It was a dark and stormy night, but BRIAN BASSETT felt no fear on very wet Midlands roads with the Subaru XV’s allwheel drive.
MALCOLM KINSEY reminds it pays to shop around when sourcing replacement car parts
MY 2016 Kinsey Report covers 69 vehicles and this year and with a few exceptions, there have been increases in the cost of the 2016 basket of 34 parts — some of which are quite astounding.
All prices in this study were sourced in July 2016 and almost exclusively from dealers in the Durban/Pinetown/ Umhlanga areas.
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.
Service parts have remained more affordable — probably because the manufacturer is paying during the life of the service or maintenance plan. Repair parts also, have remained somewhat in check. Fan belts have got expensive for some brands because they are now more technical — almost like a large rubber band that will never need tensioning.
Accident and crash parts are a valid concern for all vehicle owners and can impact the finances from day one, whatever insurance policies you may have.
Aluminium clad vehicles are very expensive to repair and the doors, headlights and rims already mentioned add up to an alarming amount — affecting excess, write-off points, etcetera.
As I stress every year, if you are costing your own vehicle parts, it pays to shop around if you have more than one franchise dealer available. Manufacturers only recommend a selling price — they do not enforce it — so prices can vary.
If your vehicle is out of warranty, you may consider alternative parts, but this can be a minefield and buying from other than large reputable parts chains could prove a great deal more expensive than buying the real deal.
Results in categories
Again we have nine categories, looking at 34 prices of common parts needed in servicing, repairs and crashes.
Obviously different categories interest buyers with different budget constraints, and I have tried to give a reasonable spread within the limitations of space allowed.
Crossovers are again one of the most popular vehicle choices due to their versatility, and the three categories containing crossovers cover the greatest number of “similar” vehicles, from fairly basic to high end luxury. The prices in brackets are the equivalent prices in 2015.
City cars and entry-level vehicles
This spans cars priced from just under R120 000 for the cheeky little Datsun Go to the Ford Figo Hatch at close on R174 000 and obviously the specifica- tions for these two are substantially different and not surprisingly at opposing ends of the parts basket cost. The results mirror those of last year — the Datsun is the winner with R43 193 (last year R37 631) followed by the Nissan Micra with R55 071 (R44 479) and VW Polo Vivo with R56 968. (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.
Prices here vary from just on R163 000 for the Renault Sandero to R243 300 for the VW Polo. The Sandero has been demoted to second place in the parts basket total this year with an overall cost of R83 783 (R65 517), pipped by the Peugeot 208, which scored a winning basket price of R79 690 (R67 463). VW Polo 1.2 TSi is in third place with R90 161 (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. • More on www.kinseyreport.co.za.
After stripping cars for their parts for over a decade, Awembe Sili advises the cheapest car to maintain is still either a Mazda 323 or Toyota Tazz, but not a Citi Golf.