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

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Su­per mi­nis

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.

PHOTO: ALWYN VILJOEN

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.

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