Citroen 2CV and 2CV6 (1948 – 1990) Review

Citroen 2CV and 2CV6 (1948 – 1990) At A Glance


+Tin Snail is a economy motoring icon, comfortable, long-legged, limpet-like grip and a roll-back canvas roof

-Lack of outright performance takes a little getting used to

Designed before the Second World War, Citroën 2CV was conceived to motorise France's rural population. And while it might look utilitarian, underneath the Deux Chevaux was some very clever engineering. There was interconnected suspension and an unburstable air-cooled two-cylinder engine capable of driving the front wheels all day long. The simply-constructed body was considered ugly when the car was launched in 1948, but over the years, its combination of minimalist charm and French chic ended up winning the 2CV an army of fans across the globe.

During its life, the shape changed very little but there were revisions. The corrugated steel bonnet went in 1960 and over the years the interior became increasingly luxurous (relatively speaking). An uprated 435cc engine arrived, which was known as the 2CV4 from 1970. While the more powerful 602cc 2CV6 was launched in 1978. From 1982, the car got front disc brakes. But the car's best features remained: the loping ride, the comfortable seats, the ability to run flat out all day long, and the pull-back roof. All this helped maintain sales for what had become a cult car - even during its lifetime. Finally laid to rest in 1990, after a brief production run in Portugal, the Citroën 2CV joined the immortals in the automotive hall of fame - but not before a host of special editions such as the Dolly, Charleston and Beachcomber.

Ask Honest John

What should I look for when buying a Citroen 2CV?

"I am interested in getting a Citroen 2CV but there seems to be a massive price range on these cars. Is there anything I should avoid. Go for a model after 1988 I have been told by an owner. I would be glad of your advice."
You can read our classic car review of the Citroen 2CV here: which includes information on what to look for when buying one, but in short the key things to look for are rusty chassis and body, oil leaks and faulty cooling systems as well as water leaks. We would recommend looking for a 1982-on car as these have inboard disc brakes rather than drums. With a car like this, it is worth paying a little more to have an example that has been well maintained.
Answered by David Ross

I have just bought a 31-year-old Citroen 2CV - how much is it to tax and insure?

"I have just bought a 2CV in good condition. It is 31 years old. How much is it to tax and insure? The MoT advises constant velocity boot deteriorated both front outer. Is this an expensive repair? "
Cars registered before 1 March, 2001, are split into two categories based on engines size. Your 2CV falls in the lower bracket - £160 a year or £88 for six months (prices vary for direct debit). Insurance classes are really only a guide once a car gets to classic status. Yes, desirability and security has an impact on premiums, but so does how you're planning to use it - most company's look at them as leisure vehicles that won't cover high mileages and will be cherished, and offer a lower premium. Of course, if it's your only car and you're using it for work purposes that'll be higher than someone who only takes it out a couple of times a year. As for the repair, the item itself is only a bit of rubber but replacing it can be a fiddle. You may also find that it comes as part of a set, or that other parts are recommended for replacement at the same time - as such you'll want to check with a couple of Citroen specialists and get some quotes. Or if you're handy with a set of spanners, you can do the job on your driveway. Give 2CV GB a shout - an excellent club with some very helpful members (
Answered by Keith Moody

Was there an automatic Citroen 2CV?

"I am thinking of buying a Citroen 2CV6 Special automatic 1985. Is it fully automatic Can you explain the automatic controls?"
There was never a 2CV automatic, I'm afraid. Paul at the Citroen Car Club confirmed this and told us the nearest thing to an auto was the Trafficclutch. 'This used a centrifugal clutch as well as a traditional disk clutch. It drove like a conventional car except when crawling in traffic when it disengaged the centrifugal clutch to save the driver some pedal work.'
Answered by Keith Moody

Where can I get paint codes for a Citroen 2CV?

"I'm trying to find paint codes for a Citroen 2CV Charleston yellow/black. Please can you help?"
We spoke to the Citroen Car Club ( who told us that the codes you're after are: AC336 Jaune Helios AC200 Black
Answered by Keith Moody
More Questions

What does a Citroen 2CV and 2CV6 (1948 – 1990) cost?