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2009 Kinsey Report

19 years down the line the Kinsey Report has evolved into a more relevant study for the South African motoring public. There have been some changes since last year, – 34 items on the list, of which several more are crash parts. The breakdown for 2009 is 8 service parts, 9 repair parts and 17 crash parts. Items like the water pump, thermostat and radiator cap have been scrapped since these would be replaced under warranty or service plan. Almost all new cars are sold these days with at least a 3-year 60,000-kilometre service/maintenance/warranty plan ( Kia and Hyundai warranty covers 150,000 km.)

Crash parts, on the other hand, may be required from the first few kilometres of ownership. Even if the car is fully insured, the cost of crash parts still impacts on the owner. The insurance excess is based on a percentage of the repair cost and the write-off point of a vehicle is usually about 75% – 80% of the trade value of the vehicle.
The lower the cost of crash parts, the more repair work can be done before this point is reached. As anyone who has had a vehicle written off knows, you seldom, if ever, walk away on the winning side.

A second factor to be taken into account when having accident damage repaired is the availability of parts. It might be a pessimistic outlook, but it’s an important question to ask before you buy. Phone any reputable panel shop and ask how long it takes to complete a repair on the vehicle you contemplate buying. If the answer is in months, it puts pressure on your insurers to provide alternative transport while your vehicle is off the road. And you are going to be inconvenienced for a longer period than if crash parts are readily available.

Sourcing the prices

All prices were collected mid-year from local dealerships. Although specific models are listed, if you have a vehicle in the same model range (various engine and/or gearbox, configurations, or levels of trim), then you should find that most of the prices quoted will be relevant for your vehicle as well, with the exception of items like front bumper skins, which may or may not accommodate fog lights, wheel rims, etc. A pretty accurate assessment of a car’s affordability can still be made. There is also a trend that generally if one vehicle in a range is economical, the others are likely to be equally affordable

All the prices in all Kinsey Reports are sourced directly from retail outlets in writing. This is the only way to simulate the customer experience. In an ideal situation, the manufacturer and all dealerships would at all times quote the same price for an item – in real life, this is seldom the case, though a few come quite close. Dealer prices are often not what the manufacturer publishes (thanks to the Competition Board) and can be much higher than the manufacturers’ “recommended” selling price.

In instances where an imported item is replaced by a locally-produced part there can be huge savings, but unfortunately, this is often not passed on to the customer until all the imported stock has been sold, which may result in different dealerships selling the same part for hugely different prices. A few years ago a radiator which, for the car’s first year of manufacture, was imported, cost R4,000. When the local equivalent hit the shelves it retailed for R970. Obviously, the dealer who still had imported stock was not going to sell it for R970, so in cases like this, the reduction in cost may take several months to filter into the system.

Some prices, therefore, may vary from dealer to dealer, possibly due to the Group’s pricing structure and also on occasion, to misinterpretation by a counter hand. A rear fender, for example, could mean the complete side of the car including door apertures or be a bikini fender which is only the panel behind the rear door to the tail lamp. It is necessary to be very specific when asking for prices, – wherever possible quote the VIN (vehicle identification number) which will avoid getting an incorrect parts price.

Another factor which needs to be taken into account is Nett Pricing. This is implemented by several manufacturers and means that you, as a customer, cannot negotiate for a discount. It has a considerable impact if you have your vehicle repaired by a panel shop or local garage as the panel beater or mechanic will not get a discount from the dealer either, when buying your parts, – and will consequently mark them up by about 30% when invoicing you for the job. This is something to watch for.

Alternative glass

Vehicle glass on many vehicles has become very expensive, particularly when it is imported. The shipping insurance could be more costly than the piece of glass itself.

Some vehicles have glass prices sourced from PG Glass as dealers are not stocking original items. Provided that you buy glass from a reputable business there should be no structural problem with the vehicle or the airbag deployment. Obviously, a good glass fitment company will not take short-cuts or use material that has not been approved by the manufacturer. It goes without saying that you must stay clear of no-name cheap “specials”.

General 2009 Kinsey Report

This is the biggest and most relevant report on vehicle parts pricing ever published in South Africa. This year the report covers 44 vehicles and includes a new category, loosely called “Crossover” since the vehicles are neither strictly MPV’s or SUV’s, but more a combination of both. There are both “people” carriers and some soft 4×4’s in this section and it is a segment of the market that has grown in size and variety in the past few years.

Unfortunately, space does not allow for really comprehensive coverage of all segments of the South African market, but the 2009 Kinsey Report gives a general overview and shows significant trends in pricing structures, which should be helpful in making informed decisions when buying a vehicle.

This and previous reports can be found on  www.kinsey .valueweb.co.za. A very interesting feature of the results this year is that in all the car categories ( i.e. excluding the Crossover category) the car winning the overall lowest parts basket cost is also the winner of the selling price to parts basket percentage. This has happened in some categories in the past, but never so overwhelmingly. Only the crossover category, which has a pretty varied collection of vehicles in it, bucks the trend completely.

