I wasn't too worried by the service cost. Extra items included new wiper blades (£18) and a replacement front quarter grille (£8.50), and in any case the recorded mileage of almost 22,000 is testament to the cost-saving benefits of Audi's Variable Service programme. Many cars would have needed a couple of services in that distance.
But the tyre costs nearly brought tears to my eyes. I knew at the outset those handsome 17in alloys with their fat 235/45 YR 17 Dunlops wouldn't come cheap, but I had hoped the rears would last longer than the fronts.
The reality of replacement brought exasperation, too. Our local ATS branch was diligent in providing exactly the same covers as original – but it took a long search. Eventually, a pair was unearthed and sent to Peterborough, where the ATS mobile unit was despatched to fit them in our car park.
The problem was, rather than wreck the rims with hammered-on weights, I wanted stick-ons, as is only right and proper. None were in the van, so the car was driven back to the depot and delivered back to the office later that day. Good service, I reckon.
Company car tax bill 2003/04 (40% taxpayer) £232 per month.