Embattled car owners are having to cope with massive increases in the prices of replacement parts according to the results of the latest Kinsey Report – now being produced in conjunction with the Automobile Association.
“We are thrilled to partner with Malcolm on this important research he does annually – notably without any financial input from manufacturers. His research methods are sound, and the prices he records are what a customer, walking into a dealership, will pay on that day. As an organisation committed to giving consumers as much usable, practical information, this partnership is a naturally good fit for us,” says Sikkie Kajee, chairperson of the AA.
The last report appeared 18 months ago and Kinsey says he is astounded at how prices have escalated between 2017 and 2019.
“Parts baskets have soared. An entry-level Datsun GO, for example, had a total parts basket of R44 372 in 2017. This year it is R63 310, an almost 43% increase. Similarly, the Volvo S60 had a parts basket price from R159 862 in 2017 to the current price of R214 362, a 34% increase,” notes Kinsey.
The report – which is available online at https://www.aa.co.za/tools-and-information/aa-kinsey-report – details parts available in nine categories of vehicles. These are city cars and entry level, super mini, family favourites, compact crossover, crossover, executive crossover, double cabs, single cabs, and executive saloons.
According to Kinsey, the format for conducting the study has not changed. He says the only other difference between vehicles is for petrol/diesel engines – which are also shown on the chart. All prices are collected in one calendar month, mainly from dealerships in the Durban/Umhlanga/Pinetown area. Where possible a VIN number is supplied to avoid confusion. Quotes are all written, and if a price seems out of kilter it is checked, either telephonically or by another visit, and often to a different dealership.
It must be stressed the prices used 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. The manufacturers do not have any input as to which vehicles are chosen – generally the most popular vehicles in the range are chosen.
As for the findings in the report, Kinsey notes that the turmoil of 2017 seems to be largely resolved, and that stability has returned to the market. He also notes 12 vehicles from the previous report have been omitted and replaced with 19 others. All the Auto Trader ‘Car of the Year’ finalists for 2019 are included.
“The SUV market has gained hugely in popularity, and for that reason 30 vehicles in three classes in this category have been included: eight compact crossovers, 13 crossovers, and nine executive crossovers. Prices vary considerably from the Mahindra KUV at just under R188 000, to over R1m for the likes of the Porsche Cayenne, Volvo XC90, VW Touareg, and the BMX X5. Obviously, one must select similar prices to compare,” he says.
He adds the servicing and repair costs sections of the survey are not as vital to the vehicle owner, particularly with a new vehicle. These costs are often borne to some extent by the dealer through service contracts which could be as long as 100 000 km. Manufacturers warranties can be as much as 200 000 km, or seven years, in some cases.
“Crash parts prices, however, will affect your insurance excess and the write-off point of your vehicle, and will be well worth noting. The charts are set out linking vehicles of similar cost, technology and purpose to allow for simple comparisons,” he explains.
The 2019 AA-Kinsey Report is available to print for free, or in sections, from the link provided above.