Charging has proved easy, but because we have a driveway and have never attempted a long journey, courtesy of a second, engined car, we have never tried a public charging point. Sometimes we top it up, sometimes we brim it - both are easy to do, and the former can be surprisingly effective even in 20-minute bursts.
Financially, it has worked out well, largely because we entered the lease when the incentives were strong. For a deposit of £75 and a further £155 a month for the car and battery rental, plus electricity, we have enjoyed motoring for around the same price as it was costing to run the ageing Ford C-Max that we chopped in, despite the fact we owned it outright. Insurance for the brand new Zoe was around 50% more than for the ten-year-old C-Max, but the Zoe won via tax benefits, fuel costs and servicing costs.
The latter is worth dwelling on for a moment, both because it cost only £80 (in truth, there’s not much to service on an electric car, and beyond a squirt of something to keep the motor happy, nor is there much in the way of consumables to replace) and because our experience at the Renault dealership - SMC in Weybridge - was excellent. That matched an extremely positive experience with Bristol Street Motors in Derby, which supplied the car. Modern ownership surveys suggest Renault’s dealers generally do a very good job - and our experiences back that up.
And so, with just a few months of the lease left to run, the question now is what to do next? In the normal run of things, I suspect we’d do the same again. When you’re so happy with your car, why not?
But the issue is clouded because the new, much improved Zoe also brings with it a considerably higher price tag - one that will likely add £100 a month to the lease cost. At that point, there’s everything from a Mini Clubman to a Mercedes A-Class to perhaps even a Kia Sportage in the crosshairs of the £250 a month being asked - and the consideration that my famously tightly clasped wallet doesn’t want to open much beyond the £155 a month we currently pay.
For now, we will live on in the hope that, when the call finally comes asking us to consider renewing our lease on a newer car, the step up will not be as significant as feared. If it is, though, it will be interesting to find out how we react. Turning away from electric cars as they get better feels counter-intuitive, but the numbers still need to stack up.
Other Renault Zoe blogs:
Buying a Renault Zoe: introducing the electric car convert
Buying a Renault Zoe: My name is Jim Holder and I’ve bought an electric car
Buying a Renault Zoe: the joys of doing something different
Owning a Renault Zoe: brief disaster and then double delight
Buying a Renault Zoe: four months in
Learning from other Renault Zoe owners