Shop around for parts

AL­WYN VILJOEN learns not ev­ery­one likes to pay less for their car’s oil fil­ters and brake pads

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

FOR South Africa’s au­to­mo­tive parts price guru, Porsche this year turned up the big­gest sur­prise among the 11 cars nom­i­nated for the 2015 Car of the Year (Coty) ti­tle.

Pine­town res­i­dent Mal­colm Kin­sey told Wheels that com­pared with other pre­mium ve­hi­cles in its class, “the Porsche Ma­can parts are very well-priced”.

The air fil­ter on the Ma­can is, for ex­am­ple, half the price of that in the Corolla 1,4 D4-D and the big Ger­man’s rear brake pads are al­most R60 cheaper than that of the Ja­panese sedan.

Still, said Kin­sey, over­all, the Corolla’s parts bas­ket is the least ex­pen­sive of the 11 cars.

“This is be­cause Toy­ota aims to make all their mod­els af­ford­able through­out their life cy­cle,” he said, adding that the Prospec­ton fac­tory works hard to make all the ve­hi­cle com­po­nents — from the typ­i­cal wear-and-tear parts to panel-beater parts — af­ford­able for the av­er­age South African.

Kin­sey re­vealed that per­cep­tion plays a strange part in parts pric­ing.

“Cheap does not al­ways make clients happy. Some peo­ple ac­tu­ally want to pay more for the same make of parts if it is fit­ted to more ex­pen­sive cars,” he said.

Kin­sey is still the only man to have towed a four-berth car­a­van up Sani Pass in a 3,0-litre Ford Saphire auto and he holds sev­eral fuel-con­sump­tion records in var­i­ous sizes of car.

Asked if the per­cep­tion that French cars have ex­pen­sive parts is still valid, Kin­sey said this idea is long out­dated.

He pointed out that the parts bas­ket of the Citroën C4 Pi­casso e-HDi 115 In­ten­sive on the Coty short­list is just over R21 k more than that of the Corolla. He said that in the past few years, the lo­cal French rep­re­sen­ta­tives have done a huge amount of work to re­duce their parts prices in ev­ery way pos­si­ble.

“They, for ex­am­ple, now ship smaller parts in the same box as what a bumper gets packed in. This has re­duced their num­ber of ship­ping items by about 25%, which cor­re­spond­ingly has re­duced their freight costs and of course, some of their parts prices by about the same mar­gin.”

He said the real price shock for most peo­ple lurks in the pan­el­beat­ing lists. Re­plac­ing a hail-dam­aged bon­net can range from R2 301,72 on the Corolla to R20 234,87 for the BMW M4 Coupé.

Re­plac­ing a hail-dam­aged front wind­screen will cost the least in a Re­nault Duster (R2 679,89) and about R10 500 in both the Subaru WRX and Honda Ac­cord 3,5 V6 Ex­clu­sive.

As al­ways, Kin­sey warns buy­ers that his price lists are av­er­ages and he urges all car own­ers to shop around when they ser­vice or panel-beat a car. “The man­u­fac­tur­ers can­not en­force their rec­om­mended prices. We have, for ex­am­ple, found the same parts in Dur­ban are up to 10% more ex­pen­sive than in Jo­han­nes­burg or Cape Town,” said Kin­sey. • More on www.kin­seyre­port.co.za

PHOTO: AUSIEEXOTICS.COM

Maria Shara­pova helped launched the Porsche Ma­can, which has sur­prised SA’s parts price guru Mal­colm Kin­sey (left inset) with its well-priced parts among the 11 Coty fi­nal­ists.

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