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Derisory trade in offer against a Zoe

My Twizy is one year old next week. I bought it from Dinnages in Haywards Heath but as they lost their franchise at the end of last year, I’m now dealing with Lifestyle Brighton.

I was invited to the Clio launch at which a Zoe was available to sit in and then invited for a test drive when their demo car became available which confirmed my want to trade up.

£2,500.00 yes, two thousand five hundred pounds is their offer on the Twizy if I buy a base line Zoe. Now is it me or is that a derisory offer designed to make me go away?

I paid £7074 for an Urban with doors in May 2012. I’ve covered 2064 miles and the vehicle remains in as new condition. This means if I accept the offer I will have seen depreciation of £4574 in 12 months i.e. £381 per month. Looked at another way, £2.25 per mile on top of normal running costs.

I owe around £5800 to Renault Finance requiring me to pay £3300 to change.

I neither have, nor would pay, £3300 to get out of the Twizy and so I stuck with a Twizy which I only bought to fill in whilst waiting, and waiting, and even more waiting for the Zoe to come along. Has anyone else discovered the poor residual value on Twizys?


I sold mine on here and others have too for a decent price-either try the bigger ZE specialists or try that. Others on here have been offered £3000 for nearly new cars against new Renaults and a 62 plate pre-reg 80 mile Twizy was sold by a dealer for £3995-there were posts and a link on here about it.

The cheapest Urban with doors today on ebay/Autotrader is £5500, so yours could be advertised at £4995 which would almost cover your finance, then if you were really set on a ZOE haggle hard somewhere to get the £800 back-or ask Renault Customer Services for some help explaining what happened and you have lost faith in brand and would buy back in if you showed some support etc…

If the best offer you can get is under 50% of the new price for a model with 2,000 miles and 14 months old against a new car of the same brand, then get in touch with Renault Customer Services and have it out with them. They control new prices of the ZOE and will try and find a dealer to do a better deal or step in somehow rather than have the embarrassment of threatened media attention about the ZE range which they have bet most of their money on.

Check the legal side of finance as well, as I’m pretty sure you can hand a car back if you have repaid 50% of the initial finance figure-worth asking the legal cover on your insurance for advice there.

It would stop me buying a ZOE as I would fear it may happen again, say if the ZOE had some recall or teething problem which affected sales again.

If you had bought a £7000 VW UP! at the same time and now wanted to trade for Polo, you’d have got over £6000 back for it and incentives to make the change too.
You could have leased an E-Class for less than £381 per month…!

There will be a way out of this, but you need to check with finance re: 50% clause, get in touch with Renault CS and prepare for a battle.

I bought a 2000 mile Twizy for £5000 in the UK about 3 weeks ago… put it onto Autotrader.

good advice from Mender, you will easily sell it for more money. you just need to b e constructive about how you do it.

I will give you £3000 for it.:wink:

Thanks for posting this thread, I am also selling a 1 year old 2000 mile Twizy to upgrade to a Zoe.
My dealer ,Renault London, suggested I sell it privately as the people that buy their trade ins (not Renault) did not offer a great price since it is a niche product. Judging by the prices on ebay at the moment it is worth well over £5000. As most cars depreciate by 30% as they leave the showroom this sounds about right.

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?

Hi Mender,

I agree 100% with everything you say. I test drove a Nissan Leaf this afternoon and found it no better or worse than a Zoe. Each have their pros and cons but it’s interesting to see Nissan offering a battery hire deal called Flex at £70pcm. Even after the Govt Grant the range costs more than the Zoe although some standard equipment is neat but not available on Zoe. The reversing camera was as good as I’ve seen.

When I bought my Twizy it was as a stopgap from spring to autumn waiting for the Zoe launch. When this was put back to this year I was faced with owning something for a further 6 months (through winter) which I’d not envisaged. Sorry, but I can be cold in a heatwave so commuting 50 miles a day in a suit was never going to happen.

