Is it true that the Proton Saga is cheaper to maintain than a Perodua Bezza? The answer is not that simple.

Eric/May 01, 2020 12:40 AM

Both the Perodua Bezza and Proton Saga are Malaysia’s cheapest sedans, but which one is cheaper to maintain?

Table is not a full representation of actual cost because Proton has parked some necessary maintenance jobs as optional, and doesn't reveal its price. Perodua however, includes all these optional jobs under the ProCare list.

If you were to make a simple comparison based Proton's quoted prices for its maintenance plan, the Saga's total maintenance cost over a 5-year/100,000 km period is cheaper than the Bezza by about RM 140. The Perodua Bezza will cost RM 3,149 to maintain while the Proton Saga costs a slightly cheaper RM 3,008. 

That's a neglibible difference over a five-year/100,000 km period.

However, keep in mind that Proton has tweaked its maintenance plan and moved the Saga's costly RM 633.85 timing belt replacement job to the 110,000-km/66-month, just outside the 5-year/100,000 km table. Smart eh?

Furthermore, many jobs like tyre alignment and balancing, brake system flush, as well as air-conditioning servicing have been removed from Proton's list, as these are considered 'optional jobs. We have tried to ask Proton for the cost to complete these jobs, but Proton declined our request, saying that it does not publish the cost of these optional jobs.

Meanwhile, Perodua is very transparent about its maintenance cost. All these optional but recommended jobs are parked under its 'ProCar' package. Not choosing it will not void your warranty but customers are encouraged to opt for these maintenance work to ensure that their Perodua remains in tip-top condition.

Comparing maintenance cost using manufacturer's provided figures can be a little bit tricky, as it doesn't always tell you the actual cost. For example, the type engine oil used could be different. Some manufacturers elect to use longer lasting Iridium spark plugs, which costs more up front but have a longer service life.  

While it appears that it costs more to maintain a Perodua Bezza, you can rest assured that there are no hidden charges, as what you see on Perodua's list is what you will be paying at the service centre. With the Proton Saga, the only way to get the actual cost is to ask other owners, but considering that the Saga was launched only last year, it's unlikely that there is anyone who can tell you the actual maintenance cost after 5 years/100,000 km.

In terms of insurance costs, the insurance rates for the Proton Saga are listed below:

  • Proton Saga 1.3 Standard MT: RM 1,072
  • Proton Saga 1.3 Standard AT: RM 1,130
  • Proton Saga 1.3 Premium AT: RM 1,208

As for the Bezza's insurance rates, it is listed below:

  • Perodua Bezza 1.0 G MT: RM 1,082
  • Perodua Bezza 1.0 G A: RM 1,106
  • Perodua Bezza 1.3 X AT: RM 1,373
  • Perodua Bezza 1.3 AV AT: RM 1,510

Keep in mind that the prices mentioned above assumes that the driver has zero NCD, zero loading and excludes additional coverage items, such as windshield or flood coverage. 

Another cost to factor in while maintaining a car is the annual road tax. The Perodua Bezza 1.0's road tax costs RM 20 annually, while the Perodua Bezza 1.3 and Proton Saga 1.3 cost RM 70 annually.

At the end of the day, the difference won’t be a lot. Both cars have their pros and cons and the overal package is quite evenly matched.

Remember that the Proton Saga is a lot cheaper to buy than the Perodua Bezza, nearly RM10,000 cheaper. That's more than enough to compensate for the slightly higher maintenance prices. However, the Perodua Bezza is Malaysia's king of fuel economy (and reliability). There's a reason why Grab drivers are loyal to their Perodua Bezzas/Axias.