The most affordable cars to own in South Africa

Veteran motoring journalist Malcolm Kinsey and the Automobile Association (AA) have published the latest edition of the annual ‘Kinsey Report’, outlining the cost of car parts in South Africa.

“Motoring has become more expensive, certainly from a parts perspective, and the results for 2020 show that,” said Kinsey. “Although there may be similar alternative parts from non-franchise outlets – the durability of which cannot be vouched for – prices for original equipment are rising.”

“Covid-19, which hit us a few months before our normal collection of prices in May/June, saw us in the height of restricted travel and social distancing with many dealerships on light duty and suffering many retrenchments.

“It was decided to delay the report until the situation approached some form of normality. We wanted to collect our data in a full calendar month and did so, finally, in September,” said Kinsey.

How the research was conducted

Kinsey said most of his research was previously undertaken in and around Durban, with him personally handing in parts lists to local dealers to complete.

However, he said that this year he approached a few manufacturers to supply their retail prices including VAT – which he then randomly checked at dealerships. He also excluded a few brands who, regrettably, recorded very low sales figures.

In keeping with tradition, all prices in the report are from written quotes. Kinsey stressed that the prices used are what a customer, walking into a dealership, would pay on that day and do not always coincide with what the manufacturer or importer would supply.

All the figures in the AA-Kinsey Report were collected in September. Vehicle sales for August and September show large declines of approximately 30% over the corresponding months in 2019.

Increasing cost 

Kinsey said that some of the popular manufacturers such as Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford and Hyundai are all still doing well – both with local as well as export sales.

Some models have been dropped, and some replaced with new cars such as including the Toyota Starlet and excluding the Toyota Etios.

“A factor that has become evident is the increase in cost of body parts. Headlights, rear fenders and wheel rims on some models appear to be a great deal more expensive.

“This has a negative effect for everyone as it increases the contribution the owner pays for the insurance excess, and the write-off point for a crashed vehicle, and it ultimately increases premiums that one has to pay,” said Kinsey.

He said that the servicing and repair costs sections of the survey are not as vital to the vehicle owner, particularly with a new vehicle.

These costs are often borne to some extent by the dealer through service contracts which could be as long as 100,000 km. Manufacturers warranties can be as much as 200,000 km, or seven years, in some cases.

There are nine categories of vehicles in the report, with each category list entry ranging from a least to most expensive parts basket.

This is further split according to the prices for parts needed during servicing, for repairs and as a result of crashes.

The nine categories of vehicles included in the 2020 AA-Kinsey Report are detailed below. You can read the full report here.


City cars and entry-level vehicles

The Renault Kwid was the winner of this category with a total basket price of R62,990, followed by the Ford Figo at R63,866, and the Hyundai Atos at R66,189 in third place.

Service parts
Renault Kwid R3 048
Ford Figo R3 168
Honda Amaze R3 455
Repair parts
Ford Figo R6 187
Honda Amaze R7 033
Hyundai Atos R7 560
Crash parts
Renault Kwid R50 490
Ford Figo R54 510
Hyundai Atos R54 572

Super mini 

The winner of the ‘super mini’ category is the Hyundai i20 with a parts basket price of R90,065 – about R2,500 less expensive than the 2019 class winner, the Renault Sandero.

Second place goes to Toyota’s newly launched Starlet at R90,826 and the Ford Fiesta at R 91,275 in third.

Service parts
Toyota Starlet R3 150
Toyota Yaris R3 543
Renault Sandero R3 968
Repair parts
Suzuki Swift R7 285
VW Polo R7 348
Toyota Starlet R8 256
Crash parts
Hyundai i20 R72 590
Ford Fiesta R74 699
Toyota Starlet R79 419

Family favourites 

The Toyota Quest follows up last year’s success with another overall victory –  a total parts basket cost of R85,031 – though quite a substantial increase over the 2019 figure.