Like you I love the whole Twizy thing. Out in it today I had youngsters gasping “WTFs that” and older gentlemen asking the usual techy type questions. I’ve been an unpaid EV salesman for 12 months though how long it is before someone asks about trade in values I’m not sure. And what do I tell them? Take £4500 in crisp tenners and set fire to them?

Every Twizy buyer has been a test pilot for Renault but for reasons best known to them we’re not regarded any differently to someone walking off the street to look at a Zoe.

My main emotion is embarrassment. I’ve championed EV at work to the extent that other colleague have bought things like Amperas and the company has brought forward by 1 year installation of charging points in the staff car park.

Many await my arrival in a Zoe and the longer this goes on the less likely that is. Also, what if one of my colleagues turns up in one? Silly to feel this way but difficult to put on a brave face.

I don’t understand Renault’s attitude to this issue. Even if they put a sweetener into dealerships to help Twizy owners in to a Zoe, the cost compared with their overall marketing budget would be small and buy a load of goodwill into the process.

As I said to Kelly at Renault Cust Svs last Friday “you’ve painted me into a corner”. My options are diminishing rapidly with going to the press or the courts seeming like the only courses of action left.

I wrote to Ken Ramirez about this but he’s been too busy to reply although my letter is showing on the CS database. I’d love to be able to meet with and talk to him and his colleagues to see their reactions - maybe a trip to HQ might be an idea - providing they’ll let me recharge whilst I rant at them:razz:


Feel like I am going to be the only Twizy owner in the UK soon.

No I’m keeping mine. It’s the only way to get to work for me.

I am keeping mine, its the most fun drive ever

I can understand some of these frustrations but I am sure that people who buy more expensive luxury cars lose a lot more than this. Some depreciate by tens of thousands in the first year. I think one problem is that there is still no guideline to pricing a trade-in for the Twizy - well that’s what the dealer tells me. I plan to keep my Twizy for years!

I’ve been speaking to one of those car buying websites over the past week. They were initially cautious but once they saw the photos I sent them including the V5 and sales invoice became more interested. I think they liked the novelty. Apparently their problem was that dealers are posing as members of the public trying to slot in their Twizys to get out of difficult sales conditions. Hardly an advert for their confidence in the product :frowning:

Anyway, they came back to me with a value of £3000, five hundred more than my Renault dealership against a Zoe. I said no as politely as I could.

So I’m not a happy camper; the Twizy is fun but I want a commuter car for year round motoring. Not sure of my next move but I’m considering the trade press, someone like Steve Cropley or Quentin Willson or my local TV news but failing that legal advice.

I’ll let you know what develops this week.


Yes, but if you buy that type of car the percentage loss is expected and part of the luxury car deal-what the problem is here is that the initial loss is 65% in one year and the reason for it is the manufacturer-and they are doing nothing about it.

Having been in the trade for years I can tell you that any new model, especially under 12 months old is hard to find a price for through the traditional CAP or Glasses guide channels and the normal route taken is to call the main dealer and ask for it to be underwritten (offer a guaranteed price for it if they buy it in). As the main Renault dealers are dead set against buying Twizys, the third party buyer will then look at the current asking prices for similar age and mileage models in the media and make an offer based on a figure which they could guarantee shifting it for a profit by harshly undercutting the others on sale. Hence £3000.

In stark contrast, clever manufacturers/dealers such as Audi fiercely protect resale values by supplying slightly less vehicles than there is demand for, creating a desirability and a waiting list, they then sell their ex-demos at the same price as new as they are available and aren’t you lucky to be able to buy one. Any nearly new stock is bid highly on and supply is kept restricted, but prices and resale are kept higher than with other brands, such as Renault and Fiat who discount and vastly oversupply leaving prices to fall sharply.
Don’t get me wrong, you can lose thousands on any car in weeks, but their system is a great help.

Add to this the perceived complications of battery hire and worries about Renault’s history of appalling electrical faults, dealers who want a guaranteed profit on a safe bet will bid very cruelly, if at all.

