Leader of the Part Pack: Kinsey Report 2008

Now almost two decades old, the Kinsey Report has undergone few changes over the years. This year the survey is somewhat longer.

There are 36 vehicles in total, with a couple of the Chinese imports being included for general interest. The full charts are becoming rather unwieldy to publish in their entirety within the space available, so this year only the best in each category is shown.

The charts now reflect the parts baskets in ascending value 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 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 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 parts prices remains unchanged: they’re a roundup of 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 similar quotes while a quote from the manufacturer was quite different. This presupposes 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, while the ones in between were without.

The report should 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 that differed by R12 000.) Some crash parts differ in cost from left to right side of the vehicle.

Toyota, for example, appears to have slightly higher prices for right-hand body parts – the side that 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, ill-fitting ones of a very poor standard. It is better to stick to original equipment wherever possible.

Do note the ‘Nett Pricing’ comment at the end of some of the columns on the charts (on the website). 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 four categories based roughly on price.


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