Citroen C1, Peugeot 107, 108 & Toyota Aygo Owners Club. (Discount code for CityBugStore: C1OC). - New users not working currently, New users please use 'City Bug Club' Facebook instead

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 Post subject: How To Buy a CityBug
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:41 pm
Posts: 7895
Location: The Anus of the Shires
Drives: 107 Urban Lite
So, if you're reading this you're obviously interested in buying a C1, 107 or Aygo. But what do you need to know? He're the low down on buying the perfect 'bug.

Which CityBug is for me?

This is a good question. The Aygo tends to come with more kit model for model, and a 5 year warranty. That said, it costs more in the first place.

The C1 and 107 are more or less equal for the kit and trim levels, and cost accordingly less. The upside is that they depreciate less than the Aygo, in the 107's case it is currently the least depreciating new car you can buy in the UK at the moment.

So it evens out. In truth, it will probably come down to which you like the look of the most.

Which model?

Over time there have been 3 versions of each of the bugs.

Phase I was the original. 2005 to early 2009.

Phase 2 brought a front end facelift, some very minor trim revisions, and a fraction more economy. Early 2009 to early 2012.

Phase III has just been released and is a more significant overhaul of the styling, and brings more comprehensive standard kit. All models are updated to include DRLs as standard, the engines have all been tweaked again to bring the emissions under 99g/km, so road tax is down from £20 annually to nothing! Spring 2012 to date.

PSA have made mention that the new in-house triple will soon be available on the C1 and 107, giving somewhere between 80 and 100BHP, depending on what they finally settle on as the available variants. No dates have been set, and Peugeot have a history of fibbing about what is coming and when on new models, so I wouldn't advise hanging on solely in the hope of getting one of these models as it might never happen.

New or used?

If you can, I would always advise new. You get the max warranty, and you get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing that no one else has thrashed your pride and joy.

Peugeot and Citroen dealers will deal on the price if you stand your ground. Aim for 20% off, but some have been lucky and bought at the right time, or in conjunction with another offer and made over 30% off the ticket price. Base C1's and 107's chime in over £8,000 and you want to be aiming for sub £7k, preferably south of £6500. Anyone who can't negotiate at least 20% off the RRP is a fool and deserves to be fleeced.

Keep your eye on the dealers ad's, as occasionally some good deals crop up. Recently pug dealers were each given 5 cars, 107 Urban Lites, to sell at £5995 on the road as a headline grabber. That's nearly 40% off for some lucky punter.

Toyota dealers are a bit up themselves and are less likely to do a deal to that extent, although you might get lucky. Seeing as the Aygo also depreciates the quickest of the triplets (although it much be said not that badly) it seems a little odd that they take this stance. Still, if a bit more kit and the 5 year warranty means that much to you, then it might be worth living with it, especially if you intend keeping the car long term.

Because of the low depreciation used bugs in the up to 2 years age range can be poor value. It's not unusual to see them at dealers for sale up to that age with an asking price of only a few hundred less than RRP on a new car, and almost certainly more than the canny new buyer would have paid for it. That's not to say there aren't some gems out there in this age range, but you'll have to work harder to find them.

Then there's the proper used cars, 2+ years old.

Buying used.

You'll be pleased to know the 'bugs are tough, above average for reliability, and cheap to service and fix. So, with that in mind steer clear of any that aren't 100% and don't have a full history - it's so cheap to keep on top of these cars you got to be suspicious on buying from someone so tight to spend the pennies required in looking after one properly.

Golden rule - if it's cheap, there's a reason for it somewhere. Because the bugs do hold their value so well you should smell something fishy and be properly suspicious of any "bargain" out there. It could be legit, but satisfy yourself that someone isn't puling a flanker.

Golden rule II - there are hundreds, thousands of these motors for sale. Don't become fixated on one and end up paying over the odds, or overlooking a fault. There WILL be another one out there.

Look for the obvious first, ensure the car has a full history. Pop the bonnet and check that a genuine or quality brand oil filter is on there - this speaks volumes of the care and attention that has been lavished on it. A bright orange filter should have you running for the hills...

Check for wear and tear. Front tyres take a hammering and can be killed off quite quickly. Front brakes can wear and corrode quite quickly. Exhausts can rot prematurely, although it's rare they fail altogether. All these things are easy to fix, and can be used as a lever to work some money off the price.

Check the cabin, carpets, roof lining and boot for evidence of water ingress. Easy to fix (there's a guide in the Full members section), but be aware some Aygo water leaks appear incurable, despite Toyotas efforts to design them out. Not such a problem on a C1 and 107, so if nothing is rusting or badly discoloured use it as a bargaining chip.

Speaking of chips, the leading edge of the roof and bonnet can collect stone chips which may rust if left unattended. A rusting bug is rare, so any evidence of rot on the body should have you making your excuses and leaving.

Interior trim can get grubby quickly. It will clean up easily enough, but wear and tear is more expensive to put right, so keep an eye out.

Aftermarket stereos are common, but make sure they work properly and don't lose their memory when the ignition is switched off.

The test drive should reveal a lively and willing engine, keen to rev. It will sound noisier and thrummier than a more conventional small car, but this is normal.

Golden rule III - if you don't know what you're looking at, pay someone who does. £100 on an AA check could save you a lot of heartache.

Under to bonnet, everything should be oil tight. A leak is rare on these units. However, on Phase I cars check for evidence of staining on the left side of the engine. Water pumps are prone to failing on these early cars. It's an easy and cheap fix, so bargain for £150ish off the price if you see this.

Check the green ball is visible atop the battery. the batteries are starting to fail on the older cars now.

Clutches... perhaps the biggest topic of conversation on 'bugs. The design is fine, but in keeping with the light weight and budget nature of the car it is really pared to the bone. A good driver will get the clutch beyond 60 or 70k miles, but because they are on such a knife edge design wise they really are intolerant of abuse, and at the hands of Johnnie Spottiebum, Grandma, or anyone who doesn't have a A1 technique they can wear out at low mileages, often under 20k. Phase 2 cars onwards are fitted with a better designed 190mm clutch which seems to fare better. If you're looking at a car that has recently had a new clutch then be sure to check this 190mm was retrofitted.

There is an occasional problem with release bearings simply disintegrating on some earlier cars. Most will have been replaced under warranty or by the owner by now, but it's worth bearing in mind if you're looking at an early bug with low miles.

Other stuff

Insurance group is 1E on all petrol bugs, regardless of the trim level.

There are some rare diesel C1's and Aygos out there (and 107s on the continent), but they're rare. With diesels being the current rage they're likely to be priced high. Unless you really get a boner for a burner, they're not worth it.

Certain rarer models seem to be quite desirable. Unmolested 107 Sport XS's are definitely a future classic, and Kiss FM's are liable to be collectable in the same way the 205 1FM now is, although any red blooded male owner is liable to have removed the Kiss decals, which will make the cars less desirable to future collectors. Later Citroen VTR+ cars have a high spec and look great, so they're my tip for a model to be sought after in the future.

Modified cars are all well and good, but check that the mods have been done to a high standard and won't hammer your insurance.

If you buy used from a garage check out the previous owner - a lot of bugs started life as courtesy cars for garages, bodyshops etc and will have been driven hard. Tip - "demostrator" is motor trade polite speak for "courtesy car".

Similarly, there are a few out there that worked hard for a living at a driving school, so check for evidence of duel controls having been fitted etc.

Conclusion

The CityBugs are tough, reliable cars with a huge personality and a cult following. Buy wisely and you will have a cheap to run faithful friend that'll put a smile on your face whenever you get behind the wheel.

Don Bernardo

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