Buy­ing Clas­sics Abroad

Re­nault Twingo

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Theo Ford- Sagers

The first edi­tion of Re­nault’s bub­bly lit­tle Twingo wasn’t sold in the UK, mak­ing it scarce on these shores – but hop over La Manche and you’ll find loads scam­per­ing around.

Cheap run­abouts can be found in France for ¤750 (£640) and un­der, but you might as well splash a lit­tle bit ex­tra for a de­cent one. If you’re feel­ing in­trepid you could head for bar­gains in eastern Europe, although the rel­a­tive mer­its of search­ing beyond Ger­many are ques­tion­able.

What­ever you spend, bear in mind that the car’s real value in the UK will strug­gle to ex­ceed £600 even with an MoT. That’s the ad­vice of Alas­dair Worsley, ed­i­tor of the Re­nault Own­ers’ Club’s Renotes. ‘Deal­ers im­port­ing Twin­gos haven’t done their re­search,’ says Alas­dair. ‘The gen­eral rule with left-hand drive Re­naults is that the French will pay more for them than we will.’

Im­port­ing one couldn’t be sim­pler, though, and the ROC knows of about 20 Twin­gos in the UK. Thanks to a kerb­weight of about 800kg, trai­ler­ing one doesn’t re­quire pre­vi­ous in­vest­ment in a Range Rover. And now that nearly all MkI Twin­gos are over 10 years old (it was re­placed with the MkII from June 2007), you’re ab­solved from the re­quire­ment to have a Cer­tifi­cate of Con­for­mity – though reg­is­tra­tion in the UK is usu­ally eas­ier if you do man­age to get one in place.

Ei­ther way, you’ll still need to adapt the digital speedo to dis­play mph rather than kph, which in­volves in­stalling a small elec­tronic mod­ule be­tween the gear­box’s speed sen­sor and the speedome­ter.

Head­lamp beam de­flec­tors are also re­quired – af­ter­mar­ket or sal­vaged parts from a breaker. For fur­ther read­ing, visit Alas­dair’s ar­ti­cle on this sub­ject in the March 2014 is­sue of Renotes (avail­able at re­naultown­er­ It also in­cludes a de­scrip­tion of how to in­stall a kph-to-mph con­verter.

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