C1 Citroen and you certainly haven't seen them all
Trend swings from owning to using a car
THE way we acquire, as oppose to buy, a car is changing fast.
It was interesting to hear Citroen people in Amsterdam recently talking about 'Budget Control' when it comes to owning and running a vehicle.
Michael Noonan would love them.
The trend is away from outright ownership and much more 'user-ship'.
And the sort of packages they were talking about came down to tailoring how much you can afford on a monthly basis to have and keep a car on the road.
One method is to charge you according to the number of kilometres you drive each month.
PCPs (Personal Contract Plans) are becoming prevalent here now and there is a widespread belief it has been a watershed in letting people get into a new car.
It has its critics and getting the future guaranteed value of the car right is crucial but it has spawned a mindset of using rather than owning.
The conversation was around the unveiling of Citroen's Cactus which I reviewed last week and the new C1 city car.
It is built on the same platform and shares so much with the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot - both reviewed these past two weeks in Motors as well.
I'll not go back over all that.
Suffice to say they are bringing it in quite soon.
Like Toyota they are going for the 1.0-litre 3cyl petrol and not bringing in the 1.2-litre as well.
I think the larger engine transforms the car.
It certainly did with the 108 and they are bringing it in. It won't cost that much more than the 1-litre.
Citroen have gone for bright and cheery on the inside with strong-colours on the exposed metal panels and it works really well.
It's chirpier than the 108 but the Aygo with its changeable front grille and interior panels remains the frontrunner in that area.
Prices for the others have yet to be announced but the starting price for the Aygo is €12,635 ex-works for the 3dr and €12,995 for the 5dr.
The C1 was handy and nippy in the course of a brief drive through Amsterdam's varied streets and over tramlines.
The MirrorLink sat nav let us down - again.
Don't like it.
Anything that relies totally on a signal is going to come and go and drive you mad.
Luckily we didn't let it overshadow what is a grand little car.
And didn't stop me enjoying the chat.