The way forward is to sell privately, undercut the dealer prices and find someone to deliver it for you.

I feel for your situation but i dont see where you are going with the legal advice aspect.
You buy a car at a price you are happy with. You come to a point where you want to sell or trade it in. Someone (whether it be the dealer or private individual) offers to buy it from you for a certain amount. You either accept or decline their offer.
Regardless of the moral situation i believe there is no legal obligation by Renault to offer you anything but what they wish to purchase it for.
Unless of course there is some stipulation of future value in the contract.

The fact that Renault dealers are trying this is a sure sign of desperation.
Why isn’t Renault UK involved in some sort of used Twizy promotion such as 0% finance or discounted leasing to lose some of the current overstock?
It is Twizy weather now and with some decent product placement and some imagination, the Twizy could be desirable: in context, we all loved it and chose to buy one, even in poor weather. Their lack of nous will now make the issue worse; a lack of demand creates poor resale and high depreciation, which then puts new buyers off the model and so it goes on.
If I was at Renault, I could turn the Twizy’s fortune around quickly-it’s not rocket science.

As you did not have a guaranteed future value mentioned in the sales contract, I don’t think there is any legal mileage in this, other than pressuring R UK to avoid media embarrassment by cutting you a decent deal through one of its dealers. If I had secretly filmed the lack of dealer interest and understanding of the Twizy and what the dealers had said to me about it, it would make great viewing and would show Renault why the problem is so bad-I know others have had the very same experience.

“Renault should not have bought it into the UK, it’s not suitable”
“We have to have one displayed here but Renault is going the wrong way”
“Renault have built a reputation for safety and then launch this-I wouldn’t want my kids in it; no safety, no ABS”
“If there are design faults, speak to customer services, not us”
“We’ve sold loads of Dacias this month and no Twizys, we have to spend our time dealing with what sells”

No, his car is financed by RCI and if 50% of the finance plus interest is paid off, as long as the car is in good condition, he can hand it back and walk away.

This always was the case, but only legal advice and studying the small print of his actual finance contract and current legislation will clarify it.
If this applies, the car was financed for about £6000, so paying off, say £2800 at some point in the future (the 12 payments until now would cover the interest charges) would mean being able to walk away.
At present, this makes no sense as the settlement is £5800 and the offer is £3000, so a loss of £2800 plus deposit and payments to date, but in the future when enough payments to exceed 50% plus interest is is reached and the offers are perhaps lower, it will make more sense.

It’s all talk anyway as someone will buy it privately for £4500+ privately as long as it can be delivered and £7074 to say £4700 is not the end of the world: to walk away with a loss of 33% in the first year is not the end of the world and more or less follows standard figures. It should just be easier and Renault should be helping not hindering the model sell-to have to sell privately to get to these figures is a ball ache. And then buy a ZOE??!!

[quote="“Electric Ian,post:18,topic:577”]

There would be no case as no future value is mentioned in the contract.
IIRC it’s 50% plus all entire interest, been a while since I dealt with it TBH! As said, no it’s help at this time, but if he kept it until 50% had been paid and the offers were still low, it may. It’s just a shame that it is like this; the Twizy is a good machine but R UK has destroyed it.

I wonder what’s happening in other countries? I wonder if the demand is still outstripping supply in Germany where they sold really well and there was a waiting list?
As it is not LHD or RHD could there not be a deal to lose the used surplus to another country for now, limit supply and lose the oversupply issue? Surely this would be a good avenue to look at if they want to keep the PR right for selling ZOEs and keep owners happy? Oh, forgot-that is not a priority :wink:

The key factor is our lack of scooter culture; countries with this understand the Twizy better, plus their climate is more suited at times :D[/quote]

Totally agree with your lack of scooter culture. Most people ask why have a Twizy? if you will get wet.
They have a car mindset which it is a step down from (in most peoples opinion) not a step up from a scooter.

Possibly too revolutionary for the UK, coupled with our weather maybe too ambitious.