Pope gifted 20-year-old Renault

Updated: 

Pope gifted 20-year-old Renault

Renault can now count Pope Francis amongst drivers of its cars after the pontiff was given a 20-year-old Renault 4 by an Italian priest.

The white hatchback, which has 190,000 miles on the clock, formerly belonged to Father Renzo Zocca, who was on hand to present it to his holiness.

Pope Francis will be familiar with the Renault 4, having previously owned one in his home country of Argentina.

It is expected he will use the tiny-engined car as personal transport around Vatican City.

Pope Francis, known for his austere lifestyle and avoidance of indulgence has previously hit the headlines when he shunned the usual bullet-proof 'pope-mobile' for an open top Fiat Campagnola on a recent papal visit to the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa.

He has also urged Vatican City officials to avoid using expensive limousines in favour of less ostentatious transport.

"It hurts my heart when I see a priest with the latest model car," Francis said, at a recent address to an audience of trainee priests.

"If you like the fancy one, just think about how many children are dying of hunger in the world."

Speaking to the BBC, Father Zocca said he had gifted the car to Pope Francis as he was moved by his efforts to create a "Church for the poor", and couldn't think of anything better than his cherished Renault.

Reportedly, the Pope took his bodyguards by surprise when he jumped into the car and drove off, after accepting it from Father Zocca at his Vatican residence.