“Parts Prices are Going Down.”

“Parts Prices are Going Down.”
Photo Credit To Kurhan/Fotolia.com

In this article Ian Penny of Factor-Sales offers a fascinating insight into the way that parts pricing points for one specific make/model of vehicle have changed over the course of a year.

It’s often said that you should always look to the future rather than the past, but Factor-Sales recently decided to disregard that advice and take a look at what’s happened to the cost of parts for a service on the same 2007 Ford Focus 1.6 diesel that it first took to the garage back in September last year.

As usual the data presented was gathered from sales transactions covering a representative sample of nearly 700 independent factor sites across the UK and the prices quoted are the average prices charged in the year to August 30th 2016, compared to the prices on the same day in 2015.

We used a wide range of suppliers in each category to establish a high price part, a low price part and a top selling part by units.


The braking system didn’t need either pads or discs, just a check and clean. For the purposes of the report, however, we looked at the relevant prices for both front and rear and saw the usual wide range for competitive parts from well know aftermarket brakink suppliers.

In the case of front pads the top selling part was priced at £18.16. The low priced part came in at £12.75, while at the other end of the spectrum the highest priced part averaged out at £21.22 – a range of £8.47.

Moving from pads to discs sees a greater price range at £20.41, with the least expensive fetching an average price of £14.92, the most expensive at £35.33 and the top selling part priced in the middle at £22.28.

For the rear brakes we see a similar situation, with the most popular pad at £12.88 and the most popular disc selling at £13.15. The highest priced pad was £18.37 and the disc was £20.24. At the other end of the scale, the lowest priced pad was £9.54 and the disc was £10.83. So we have a further range of £8.83 in the rear pads and £9.41 in discs.

So overall in changing pads and discs, front and rear on a top selling car such as the Ford Focus sees a potential variation of £64.15 in invoiced parts pricing at cost to the garage, an interesting choice for the independent garage and/or his customer.

Engine oil

Engine oil also showed a big variation of £10.91 from high to low. The high average price recorded being £21.57 and the low being £10.66. The most popular selling oil of all those listed for the 2007 Focus was priced at £13.88.


For the oil filters the best-selling part averages out at £4.62 whilst the top of the price range is £4.73. At the other end of the scale we have a replacement part available for £2.80. The gap is less than within braking but is still £1.93 or a nearly 69% uplift on the low price offering!

For air filters the top seller carries an average price of £5.97 whilst the top end sits at £6.24 and the budget end sells at only £4.78, another £1.46 differential.

The top choice for carbon activated cabin filters in sales value and unit terms for the Focus commands a price of £9.16, just below the top priced item at £10.74 which is £5.49 above the budget priced item at £5.25.

To finish off filtration the fuel filter price difference top to bottom is huge with the top end item coming in at £30.68 and the lowest priced part returning £14.47 – that’s a £16.21 difference. The top selling line in units in this category sits at the lower end of the price spectrum at £16.41.

Glow plugs

For glow plugs the best-selling part shows an average price of £7.01 against the high end of the market at £11.01 and the budget end at £5.94 – that’s another £5.07!


So our Focus has had its 2016 service and another satisfied customer of the independent garage has picked the car up, paid the bill and headed on their way.

As always the garage makes the choice of which supplier’s parts to fit and that depends on the stock profile of the motor factor as well as the price, parts availability and brand loyalty of the mechanic.

What our survey shows is that whether the garage chose top end priced parts at £180.13, low cost at £91.94, or opted for the best sellers across the board at £123.52, the last 12 months has seen further reductions in the prices they’re paying.

It also shows that the price gap between top and bottom, although still significant, continues to narrow – down a huge 14% from 2014 to 2015 and a further £10.63 this time around.

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