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 (albeit with a different engine and/or gearbox 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. A pretty accurate assessment of a car's affordability can still be made. There is also a trend that if one vehicle in a range is economical, the others are likely to be equally so.

All the prices in all Kinsey Reports are sourced - in writing - directly from retail outlets as this is the only way to simulate the customer's experience. In an ideal situation the manufacturer and all dealerships would at all times quote the same price for an item but in real life, this is seldom the case. 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 in the parts inventory 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 but 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 the lower price, 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 so-called '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 and wherever possible quote the VIN (vehicle identification number) which will avoid confusion.

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.

Stop Press

Vehicle glass, particularly on imported cars, can be hugely expensive, partly because the shipping insurance can be higher than the cost of the glass itself. On the other hand, some manufacturers simply don't stock glass as part of their inventory, and some of our prices were therefore sourced from PG Glass. The windscreen and how it is fitted is important both in terms of the vehicle's structural integrity and the efficacy of the frontal airbags so using a reputable glass fitment company is critical. And it goes without saying that you must stay clear of no-name cheap "specials".