Jaw-dropping prices for car parts will make you focus on preventing a crash

Don’t write off the cost of a car’s crash parts - see which makes are pricey

26 June 2019 - 13:13 By wendy knowler
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RICH RIDE: The BMW X5 has the most expensive total parts basket of the vehicles surveyed - a total of R384,395.
RICH RIDE: The BMW X5 has the most expensive total parts basket of the vehicles surveyed - a total of R384,395.
Image: BMW.co.za

If you drive a Honda Civic, be wary of getting too close to kerbs - replacing a single wheel rim will cost you more than R35,000.

For 28 years, Durban-based motoring guru Malcolm Kinsey has been sourcing car parts prices for select vehicles - from "cheapies" to premium brands - and every year his survey produces some jaw-dropping surprises.

The latest, newly named AA Kinsey Report - revealing the prices of prices of 32 parts for 30 cars in eight categories - is no exception.

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That R35,776 Civic wheel rim is the most expensive in the entire survey, followed by that of the VW Toureg (R31,165); the Kia Sportage (R14,606), the Hyundai Kona (R12,167), the Nissan Navara (R10,876), the Kia Rio (R10,123), the Hyundai i10 (R8,102) and the Ford Ranger (R3,080).

The vehicles' rim price is a good indication of overall parts prices, because with the exception of the Navara and the Toureg, all those vehicles have the most expensive total parts baskets in their categories.

In the executive crossover category, the BMW X5 had the most expensive total parts basket - a total of R384,395 versus the second most expensive, the Toureg’s R334,265.

And in the double-cab category, the Mercedes Benz X Class topped the Navara with the most expensive basket - R147,252 versus the Navara's R128,000.

The survey groups car parts in three categories - service (spark plugs, oil filters, brake pads); repair parts (cam belt, shocks, clutch plate, fan belt) and crash parts (fenders, doors, bonnets, rims, light clusters).

While long warranties along with service and maintenance plans make the price of service and repair parts irrelevant to owners of fairly new cars, the prices of crash parts have a major impact on all car owners.

The cost of those parts impact both insurance excesses and premiums, as well as the write-off point of your vehicle.

A car with expensive car parts, relative to the value of the car, will be written off after even a minor accident because the cost of repair will very easily total more than 70% of the value of the car.

Kinsey noted the massive escalation in parts prices since 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 it's R63,310," he said.

"The Volvo S60 of 2017 had a basket price of R159,862 and it's now R214,362."

The Korean vehicles - Kias and Hyundais - have the most expensive parts baskets in several categories, while Toyota emerged as the manufacturer with the most consistently low parts prices. As always, parts price discrepancies are huge, even within the same category.


Cheapest crash parts basket: Toyota Etios

Most expensive: Hyundai i10

Comment: The wheel rim on the little i10 costs R8,102, versus just R563 on the Datsun Go.

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Cheapest crash parts basket: Toyota Corolla Quest

Most expensive: Honda Civic

Comment: While that 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.


Cheapest crash parts basket: Renault Sandero

Most expensive: Kia Rio

Comment: The driver's door of the Nissan Micra costs R15,671, and the same part on the Sandero is less than half that at R6,348.


Cheapest crash parts basket: (by far) Mahindra KUV

Most expensive: (by far) Hyundai Kona

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


Cheapest crash parts basket: Toyota Hilux

Most expensive: Mercedes X Class

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


Cheapest crash parts basket: Nissan NP200

Most expensive: Ford Ranger

Comment: The rear left fender on the Ranger costs R13,346, while the same part on the Hilux is "just" R3,400.


Cheapest crash parts basket: Toyota Fortuner

Most expensive: Kia Sportage

Comment: The driver's door for the Sportage cost R18,205; versus the Fortuner's driver's door at R4,317 - less than a quarter of the price.


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

Comment: 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.

Kinsey sourced the prices in his latest survey by approaching the franchised dealerships mainly in the greater Durban area, during March 2019. 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. For the full survey, go the the Automobile Association's website - www.aa.co.za

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