5 Tips on Buying a Renault Clio

Like if this guide is helpful
5 Tips on Buying a Renault Clio

Manufactured by the French automobile maker, Renault, the Clio is a supermini car. The Clio was introduced in 1990, and since then, it has sold over 11.5 million cars in 115 different countries. With numbers like this, it is no surprise that the Clio has been one of the most popular cars in Europe since its inception.

When considering a Clio, there are a few tips that consumers should keep in mind. Because there are several generations of the Clio, it is a good idea to be familiar with the specifications of each. Also important when buying a car are the safety ratings, and Clio scores high in many areas. Setting a budget and looking at new and used models are other factors consumers should consider. And, perhaps the most unique aspect of buying a Clio is the ability to customise the car, so keep this fun option in mind, too.

History of Renault

In 1899, three French brothers, Louis, Marcel, and Fernand began a vehicle corporation. Louis was an enthusiastic, innovative engineer who enjoyed designing and building vehicles whereas Marcel and Fernand were smart businessmen who managed the finances for the company. The company originally focused on creating sports cars, and their vehicles were entered into city-to-city races; Marcel and Fernand were the drivers. After winning many races, the Renault brothers achieved the notoriety for which they had hoped, and soon, people began ordering cars from them. With business production growing, the brothers set up a plant by the Seine and developed several models.

In 1903, Marcel died in a Paris to Madrid crash. After this, only professional drivers were hired to race for Renault. Following this incident, Louis focused his efforts on creating cars for the broader European market.

In an effort to improve production and lower costs, Renault introduced mass production techniques in 1905. Then, in 1913, the company experimented with a new way of managing their factory called Taylorism. This concept aimed to improve work efficiency through different practices based on scientific theories.

Before World War I, Renault made buses, tractors, and commercial cargo vehicles in addition to cars. During the War, Renault helped make ammunition, military airplanes, and tanks. Following World War II, Renault bought heavy machinery to help with production and concentrated on creating cars. This move proved to be successful, and the rear-engine economy car, the Dauphine, was introduced in 1956. Then, in 1961, the Renault 4 and Renault 8 became popular. As demand grew for the Renault cars, more factories were opened in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Australia.

In the 1990s, a new line-up was released and all models, including the Clio, Espace , Twingo, and Laguna were successful. These models continue to be popular models today. Currently, Renault is the fourth largest automaker in the world thanks to their 1999 partnership with Nissan.

Buying a Clio is a decision many choose, especially because it was ranked the "Best Car of 2012" by the Euro NCAP. Keep in mind a few tips when purchasing a Clio.

Tip #1: Know the Models

The Clio has been around for several decades. Thus, it is helpful to be familiar with the various generations available.



Clio I


Clio Williams


Clio II


Clio III


Clio IV


Clio I

Released in 1990 at the Paris Motor Show, the Clio I was not available for purchase in the UK until 1991. This first generation model was designed to replace the Renault 5, which was losing popularity. The Clio I had several engine ranges, including the 1.2 L and 1.4 L petrol inline-four engines and the 1.7 L and 1.9 L diesel engines. Throughout the Clio I's eight year production, it received several facelifts. The changes varied from exterior trim alterations, such as larger, rounder bump strips in phase one to a third brake light in phase three. New engines, capable of producing more power, also appeared throughout the phases, most notably in the 1.8 L 16-valve engine introduced in 1991.

Clio Williams

The Clio Williams was released in 1993 as a limited edition rally car. Originally, only 3,800 cars were made, and each one had a numbered plaque on the dash. The Clio Williams sold out immediately, and so, 1600 more were released. The 2.0 L 16-valve straight-four engine had a top speed of 215 kilometres per hour. In addition, it boasted a smooth ride with exceptional performance and handling. Several Williams models followed, and each one introduced latest safety features and slight cosmetic variances.

Clio II

In 1998, the Clio II was released. In an effort to save in weight and repair costs, this innovative car introduced a new concept where many of its parts were made from unusual materials. Some parts on the front were made from plastic, and the material on the bonnet was aluminium. The engines were the similar to the Clio I version, with 1.2 L, 1.4 L, and 1.6 petrol engines as well as a 1.9 diesel.

In 2000, a sporty version of the Clio II was released and a 1.6 L 16-valve engine was introduced. Soon after this, all subsequent engines were upgraded to this more powerful and economical version. In 2001, the Clio II saw a facelift. Its exterior was restyled; most notably, the headlights appeared more angular. On the interior, other changes were visible, such as a new fabric pattern and a digital screen that showed the mileage, fuel, and temperature.

Clio III

At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005, the Clio III was introduced. This model was heavier and more costly than the Clio II. This model received the Euro NCAP 5-star safety rating and was voted the European Car of the Year in 2006. Several engine types were available ranging from 1.2 L to 2.0 L petrol engines to 1.5 L diesel. In 2007, an estate version of the Clio III was unveiled, and it was called the Sport Tourer. This model boasted a turbocharged engine. In 2009, a facelifted version of the Clio III was introduced, and it featured better interior materials. Its exterior styling was sharp and sophisticated with a black grille, extended side sills, and a lip spoiler on the back end.

