The cheapest and most expensive cars to service in South Africa

A new report out this week shows how much of an impact the rand has had on the price of car parts in South Africa over the past 12 months.

The 2016 Kinsey Report, published by veteran motoring scribe Malcolm Kinsey, covers 69 vehicles in nine categories.

The report shows a list of prices of 34 parts and the cost of each “parts basket” as a percentage of a car’s price.

Kinsey noted that the rand has been under extreme pressure over the past 12 months, and exchange rates have obviously had an adverse effect on the cost of imports.

“Our motor industry requires massive volumes of foreign exchange to import all the vehicles we need in SA and with these adverse exchange rates, the prices of vehicles and parts have inevitably had to increase, some dramatically,” he said.

Read: These car brands provide the best service in South Africa
The locally assembled vehicles which are exported to other countries are not able to come near matching the amount spent on imports, he said.

South Africa exports about 28,000 vehicles per month – Mercedes 10,000 units; VW & Toyota 6,000; BMW 4,000; Ford 1,500; Nissan 500; and GMSA 200 – but not enough to come close to countering the foreign exchange problem.

The report found that with a few exceptions, there have been increases in the cost of the 2016 basket of 34 parts, – ‘some of which are quite astounding’.

“Wheel rims in some cases are over R20,000 each, doors in excess of R15,000  and if your car is fitted with  “intelligent lights”  a replacement may be in the R30,000 to R45,000 bracket. Many manufacturers offer these in place of the relatively affordable halogen for their upmarket vehicles. These components are in the crash parts category and in general this is the area where there has been the steepest price increase,” the report said.

Service parts have remained more affordable, along with repair parts which have also remained somewhat in check.

Highlighted results by category:

City Cars and Entry Level: – 11 cars

This spans cars priced from just under R120,000 for the Datsun Go to the Ford Figo Hatch at close on R174,000 and obviously the specifications for these two are substantially different and not surprisingly at opposing ends of the parts basket cost.

Like 2015, the Datsun Go is the winner, followed by the Nissan Micra, and VW Polo Vivo.

  1. Datsun Go – R43 193 [2015: R37 631]
  2. Nissan Micra – R55 071 [2015: R44 479]
  3. VW Polo Vivo – R56 968 [2015: R49 805]

Service costs are lowest for the Datsun Go and next best for the Chevrolet Spark (which suffers from comparatively high crash parts prices and comes in with the highest overall basket price of all).

The repair parts prices are best for the Go and Micra and the Datsun Go scores top points ahead of the VW Polo for crash parts, Kinsey said.

Datsun Go

Super Mini: – 8 cars

Prices here vary from just on R163,000 for the Renault Sandero to R243,300 for the VW Polo, in this category.T

The Renault Sandero has been demoted to 2nd place in the parts basket total this year, pipped by the Peugeot 208. VW Polo 1.2 TSi in third place.

  1. Peugeot 208 – R79 690 [2015: R67 463]
  2. Renault Sandero – R83 783 [2015: R65 517]
  3. VW Polo 1.2 TSi – R90 161 [2015: R82 583]

The Sandero has the most competitive service parts basket at R3,016 closely followed by the Polo at R3,279. Repair parts leaders are the Polo and Chevrolet Sonic , pretty much on a par at R14,500 and R14,700 respectively.

Peugeot 208 with R58,781 leads the Sandero with R61,631 and the rest in the crash parts section. Chevrolet again falls down on crash parts prices, the report said.


Family Favourites: – 9 cars

The least expensive in this class is the Toyota Quest at R199,400 and prices increase up to the VW Golf 7 at R329,900. This class is the exception to the rule, where two similar cars, the Toyota Corolla Quest and Prestige, are both included, the report said.

The Toyota Quest has the cheaper parts basket compared to its fellow brand-mate, the Toyota Prestige. The Mazda 3 is third.

  1. Toyota Quest – R72 659 [2015: R69 446]
  2. Toyota Prestige – R76 267 [2015: R67 078]
  3. Mazda 3 – R97 343 [2015: R133 327]

Golf 7 is the cheapest to service at R3,968, followed by Chevrolet Cruze at R4,361. To repair these family favourites you are better off if you drive a Mazda 3 with a repair basket at R13,272 or a Honda Jazz at R13,520, the report said.

The Toyotas are the least costly for crash parts – the Quest at R50,168 and the Prestige at R54,744. Some brands are very expensive in this section – pushing close to or over R100,00 for the 17 crash parts.


Compact Crossovers: – 4 vehicles

These are all in the region of R250,000, the Toyota Avanza the lowest at R232,900 and the most pricey the Ford Eco Sport at R268,900. These are the very useful “Mom’s Taxis” of the crossover section.

Citroen Cactus is in top position with a very small increase in its 2015 costs, displacing the Toyota Avanza – with the Renault Duster retaining its third position.

  1. Citroen Cactus – R87 422 [2015: R86 706]
  2. Toyota Avanza – R90 060 [2015: R67 786]
  3. Renault Duster – R91 609 [2015: R 79 693]

The report pointed out that the Duster has substantially lower servicing costs than the rest at R2,748 with the Avanza in second with R4,072.

Repair costs are most economical for the Avanza at R13,146 followed by the Cactus at R15,977 and the Cactus and the Ford Eco Sport will the least damaging to your basket in the event of a crash – at R66,422 and R68,802 respectively.


