The 2008 Kinsey Report

Now almost two decades old, the Kinsey Report has undergone few changes over the years. This year we are reflecting the charts of the cars in ascending value of the parts baskets instead of ascending percentage value. The percentage value is dependent on the price of the vehicle, whereas the parts basket cost does not take into account the selling price of the car. Inevitably the more expensive vehicles will have more expensive parts and it is very interesting to note that taking the parts basket option hardly changes the results at all. In two of the four categories the “winner” is the same taken either way and in the other two, the first placed vehicle in parts basket value moves down to second place as a percentage. In these tough times of rising costs, the lower priced parts baskets have special significance to the motorist.

The sourcing of the parts prices remains unchanged – they are retail prices from dealerships, predominantly in the Durban area, but as always some price lists are sourced from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Communication is not always as good as it should be – there were occasions this year where two different dealerships provided close to identical quotes and a quote from the manufacturer was considerably different. This presumably means that price changes from the manufacturer have not filtered down to the dealerships, or that the dealerships are keeping to the “old” prices until their existing stock has been sold. Often, - and the manufacturers are also guilty – VAT has not been added to every price. We had a case where every alternate price had VAT added, the ones in between were without! 

This year the survey is somewhat longer, - 36 vehicles in all - with a couple of the Chinese imports being included for general interest. 

The report must still be used as a guide only and shopping around for the best prices is a necessity. (This year we had quotes from two dealers for the same car which were R12,000  different.) Some crash parts differ in cost from left to right side. Toyota, for example, appears to have slightly higher prices for right-hand body parts – which side seems to be more crash-prone, - while other manufacturers do not differentiate.

We never include non-branded parts in this study. There are obviously some very good non-branded components available, but also lurking about are some atrociously bad ones, ill-fitting and of a very poor standard. It is far better to stick with original equipment wherever possible.

Please note the “Nett Pricing” comment at the end of some of the columns on the charts. This means that a panel beater or garage buying parts for you will mark up about 30% on those prices when repairing your vehicle.     


The vehicles in the Kinsey Report are divided into 4 categories, based roughly on price:

Entry level:

The old faithful Citi Golf as always has the least expensive parts basket at just over R16,373 and the lowest percentage at 19.92%. The Citi has very reasonably priced crash parts – headlights, bumpers etc being quite a bit less expensive than any competitors and this contributes to its continued success.

A new arrival, which still needs to prove itself in the marketplace, is the Mc Carthy-imported Chery, and this comes in second in the cost of its parts basket, with very inexpensive service and repair parts, but 8th in percentage ( because of its comparatively low selling price). It just pips the Opel Corsa Lite which takes third both in parts basket price and percentage. 

"B" Segment:

This is the second year that the Hyundai Getz has been the leader of the pack – another vehicle taking top honours in parts basket cost and percentage of selling price. Crash parts for the Hyundai are shown as Nett pricing which means that these prices would be increased by about 30% by a panel beater doing body repairs.

The Ford Fiesta comes in a mere R300-odd more costly in its parts basket in second spot, and the VW Polo clocks in third behind the Getz and Fiesta. Second on percentage is the Chev Aveo and 3rd is the Kia Rio.

"C" Segment:

Nissan Tiida also wins this category once more – boasting the least expensive parts basket and second best on percentage. It must be noted, however, that Nissan prices are all Nett. Second least expensive parts basket belongs to the VW Golf 5 which has very similar prices for service and repair parts as the Nissan. In third position is the Toyota Corolla. On pure percentage, the honours go to the Golf 5 GTi, thanks to its relatively high selling price.

Family Sedan:

Toyota Avensis D4D leads the way with the least expensive parts basket and is only just nudged into second spot on percentage by the Lexis IS 250, - the Lexis having second-best parts basket cost and topping the percentage calculations. For a perceived luxury import the Lexis has performed very well.

Third place on parts basket cost is the Mazda 6 2.3 Individual and in the percentage stakes, the BMW 320D is third. 


Motorists benefit from vehicle service plans because service parts are comparatively inexpensive. Since the manufacturers are their own customers while the vehicles are within the service plan period, they tend to keep the costs down, - so when vehicles come out of the service plans the service parts are still “affordable”.

Body (or crash) parts are a different story, though many people tend to ignore this as the insurance companies’ problem. Expensive crash parts hurt from day 1, because the excess paid by the owner is based on the quote cost ( higher quote, higher excess), and if crash parts are expensive, the write-off point of the vehicle is reached sooner, and we all lose. 

The most important thing when looking for parts prices is to correctly identify the vehicle. Your licence papers reflect the date of first registration and may say 2008 model, but your vehicle may have an earlier date of manufacture. To be 100% certain use the VIN number of your vehicle – this is a 17 digit number which encodes data about where and when the vehicle was built, the colour, trim, engine, transmission etc. etc… It is printed on your licence disc and can be found on the left bottom corner of the dash, visible through the windscreen – and it will give the parts staff all the information they require to help you correctly. 

With imported vehicles, each shipment may have a different set of part numbers and prices, so correct vehicle identification is vital.  

For more detail, download the full documents below: