Opinions on second-hand Twizy

(David White) #1

I’m trying to find out as much as I can about the Twizy. I’ve been following progress of EV developments via the Fully Charged YouTube channel for a few years and I went to the FCLive event at Silverstone last year (didn’t make it to the one this year). I’m very keen to get into EV ownership and after some research, I’m currently considering a second-hand Twizy to get me started.

I’ve watched loads of YouTube reviews and more recently I approached my local Renault dealer about a test drive. After a day they decided they couldn’t locate one for me. I then tried the RenaultUK Facebook page and they were quite helpful. They told me about the three Renault dealerships in the UK which currently stock a Twizy! Apparently, there’s one in Portsmouth, one in Yeovil and one in Cambridge. But the best result from the post on FB was a reply from Chris B. who put me onto this forum.

So I’m dead keen on EVs, my only experience of driving one is a BMW i3 and I loved it. I’ve never driven a Twizy (hence the attempt to get a test drive). I’m happy with the price of a second hand Twizy so the only two things which remains in my mind are:

  1. The battery lease, the cost, what it actually covers and if there will ever be a way to avoid it.
  2. Exactly how harsh the ride is.

I’d really rather get some kind of a test drive next so my next step is going to be contacting the Cambridge dealer as recommended to see about the ‘extended’ test drive that the RenaultUK FB page suggested (not sure how long that might be but hoping for a weekend).

There are a few for sale but the one I’ve got my eye on is a 2012 reg in blue-white with about 9,000 miles for £4500 or there abouts. I’m confident in the seller too so all looking good. Apart from a route into EV ownership, it is about time I treated myself to something fun. My plan is to use it for my very short commute to work (a round trip of about 6 miles per day) and some running about town/local journeys. I reckon I’d be charging it once a week at the weekend!

So over to you lovely people. Am I on the right track - does this look like a good move? I’d be very grateful for any advice, tips and hints to make sure I get this right.

(Mark Espie) #2

Looking forward to replies. I have been looking for a few months now as very few good ones come up for sale.
The small price difference between brand new and second hand is also a dilemma!
Good luck in your search mate!

(Peter) #3

I bought my Twizy four months ago and have since driven it 1000 miles.

I paid £5400 for a 2015 model, which had 7000 miles on the clock. I probably paid bit too much but after much research ended up with a list of requirements, which included:

Technic model (alloy wheels and carbon trim)
White bodywork
White seat ad dash
Doors (they are optional and very difficult to retrofit)
2014 - 2016 model.

The reason for the age restriction turned out to be partly unfounded and probably why I paid slightly over the odds.

I was correct in buying a pre 2016 model, which is compatible with the PowerBox. The PowerBox is a must for me as I drive up some steep hills. It massively increases the power and, in my opinion, makes the Twizy much more fun to drive.

The reason I wanted a post 2014 model was I’d read the chargers were improved during this year. This turned out to be partly true although my 2015 registered Twizy turned out to have a 2013 charger, which has since failed, costing me over £700 to replace! The early chargers are sensitive to supply voltage (mine wouldn’t charge when our solar panels were in full swing) and don’t keep the 12v battery topped up from the traction battery when parked. Mine developed a further fault with charging the 12v battery. The new, latest revision charger has sorted all three issues.

The battery lease guarantees the battery to 75% of its original full capacity. It also includes a breakdown recovery service, which covers for running out of charge. The lease was the biggest put off for me but I worked out I’d break even if I did 180 miles per month compare to driving my TTS, which costs around 25p/mile to run on short trips. Very rarely a Twizy will come up for sale, which has no battery lease. I hoped to find one but if I added it to my very long list of requirements I’d probably never have found one.

The ride is pretty harsh to be honest, I certainly prefer to avoid pot holes if I can!

After driving my Twizy for 1000 miles I’ve worked out it has cost 2.5p/mile in electricity and, to be honest, I’ve had my PowerBox in sport mode all the time.

I spent a few weeks searching for mine on Autotrader, eBay and this forum before finding one I liked. Go Green Autos also had some for sale.

If you look at my posts on here there’s more information on the PowerBox and other bits and pieces.

Good luck.


(Peter) #4

I considered new but the reason I didn’t buy one is they’re not compatible with the PowerBox.

(Max M4X WW) #5

If you are ever in the Surrey / Hampshire area you are welcome to try mine. A friend purchased it a couple of years ago for £3600 and I bought it from him last year. They must have been cheaper a few years back!

I have replaced the tyres, brake pads and 12v battery. Oh and obviously the hazard light switch - otherwise it has been OK!

