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Citroën AX

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      12.01.2012 10:41
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      quircky small car champion

      The Citroen AX was the first car I got after I passed my driving test and its still looking back one of the best cars I have ever owned! Its quircky and cheeky in a way that only a small french car can be. I love the look of the car and its small size, perfect for parking in a busy city centre.

      The diesel version was one of the great mpg champions, way back before fuel prices became such a big issue to households. I used to regularly get 50+ mpg driving round town and even more ona long run on the motorway. The impressive mpg was down to the low weight of the car, there`s a lot of plastic!

      Where you gain in one area you loose in another so I`d hate to have a bad crash in one because I think you would fare quite poorly compared to in a modern supermini. However its light weight also made it feel quite nippy around town and it is great fun to throw around corners, real seat of the pants stuff!

      This is basic motoring as it should be; cheap insurance, good mpg, no unnesessary extras and quircky good looks.

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        05.12.2011 00:44

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        Terrible car but so lovable

        This was the first car I ever owned and the worse car I ever owned. Although it was rubbish I loved it spontaneous and quirky character.

        Firstly, it doesn't even have proper door handles. You have to slide your finger into a little gap and flick a switch open the door.

        The car was very snug as well and little room for anyone in the back.

        Mine was around ten years old an was starting to fall apart. The worse problem I had was for the brake pedal get stuck to the floor which was quite scary.

        The heating was temperamental and would often come on randomly. Also the front windows wouldn't wind down.

        In fairness to the car the paint job was original and was still in good condition and no rust.

        Steering was quite difficult and could require a lot of strength when waking big turns.
        The engine was also incredibly loud.

        Despite this the old boy refused to stop and continued chugging along. Although we had our problems I loved this little gem!

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        12.11.2011 20:28
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        Nice cheap little runner, rather attractive too.

        My partner and I have owned 3 cars together. The first a Lada from 1990, the second a Mk1 Transit from 1974, and the third a Citroen AX. The Citroen was the hardest purchase we made so far as we both love classic cars, so something like this seemed brand new to us! Despite our first doubts, on viewing the car it just felt *right* so we handed over our £300 and off we went.

        We opted for the 3 door petrol car, rather than diesel as we know our way around a petrol engine. The diesel is rumoured to do 75mpg, however we've found our little car to not come far off. We recently took a 400 mile trip, and clocked the mpg (mixed - both in town and motorway) at 64mpg!

        The interior of the car is very comfortable for us, although our taller friends can't get too comfy in the back seats, there is plenty of leg room in the front considering the cars size (hence the 'mouse car').

        The 'extras' are very simple, no power steering here (but the car is so light it isn't a problem), manual windows in the front, sunroof (very 90s), analog clock, mile counter, fan, nice sized boot, heater, and no air-con or air-bags.

        Mechanically these cars are really quite easy to work with and we've had a little fiddle about with no problems (changed a suspension mount and adjusted the headlight beam).

        We chose the AX as we wanted something which did good MPG, without being a ''bubble'' (cars suddenly went bubble like in the late 90s!) and that's what we got, very pleased and recommend to anyone wanting something cheap, attractive and reliable.

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        01.07.2010 17:46
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        Perfect for singles or couples

        I was bought this car when I first passed my driving test, and okay, it does not have the sleek look of some newer cars, but I absolutely loved this car! Unfortunately I no longer own this motor as, like most new drivers if we were to go by the statistics, I crashed it after a year and it was a total right off. I was so upset and here are some of the reasons why I loved this car so much . . .


        * Reliable *

        It was always a reliable starter - especially in the winter months. It always started on those cold, winter mornings even when there was deep snow or layers of frost on the ground.


        * Economical *

        It was very cheap to run and did not guzzle down the petrol - I have managed to put £5 in this car before and make it last at least a week!


        * Physical Appearance *

        Okay so it is not the most attractive car to look at but it is small and easy to park which is a bonus for me! There is plenty of leg room in the driver's side and in the passenger side, although it is a little tight in the back. The interior is basic but very simple and sleek. My particular car was a 3 door hatchback with a 1.0 engine and I found this to be ideal for my first car.