In second is the Nissan Almera (R86,488), while Toyota’s Corolla hatch came in third with a total of R131,294.

Service parts
Nissan Almera R2 827
Toyota Corolla Hatch R4 934
Toyota Quest R5 344
Repair parts
Toyota Quest R9 088
Nissan Almera R9 920
Toyota Corolla Hatch R10 504
Crash parts
Toyota Quest R70 598
Nissan Almera R73 741
Toyota Corolla Hatch R115 855

Compact cross 

The Mahindra KUV 100 wins this class with a parts basket price of R81,776. Second is the Haval H2 with its parts amounting to R93,860 – an increase of R2,800 over last year.

The Citroen C3 Aircross was awarded third with a parts basket total of R102,249.

Service parts
Haval H2 R3 741
Mahindra KUV 100 R3 781
Renault Duster R3 873
Repair parts
Honda HR-V R8 814
Citroen C3 R9 392
Mahindra KUV 100 R10 012
Crash parts
Mahindra KUV 100 R67 982
Haval H2 R79 797
Ford Eco Sport R88 016

Crossover 

The Toyota Fortuner again wins the class with its total parts basket amounting to R100,429, with the Nissan X-Trail in second place at R115,921 and the VW T Cross, third at R119,852.

Service parts
Nissan X-Trail R3 556
Hyundai Tucson R4 283
Nissan Qashqai R4 629
Repair parts
Peugeot 5008 R8 961
Toyota Rav 4 R9 066
Nissan X-Trail R9 367
Crash parts
Toyota Fortuner R83 049
VW T-Cross R102 141
Nissan X Trail R102 997

Executive crossover 

The best parts basket was scored by the Volvo XC 60 at R242,070. The second, two places higher than in 2019, is the Audi Q5 with an overall parts basket cost of R251,288, and in third the Mercedes GLE at R328,211.

Service parts
Volvo XC 60 R8 964
Audi Q5 R9 907
Range Rover Sport R10 822
Repair parts
Jaguar I-Pace R16 336
Audi Q5 R17 486
Volvo XC 60 R17 964
Crash parts
Volvo XC 60 R215 142
Audi Q5 R223 894
Mercedes GLE R243 383

Double cabs 

The Ford Ranger XLT wins the category with a total parts basket price of R79,796. Second place is the GWM Steed 6, one place up from last year and boasting a lower price parts basket of R86,105. Third is the Toyota Hilux at R90,189.

Service parts
GWM Steed 6 R3 443
Nissan Navarra R3 669
Toyota Hilux R5,059
Repair parts
Isuzu D-Max R5 837
Ford Ranger XLT R7 274
GWM Steed 6 R7 645
Crash parts
Ford Ranger XLT R67 456
GWM Steed 6 R75 016
Toyota Hilux R76 573

Single cabs 

The Nissan NP200 and the Nissan NP300 fill the top two placings – the NP 200 the least expensive at R42,529 with the Nissan NP300 in second at R48,611. The Toyota Hilux came in third at R58,747.

Service parts
Nissan NP 200 R2 404
Isuzu D-Max R3 904
Nissan NP 300 R4 326
Repair parts
Isuzu D-Max R5 427
Nissan NP300 R6 204
Mahindra Scorpio R6 389
Crash parts
Nissan NP200 R29 685
Nissan NP300 R38 080
Toyota Hilux R46 486

Executive saloons 

The Alfa Giulia takes a resounding win in all three categories with an overall parts basket cost is R86,570.

Kinsey said there’s a big jump to the second car, the Audi A3 at R178,710, and the Toyota Supra (another COTY contestant) at R217,634.

Service parts
Alfa Giulia R5 961
Audi A3 R6 406
Mercedes A200 R6 520
Repair parts
Alfa Giulia R6 361
Audi A3 R9 964
BMW 330i R18 073
Crash parts
Alfa Giulia R74 246
Audi A3 R162 339
Toyota Supra R177 963

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The most affordable cars to own in South Africa