(osbrook) #6

@DavidW as mentioned on Facebook, if we can get my Twizy off the stand then we can go for a test drive during the Electric Vehicle festival, At the British Motor Museum on July 28th. Although I understand Renault have also contacted you directly.

Peter has provided a good set of answers. The Brakes of a rarely used Twizy are the main thing to give issues.

(David White) #7

Hi @osbrook and thank you very much for the offer if that becomes a possibility. I haven’t worked out yet if I’m free to get to the show but it does look like a good day out.

(David White) #8

@Max_M4X_WW A very kind offer - thank you. They do seem to hold their value well don’t they! Now wondering if I could get away with owning one for couple of years and making a modest profit if I then decided to sell :slight_smile:

(David White) #9

Thank you @peter-ss Very helpful advice.

(David White) #10

I’ve just thought of another question regarding the range and the battery lease agreement.

The battery hire agreement guarantees you a repair or replacement if the battery capacity at delivery drops to 75% or less. So how do you find out the current charge capacity for your Twizy and is there an official record of it on delivery against which to calculate? I imagine with the battery hire cost being a hot topic for debate, all Twizy owners will be alert to the state of their battery and how close it is getting to the magic 75%. The website for the current Twizy model range says the battery capacity is 6.kWh so a drop to 4.575kWh or below would activate the battery hire guarantee. Was 6.1kWh the capacity for all the Twizy batteries since the launch in 2012 or has it changed over time?

Does anyone have any examples of the delivery charge capacity and the current charge capacity (and therefore the percentage). I’m sure nobody has managed to maintain 100% charge capacity from new so I wonder how it looks for Twizys of various ages and mileages?

(osbrook) #11

There is no wY of telling just using the Twizy as supplied.

I do the same journey every working day for the last 6 years so have an idea based purely on range. However that is effected by temperature and wet roads. That is assuming I maintain the same driving style.

I have seen a drop in range. But how much is what I’m trying to work out. Let’s say 12%. In summer.

(David White) #12

So how does a Twizy owner gauge the drop in capacity against the delivery capacity and prove it to Renault in the event of a claim against the 75% hire agreement rule? In fact, has anyone ever successfully claimed and had thier battery repaired or replaced?

(pisoiu) #13

I would guess that you have to perform a battery test at Renault, but I don’t think that is free :slight_smile:
The only other way (I know of) is a parameter from the CAN bus which presumably indicates the SOH (state of health). The CAN bus protocol is reverse engineered and I don’t know how accurate this information is. I checked my Twizy and it still indicates 100% after 7000km.

(osbrook) #14

I read somewhere!!! that a battery has been changed but cannot remember where. Renault state that you should get 10 years from the battery before it hits the 75%. At that point they will simply remove the lease contract on those batteries and leave the owner high and dry. Perhaps a bit cynical.

(Peter) #15

I have a kWh meter fitted to the socket I use to charge the Twizy.

On the one occasion I completed drained the battery (and got towed home) it took just less than 6.2kWh to charge.

Based on this I’m assuming my 7000 mile / 4 year old battery is ok.

(David White) #16

@osbrook So the 10 years/75% thing. I read back through the other discussion about the battery lease but it didn’t really lead anywhere useful. Battery purchase of your Twizy Battery

So what happens when a Twizy becomes 10 years old? The oldest models are now over 7 years old and from what I can see, there will be plenty of life in both the Twizys and their batteries when they reach their 10th birthday. Surely they has to be a sensible solution to this?

(osbrook) #17

What I said was Renault expect the battery to be good for 10years.

I then suggested rather sarcastically that rather than risk all the batteries failing they would get out of the contracts.

(Håkan Lidell) #18

Hello I’m new on the forum and also a non twizy owner, but i’m also looking to get one here in Sweden.
What i found so far is a 2017 manufactured 2016/7 (critical power box date?) with just 1000km on the dial and all the bells and whistles, with no battery lease for about 10k euro, and also in a lovely Renault racing colour wrap.

There are of course other options, but as new as possible and still be able to use a powerbox and low milage plus no battery lease sounds pretty interesting.

Any input would be greatly aprisiated.

Hopefully soon to be twizy owner Håkan

(David Ferguson) #19

Hi Hakan, and welcome!

The most obvious suggestions would be to check the brakes as thoroughly as possible, and to borrow a Powerbox for your test drive. Otherwise I don’t think you can be sure whether or not it will work.

Good luck!

(Andrew J Bell) #20

From my point of view, getting a PowerBox was not a deal breaker. I use my Twizy in city traffic all the while and find the performance perfectly adequate, but I appreciate for some people it is a highly attractive option.