It happens to us all at some stage in our driving careers and indeed it happened to one of our drivers – who will remain nameless – the other day.
Our shiny dark green Passat, with just 700 miles on the clock, was left with a large scrape on the rear wheelarch and two big gouges in the rear door after an argument with a brick wall, which the brick wall won by a mile. Unfortunately, parking sensors, which come standard on Highline spec cars, only work at the front and rear!
In normal circumstances, the car would have been booked into the local dealer, who would have kept it in for a couple of days while the damage was being repaired and our driver would have been left with no car.
As we are a little short on test cars at present and didn't want to lose the Passat, we decided to try the services of Flying Colours by Dent Wizard and we were left very pleased with both the service and the price charged.
The gouges went right into the panel and we were not sure if they could be repaired by the roadside but master technician Spencer Bunkall pitched up at Fleet Towers in Peterborough at 2pm and by 4pm our car was fixed.
It was service with a smile – our man couldn't have been more helpful – and the bill of £150 plus VAT was a reasonable one indeed.
Imagine how much time and hassle Flying Colours would save for a busy fleet driver.
With the tester responsible for this little accident now behind the wheel our our long- term Trabant GTi, the Passat has passed on to me. And I'm certainly not complaining. I've long been a big fan of this stylish upper-medium contender and am looking forward to a month of happy motoring.
Volkswagen's superb pumpe duse diesel technology has endowed this car with a 1.9-litre engine which emits just 154 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide. That equates to a benefit-in-kind tax bill of just £65 a month.
Yet despite this frugality of emissions, the car has very useful performance: 210 lb-ft of torque gives it plenty of mid-range performance if needed.
And then there are those front seats, which are not only heated but are calibrated in settings from on to five. Great for a cold day.
Company car tax bill 2004/05 (22% tax-payer): £65 per month