My offices have just moved from Victoria which is a 20-30min commute by train, to London Bridge which is an 1hr 20min commute by train. Since I do night shifts that’s a fair bit of sleep to losing in between shifts! So after doing some totting up etc it’s looking like driving into London Bridge will actually cost me similar and take me half the time. Currently I’m doing this in my beloved supercharged MX5 and really it’s ok but it wasn’t built for this, and I kind of resent using it and putting wear and tear on it for such a dreary dull drive in, it’s setup for better then that, so…
I’m thinking of a Twizy, I can’t afford to buy outright so it has to be on finance, but even then it looks like the cost of the finance (is there a cheaper way, like leasing etc? Don’t care if I never own it) would equal or be less then my current travel costs (about £200 a month) and could save me money on other trips, like going to shops or popping out to visit a friend etc…
However there are a few stumbling blocks that stop me from just going out tomorrow and buying one, and really I’m just looking for a bit of guidance to see if there is a solution.
Charging. I don’t have a drive way. I could rip out some hedge and use a small part of my front garden, but it wouldn’t be a big enough space to park anything but a Twizy on, and the council would want at least £900 for privileging me with a dropped kerb. This could be the biggest deal breaker, but what I’m thinking is could I park the car on street and trail a cable across the pavement from my garden, if I stuck it under some of the rubber trunking like you see in offices etc would that be ok? I did ask the council this question, but as there was obviously no financial gain they didn’t bother answering. Otherwise does anyone else have any ideas?
Range Anxiety. The main purpose for getting this is to haul me up the A20, and A2 from Orpington to London Bridge at night and then without charge haul me back. It’s a round trip and probably will potentially mean freezing cold weather with headlights, screen demisters, wipers, and if it’ll manage it my phone running for music or sat nav etc. Now my trip is about 26 miles and I know a Twizy is estimated at a minimum of 30, but is that with all that on? This isn’t terribly hilly for chances to recharge, and generally it’s drive at 30/40mph, stop at lights, drive at 30/40mph stop at lights and so on. I did ask at the dealership if I could borrow one overnight to use for my commute and see how it measures up, as I need to know not just that it can do it now but that in future years it’ll still be able to do it when approaching that 75% battery change threshold. However the answer I got was that they couldn’t loan it out for more then 4hrs, I’m tempted to ask Renault themselves, but was just wondering based on peoples experiences here am I asking too much of the Twizy and how likely are Renault to let me borrow one overnight?
Vandalism and Theft. Anyone had anyone problems with this? I saw one owner seemed to get some Westwood stuck over his seats, but otherwise how have other peoples experiences been? I’ll have doors and zip out windows fitted (don’t fancy the solid lexan one’s as I want to be able to open the windows if hot), so it will appear “enclosed”, and I’ll have a steering lock on it. I know realistically my mx5 is about as secure but I know other peoples perception of a vehicle can affect how likely they are to try anything with it, my mx5 is perceived as a locked car and so gets treated as such, I’m worried this won’t be the case with the Twizy encouraging people to mess with it (like Tim Westwood, I’d have killed him if it was mine). It’ll always be road parked, either when I’m at work or at home. It would consume power but is an alarm with a microwave sensor an option (would detect movement in the cabin and around the car), surely the anti lift alarm consumes power too so instead of a lift alarm could I fit one of these instead or would I just end up with flat batteries?
ZOE. Everyone seems to raving about it, and although I doubt it’ll be as much fun, it does seem a lot more practical. The main deciding factor is if I can get it, and insure it within my £200 budget, I don’t think it’s possible but does anyone know of any deals or offers that could say otherwise.
Renault dealers, and sticking bits. Seems to be an issue for some owners, but it’s always hard to get a representative idea though from a forum if these issues are isolated incidences or if it’s a wider spread issue. Are these really common issues I’m likely to be plagued with or only if I’m horribly unlucky?
Sorry for the massively long post, and thanks in advance for any help, advice, or experiences people can pass on here