South Africa’s best and worst cars for part prices

A new report published this week shows a big discrepancy in the price of parts relating to cars sold in South Africa.

The 2015 Kinsey Report, published by veteran motoring scribe Malcolm Kinsey, covers 74 vehicles in nine categories.

The report shows a list of prices of 35 parts and the cost of each “parts basket” as a percentage of a car’s price.

Data was collected within the same calendar month, including VAT, while prices are sourced almost exclusively from franchise dealers around Durban, “to replicate as closely as possible what the customer would experience”.

According to Kinsey, “shopping around can still pay dividends. Manufacturers are only allowed to set a ‘recommended selling price’ while individual dealerships may charge whatever they feel is fair and reasonable.”

“Large volume sellers are competitively easy to compare prices but the lower volume brands may only have a single franchise and getting a ‘second quote’ may involve considerable travelling,” he said.

The 2015 edition of the Kinsey Report shows some ‘alarmingly high prices’ which Kinsey said cannot be blamed entirely on the deteriorating rand.

The analyst pointed out that there are cases where ‘we are not comparing like for like’ – an example of this is the rear fender, which may be just that, or a complete side with door apertures.

In making up the list, Kinsey said that consideration is given to the NAAMSA monthly sales figures which reflect the volume of sales for each vehicle.

The area of crash parts is probably the most important in this study – most certainly the most costly, the report said.

“Vehicles with aluminum body panels and chassis components, for example, are complicated and very expensive to repair and some are even written off when the repair costs reach 50% of the resale value of the vehicle,” Kinsey said.

Other items that show big discrepancies include fan belts and flywheels, the report said.

Highlighted results by category:

  • City cars and entry level: 11 cars
Datsun Go
Datsun Go

The Datsun GO is a winner in this category with a parts basket of R37,631 (selling price R102,500).

“It’s a great first-time purchase, making owning a new car affordable. It may lack a few refinements like ABS brakes and airbags, but it’s a solid little vehicle for basic transport,” the report said.

Second overall in parts is the Nissan Micra at R44,479 (both these 2 sourced from India) and third is the Polo Vivo at R49,805.

Best for servicing parts is the 4th placed Ford Figo followed by the Micra and Chevrolet Spark.

The GO shines in repair parts and crash parts with Micra second and Figo 3rd in repair parts and GO, Micra and Polo Vivo taking the top three spots in crash parts.

  • Super mini: 10 cars
Renault Sandero
Renault Sandero


The Renault Sandero  (R65,517) beats the Fiat 500 (R65,738) with the Peugeot in 3rd with a parts basket of R67,463.

The least expensive car to service is the 7th placed Polo, some R250 less than the Sandero  in second place, followed by the Fiat.

“In the repair portion you are better off with a Fiat 500 while accident parts costs are lowest for the Sandero, followed by the Peugeot 208 and Fiat,” the report said.

  •  Family Favourites: 9 cars
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla

Two Toyota Corollas take 1st and 2nd – the Prestige just edging out the Quest at R67,078 and R69,466. Surprisingly, the Italian car, the Alfa Giulietta, is third.

Most economical to service is the VW Golf 7, ( 6th overall) followed by the Hyundai Elantra.

In the repair section the Elantra and Kia Cerato shine, with the Golf in 3rd place.

The Corollas come into their own with substantially less expensive crash parts, over R15,000 better than the third placed Alfa.

  • Compact crossover:  4 cars
Toyota Avanza
Toyota Avanza

The Toyota Avanza wins this class with a parts basket of R67,786, ahead of the Ford Eco Sport, and the Renault Duster.

The Duster is the least expensive vehicle to service followed by the Avanza and new Citroen Cactus 1.2.(4th)

The Avanza is cheapest for both repair and crash parts, followed by the Renault Duster in repair parts and the Eco Sport second in crash parts.

  • Crossover:  10 cars
Toyota Fortuner
Toyota Fortuner

The Toyoya Fortuner wins in this class with a parts basket of R77,413, followed by Kia Sportage at R92,992 and the Toyota Rav 4 at R97,708.

The Mitsubishi ASX is the most economical crossover to service, followed by the        Hyundai iX 35 and the Nissan X Trail.

Fortuner wins for repair costs, ahead of the Chev Trailblazer (4th overall).

Fortuner is also the most economical in the crash parts section by close to R14,000, followed by the Sportage and Rav 4.

  •  Executive crossover: 7 cars
Vovlo XC90
Vovlo XC90

The Volvo XC 90 wins this class with a total parts basket price of R164,508, followed by the Audi Q7 and Toyota Prado.

Volvo has the lowest service parts cost at R4,810, followed by the Range Rover Evoque (4th ) and the Prado.

In the repair section the Evoque has the least expensive basket ahead of the Quattro and the Volvo.

  •  Double cabs:  8 vehicles
Tata Xenon
Tata Xenon

The report notes that three countries of origin compete for the top position.

India wins with the Tata Xenon (basket price of R58,527) followed by Japan with the Toyota Hilux Raider ( R85,986) and China’s GWM Steed 6 (R89,437)

The GWM has the most competitive service costs at R2,269 ahead of the Tata and Isuzu KB300 (4th overall).

Repair parts winner is the VW Amarok – though it must be noted here that most Amarok D/C sales are with automatic gearboxes.

Tata Xenon beats out the Toyota Raider for crash parts.

  • Single cabs: 8 cars
Nissan NP 200
Nissan NP 200

“We are not exactly comparing apples with apples here, since we are have included 2 half-tonne bakkies in with 6 full tonners,” thew report said.

The Nissan NP 200, with a parts basket of R47,026,  beats out the NP 300 Hardbody for first spot. The Chev Utility 1.4 Club takes 3rd.

The Nissan Hardbody eeks out first place for servicing a mere R23 less than the Np 200 with the Chev Utility in third.

The Chev Utility has best repair parts basket ahead of the two Nissans, which are best for crash parts.

Among the one tonners – the Isuzu 250 leads the Toyota Hilux, Mazda BT 50, Ford Ranger 2.2 and VW Amarok.

  • Executive saloons:  7 cars
BMW 320
BMW 320

Leader is the BMW 320, followed by the Audi A4 and The Infiniti Q50.

Audi comes out top in the servicing section ahead of the Infiniti, “and all the cars are within a thousand rand or so”.

The repair portion has the Infiniti in front, while crash parts costs has BMW 1st, Audi 2nd, and the Infinity 3rd.

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South Africa’s best and worst cars for part prices