        * Price *

        I think my parents bought me this car for about £1000. I have done a quick bit of research on the internet and prices seem to start from around £600 - £700. Obviously the price is dependant on the individual retailer but if you are interested in buying a Citroen AX then it is worth checking your local Gumtree site or keeping a look out in your local Autotrader paper for the best deal.


        * Summary *

        A great little run around car, perfect for singles or couples. Definitely not a family car as it is so small. A very reliable and trustworthy car with the size of the AX meaning it is easy to fit into those tight, little parking spaces too!

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          27.05.2009 20:24
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          Good car for me, but a bit of a banger

          I have the Dimention 1ltr (954cc)
          It's my first car, so it's Ok for me.

          The first thing I noticed about this car is that it only had 4 gears, but no Rev counter, so it does get upto speed but makes a bit of noise, altho I can't see how fast the engine is actaully going.

          Getting in the front seat has plenty of leg room, but almost none in the back, so you have to compromise between front and back seat leg room.

          The first thing that broke on my car was the boot lock, costing me £50 for another I found the whole key part of the lock is held on my a little clip, sort of a washer with a slit.

          The light put inside the car is pretty pointless, which is why I have now installed a 20W halogen light into my car (very bright).

          The cars top speed is 105mph, but this does make a lot of noise, and with only 4 gears its a racket.

          The wind mirrors can be a pain, they can be adjusted from inside the car, but not by very much, but they don't lock into position, so if knocked takes time to get back to perfect position.

          Having one wiper does seam a bit weird, but it still does its job well.

          So I think £300 for this car was Ok.

          If anyone has any ideas of how to improve my car please do let me know.

          I have already added 230V sockets and new light.

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            08.03.2009 16:14
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            Cheap and cheerful. Fun to drive and easy on the wallet.

            Background
            I was given my AX as my first car. It was a 1991 10e poverty-spec model with a 954cc 45bhp engine married to a four-speed gearbox. It had a chequered past, 54k on the clock, and was a lovely shade of maroon.

            Equipment:
            There was very little to it. It had a four speed gearbox, wind-up windows, no rev-counter, no temperature gauge, no power steering, in fact it didn't even have a cigarett lighter socket! The stereo was basic but it worked, although the twin speakers in the back were pretty tinny.

            Interior:
            the interior was well thought-out but very basic. The dashboard was boxy, the speedo easy to read as it was the only dial there (apart from the fuel gauge), but there was plenty of storage space. The seats were very comfortable but lacked adjustment and the single spoke steering wheel was worryingly flimsy. Howver, there was plenty of space, the rear seats could fold flat or even be removed in a matter of seconds (it was put together like a mechano car) and the boot was a decent enough size. Mine didn't even have inertia-reel seatbelts in the back though.

            Exterior:
            It was very basic, with grey plastic bumpers and steel wheels. Rust was also a problem, with a little coming through at the arches, but the floor of the boot had practically caved in by the time I sold it. Panels were thin and dented easily, and the plastic bootlid was very flimsy and not exactly secure.

            Mechanical:
            The engine was very sturdy, and surprisingly sprightly for such a small unit. the gearbox was a little vague, but had typical french long-ratios. The non-power-assisted steering was still light, due mainly to skinny tyres and a light-weight car. The brakes were firm with a good feel to them, although they were scarily underpowered when there were four people in the car.

            Driving:
            My poverty-spec AX was incredibly light (less than 700kg), so despite the tiny engine it was enormous fun to drive. The comedy soft suspension had very long travel, so ride quality was brilliant but cornering was scary. The clutch was heavy with a very long travel, and the gearbox a little vague, although surprisingly long-legged for a 4-speed, so motorway cruising was fine, if a little noisy (there was no sound-proofing worth noting).
            Parking was easy - it is a very square car with a tiny turning circle and good visibility.
            Mine had a manual chike, which took a bit of juggling at times but jept the car nice and simple.

            Reliability:
            The whole car had an air of flimsiness to it, but was so basic that there wasn't anything to really go wrong. I had to replace both fron drive-shafts as they are a known weak point, but otherwise just replaced service parts in the time I had it.

