EVER SINCE I was 21, I've made a point of changing my cars every two years or so. However, there have been a couple of cars which I would have wanted to get rid of within hours.

My first company car was truly terrible. I had just got a job with a packaging company as a graduate trainee selling and marketing. The free car made me very excited.

I seriously believed that my budget would get me something sexy, which at the time amounted to a Ford Fiesta XR2i, but it wasn't to be. My boss said "there's your car" and pointed to something beige in the car park. I couldn't have been more disappointed. It was a Volvo 340 DL.

Now, if I had been about to retire, it might have been a nice little run-around, but for a young bloke who only wanted to look cool, it was credibility-free. The upholstery was a horrid oatmeal fleck and the dashboard was brown plastic. I tried to justify it to my mates by saying that it was free. But they would quite rightly say: "But it's beige and it's a Volvo."

The ultimate indignity occurred when I picked up my then girlfriend from the airport after a holiday. She hadn't seen the car and as I walked towards the Volvo she said, "That's your car, isn't it?" and then broke into hysterical laughter.

Not surprisingly I could not wait to get shot of what was a very reliable little car. When I became a penniless DJ, I bought a white Fiat Panda for a few quid and that had more street cred than any part of that nasty little Volvo.

The next worst car was a Range Rover. I had always wanted a black one and thought it was very cool. I bought it from a dealer I'd pass on the way to school, thinking that one day I'd buy a car there.

Well, that wish came true. But the used Range Rover was a disaster. It had electrical problems, wouldn't start and always broke down. It was also the only car in which I could hear the engine suck fuel. The gauge would move as I accelerated. I told the dealer to buy it back and on the way, it broke down. I got a minicab to the showroom, tossed the keys down and said: "Your Range Rover is somewhere on the A3."

Neil Fox presents `The Pepsi Chart' on Channel 5 every Thursday at 7pm and Saturdays at 11am. He was speaking to James Ruppert

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