Renault Twingo 1998 620x277

Long Term Test: Renault Twingo (Mk1)

Running a car on a tight budget is not a difficult thing to do. It’s something I make a hobby of (I know…) and have got through a long list of incredibly undesirable and unreliable cars, from a Renault Safrane to a Lancia Dedra.

People do tend to ask how much I spend on the cars, and the answer is generally very little indeed. However, I’ve never actually recorded it to see if running a ropey old car on an embarrassingly small budget actually makes sense.

Which is where an old Renault Twingo comes in. I’ll be running this, along with Mrs FrontSeatDriver, and recording exactly what we spend on it.

The purchase was simple, and something of a bargain. A very niche car (it’s left hand drive only) on sale before Christmas (when people tend not to spend money on potentially dodgy motors) made for a difficult sell but an easy buy. An early Twingo generally goes for around £1,500, but a need for cash saw the seller prepared to drop down to £750.

However, some hard bargaining meant just £550 eventually changed hands. For that I got a 1998 Renault Twingo with a fabric roof and fish stitched in to the seats.

Everything appears to work, from the original stereo to the electric windows. There’s a very small amount of rust and the tyres are in terrible condition, but this may be a winner.

I might just be able to prove that bangernomics works…

Total spend to date: £550

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Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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  1. I use to have a Renault Twingo, I was quite happy with it. Now tempted to get one with the canvas roof.

  2. You join “elite” club! I bought my P reg called Twiggy 8 years ago. It is so much fun with roof open, I can’t stop smiling.
    Oh, and yes I often leave the Q5 on the drive to spin around in the Twingo. Good luck and enjoy.

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