            Running costs:
            Insurance is minimal (group 3 I think) and tax is cheap. As I'm sure you can imagine, it is very economical being so light and underpowered. Service parts from Citroen are hugely expensive, but there are plenty of pattern parts and second-hand parts available. The 135x13 tyres can be had for as little as £25 a corner. I sold mine for £200, so they can be had for very little as well.

            Overview:
            This car is incredibly cheap motoring and well suited to a first-time driver on a budget. It is also incredibly good fun thanks to its comedy suspension, light weight, and general basicness.

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              01.02.2009 01:42
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              I'm going to miss my little car!

              This is a girly review of my car, if you want to know the technical specs then look them up online! I shall concentrate on sharing my experience of owning and driving this car.

              I have owned two Citroen AX cars, my first one was the diesel model with the 1.4l engine which was written off when a trailer came free of the van it was being towed by and smashed into little pieces. I then owned a punto for a while which was written off in a crash. I was then in the position of having to replace my car very quickly for very little money before the insurance was sorted out and ended up buying a 1litre AX last Febuary for just £400 and ended up keeping it until yesterday when I finally upgraded. I don't seem to have much luck with cars with three being written off in ten years, the other one was a drunk driver who demolished half of my street with her 4 by 4!

              The AX is an extremely economical car to own, I have no idea how many MPG it gets but know that it used significantly less fuel then my punto. It is also cheap to insure and reliable. In my three years total of AX ownership the only problems I have encountered were having to replace a radiator on the diesel model and a fairly minor problem with the fuses on the petrol model. Even the AA man who was called after the problem with the fuses said the AX were great little cars and he hardly ever got called out to them. Even after doing 100 000+ miles the engine on the petrol model was in great condition. Parts were readily available when needed and routine maintenance like tyres and brakes were all available at reasonable prices from any garage.

              In terms of driving, the AX is a surprisingly nippy wee car, I would regularly drive faster than strictly legally allowed on the motorway and the car handled it well unlike the punto which would start to sputter and struggle approaching 70mph. Road handling was generally good, the only problem was cornering at high speeds so I made sure to drive slowly then. Most of my driving is on country roads and in town and the car performed well in those conditions. Although handling is good, I often felt a bit scared in heavy traffic with loads of big vehicles around as the car feels really tinny and I don't imagine it would stand up well in a crash.

              The AX I owned had 3 doors, it was a good little run around for just me and my daughter but if I carried adults in the back seats then you could really feel the difference going uphill. There is not much legroom in the back and now the kids I transport are reaching the teen years then they were pretty cramped in the back so it's not an ideal car if you need to carry lots of people on a regular basis.

              Driver and front passenger comfort is generally good with lots of legroom but not much space between the seats meaning I would often touch my passengers knee changing gears or brush up against them putting the handbrake on. The controls were all well designed and easy to reach. Music was supplied by the factory fitted radio cassette and the speakers were sited around the car giving a good surround sound feel. The boot is small but no smaller than other cars in its class and the back seats folded down easily.

              There were a number of niggly little things that annoyed me about the car such as the mechanism putting the seats forward was sticky, loads of little faults were starting to develop like the heating acting up or the door catches and bonnet hatch becoming sticky or the seatbelts not retracting properly and getting shut in the doors all the time.

              The reason I got rid of the car was it was simply not worth putting it through an MOT. Although the engine was sound the bodywork was really starting to age and rust spots were appearing and there was not much life left in the clutch. I probably could have got another year out of the car but as it was meant as a temporary measure and I wanted a 5 door car to stop the kids moaning then it was time to say goodbye to it.

              Citroen produced the AX from 1986 to 1998 so there are not many left on the road these days. Although I have enjoyed both my stints of AX ownership I wouldn't particularly recommend this car as there are better options available in the supermini class for similar prices and all the remaining cars left will be over 10 years old now.

