UPDATED: Citroen Czero #ev lease is up, inspected, now to be …flatbed collected. So what’s this on the invoice?…

August 25th, 2015 § Comments Off on UPDATED: Citroen Czero #ev lease is up, inspected, now to be …flatbed collected. So what’s this on the invoice?… § permalink

Firstly, I’d mention that citroen has been my very first electric car (#ev virgin no more), so it would always have a special place with me.

My Experience to day is mixed, and reason being that back in 2012 era, there were not much of electric car support or even consideration from fellow driver, rather awe and “good luck mate, better you than me” sort of attitude.Purty cZero

You know, the sort of stuff you’d get when  you are at the forefront of pretty much… anything.

Beside naysayers, 21,481 Electric Miles covered in the electric car was fantastic.

How much did i save?

Well, comparing to my original pre-ev car at the time, Automatic, Petrol, 1.4 Polo, which at most averaged 35mpg (i know, i’m an optimist), would result in saving of £3107 (less cos of electricity for same period) in Petrol costs.

Servicing
This is a whole another story.
First Service, first year, was £69
Second Service (major) at year three, was £416.99 (Odd fixes which were self inflicted are not included, as they are not relevant for the overall comparison)

Driving
Shape of the car means that narrow London streets are no enemy. Small form factor means parking was a bliss as well.

Total Lease cost
This lease deal was a 3+35 Lease with 10k/annum allowance costing roughly £180 VAT Inclusive. (Not bad!)
Comparison for the 1-6 Travelcard/tube costs, this car ownership wins hands down. So if you’re in London, have access to parking, its a no brainer, in my opinion. Ironic but true.

END-OF-LEASE Collection

So, essentially you get these letters towards the end of the lease term, advising you to ensure you have all paperwork is in order. get documentation, two sets of keys and get car fully cleaned and DIY remedied where possible. This ensures that car is going back in the same (very similar) condition as when you got it. Its basically a car rental, – as it is, but you get opportunity to fix all your dents and scruffs to avoid the surprise fees (there are no excesses coverage). plain and simple.

Here is my such letter.

service-advise-return-lease-czero-1service-advise-return-lease-czero-2

Inspection day

Basically, since its an electric car, i was told that this would be a two-stage process (no fees advised)

Day 1, inspection. Day 2, collection, as someone else with a flatbed truck needs to collect this.

Fair do.

Result of my inspection day

All is to plan, as i am well aware of the small alloy scruff on the pavement. :/ oh well, and i cannot simply, cannot find the booklet set which came with citroen. it’s been a while. give up. ok, minor costs, accept the debauchery.

But the finer detail yet, – this report lists the return’s transportation fees and inspection fees. Huh?

Surely thats not for me to foot. I personally would like to think its not in my interest (nor benefit) to have any of those, so why is it on there? To be Confirmed… Since i am a pint half-full sort of person, i’d like to think its a honest cock-up so to speak.

10/08/2015 11:00am. I will be updating this post once more information/confirmation/clarification comes to light.

surprise fees, return-fees of flatbed truck and inspection fees???? Surely it's for Citroen to deal with it. hmm, someone pulling the fast one.

surprise fees, return-fees of flatbed truck and inspection fees???? Surely it’s for Citroen to deal with it. hmm, someone pulling the fast one.

For now, i’ve left with more mixed feelings that i would like to deal with.
I have paid for all three years of leasing without hitch, had all the relevant services, MOT.
Car is in a good nick, as confirmed in the report.
So why this, last “slap” surprise? Only one day to find out.

Closing thoughts on ownership
I have had a good time and some awkward times when it comes to range.
In fact its a gen1 electric car and having 75miles range estimated is pretty good.
At the end of year three, that is not the case any longer, and now the range is a lot less.
Climate control (AirCon/Heating) on gen1 were notoriously hungry for power with resistance heaters.

Parking and Driving about London Town is a bliss (see above)

Interior is minimal but so is the cost of the lease. Im not complaining.

Intercity driving not advised, but with ecotricity Rapid Chargers on every corner these days, its not impossible to do so.

Boot space is minimal. It Is tad less than of Audi’s A3 E-tron PHEV. And BMW i3. Its usable, but dont expect much from it.

I would say that resale/pre-loved car expected to cost about 6k. I would say it’s worth about 5k.

Having said that, Twizy (45miles tops/no windows/ no heating/ 2 seats) would cost about 4k.

