Millionaire student sells Swarovski-encrusted Mercedes to raise cash for animal charities

Daria Radionova, 21, has put the car up on eBay, with bids reaching £150,000 in a matter of days

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The Independent Online

A Russian student whose crystal-encrusted car attracted nationwide attention last month has decided to sell the vehicle to raise money for two animal shelters.

Millionaire Daria Radionova, 21, who lives in Knightsbridge, put the Mercedes-Benz on eBay just weeks after receiving it for her birthday.

The blingy car, with ‘BAII BYY’ as its licence plate, had one million Swarovski crystals hand-applied by a team of people who, Ms Radionova said, did so for 12 hours a day for two months.

Playboys and girls showcase their wheels on the roads surrounding Harrods, where super-rich car lovers show off their purchases and where Ferraris coated in velvet are just the beginning.

“It gets lots of attention from people walking by and in cars. Sometimes I think they might crash,” she has previously said.

“I have a lot of jewellery - diamonds are a girl’s best friend. That’s why I have a car that looks like it is covered in diamonds. I have them everywhere. I’d like to encrust everything in crystal,” she told The Sun.

Bids for the car have so far gone above £150,000, despite its starting price of £89,999. Ms Radionova had spent more than £80,000 on both the car and modifying it.

“I've not had it for very long but I had driven it for ten days before I decided to put it on an eBay auction,” she said, reports ITV.

“I want to sell it to support charities - the Manchester Dogs Home and also a charity in Moldova that helps dogs.

“I saw the story about the Manchester Dogs Home [being ravaged by a fire] and it was a very sad story. I want to help.”

According to student paper The Tab, a staff member from Manchester Dogs' Home said: "Oh god. It sounds tacky to me, but money's money."

The diesel car has 57,000 miles on the clock and has two previous owners before its makeover.  The auction ends on 16 October. The listing even says: “Will post to United Kingdom”.

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