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                25.07.2008 12:21
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                Economical when working, but a swft and certain transport to the next world in a collision

                Bought an AX diesel with 67,000 miles on the clock two years ago. Great fuel economy when creeping (I got over 80mpg on a journey from Kendal to Croydon, not exceeding 55mph), but the din when extended is frightful.
                Terrifyingly fragile a la 2CV. For goodness sake don't carry valuable cargo, or anyone you love in it! Panels can be popped with the little finger and the quality of the interior can only be described as 'dismal'.
                Tendency to rot on front leading edge of bonnet and more seriously, in the structural area of the inner wheel arches behind the headlights.
                Head gaskets are a MAJOR problem and will set you back between £500 and £1,000. Cam belts MUST be changed on the button as per the service schedule and remember to change the water pump at the same time. False economy not to.
                A car for pottering round town. Dump it when the head gasket goes as a proper fix (ie - one that will last more than 1,000 miles) will require the head machining, and depending on the extent of the warping, this may not be achievable without the valves hitting the pistons, so another head may be required which may be as bad as the one you have taken off!

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                  13.06.2008 15:53
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                  Great first car

                  The Citroen AX was, and still is, my first car and i am loving it. OK so it isn't the best looking car on the market, in fact it looks pretty rubbish compared to modern cars but i love the retro feel. As i was one of the first in my school year who was eligible to drive it was a big advantage being able to pick up this car, i have an N reg with about 90k on the clock, for a little over £200. A lot of my snobby friends do not like my car, but that is great as then i don't have to ferry them around as they don't want to ask me for a lift! At the end of the day at the age of 18 all you want is something to get you around that will do a good few miles to the gallon. If you can get a half decent AX you will not be disappointed.

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                    24.04.2008 01:26
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                    great first car/runaround just keep an eye on the cooling system

                    My first car was a citroen ax, I bought it in may 2005 for £225 with 10 months mot and tax and 61k on the clock.
                    I still have it but have stopped using it which I will go into later.

                    It broke down twice, once when the thermostat stuck closed and caused it to overheat, and another time when the headgasket went .

                    It has got 89500 on the clock now and has been brilliant, the stuff i have replaced are

                    brakes

                    head gasket 87k

                    ht leads and plugs

                    thermostat

                    tyres and stuff

                    dash bulbs

                    radiator hoses

                    brake pipes

                    front bumper and wing ( after accident)

                    ball joint and cv boots

                    bearing in mind this was over 3 years and on a 20 year old car.

                    It was such a nippy car, and i got 100 out of it once before i realised the brakes were knackered and i shouldn't be going this speed in a then 18 year old car lol, and i ran out of road so I had to slow down. It was very reliable and very good on fuel and I managed to get 250kg of pig food in the back once and it drove fine with me and 2 other guys in.

                    The amount of times that I had to go to the rescue to my mates when there (newer) cars broke down in my ax. It was funny turning up in an F reg car to sort out an M reg car lol.

                    It did however, have an irritating appitite for coolant, before the headgasket went, it would get low on coolant every 2000 miles and get an airlock and need topping up/ bleeding. Every part of the cooling system ended up failing, first the radiator hoses weren't that great so i replaced them, then the thermostat, then the heater matrix, then the head gasket (not strictly a part of the system), then the radiator sprung a leak, and putting radweld in killed the waterpump! nevermind. All the problems wern't the cars fault they were mainly because it just wasn't designed to last 20 years.

                    The reason why I stopped using it is because it needs a new cooling system and the cam timing redone (its not quite right because I didn't know how to refit the cam belt tight enough when I did the head gasket myself) and the starter motor was on its way out. I could get it fixed tomorrow but Its not worth spending the money on so im probably going to convert it to a VTS or somthing. All in all it made a great first car and im not going to get rid of it because im too attached to it.

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                      15.04.2008 20:37
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                      I'm Glad my Daughter Chose This One

                      I used to have a Citroen AX some years ago now and really loved it, so when my middle child passed her test and we started to look at cars, I looked favourably at the N reg Citroen AX we saw advertised on the Auto Trader website. My daughter preferred the P reg Ford Fiesta which was close in price range, but I managed to dissuade her after she realised that it wouldn't last long with 100,000 miles on the clock whereas the Citroen we looked at had only done 65,000 miles.


