Renault ZOE review: running costs & insurance
Although more expensive to buy than a comparable petrol Renault Clio, the ZOE offers rock-bottom running costs
|Insurance group||Warranty||Service interval||Annual company-car tax cost (20%/40%)|
|20-23||5yrs/100,000 miles||1yr/18,000 miles||From £109/£219|
The Renault ZOE seems expensive when you glance at the headline price. This is a Clio-sized car, after all, and a price of around £30,000 sounds a lot. The reality is that electric cars are still more expensive than their petrol equivalents, but matters are improving and finance deals on the ZOE that see reasonable monthly payments with low deposits make the car attainable for many people. They also make the ZOE comparable in terms of costs with its chief rivals the Peugeot e-208 and Fiat 500.
Fully charging the ZOE at home will cost a fraction of the cost of filling up a Clio, and using late-night off-peak rates could reduce that further. Charging at a public rapid charger is always going to be more expensive, but given that the ZOE promises efficiency of up to 4.6 miles per kWh, it’s likely that your money will go a bit further in the Renault than in some rivals.
Renault ZOE insurance group
The ZOE falls into insurance groups 20 to 23, depending on exactly which model you choose. This is noticeably higher than you’ll pay for an equivalent Renault Clio, which falls into group 10, so do check insurance costs before settling for the ZOE if you’re a new or younger driver. Electric cars are often more expensive than their petrol alternatives, though, and the ZOE should still be cheaper to insure than the Vauxhall Corsa Electric which occupies groups 24 and 25.
The Renault ZOE is covered for five years or 100,000 miles, which is better than many rivals, if not as good as the cover you get on the Kia Niro EV. The batteries are covered against failure or significant degradation for eight years or 100,000 miles, which can provide peace of mind, while roadside assistance is provided for four years (breaking down to three years' UK and European cover, plus an additional year of UK-only).
Renault offers various fixed-price servicing plans, which you can purchase up front when buying the car or spread across monthly payments. A service is required every year or 18,000 miles and should be cheaper than that of an ordinary petrol or diesel car thanks to the ZOE utilising fewer moving parts.
As with every zero-emissions car, the Renault ZOE is exempt from VED (road tax) until 2025, and it'll also cost you very little to run one as a company car, as Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) is set at just 2% for all electric cars until at least April 2024.
The Renault ZOE is unfortunately subject to below average depreciation. Over three years and 36,000 miles, buyers can expect the electric Renault to retain between 45 and 52% of its value – this is around the same as the Fiat 500, although you’d lose less money by choosing something like a MINI Electric.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe cutesy-looking Renault ZOE remains a solid small electric car pick thanks to its hi-tech cabin and strong range, although it’s missing several important safety and charging features
- 2Range & chargingThe Renault ZOE offers strong range for an electric supermini, however we wish it came with DC rapid charging a standard
- 3Running costs & insurance - currently readingAlthough more expensive to buy than a comparable petrol Renault Clio, the ZOE offers rock-bottom running costs
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Renault ZOE provides smooth and satisfactory performance, but offers little in the way of driver engagement
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe Renault ZOE has a well-appointed interior and comes with a large array of standard equipment
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Renault ZOE is sufficiently spacious for supermini standards, but other EVs offer greater practicality
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe ZOE has sold in big numbers and proved to be reliable, but a zero-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in late 2021 came as a shock