The Renault Twizy first went on sale in the UK in April of 2012. It is an electric car which is intended to be used in an urban environment. In Europe, the Twizy is officially classified as a heavy quadricycle.
Two main models are available, the Urban 45 and the Urban 80. The 45 is the lowest priced variant and has an electric motor that will generate 5bhp and a top speed of 28mph. The Urban 80 has a more powerful 17bhp motor and can reach 50mph.
Two further variants are also available, the Colour and the Technic. The Colour is a fun and colourful Twizy that is available in both the 80 and 45 trims. The Technic adds some extra design elements and shares the technical features of the Urban. It is also available with the 45 and 80 trim.
The Renault Twizy was the highest selling electric plug-in car in Europe in the calendar year of 2012. Most were sold in Italy, Germany and France.
Bang for your buck
The approved used Twizy for sale is ultra-compact, being just 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 5 feet high. Its body and frame offer passengers collision protection due to its deformable structure. The outboard positioning of the Twizy's wheels and its lateral beams either side of its chassis provide improved protection during a side-on impact.
Other safety features include a three-point seat belt in the rear, a four-point one in the front and a driver's airbag.
The battery is found under the front seat and is charged by using an extendable cable found under a flap in the front of the car. To fully charge the battery takes around 3.5 hours.
What you'll pay
The new price for a Twizy ranges from £6,990 to £7,400. However, this price does not include any batteries which are leased separately for a monthly cost which also includes roadside assistance.
A used Urban on a 12 plate with around 2,500 miles on the clock will cost around £5,500. A 62-plated Twizy Colour with the 17bhp engine will set you back around £7,500.
The Twizy is exempt from road tax and the London congestion charge. Its insurance group is 11.
What to check
You need to be aware that as a new owner, you will need to set up your own leasing contract for the batteries as they are not transferable.
No recurrent faults have emerged yet and electric cars have fewer moving parts than conventional cars so mechanical issues are less common.
Replacement parts and service costs are very affordable for the Twizy.
How it drives
The official range of the approved used Renault Twizy is 62 miles, at which point it needs to be connected to the mains for nearly 4 hours to fully charge the battery. A more realistic range is probably 50 miles and if the Twizy is driven at full speed it will only travel around 31 miles on a full battery. There are no conventional fuel costs and a charge will cost around £1 in electricity.
Despite its low top speed the Renault Twizy for sale is actually quite nippy and will reach 28mph in just 6 seconds which is about the same as a 125cc moped. There aren't any gears – you just put it into drive, give it some gas (so to speak) and away you go.
Once you are underway, the Twizy is great fun to drive, much more fun than most conventional cars. In the city, it negotiates traffic with ease and its turning circle of just 3.4 metres means it is extremely fast to manoeuvre. There is definitely a certain pleasure in quickly dipping in and out of tight spaces. There is very little lean and plenty of grip and despite its low horsepower, it deals with hills easily.
The steering isn't power assisted so you do have to work quite hard sometimes and the Twizy can tramline on rougher roads. The brakes are not power assisted either so you do have to give it quite a stamp to stop it in a hurry. It all adds to the fun though.
Overall, the Twizy is a great option for urban driving and will cut most people's outgoings considerably.