END OF BATTERY LEASE - Renault Z.E. Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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END OF BATTERY LEASE

We've all been wondering what happens at the end of our battery lease agreement. Well, a letter just received from Renault Finance will be of interest to you. In several respects it worries me, see if you agree:

Letter received:

Dear .....

The primary period of hire on your battery hire agreement will come to an end on 23 March 2016.

What happens next?
The terms and conditions of your battery hire agreement do not allow you to purchase the battery. Therefore you now have three options depending on whether you wish to keep your vehicle or not.

Option 1
If you are planning on selling your electric vehicle to a third party you will need to transfer the hire agreement to the new owners of the vehicle. Please find enclosed the transfer of hire documents for you to complet and return....

Option 2
If we do not hear from you within 14 days of the date of this letter then we will assume that you want to continue with your battery hire. We will re-propose your agreement, which will include a search with credit reference agencies. if successful your new documents will be posted to you once your new agreement is set up....

Option 3
If you are returning your vehicle to a dealership as a part exchange or they are purchasing your electric vehicle from you, you will need to complete and return the enclosed transfer of hire documents.

....i If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our electric vehicle team on 08454 482 3835

Renault Finance.


Letter Sent:

Once I had simmered down I penned the following letter to Renault Finance:

To: Renault Finance

Dear Sir,

I am in receipt of your letter dated 25/11/15 regarding my Fluence battery hire agreement. Which ends on 23rd. March next year.

In your letter you state that I have three options and you require to know within 14 days of your sending the letter which of the three provided options I will be taking up. THIS I WILL NOT DO. It is impudent of you to require me to make a decision regarding a lease that still has almost four months to run.

It is equally WRONG of you to take it upon yourselves to enter me into a new contract THE TERMS OF WHICH YOU HAVE NOT PROVIDED if I do not respond within your 14 day requirement. This will constitute a new contract which will have no validity as I will not have seen, checked and signed any agreement.

Your current agreement deliberately does not state what should happen at the end of that agreement, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to impose a new agreement on me without MY agreement - unless, of course, you believe you own me as well as the battery.

Your terms and conditions on the present agreement states that I should return both CAR AND BATTERY to RCI Finance. Might I respectfully remind you that you DO NOT OWN MY CAR. You are welcome to have it back if you pay me its retail value.

I require confirmation that you have received this letter within seven days with your reasoned response in no more than 14 days, the time you gave me to decide on my future.

Yours faithfully,

There are other points which perhaps I might have mentioned? Is it a hire or a lease? Surely the two are different in law? There is, of course, no mention of what the new agreement contains regarding period of hire/lease and monthly cost. The sales brochure for the Fluence spelled out very clearly the options available to a purchaser of a Fluence, ranging from 1 to 3 years at varying cost. Taken together with the cost of buying out of the agreement at a time convenient to the owner (like when the car is leaving its warranty period) some options are more financially beneficial than others.And, of course, you will have noted the insistence that there is No opportunity to purchase the battery. have the costs changed since the car was put on the market to bring them in line with the Zoe? again, we are not told.

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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 01:34 PM
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RE: END OF BATTERY LEASE

I would equally be incesed to receive such an i'll considered and erroneous communication. The crassness is breathtaking, as is their default option of rolling forward the contract to a new term without the express permission of the vehicle owner.

A real shame you're one of the first to experience the continuing ineptitude of RCI... I there a named individual who concocted this nonsensical missive?

The rights of the leaseholder are clearly stated, and they would lose in court if it came to deciding whether their actions are lawful. My response would be slightly different - I would state I do not require the battery unless they were willing to negotiate a reduced rental or purchase price, failing this, they can arrange to collect the battery pack at my convenience.

They really know to make a customer feel wanted.
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 01:41 PM
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RE: END OF BATTERY LEASE

Very.....very interesting! But before anything else let me congratulate you for the letter sent to them; Realy spot on.
It was always on the back of my mind that something like that could in fact happen, but it was beyond my wildest dreams that they would go as far as: TRYING TO TAKE POSSESSION OF YOUR OWN CAR!!!!
Here in Portugal, as far as I now, no one received any letter like that, they simply assume that you want to renew your lease; In my case, before the first 3 years ended, I contacted them to offer myself to buy the battery, with no luck; so, I`ve made a renewal for another 2 years, and they actually kept the same price as if it was a 3 year term. Since then (January 2015), I discovered a lot of fluences beeing sold with batteries at very affordable prices in Spain! Some of them are even beeing sold by renault dealers! Two months ago I wrote a letter to renault Portugal and renault France, stating these exact facts and included several photos, for them to look more in detail the reason for my claim: I don`t want to be treated as a second grade costumer. They are selling the car with batteries (around 5000 pounds), so why can`t I buy the battery?
Never had a direct or formal answer from them, but as sideline, someone at a renault dealership told me that "...as you know, renault DOESN`T SELL BATTERIES FOR THE FLUENCE, BUT, AND ONLY BUT, IF WE DID, IT WOULD COST YOU 18000 POUNDS!!!"
I guess sometinhg very dark is lurking on their mind concerning this subject, and unfortunatly I think we didn`t see everything yet..
In about 11 months from now, my lease will end, and this time for good;It`s going to be fun to see what they will say about that, since I`m going to keep the car.
It`s realy sad that such a fine car is plagued with all this nonsense.
Also, be advised that you have to note the mileage before a battery change, because in my case I got an extra 200 miles on the car, just for changing the battery! But that`s another long story...
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 06:19 AM
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RE: END OF BATTERY LEASE