                      The car I used to have was a five door Memphis edition (in the nineties) and the car my daughter now drives is a three door Elation edition, so I've had some experience of both. The Memphis is a 1.1l engine and the Elation is a 1.0l engine so both models are very fuel efficient and cheap to insure. It makes them ideal for teens as insurance is often a lot more expensive for younger drivers. I bet it's also handy for people who've made claims on their insurance and can't afford the premiums.


                      I've found the AX to be a very reliable car that gets a driver from A to B in a cost effective way. Fuel consumption is excellent which is important these days with ever rising petrol prices. I worked out for my daughter that she is paying about 11p per mile in her Elation so she knows whether or not it's worth her taking the car out. She's been very careful and only uses it for college and the odd night out so she's making a tank of petrol last about a fortnight at the moment which is better than my car manages!


                      The only problem I had with my old Memphis edition Citroen AX was that the electrics had problems sometimes. Like the bulbs would go internally or the speedometer light would stop working. That's a real pain because of course you have to remove the whole of the interior dashboard to fix it which only someone qualified can really do. The actual car drove beautifully though and in the six years I owned it, I never had to pay out for any considerable work. I think the only thing I ever paid for on that car was new brake pads after a few years and new wiper covers. Things like the accelerator and clutch lasted without fault. So far my daughter's not had any trouble with her Elation either though she's only had it for a few months now.


                      I think these cars are really good. They're fuel efficient and cheap to buy second hand nowadays. If you want something cheap, you can get an Elation for well under a grand with three doors. Or, for an extra hundred or two you can get a Memphis with five doors and electric windows which is nice. They also do a 14GT edition in this style though I've never owned or driven one of those.

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                        06.03.2006 17:03
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                        Abosolutely fabulous as a cheap, smart city run around.

                        The citreon AX was the love of my life. It was the first car I bought, I got it to learn in. It was bright metallic Green.
                        So small and cute, but suprisingly stylish. I have a 206 now which has evil looking eyes, which the Citreon AX had if you looked at it in the right way.
                        As always, when your young the majority of people are into the boyracer style of cars. I was the girl-racer, I loved all cars that has the potential to look bad, sound bad and best of all driven bad.
                        I always swore that I would never have a citreon AX but time was runnig short before my 17th Birthday and I wanted a car for the day I was legally aloud on the road with my L plates on. So my dad spotted it and I just said whatever it is just get it me.
                        So I sat there looking at my most hated car ever, and then the bright colours started calling me, the polystyrene effect seats started to look nice a soft, and the pathetic little dash started to look nice and beefy and wanting to be driven. So from that day on I thought "I'm not going to try and hide my car from anyone".
                        So I started to drive it around and loved the drive, but as a learner I felt the peddles were a bit too close, I was willing to look past this as it was now my new love. I got some blue racing seat covers and floor mats, and a realther BLUE momo steering wheel to brighten it up abit. As time went on I could afford a sound system but there was just one problem - I was gutted!

                        The parcel shelf was just a thin flap of leather - how was this supposed to hold a good few pounds of speakers without ripping. So I reinforced it with some ply wood, got some blue cloth the same colour at my seats, wrapped it around the new and improved parcel shelf and cut some holes for the lovely 6x9's to go in. And hey presto I had my girl-racer car.

                        But besides having the ability to look good, it drove good - it was very nippy. Mine was a 954cc engine - NOT EVEN A 1 LITRE!!!! and it flew up the steep banks, it even smelt good, and sounded good and I never replaced the exhaust with a big boar or anything like that.

                        Anyway the point is, if you are looking for your first car, or your a boy/girl - racer whos wants a new project then is car has deifnately got to be considered.

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                          04.08.2003 02:17
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                          I have had my H-reg Citroen AX 1.1 (Chloe) for nearly 3 years. When we bought it it had done 27000 miles and cost us £700. It has now done over 62000 miles and has been very reliable, although when repairs have been needed they have cost quite a lot. We have also had some trouble with some independent garages who cannot diagnose problems as well as the Citroen dealers (and others who have just plain ripped us off). Also some parts are hard to find new, such as the driver's seat and the sun visor clip/ courtesy light housing box. Chloe is very economical, doing about 48 mpg. For the last year I have been driving 40 miles a day, mainly on motorways, and have had no problems. More recently the clutch went while driving up the M1, and we had to be towed home. We had paid for the clutch to be replaced the year before, and not only was this not done but the fact that it had not been done was not spotted at a routine servicing less than a month previously. All in all, though, we have found the Citroen AX to be a very reliable, economical and fun car, with the added bonuses of being (thus far) rust free although parked outside all year round, and of course easy to fit into small parking spaces.

