peugeot 208 a not-too distant 3rd (R67 463). The most expensive parts baskets belonged to the Ford Fiesta 1.0T (R88 569), Toyota Yaris 1.0 (R97 805) and Chevrolet Sonic RS (R100 530).
Family favourites: 9 cars
Two 1.6-litre Toyota Corollas take 1st and 2nd - the new-shape Prestige just edging out the Quest at R67 078 vs R69 466. Third is the Alfa Giulietta at R85 384) while the dearest contenders are the Kia Cerato 1.6, at R101 416, as well as the Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T (R124 894) and Mazda3 1.6 (R133 327).
Executive Saloons: 7 cars
The first three places are separated by just R2 500, ranging from R106 194 to R108 700. Leader is the BMW 3 Series, followed by the Audi A4 and Infiniti Q50. At the back we find Merc's C200 (R153 944) and Jag's XF 2.0 (R189 537).
Compact Crossovers: 4 vehicles
The Toyota Avanza heads up this class with a parts basket of R67 786, ahead of the Ford Eco Sport 1.0T (R78 804) and Renault Duster (R79 693).
Crossovers: 10 vehicles
Toyota's Fortuner 3.0 D-4D heads the list here with a parts basket of R77 413 compared with the second-placed Kia Sportage 2.0 CRDi at R92 992 and the Toyota Rav4 2.2 D-4D at R97 708. The Hyundai ix35 1.7 CRDi and Honda CR-V 2.0 were the priciest, with their respective baskets costing R155 551 and R184 636.
Executive Crossovers: 7 vehicles.
The winner here is the Volvo XC 90 D4 with a total parts basket price of R164 508, followed by the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI and close on its heels the Toyota Prado. All these vehicles have extensive service plans and it is only if they are kept for a long time or run up very high mileages that the cost of servicing could become an issue. Most expensive here is the Mercedes ML 250 (R224 736) and BMW X5 3.0D (R260 052).
Double Cabs: 8 vehicles
Here three countries of origin compete for the top position. India wins with the Tata Xenon (R58 527) followed by Japan with the Toyota Hilux Raider (R85 986) and China's GWM Steed 6 with a parts basket of R89 437. Most expensive trio were the Ford Ranger 2.2 (R100 470), Nissan Navara 2.5 (R112 087) and VW Amarok Bi TDi (R132 382).
Single Cabs: 8 vehicles
The Nissan NP 200, with a parts basket of R47 026, just pips its larger brother Nissan NP 300 Hardbody for first spot. Third is the Chev Utility 1.4 Club. At the other end were the scale were the Ford Ranger 2.2 at R116 336 and VW Amarok 2.0 TDI at R119 164.