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Imported cars in South Africa can cost 50% more to insure

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Insurance premiums for imported cars could cost 50 percent more than the premium for a locally manufactured vehicle of similar value, largely because of the cost of vehicle parts, according to research by short term insurer Mutual & federal (M&F).

However, Manny de Canha, the chief executive of Associated Motor Holdings (AMH), South Africa’s biggest vehicle importer, said there was “no truth” in the M&F claims.

De Canha said he had challenged the short-tern insurer on its view but he was not provided with anything to substantiate the company’s claims, according to media reports on the Internet.

He said AMH was doing a survey on its parts every year to make sure it was competitive, and this was supported by the independent Kinsey parts pricing survey.

“If this was the case, we would not gain market share and people would not buy our cars,” he said. “We [importers] are gaining market share and 40 percent to 45 percent of vehicles sold are imports.”

Keith Kennedy, executive general manager for claims at M&F, voiced concern about the rising costs of automotive repairs and the impact on premiums.

He said the effect of repair costs on motor insurance premiums could encourage car buyers to consider the total cost of ownership when buying a new vehicle.