Alison Schwartz
July 15, 2011 11:40 AM

She’s been whisked away from Buckingham Palace in an Aston Martin convertible, chauffeured into the sunset inside a Cinquecento model Fiat and even treated to a fairy tale carriage ride on her wedding day.

But back when Duchess Catherine was in the driver’s seat, it was behind the wheel of an indigo blue, three-door 2001 Volkswagen Golf – and now you can ride like a royal.

The current owner of the car, Sonny Brazil, who lives close to the Middletons’s home in Bucklebury, Berkshire, is taking to eBay to auction off the car.

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“I became quite precious about it and wouldn’t let anyone else drive it,” he tells the U.K.’s Daily Mail of the car that the Duchess first purchased in November 2001, just after she met Prince William.

Although Brazil, 21, bought the car for $2,300 in 2009 after Kate, 29, gave the vehicle to her brother, James, it’s now valued at an estimated $48,000, according to an auction house in Dorset, England.

The starting bid is about $32,000, according to the listing posted Friday.

Cufflinks Included

Brazil is also including a pair of sterling silver cufflinks he found inside the car. “They might have been William’s or they could have belonged to James,” he says.

He’ll also hand over the receipts for all the times the car has been repaired over the years, as well as a log book, which reveals the Duchess as the very first registered owner.

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When she was behind the wheel, Middleton racked up 60,000 miles of the car’s current 62,000 miles – as well as a few trips to the shop (she had to have a mirror replaced in 2003 and her front headlight fixed in 2006). She also had a now-famous run-in with a parking attendant, whom she argued with over a ticket while parked outside her Chelsea flat in January 2007.

“It’s amazing to think I only paid about £1,400 for the car,” Brazil said. “And now it’s worth far more than that.”

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