Long-term update: Is it cheaper to buy parts online or at the dealer? A Jaguar XK update
If you roam around enthusiast circles, you will consistently hear just one thing — “It’s much cheaper to buy car parts online than at the dealer!” And for the most part, it’s true. But is it universally true though? We find out with our aging Jaguar XK, which had a minor issue recently.
Now, to be fair to enthusiasts, it’s true. Most dealers here do overprice their parts, even two or three times more than what online shops overseas sell for, even with shipping. However, you should at least check with the dealer before taking the plunge.
Our 2008 Jaguar XK just had a coolant leak. Our car simply threw an “overheating” warning message, which was convenient as we quickly parked the car near our house before any serious damage occurred. But we were time-limited so we just had it towed to the dealer sometime later.
The dealership diagnosed it as a leaking coolant expansion tank. A diagnosis costs Dhs 900, but it’s waived if the repair is done at the dealer. The repair cost us Dhs 1201, including the Dhs 674 cost of the tank, Dhs 78 for a “red” coolant top-up and Dhs 300 for a pressure test.
The cost of a genuine tank online? About Dhs 677, and that’s not including the Dhs 181 for shipping. Sure, we would have saved a few bucks in labour if we did the repair outside, but why waste time if you want the car running quickly with minimal hassle? A really cheap garage would’ve even poured in the wrong coolant.
This is consistent with our past experiences with Jaguar — the parts cost about the same at the dealer as they do online, without including shipping! Sure, the parts themselves are in line with what a premium brand would charge, and there are a few local shops that offer the parts a bit cheaper, but repairing a Jaguar at the official dealer will not cost you a huge amount more than getting work done outside.
We also paid Dhs 1732 for a bi-annual service and another Dhs 300 for an engine flush that they insisted was part of the service.
And before we get repetitive comments about how expensive this car is to run after seeing the totals below, do check out the older reports. We had the car extensively refurbished a few years ago, but expenses since then have been quite reasonable for a premium sports car.
Original Mileage When Bought: 99,150 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 112,633 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 14.7 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 1201
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 2033
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 39,269