Entry Level – Cars priced under  R110,000

As always the evergreen VW Citi Golf takes the honours, due largely to the very inexpensive crash parts prices (not surprising considering its rather angular features) – which are almost half the cost of the next best, the Chev Spark. The Spark is second to the Citi Golf overall and on percentage and has very impressive service and repair baskets – R914 and R2,790 respectively, – both the best in the category.

In third place on overall parts basket cost, the Chery QQ 0.8 is a very close second for service parts and not much behind the Spark in crash parts. Tata has been making some strides in cost-effective pricing restructuring and is becoming more affordable, with much of the Indica’s pricing being realigned. The Indica takes 4th place.

4th to 6th parts baskets:
Indica R44,031
Daihatsu Charade R48,692
Hyundai i10 R49,535

“B” Segment – Cars priced between R110,000 and R160,000

The Sandero has taken over from the Clio as the leader in the Renault stable by convincingly winning this category. The first locally-produced Renault this century, the Sandero is built in the Nissan Rosslyn plant, and “local is lekker” shows in its pricing. It sweeps the board – first in basket price, percentage and all three subsections of service, repair and crash parts.

Second is the Hyundai Getz 1.4, due largely to competitive crash parts prices and the Fiat Grand Punto comes in a creditable third in parts basket price, close on the bumper of the Getz.

Remaining cars in order of parts basket cost are:

Kia Picanto R42,943
VW Polo 1.4 R43,159
Peugeot 207 1.4 R46,499
Chev Aveo R48,893
Toyota Yaris R51,620
Suzuki Swift R55,402
Citroen C2 R57,112
Mazda 2 1.3 R66,576
Opel Corsa 1.4 R70,014

“C” Segment – Cars priced between R160,000 and R260,000

Once again, Nissan Tiida wins this segment, best in all three subsections. Despite expensive windscreen and front window glass, (which was queried and checked with several dealers) it is some R4,000 less expensive in crash parts than the second-placed Ford Fiesta 1.6. The Fiesta continues the trend of the Ford Motor Company of keeping motoring costs as affordable as possible. There was one exception – the fan belt, which looks seriously out of kilter (and again was thoroughly checked and re-checked) – but is apparently correct.

In third place is another member of the Ford stable, the Mazda 3  1.6. In this category the price of the crash parts mirrored the overall basket costs – Tiida 1st, Fiesta 2nd, and
Mazda 3rd.  And crash parts are the most expensive items, which, if you are unfortunate,  you may found yourself buying most frequently!

The Alfa 147, with the 4th lowest parts basket, shows a spark plug price of R348 – this is the cost of a pair, since the Alfa uses 8 plugs, two per cylinder, – and they are expected to last for 100,000km.

The remaining cars in order of parts basket cost are:

Alfa 147 R60,089
Honda Jazz R67,451
Toyota Corolla R68,209
VW Golf 6 R79,316
Subaru Impreza R83,454

Family Sedan – Cars priced above R260,000

This year all seven cars in this group are automatics. The vast improvement in auto gearboxes, both in speed and smoothness of shift and fuel economy has resulted in an increase in the sales of automatics. Road congestion may also be a factor – it’s a great deal easier if your vehicle does the endless gear changing in traffic.

Winner of the Family Saloon class is the Mazda 6  – lowest in both overall parts price basket and the percentage calculation. It also boasts the lowest repair cost and crash parts prices. Second is the Volvo S40 – second least expensive in all 3 sub-sections, service, repair and crash, – an impressive result for what is often perceived as a very expensive vehicle.

Third is SAGMJ Car of the Year winner for 2009 – the Honda Accord. Also impressive is the Accord, which scores a second in the percentage calculation, and 3rd overall for all three sub-sections.

The remaining cars – 4th to 7th are:

Mercedes C200 R92,765
Lexus IS 250 R96,498
BMW 323i R103,237
Audi A4 R108,358


The first three are all people carriers, mom’s taxis. Toyota Avanza wins this new category, with the 2nd least expensive service parts and the best repair and crash parts pricing. The Nissan Lavina is head to head with the Toyota with best service parts prices and second in repair and crash parts and finishes second on overall part basket cost.

Third is another Toyota, this time the Verso 1.6. which rounds off the top three, thanks to its comparatively competitive crash prices. The new Verso, launched in September, will doubtless follow this trend.

As a percentage, the Toyota Rav 4 wins, with the Honda CRV second. This calculation favours the vehicles with the highest selling price, – so the 3 vehicles costing over R330,000 feature.

The remaining vehicles in order of overall parts basket prices are:

Suzuki SX4 R69,752
Toyota Rav 4 R79,456
Honda CRV R81,080
Chev Captiva R83,164
Nissan X-Trail R84,259
Subaru Forester R91,171
VW Tiguan R91,199
Mercedes B200 R99,586

For more detail, download the full documents below:

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