Regular readers may remember that our Relay was about to go into the bodyshop to have its rear doors straightened out.
The damage happened when a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter full of pre-packed sandwiches slammed into the back of it.
This is always a time when we relish the chance to appraise the efforts of dealers as they don’t always appreciate that we are journalists and will be writing about the service they offer.
Well, my local dealer, Kent Elms Citroën, of Southend-on-Sea, deserves a big slap on the back for making the repair process as painless as possible.
After taking the van to the garage for an assessment, which was carried out using a digital camera, it was booked in a few weeks later and a courtesy vehicle was waiting for me when I arrived (although it didn’t have a drop of fuel in it).
After a few days in the workshop, the Relay was restored to its original pristine condition and as I handed back the keys to the replacement vehicle I noticed with joy that my van had also been given a thorough wash, which was an added bonus.
Manufacturers rely on dealers tremendously to foster good relations like this with fleet customers, which will mean that when it’s time to change vans, the buyer is likely to stick with that dealer.
Certainly if I was a fleet operator, I’d want to know that if something went wrong my local garage would help sort out the problem promptly.
I’m also quite chuffed with myself for solving another problem.
Vans of this size are a nightmare when it comes to transporting small loads.
For example, put a few bags of shopping in the back and by the time you get home, your items will be strewn across the load area, eggs smashed in one corner and milk sloshed about.
The solution is simple – I bought a stout plastic crate from a DIY store (£25) and lashed it into the front of the load area with a ratcheted load-restraining strap (£5).
And, of course, when the van is returned to Citroën I can take my device out and use it in my next test vehicle.
Overall, the Relay is continuing to be a cracking van to drive and, as stated in earlier tests, we still can’t get over the fact that it is returning around 37mpg.