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                            08.07.2003 06:23
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                            I bought my Citroen AX nearly 8 years ago when it was 3 years old. It was previously a motability car and only had 15,000 on the clock. To this day it has, for the most part served me well and it's never broken down once although it hasn't been used much as it still only has 56,000 miles on the clock. The car itself is very light weight and nippy to drive but can feel a little too light when driving on the motorway and is particularly sensitive to out of balance wheels. The major problem I've had with this car is that the brakes aren't all that good. The problems with the brakes were recent. The car seemed to shudder through the steering wheel when braking. This little problem eventually cost me over £600 in repairs, many of which I think were unnecessary as the problem was eventually found to be seized callipers at the front. Apparently the (several) garages that inspected the car had missed the fact that the front calliper slides were seized and this was damaging my brakes disks which ended up with me going through 3 sets in about 4 months. In an attempt to fix the problem the various garages replaced the front ball joints, rear brake disks and drums, front wishbone bushes and I even had one garage tell me that both front hubs had to be replaced as it was these that were "warping" the brake disks. After all these repairs another garage inspected the car and told me about the seized callipers and after having these replaced (along with another new set of disks) the problem has not resurfaced. I was told that apparently there have been a lot of issues like this with the brakes on the ax, however the hassle I had was mostly related to bad advice from the garages I took the car to (Kwik-Fit, Parks and a small independent garage) Overall the car has not given me any more problems and always starts without any bother. I would recommend the ax to anyone on a tight budget as they're cheap to run
                            , however watch out for brake problems. _______________________________ ADDENDUM 9th July 2003 This morning I found that someone tried to steal my ax last night. They had ripped out the seal along the bottom of the window of the passenger side door and then must have used a screw driver or something to prise the body open so that they could get their hand in the door and push the lock up. Unfortunately for them it must of been harder than they thought as they never go in to the car. I think they were joyriders as the radio in the ax is specifically made to fit and would be hard to get rid of. A nice chap at the local body repair shop put it back together for me, but the side is still a bit dented :-( The police didn't seem interested either - I suspect the report was filed in the bin when I left. Never mind atleast they never got the car.

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                              12.03.2003 07:06
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                              • "Driving position"

                              I crashed my old nova into a lamp-post and needed a small cheap car quick as i worked un-godly late hours for minimum wage in a world where taxis are thrice as expensive as daytimes and buses dont run.... so off I went the next day and bought a F reg AX14TZS. I took along an 'expert', we took it for a test drive, gave it a proper once over and despite its mysterious driving position, I decided there and then it was the car for me..... On paper it was great, especially for the princely sum of £350! It had electric windows, central locking, velour interior and 80BHP all in the "safe" confines of a red plastic shell! It was like the proverbial off a proverbial shovel! OK, so it looked like I was driving my mum's car, but I used to leave it parked in Liverpool City Centre every night of the week until at least 4 or 5am and it was never vandalised, broken into or pushed on its side. All these fates had been suffered by my old faithful Nova. However, I had the Nova 3 years and it never gave me any problems, I had the AX 3 months and it developed a new fault every week - central locking problems, overheating, sudden uneven braking, wouldnt engage reverse, oil leaks, water leaks, starting problems to name a few. In the end its engine went and gave in at 70mph on a motorway. I was gutted, because for all its faults I thought it was an all round good little car. Which is why I told a good mate of mine to get one the other week. He did, its an N Reg, and he loves it! The difference for him being his has a full history, and came from a very reliable family friend source. I got mine from a local paper. The only history mine had was its logbook. A valuable lesson learned. If you find a good one then you'll have yourself a good little city car - my advice is to make sure you know its life history!

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