At Fleet News we strive to run our test cars as close to real fleet conditions as we can, eschewing manufacturer press office support as much as possible for the learning experience of ‘coal-face’ motoring.
But as I was all suited and booted for a meeting and didn’t fancy getting covered in brake dust while changing the wheel, I called the RAC on the freephone number provided with the car.
Just 40 minutes later an Audi-dedicated RAC technician had arrived in a manufacturer branded car. He was smart, polite and worked quickly and efficiently.
And the fact that the locking nut was missing from its recess in the A6’s boot didn’t slow him down.
Ninety minutes after I had reported the flat tyre, the spare was in place and I was ready to get back on the road. The technician also gave me a customer satisfaction survey to fill in and send back to Audi via a Freepost address.
There was still some admin to go through in the replacement of the spare. I called Peterborough Audi’s service department and explained my predicament to Tom McClean, senior service adviser.
Again, he was courteous and knowledgeable. He even rang me back when he promised to with details of the tyre that needed replacing.
I was offered the choice of courtesy car or a pick-up and delivery of our car in order for the flat tyre to be replaced. I chose the latter.
Just three days later, our A6 was collected in the morning and returned early afternoon, fitted with a new spare and a replacement locking nut. The spare and fitment cost £217.37 and the locking nut £25.73, including VAT.
There has been further cause to contact Peterborough Audi. The engine coolant level has dropped just below the minimum level.
I called the dealership and again spoke to McClean. He told me it can be topped up with tap water, but if I was still concerned to bring the car in for a check-up.
The level of service provided at all stages of resolving both problems, from first contact with the RAC to the resolution of each problem, has been exemplary.
I accept that as part of the media, Fleet NewsNet could command better treatment than the average fleet driver, but in a perverse way I wouldn’t mind if something else went wrong with our A6 so I could sit back and watch one well-oiled, efficient machine roll into action to put another well-oiled efficient machine of a different kind back on the road. Full marks, Audi.
Model: Audi A6 3.0 TDI Quattro SE Tiptronic
Price (OTR): £32,445 (£37,025 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 229
Company car tax bill (2005/6) 40% tax-payer: £344 per month
Insurance group: 16
Combined mpg: 33.2
Test mpg: 33.1
CAP Monitor residual value: £12,735/38%
HSBC contract hire rate: £627
Expenditure to date: £298.10 (£55 bumper repairs, £243.10 tyre/wheel nut)
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles