How costly are your car’s parts?

How costly are your car’s parts?

Here are a few reasons as to why you should care, says Wendy Knowler.

Mechanic at work in his garage

Listen to the podcast or read the details below: 

It’s true that these days service and maintenance plans and warranties make the price of service parts such as spark plugs, oil filters, brake pads, and repair parts - cam belt, shocks, clutch plate and fan belt - less relevant to owners of new cars.

But it’s a totally different story with a so-called crash part - I’m talking about parts such as the grille, doors, fenders, wheel rim, boot lid, lights, and windscreen.

They will affect both your insurance excess and premium, and the write-off point of your vehicle.

So it pays to know what you’re in for.

Thankfully, for the past 28 years, Durban motoring guru Malcolm Kinsey has been keeping tabs on those prices for us.

In his latest survey, published on the Automobile Association’s website today as the AA Kinsey Report, Kinsey shares the prices of 32 parts for 30 cars in eight categories.

And he sources those prices as you or I would - by approaching the franchised dealerships, not the manufacturers. As always, he collected all the prices in the same calendar month, mainly from dealerships in the Durban/Umhlanga/Pinetown area. The prices featured in the survey are what a customer, walking into a dealership, would pay on that day and do not always coincide with what the manufacturer or importer would supply.

Comprising 30 cars, each with 32 parts prices, in eight categories, the survey is far too massive to cover in full here, so I’m going to focus on the cheapest and most expensive crash parts baskets and then zone in on some of the stand-out prices in each category.

Kinsey has remarked on the massive escalation in parts prices since he did his last survey 18 months ago.

“An entry-level Datsun Go, for example, had a total parts basket of R44,372 in 2017 – and this year its R63,310,” he said.

“The Volvo S60 of 2017 had a basket price of R159,862 and it’s now R214,362.”

And the price discrepancies are huge, even within the same category.

City Cars and Entry level:

Cheapest crash parts basket: Toyota Etios

Most expensive: Hyundai i10

Surely not! The wheel rim on the little i10 costs R8102! Versus just R563 on the Datsun Go.

Family Favourites (a few popular Uber cars in here):

Cheapest crash parts basket: Toyota Corolla Quest

Most expensive: Honda Civic

Surely not! Get this - the Civic’s wheel rim costs R35,776! The Corolla Quest’s rim is just R612. And the second most expensive rim in the category is the Golf GTI’s at R15,697.

 Super minis:

Cheapest crash parts basket: Renault Sandero

Most expensive: Kia Rio

Yikes! Driver’s door of the Nissan Micra costs R15,671, and the same part on the Sandero is R6,348.

 Compact Crossover:

Cheapest crash parts basket (by far): Mahindra KUV

Most expensive (by far): Hyundai Kona

Yikes! The left-hand headlight assembly on the Kona costs a whopping R12,100, versus just R3,567 on the Mazda CX3.

Double Cabs:

Cheapest crash parts basket: Toyota Hilux

Most expensive: Mercedes X Class

Yikes!  The Merc bakkie’s bonnet costs R9,277 versus a third of that price for the bonnet of the Isuzu D Max - R3,118.

Single Cabs: 

Cheapest crash parts basket: Nissan NP200

Most expensive: Ford Ranger

Yikes! Rear left fender on the Ranger: R13,346 - same part on the Hilux - R3,400


Cheapest crash parts basket: Toyota Fortuner

Most expensive: Kia Sportage

Yikes! Driver’s door for the Sportage, R18,205; versus Fortuner’s driver’s door R4,317 - less than a quarter of the price.

Executive Crossovers:

Cheapest crash parts basket: Alfa Stevio - it also had the cheapest parts basket overall. How’s that for shattering the perception about Alfa's parts!

Most expensive: BMW X5 

Yikes! The Audi Q5’s grille costs a whopping R20,182 versus that of the X5 - R1,529. Even the Porsche Cayenne’s grille is a tenth of the price of the Q5’s at R2,405.

The Koreans vehicles - Kias and Hyundais - came up in quite a few categories as having the most expensive parts, overall, not just the crash parts.

On the other hand, Toyota looking very good with its parts pricing, the survey backing up the manufacturer’s reputation for well-priced spares.

As I said, crash parts prices are important because they affect your insurance costs and if too high, you could reach write-off after a fairly minor accident, which can be very costly.

And if you drive a new Honda Civic, best you keep well away from kerbs - almost R36,000 to replace a wheel rim!

For the full survey, go the AA’s website -

If it's not up already, it will be later today.

Also read: Flooded then flogged as flawless

To contact Wendy, go to her Facebook page and click on the send email tab.

In case you missed any of the past Consumerwatch shows, find them below:

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