Crossovers: – 10 vehicles

Ranging in price from the Toyota RAV at R362,900 to the Chevrolet Trailblazer at R533,100, these are for many the vehicle of choice in SA.

Toyota Fortuner again takes top spot, ahead of the Chevrolet Trailblazer – one of the few with a reduced price from the previous year .

Third spot is claimed by the recently re-launched Hyundai Tucson.

  1. Toyota Fortuner – R91 250 [2015: R77 413]
  2. Chevrolet Trailblazer – R98 574 [2015: R109 801]
  3. Hyundai Tucson – R114 721

Mitsubishi ASX has the least expensive service basket at R3,152 followed by the Nissan X Trail at R3,996.

Chevrolet and Hyundai are ahead for servicing parts – Trailblazer at R8,729 and Tucson at R9,288. The Toyota Fortuner has the most modest crash basket – R74,410, followed by the Trailblazer R84,403 and the only other vehicle with a crash parts basket of under R100,000 is the Ford Kuga at R91,752.


Executive Crossovers: – 7 vehicles

Prices in this category range between the Range Rover Evoque costing R743,858 to the BMW X5 at R968,104.

The Toyota Prado is up from third to first in 2016, displacing the Volvo XC 90, the report said. “The reason for this is that there is a less expensive option available this year, as opposed to the Middle East spec vehicle of 2015.”

The Prado’s 2016 parts basket pips the XC90 basket, and includes the Volvo’s facelift which only came out after the 2015 figures were collected. Third this year, one place higher than last year is the Range Rover Evoque.

  1. Toyota Prado – R156 851 [2015: R173 713]
  2. Volvo XC 90 – R179 563 [2015: R164 508]
  3. Range Rover Evoque – R228 823 [2015: R180 247]

Service parts are least expensive for the XC90 at R5,143 and the Evoque at R6,516.

Volvo also comes in best in the repair section at R12,813 followed by the Prado – R12,978.

The Prado comes into its own with extremely competitive crash parts prices – R25,000 less than the Volvo at R136,293 compared with R161,606, and all the others over R200,000.


Double Cabs: – 7 vehicles

Prices here vary from R264,995 for the Tata Xenon to R519,200 for the VW Amarok. Tata again, has the most economical parts basket with the Toyota Hilux  in 2nd spot. GWM Steed has taken 3rd place..

  1. Tata Xenon – R67 623 [2015: R58 527]
  2. Toyota Hilux – R76 274 [2015: R85 986]
  3. GWM Steed – R92 355 [2015: R89 437]

In the servicing section the GWM is lowest at R2,291 , substantially ahead of the Ford Ranger – R4,405 and  Tata Xenon – R 4,811. In the repair section the VW Amarok has the best figures with R8,270 but one must bear in mind, that, being an automatic, there are no prices included for clutch and pressure plate and flywheel.

Second behind the Amarok is the GWM with a repair basket of R13,214.

Tata just leads the crash parts total with R46,732. The Hilux, which is locally built and so has the advantage of having many of the body pressings made here, is not far behind at R48,761.


Single Cabs: – 7 vehicles

The cars in this category range from the Nissan NP 200 selling for R157,900 and the Chev Utility, to the R298,800 Amarok 2.0.

The Nissan NP200, Chev Utility and the Nissan NP300 slot into the first 3 places.

  1. Nissan NP200 – R43 967 [2015: R47 026]
  2. Chev Utility – R54 347 [2015: R59 096]
  3. Nissan NP300 – R58 134 [2015: R49 314]

Both the first two vehicles coming in with lower basket prices than last year, Kinsey said.

The two Nissans have the lowest servicing costs – NP200 R1,992 and the NP 300 R2,189. Chev and Isuzu are most cost efficient for repair parts – the Chev Ute with a repair basket of R6,606 and the Isuzu KB250 with R7,738.

Repairs for these benefit by having no rear door to add to the costs – the NP 200 is best at R31,756  followed by R35,497 for the Isuzu.

Nissan NP 200
Nissan NP 200 entered into the top 10 in 2012

Executive Saloons: – 6 cars

This category’s price range starts from R458,996 for the Volvo S60 TR to R743,600 for a Jaguar XE2.0.

BMW has lost its coveted first place for best overall basket this year to the Volvo S60. The report noted that  while both manufacturers have increased the purchase prices of their cars by about R30,000, Volvo has reduced its parts cost considerably.

The Volvo S60 parts basket beats out the BMW 3-Series. In third place is the Jaguar XE 200 at R154,748 – which is quite a drop from 2015, and comes from the reduction of the prices of crash parts.

  1. Volvo S60 – R113 822 [2015: R141 197]
  2. BMW 3-Series – R134 630 [2015: R106 194]
  3. Jaguar XE 200 – R154 748 [2015: R189 537]

Most economical to service is the Volvo – R4,656, ahead of the Mercedes C200 at R5,596 . Repairs are also least expensive for the Volvo at RR8,527 followed by the BMW with a repair basket of R9,191.

Volvo and BMW also have the least expensive crash parts – R100,822 for Volvo and R118,486 for BMW. To put these into perspective – the prices of the most expensive crash parts baskets are R178,740 for Audi and R198,325 for Lexus.


A full copy of the Kinsey Report 2016 edition can be found here

More on motoring

Cars with the most and least expensive parts in SA

South Africa’s best and worst cars for part prices

Are these the most stolen cars in South Africa?

Must Read

Partner Content

Show comments

Trending Now

Follow Us

The cheapest and most expensive cars to service in South Africa