Clio IV

The newest addition to the Clio family is the fourth generation model, which was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. It is currently available as a hatchback or an estate. The new model is a bit larger than the previous minicars, almost making it fit into the compact class. The wheelbase is significantly larger, and the length and width are also longer. The latest Clio boasts the newest technology, including hands-free features, rear cameras, and wireless connectivity with more than 50 applications.

Tip #2: Research Safety Ratings

Safety is a top concern for consumers looking to purchase a car. Fortunately, several generations of the Renault Clio have been awarded top honours in this category. The European New Car Assessment Programme, or EURO NCAP, has given the Clio the distinguished titles of "European Car of the Year" in 1991 and 2006 as well as the "Best Car of the Year" (in the supermini class) in 2012. When checking the official safety ratings, be sure to notice the high marks the Clio in crash tests, particularly in frontal impact crashes.

Tip #3: Set a Budget

Car buying does not have to be an extremely expensive endeavour. In fact, choosing a budget straightaway prevents overspending; therefore, consumers should work up a realistic budget before purchasing a Renault Clio. Fortunately, the Clio is considered to be an affordable car, and its price tag lures many drivers. However, shopping around for a Clio is a smart idea because the cost varies depending on the source from which it is purchased. Automobile dealers are often looking to get the most for their vehicles, so it is worthwhile to compare the same model at several venues, whether in person or online. Pay particular attention to the fine print, such as warranties and guarantees. When contemplating a Clio, also keep in mind the estimated fuel costs and maintenance costs before buying.

Tip #4: Consider New or Used Models

Because the Renault Clio has been around for many years, there are several models from which to choose. With the various models available, consumers are also presented with the option of buying used or new versions. When comparing new and used vehicles, be sure to take into account the exterior and interior condition, engine performance, mileage, and maintenance requirements. If a used Clio has been well cared for and received all necessary maintenance, it may be a smart choice for those on a particularly tight budget. However, for those with a little more money to spend, a brand new Clio may prove to be a better choice.

If purchasing a used model online, be sure to exercise an extra bit of caution. If the seller does not include detailed pictures of the vehicle, buyers should request before entering into a transaction. Furthermore, it behooves consumers to directly inquire about the vehicle's condition, especially if the listing description seems vague.

Tip #5: Be Creative

Since being introduced so many years ago, the Clio has appealed to drivers because of all of the personalisation options available. When buying a new Clio, customers can choose to customise various aspects of the vehicle; thus, a truly unique car is created. The customer can choose the housings for the door mirrors, grille strips, rear panel skirt, lower door protection, and wheel colours, and roof designs.

Inside, there are also a plethora of customisation options, such as choosing the dashboard colours, door panels, steering wheel design, grab handles, gear lever base, and air vent surrounds. Additionally, upholstery and protective mats can also be specially made. Although some of these options are more expensive, consumers may still like the freedom to design their own car.

Buying a Renault Clio

To find a Renault Clio, check out local auto retailers. Also consider browsing online merchandisers. One of the best places to locate a huge selection of various Clio models and parts is on eBay. Here, there are many options for a used or new Clio, and shoppers are sure to find the ideal match for their budgets. Best of all, using eBay saves time and money.

Searching for a Renault Clio on eBay

To start a search on eBay, type in exactly what you are looking for in the search box on eBay's home page. Whether you want to find a new or used Clio, enter "Renault Clio" to find a wide variety of choices. For a more refined search, be explicit in your search criteria and enter the year or model for which you are looking. After perusing all of the listings, you have the option to use the available refinements to narrow down your choices. Doing so is especially beneficial if you are feeling overwhelmed with too many options.

Most cars cannot easily be shipped. If, however, the seller does offer to ship the vehicle, be prepared to pay quite a bit of money. Many shoppers prefer to find cars that are in closer proximity to where they live so they and pick the vehicle up from the seller. Parts, such as steering wheels and gauges, however, are often available for shipment at reasonable prices.

Buy a Renault Clio on eBay with Confidence

Shopping on eBay saves time and money. And, when car buying, both of these are extremely important factors. Setting up an account on eBay is free and easy. As soon as an account is established, buyers are met with limitless shopping possibilities from millions of sellers all over the world. Furthermore, through eBay's partnership with PayPal, consumers are guaranteed a safe and secure shopping experience. All of these perks benefit buyers wishing to shop from the comfort and convenience of their homes.


The choice to purchase a car is a major decision for many people. So, it is extremely important to make an educated buying decision. One way to do this is to know about the various generational Clio models that have evolved since 1990. Another important factor when car shopping is taking into account the safety ratings of the vehicle. Although the Clio has high safety ratings, some models boast higher numbers than others, so consumers should do a little research before buying. In addition, to avoid overspending, a budget should be established and both new and used cars should be considered. And, for those who wish to create a personalised car, the Clio offers several fun customisable options.

Using eBay to purchase a Renault Clio is a smart and efficient way to buy a new or used car. In addition, eBay is also a convenient forum for buying all of the parts and accessories you want for your new supermini car.

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides