Why you should care about the price of car parts

Why you should care about the price of car parts

If you’re in the market for a new set of wheels, you should care - a lot - about how the cost of the parts for the cars your wish list compare, because the parts costs has a major effect on the overall cost of car ownership over time. 

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Thanks to Durban-based motoring guru Malcolm, who has for the 28th year schlepped around to source car parts prices in nine categories of cars - from compacts to double cabs - you can easily be a truly savvy car buyer when it comes to the cost of parts.

As always, he has grouped the parts into three distinct categories - service parts (spark plugs, air filter and brake pads); repair parts (fan belt, brake discs, shock absorbers) and crash parts (headlights, doors, bumper, windscreen).

This year’s report features fewer cars than last year - thanks to two big happenings in South Africa’s automotive world. Citroen pulled out of the country and then General Motors announced that they were doing the same, closing down their manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth and curtailing their Chevrolet imports.

So there are no Citroens, Opels or Chevrolets in this year’s survey.

Still, it’s a huge survey. Thirty-five parts on 62 vehicles in nine categories. I can’t do justice to it all, but here are the highlights. 

Family favourites 

Toyota won the overall cheapest parts basket in four of those nine categories. In fact in the family favourites category, Toyota scooped first and second place, the Corolla Quest followed by the Corolla 1.6 Prestige.

The car with the most expensive parts basket in that category, was the VW Golf GTI.


The Toyota Fortuner won the Crossover category, with the Honda CRV having the most expensive parts basket.

Executive crossover 

Toyota triumphed in this category as well with the 3-litre Prado having the cheapest parts basket and the Mercedes GLE 250D the most expensive.

Double cabs

And the Hilux had the cheapest parts basket in Double Cabs category, with the GWM Steed had the most expensive.

City and entry level

The Datsun GO had the cheapest parts basket in all three sections - service, maintenance and crash parts. The VW Move Up had the most expensive parts total.

Often, it’s a single part which skews a car’s ranking in the survey. The Tata Bolt, which Kinsey included in the survey for the first time, had the second cheaper repair part costs in this category and the third cheapest service parts but the R24 000 price tag for its massive rear fender makes the second most expensive for parts prices overall. 

Super mini

The VW Polo is in top spot, with the Kia Rio at the bottom with the most expensive parts basket.

Compact crossover

The Mahindra KUV K8 got first place with the Hyundai Creta having the most expensive parts basket.

Single cabs

Nissan has a lot to crow about here. Its NP 200 emerged with the cheapest parts basket and the second cheapest is the NP 300. The VW Amarok was the most expensive in the parts department.

Executive saloons

The Volvo S60 was found to have the cheapest parts overall in this luxurious category, and the Mercedes C200 the most expensive.

If you’re wondering why parts prices are relevant if you have a car or are about to buy one with service and maintenance plans, read on.

It’s true that if you have service and maintenance plans - the cost of those parts aren’t of much consequence to you, but whatever the age of a car, and whether it’s insured or not, the cost of its crash parts is very relevant to you. If your car is insured, and those crash parts are very expensive, your insurer could declare it a write-off after even a seemingly minor accident, and that’s never a good thing financially for the car owner. Plus, you always have to pay for wiper blades.

Speaking of which, the cheapest ones in the survey belong to the Isuzu KB 300 bakkie - R58 for the right-hand one and just R35 for the other. At the other end of the scale, the most expensive pair are those of the Jeep Grand Cherokee - a whopping R1281 for the right one and R1059 for the other. 

Bottom line - if you’re in the market for a new car, don’t make your choice without first checking out Kinsey’s parts prices.

Please note - the full report has been temporarily removed from the Kinsey Reports website. We will publish a link as soon as its available. 

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