That’s a great line spun by the dealer! Renault retail would resell most Renaults up to three years old/30,000 miles and would “block” (auction) the rest unless they have arrangements for trade disposal with local dealers. The very best place to SELL a 12 month old, 2000 mile Twizy is at a Renault main dealer-buyers pay a premium for ease of purchase (:lol:), dealer knowledge (:rolleyes:) and finance deals, but what they are saying is they are choosing not to resell it as they are not confident in selling it and they may lose money-and that their network of part-ex buyers are scared of it too.
I’m in the lucky position of having bought mine cheaply as an ex-demo then selling it on here (by having the means to deliver it) before the low prices hit. My view of the Twizy is based on good fun for a low ownership cost, but if I still had it and was faced with the huge losses that others are reporting it would be a different matter.
It is difficult being a non-owner because some may think I am a “spoiler” for the model now, but it’s not the case-I simply feel that Renault should be held to account for the issue of resale and that owners should be treated better.
As I see it, the problems with resale have been caused by:
Many Renault dealers having no interest in the model and actually putting buyers off
Poor knowledge and enthusiasm in the sales force has meant missing many sales opportunities
Poor customer service and lack of ongoing dealer interest being widely reported
Poor handling of recalls and safety matters such as the brakes and accelerator leading to ongoing issues and a question mark over long term reliability
Renault UK letting the above happen and also missing huge sales opportunities-such as a bespoke conversion for the Post Office to solve their huge diesel van short distance DPF issues
Lack of imagination with sales: no special editions for UK market, no special offers such as a free wrap for businesses
A lack of foresight in used stock disposal-why not used ZE roadshows or personal leasing packages with insurance for local businesses such as estate agents
Renault insurance being expensive and getting quotes elsewhere often complex-feels like a risk too far for the nervous buyer
The total lack of any incentive for buyers wishing to trade up to ZOE creating a negative vibe picked up on by those new to ZE-if you take the first step and join the electric revolution, then you want to be looked after and encouraged, not stuck with a car and huge depreciation
The Twizy is an excellent machine and is amazingly well sorted and usable for what is cutting edge, almost prototype technology. The resale problem lies with Renault themselves and your loss is entirely their fault-it is unthinkable that any manufacturer would not happily part-ex any of their models if around one year old and with very low mileage. The fact that they cannot easily resell them is entirely their fault for the above reasons, yet it is you that is held liable for the loss of £4000-5000 for one year of use.
This is where I’m coming from:
I chose ZE (ironically after being totally put off by three dealers and Renault UK) and was delighted to make the step from conventional fuel, so I really threw myself into the electric revolution, trying to replace as many journeys as possible with electric. I love the accurate transmission without a slushy autobox, yet with no gear changes or clutch and the sense of occasion whilst driving the Twizy was great. I loved it and desperately wished I could trade up for a ZOE when launched as the tech worked and is attractive to use.
However, the ongoing dealings with Renault ruined the experience and various points; the recalls, the contempt of the dealers dealing with faults and the official windows being so badly designed that I began to question my enjoyment of the Twizy, so when someone showed up on the forum saying (ironically) that they were appalled by the sales staff while looking for a Twizy and they wanted one the same as mine, I made sure mine was absolutely perfect and agreed a deal to sell it. Even the sales process was irritating as Renault forgot to clear the finance off the HPI register so the new owners could not pay for it when I delivered it, but it was a fitting epithet.
My total ownership costs for 5 months including battery hire, finance fees and depreciation were less than £500 and for that I consider it a great vehicle for the money, regardless of the Renault experience.
BUT: I am now totally put off Renault the brand so they can keep their ZOE, and have also been totally convinced that ZE is light years away from the general public as a mainstream ownership choice and is currently for fringe users; central London parkers, tech lovers, those who can afford stylish gadgets, quirky car lovers, eco-warriors and so on (I mean this well, not as criticism). As a decent option to a conventional city car it costs much more to own and falls short on safety, security etc which makes it a left-field choice for those who prize new tech or quirkiness over practicality and value for money.
The best comparison in my eyes is a new VW UP/Skoda Citigo/Seat Mii at the same price as a new Twizy, bought new/ex-demo if VW for £7000 it would be worth £6000+ after one year (ie not 30% loss) and 2000 miles losing less than £100 per month, plus:
zero road tax, cheaper to insure especially if the excellent self braking collision avoidance system option is ticked, does 60+mpg, has excellent up-to-date crash protection, ABS, ESP, space for four, a secure cabin, the list goes on. The £2500 offer on a £7074 Twizy represents a 65% loss in the first year, not 30%.
So cheaper to own (apart from some free parking and charging) and safer etc, but the eco question remains; which is more “green” over the entire life cycle?
I don’t know the answer but factors to consider:
Wheel to well 62g/km CO2 for Twizy v 98g/km VW/Skoda/Seat (not sure if fair comparison) (also in UK electric is mostly polluting fossil fuel sourced)
Life span: most Renault become unviable to keep repaired after 10 years old due to complexity of electrics, small VWs last much longer which reduces impact
Components eco credentials: both built in eco factories and recyclable but what is the enviro cost of the replacement batteries in the life span of the Twizy
What I’m getting at is the reason for people to buy in ZE and Twizy-why do they want to?
If it is far more expensive to own than a well equipped and safer city car, the brand is not desirable, the dealers do their best to put you off and then the actual eco-credentials do not make as much of a difference as you would think, then you are left with a car that is only attractive to a very small niche market, who have the confidence to take the risk, have other cars to use as well, aren’t put off by not owning the battery and then think the insurance premiums are worth the money-that narrows it down to very few and is the reason why resale is being hit so hard.
Renault are the cause of 90% of the issues with selling a Twizy and they are the reason why such huge losses are being seen. Even knowing this, owners still want to buy into ZOE with no guarantee of whether the whole matter will be repeated again by Renault. My guess is that the dealers will have been bitten by the Twizy and will therefore be nervous of the ZOE. Again, not wanted to be a “spoiler” it does not make sense to buy back into a brand who won’t take your Twizy back in for decent money.
For me, I enjoyed the car and my costs were low but being upside down on the finance and having to pay in to get out out of a Twizy would make me very cross especially as it is the fault of Renault.
If I was in the position now, I would sell via Auto Trader and include free delivery or have it out with R UK saying that I took a chance on the brand and have been screwed and that their insulting part-ex quote and total lack of incentive to buy a ZOE is unbelievable and I was going to feature in a few media articles about it. If I could bring myself to buy a ZOE after all of this, I would want a firm offer of £5000 on the Twizy and some PR like a free upgrade and being the first to receive their ZOE in the local area etc etc
I loved using the Twizy and am glad I owned one. Knowing what I know now, would I buy one again? Never.
I’ve been put off ZE entirely and now drive a conventional city car again and will do for at least the next 10-15 years until all the teething issues, tech recalls, total lack of local infrastructure and so on are dealt with. It’s a shame, but it’s reality (unless you keep the Twizy for five years so depreciation is less of and issue and also have a tiny secure covered parking space in Chelsea and can make the best of free parking and charging in London)
(Again, not trying to do the Twizy down or marginalise ZE or EVs-but I have owned one, lived it, dealt with the dealers, analysed the positives and negatives to death and by God am I glad to be back in a conventional city car which can go anywhere without planning, is secure, watertight and has 5* NCAP crash rating for a third of the cost)
I am sad, because I loved driving the Twizy, loved the attention it gets, love the transmission and the quietness. With Renault as they are, is this enough to overcome the negatives to get people to buy into them?