To be fair, RCI claim no vehicle ownership, only the battery (in the letter). The T&C's do, but only of relevance when RCI supply both vehicle and battery finance - in most cases, the first owners.

As for the quoted battery price - yes that is indeed the price for a Fluence battery, when NEW but 18k euros! Any replacement battery swaps are not new but refurbs, so battery cost is much less and as it is a p-ex, reduced further.

I've no idea what they'll do at my renewal - which is 14 months away - but I'm a good negotiator, especially when they have to collect it from me AND pay for the dealership to do so the cost will be more than 1k regardless.

Interesting times ahead! A shame william hasn't been back to update the thread.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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RE: END OF BATTERY LEASE

Well, the fortnight is up and still awaiting a written response. I have spent the time planning what next. My plans take me out of Oxfordshire to North Wales where the terrain is less suitable and ze dealers are out of reach so renewing is hardly wise especially as the warranty is fast disappearing. So I have trawled the depths looking for a trade buyer. Most online systems do not recognise the car, those that do prompt no response. Finally one of the we buy anything companies has shown interest but how to complete the deal? To protect myself they need to have seen the car, agreed the purchase, completed the lease document, submitted it for to RCI and been accepted - all before money changes hands and the car goes. But that's not how they work. Trading to a Renault dealer would be preferable but they won't play ball. I even convinced myself that if I got a decent enough deal on a replacement car I would scrap it, but would that also prove problematic? On Wednesday the day something will happen so watch this space. You might spend the time working out the value - it cost me 14000......
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-25-2015, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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RE: END OF BATTERY LEASE

Well, Wednesday came and went. Apparently WBCT suddenly found out they'd got no drivers over Christmas - or are they playing for time trying to sort the battery issue? If only I could get the monthly rental down to match the actual miles the car will do I could keep it as a second car but the sums just don't add up at 76 a month for 2000 miles absolute max, especially as I've just agreed to trade my Honda diesel estate for a very economical alternative (more on this later when the deal is clinched) - I reckon I could run a Roller for less.

RCIs reply is still awaited, I wonder if they've signed me up for another three years without permission? That could be interesting seeing as I've got a Californian lawyer in the family. Happy Christmas, Renault, may all your problems be little ones!
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 09:55 AM
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RE: END OF BATTERY LEASE



A Renault dealer will take it as a P/Ex, so why avoid them? The WBAC will not (I took my Twizy to them). They all will not take on the battery lease, which makes the exercise a bit pointless.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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RE: END OF BATTERY LEASE

Apologies for going quiet for 2 months but I have had more pressing matters on my mind since Christmas. Of course RCI have never replied to my letter. Regarding Busby's suggestion re part-ex, I had to get a long distance car and could not part-ex the Fluence, though the dealer did consider it then passing the car through the trade. In the end he spoke to Renault who told him 'Fluence, I wouldn't touch one of those'. Strangely enough I don't fancy another Renault!

I am now biding my time till my 3 year lease ends and then confront RCI, unfettered by the terms of the old lease. Their idea that I am coming to the end of my 'first period' is way off the mark as my lease was for 3 years, not a variable time.

RCI charge a penalty for exceeding the agreed mileage, maybe they should give a refund for unused miles?

Happy Fluencing, the car has so much potential, shame it was born with two gammy legs.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 10:03 AM
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RE: END OF BATTERY LEASE

Was this a Renault dealer? My third (last?) year of ownership commenced today after 2 full years of superb service without a single complaint or issue (RCI excepted). The prospect of whether I still have a Fluence in March 2017 will depend on Renault and how they play the battery game - I'm happy to play hardball, and by that time BMW's i3 will be on a par price wise as it appears that sales have badly stalled.... Watch this space!
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-29-2016, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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RE: END OF BATTERY LEASE

Well, my three year battery lease has come to an end and I have cancelled my direct debit. Of course, sixteen weeks on, I have received no letter from RCI - maybe I should try out my French? Whatever, till they reply I will ignore them!

It's such a shame, the cars deserve better.

For information, having got the electric bug, my new long distance car is a Vauxhall Ampera. Early days, but I like it a lot, and journeys to and fron Wales will be no hassle at all.
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