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Getting Gallic Chic For £5,000 Or Less

By raccars Published

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You may wear Dior, eat croissants for breakfast every day and holiday every year on the Cote d'Azur - with regular city break in Paris too, of course - but you're not a real Francophile until you get a French car. They may not be the most competent all-rounders, but if style is more important to you than substance, choose one of these Gallic beauties.

Renault Clio

The car that introduced the idea of the chic supermini, Nicole and her sexy French accent turned the Clio into a style statement in the UK, while it's a long time bestseller in its home territory. There are plenty of third generation and earlier models available for £5,000 or less.

Peugeot 205

Arguably the best small car ever, this Eighties phenomenon is undergoing a surge in popularity as a modern classic. At one time they were everywhere, so look for a gorgeous 205 Cabriolet or a supremely entertaining 205 Gti for a bit more exclusivity.

Citroen 2CV88

The ultimate French style statement, the 2CV is effortlessly cool and great fun to own. Easy to drive and easy to work on, the 2CV benefits from a hugely enthusiastic owners' community and easy accessibility of cheap parts.

Renault Avantime

This ‘avant-garde’ looking four seater MPV makes a nice change from the usual suspects. It barely rippled the water in the UK and there are fewer than 300 models remaining on the road today, so it has exclusivity on its side, and it has practicality to go with those exotic looks.

Renault Wind

A victim of Renault's model line-up rationalisation in the UK, the Brits didn't really have access to the Wind for long enough to make up their minds. However, it's actually a rather confident and good looking coupe cabriolet which, like the Avantime, is exclusive enough to lend it some exoticism.

Citroen C6

The huge C6 is just beginning to fall within budget as larger cars are falling out of fashion, so if you need space without sacrificing style, the C6 makes a very regal and dignified barge. If it's good enough for the French president...

Peugeot 306 Cabriolet

The Catherine Deneuve of French cars, the 306 Cabriolet defies its age marvellously. You'd never guess it's 20 years old if it weren't for the price - starting from £500, it's an amazing bargain. However, the 306 Cabriolet is also worth paying a lot more for, so buy the best one you can afford, on the basis that it's on its way to popular classic status.

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