£760 for car
£54 for wing and door mirror
£18.50 for two bumper brackets
£1 silver aerosol can
£1 epoxy glue
£80 replacement starting motor
There appears to be a market for cheap automatic cars and here the distinction should be made between traditional torque converter automatic transmissions and more recent semi-autos that are distinguishable in having no transmission fluid. Their respective technologies have advanced dramatically in the past ten years so that fuel efficiency has increased – with lower taxation rates. Contrast with my partner’s old 2002 Ford Focus 1.6 automatic with £280 a year tax ( 192 g/km) and 300 miles on a tank of petrol on a good day. My newly-acquired Toyota Aygo has a three cylinder 998cc engine and equates to £20 a year tax (109 g/km). Of course, siblings of Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 are all built in the same factory and use the same Toyota unit that continues the successful collaboration today.
Our 2006 model had suffered a scrape across one wheel arch that knocked the front bumper off and fortunately, it had been placed with associated debris into the rear of the car to be used again so that some salvage parts could be salvaged safely. With their originals beyond repair, a silver wing and mirror were sourced for £54 and bumper brackets were bought from Toyota for a reasonable £18.50. Wings are quite easy to fit but a penetrating oil dosing of two stubborn 10mm bolts, beneath the windscreen scuttle and sill are advised to reduce stress and save time. A £1 silver spray paint rattlecan was bought from the Poundshop and Epoxy resin glue is always handy to bond mudguards and bumpersplits. It was an easy repair and the Aygo is a good car although there is a limit to which manufacturer’s cost-cutting does affect repair with the rear lense cluster clips pinging in all directions – caught in the crossfire was I. One intermittent problem plagued the Aygo though, and that was the starting motor that span occasionally providing no ignition – a spanner in the works to erode that all-important profit margin. It was replaced at a cost of £80 and the driver’s seat bolster was repaired by myself with some dextrous stitching with help from a discarded trouser turn-up that was a close match to the existing material.
It did sell to the first viewer but what I have deduced from enquiries is this: semi-automatics are viewed dubiously as their gearboxes rely on complex electronics although the Aygo is a good seller. I now have a Peugeot 107 and haven’t sold it yet even though it shares the same engine and transmission as the Aygo!
Words and photos are copyright of Sotiris Vassiliou