This week saw the launch of the AA Spare Parts Pricing Guide, which outlines how much it costs to operate and repair some of South Africa’s most popular vehicles.

As a vehicle owner or potential buyer, the report is well worth reading as many a previous buyer has fallen into the trap of buying a vehicle with  a lower purchase price, but encounter higher service and maintenance costs down the road.

For a brief and regrettable period in my life, I was that buyer. I picked up a Dodge Journey at a steal, but quickly came to realise that the service and maintenance costs were prohibitive. Had I been older and wiser and done the maths at the outset – I would’ve seen that after a year of ownership, whatever I saved on the purchase price would’ve been negated, and every year thereafter I would’ve made a loss.

As we are a leading spare vehicle parts provider, I read the report from a different perspective. We sell both aftermarket and OE brands, and I compared our prices to those of the agents, as listed in this report.  To us a brake pad is a brake pad, a strut is a strut and a filter is a filter. We don’t charge more based on the “premium-ness” of the vehicle it fits on. Unlike premium vehicle brands, who seem entitled to make healthy triple digit markups on their parts, charging more for parts in relation to the purchase price of the vehicle. It’s like ordering a Coca Cola at a 5 star hotel or buying it from your local convenience store. It’s the same item, but given the setting, you will pay a massive markup.

To say I was flabbergasted at the mark up charged by the agents was an understatement. Here is just one example why it pays to shop around, especially on Start My Car.


This is but one example, and probably not even the best one. I randomly chose this vehicle, which is not even the most expensive parts wise in its category.

I think the numbers speak for themselves. Before agreeing to any repairs or buying parts from the agents, have a look on our site or reach out to us, and I am confident we can save you a ton of money, without compromising on the quality of the parts.

With that said, here is the article I promised, courtesy of the AA.

The inaugural AA Spare Parts Pricing Guide has arrived and includes parts pricing over 11 categories of vehicles, including electric vehicles.

The guide, wholly researched and published for the first time by the Automobile Association (AA) this year, covers parts pricing for service parts, maintenance parts and body repair parts. 

“After careful consideration of the parts needed across these three subcategories, we identified a number of common parts which consumers may need to consider over the lifetime of their vehicles,” explains the AA.

“Based on this, we collected pricing from dealerships in Gauteng to ensure fairness in the comparisons across each of the different categories of vehicles we selected. In terms of the vehicles themselves, we looked at popular and, where possible, similarly priced models in each category.”

In total, 63 vehicles are included in the guide and cover the following categories:

  1. Entry-level vehicles
  2. Budget vehicles
  3. Compact family vehicles
  4. Family SUVs
  5. Executive SUVs
  6. Luxury SUVs
  7. Adventure 4x4 vehicles
  8. LCV single cab vehicles
  9. LCV leisure double cab vehicles
  10. Electric cars


Lowest rand value of total parts basket per category

As a yardstick, the lowest potential cost of ownership of the vehicles surveyed in each category is listed below. This is based on the cumulative rand values of the service parts, the maintenance parts and the body repair parts.

It must be noted that the retail price of some vehicles may already include a limited number of services and a selection of service and/or maintenance parts.

  • Entry-level vehicles: Datsun Go — R74,024.80
  • Budget vehicles: Ford Figo 1.5 Titanium — R53,254.55
  • Compact family vehicles:  Mazda CX3 — R131,920.18
  • Family SUVs: Honda CR-V — R171,790.57
  • Executive SUVs: Alfa Romeo Stelvio — R179,210.39
  • Luxury SUVs: Range Rover Sport — R367,410.19
  • Adventure 4x4 vehicles: Ford Everest 2.0 BiT XLT — R117,037.19
  • LCV single cab vehicles: Isuzu D-MAX — R79,038.56
  • LCV leisure double cab vehicles: Ford Ranger 2.0SiT XLT — R96,083.00

Electric cars have been assessed as they are critical for the future of mobility. As it is still too early to determine exactly what parts will be needed over the lifetime of the vehicles, a selection of parts is listed for reference purposes.


Lowest rand value of service parts basket per category

Based purely on the service parts selected, the following vehicles provide the lowest parts basket cost:

  • Entry-level vehicles: Renault Kwid 1.0 Dynamique — R4,085.84
  • Budget vehicles: Ford Figo 1.5 Titanium — R3,347.78
  • Compact family vehicles: Peugeot 1.2 Active — R6,011.94
  • Family SUVs: Toyota Rav 4 — R6,183.32
  • Executive SUVs: Alfa Romeo Stelvio — R9,538.53
  • Luxury SUVs: Lexus RX — R10,504.97
  • Adventure 4x4 vehicles: Isuzu mu-X — R7,444.50
  • LCV single cab vehicles: Ford Ranger 2.2TDCi — R5,747.30
  • LCV leisure double cab vehicles: Ford Ranger 2.0SiT XLT — R5,134.09
  • Electric Cars: BMW i3 — R11,806.33

Overall service parts costs are, predictably, the lowest costs for all vehicles with vehicle body parts the most expensive. 

“The AA Spare Parts Pricing Guide is important research consumers must be made aware of. Buyers often don’t consider the potential lifetime costs of vehicles at the time of purchase, and budgeting for these expenses is critical. Our research shows that more and more people are keeping their vehicles for longer due to prevailing economic conditions and personal finance circumstances; the information in our Guide is a critical component of proper research as part of buying a new or second-hand vehicle,” concludes the AA.

The complete AA Spare Parts Pricing Guide is available here.