Honda Civic Type R
How would a dealer go about making your new car’s first service as painless as possible? I guess that once the car flashed up the spanner icon, you’d phone up and get a callback within the hour. You’d pick a date and time most convenient for you, not the workshop, and still be welcomed inside when you arrive half an hour early to beat the morning rush hour.
You’d be offered a comfy seat, quick wi-fi and all the complimentary coffee you can drink while your car is seen to. After an hour, a text would arrive with a video walkaround of your car explaining tyre, brake and underbody wear and tear (all fine) and after another 30 minutes, your freshly valeted car would be returned, complete with an oil change and new filters.
As you’ll have guessed, this isn’t a wish-list but a whistlestop account of how the Type R’s first service was handled by Chiswick Honda. Pretty slick stuff – especially the undercarriage walkaround – even if £261 for the service book stamp and some new oil is pretty steep.
The front tyres are coping well for their 10,200 miles, just approaching the wear indicators. But as the undriven rears are still showing 4mm, I’ll swap them front to back at the weekend, when the Civic will also be treated to a wash. That’s a more upsetting job, because the oddly soft Rallye Red paint seems vulnerable to stone chips, and the Honda’s front is slightly stubbly these days.