So a 4 seater Imiev/czero/ion still wins.

In fact insurance category is 1A, so new drivers would certainly be benefitting from a low insurance premium. Just a thought. Consider this, the worse they drive the less farther they would go.

EvMeerkat's first electricCar by Citroen, Czero, at it's lease-end. Collection day!

EvMeerkat's first electricCar by Citroen, Czero, at it's lease-end. Collection day!

Conclusion

I have set out with a full blown letter, as advised by @citroenUK, who are not direct[ly in control] of their financing company counterpart in the UK.

Subject: Surprise costs an end-of-lease agreement

Dear Sir/Madam,

 …[removed irrelevant liners of identity]..

The purpose of this enquiry is me contesting the car collection and inspection fees, which were added into “Damage” report, where such charges have no relevance.

I have indeed contested these charges, but it would appear my dispute was ignored and I was subsequently served with a letter demanding the full payment.

I have made reasonable attempts to contact Citroen UK to determine the status and progress of these affairs, and have only been just advised that this to be taken further, via email.

The Following charges contested, as I believe they are not relevant in my Damage Report;

  • Car Inspection Service, Fee – £31.80
  • Car Transportation(return to base) Service, fee – £275

I would like to believe these have appeared on the car inspection by a mistake, since they are spurious and offer me/customer no benefit.

In the even these charges are imposed as “correct”, I am legally contesting those, to be void.

Both of these Served me(customer) no benefit, and these [specifically levied costs] were not discussed/forewarned prior breaching “Requirement for Transparency” of Consumer Rights Act 2015 S68(1,2), nor found in my original agreement details.

Under Consumer Contract 2013, Section 40, as a consumer I am protected against such spurious charges;

Specifically, under s40 (1) I have offered no express consent for [any] charges arising from the aforementioned [contested] services. 

Furthermore, I/[customer] find these charges Unfair.  

Furthermore, under Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 S8 (1)(a), which constitutes to misrepresentation of services provided [by notion of Car Collection Notice, without any cost/charges advised by phone/contract/citroen website’s section on end-of-term, car return preparation]

This satisfies the reasonableness test under section 11(1) of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, specifically, by effect of:

  • no prior forewarning regarding inspection and car collection fees, and by notion that any such charges for services offer any benefit to me/consumer. 
  • None of the aforementioned, contested charges fall under Car Damage category, for the purpose of such car inspection report, where required.

Any such additional charges[terms and notices] found to be be unfair are NOT BINDING on the consumer, as affirmed by Consumer Rights Act 2015 S62(2)

Under the very same Consumer Rights Act 2015, S56 (1) Leasing Finance[trader] is to reduce the total price[specifically removing aforementioned fees from my DAMAGE REPORT], and this must have any other imposed fees, as a result of doing so (S56)(6). 

I sincerely Hope that this was an accidental mistake and is not to cause any further grievance for either party.

 

Phew. There. Done. Pressed SEND. No going back. Always know your rights.

Not sure? Well, www.legislation.gov.uk is a good place to start digging your curious minds in.

And, ukCScomplaints has finally responded my rightful complaint about these shenanigans.

Thank you for your email regarding the charges you received when our vehicle was returned to us.

Normally, our agents at Manheim will carry out an inspection of the vehicle to produce the condition report, then collect the vehicle at the same time and drive it away to the auction house. However for electric vehicles, the inspection of the vehicle takes place prior to the collection. As it is difficult to guarantee that the vehicle will make it to the auction house and beyond without needing to be recharged, the vehicle must then be collected on a Low Loader. The fees you see on the condition report are for this separate inspection and collection procedure.

In light of your dissatisfaction I will remove these charges totaling £306.80. I can see we were due to collect your charges today by Direct Debit; if you did not cancel the Direct Debit I will ensure this is refunded back to you. If you have cancelled your Direct Debit, please make a manual payment of £90 at your earliest convenience, by cheque or by BACS with the following details:

 …

Which is great. Finally. You’d think Man vs Finance-Org Wins. Good times.

But… it does not feel like winning at all.

Its right down unfair, wrong and day-light robbery if this was allowed to continue.

I would be right to drag this out through mud and courts to get justice with this.

Its £300 of my hard earned money after-all. If I was paying out every bob, steve and suzie every time some[one] company would post me an fictions invoice I’d be broke, and i mean broke [&] stupid, which is even worse(apparently).

Nevetheless, I have accepted the deal, thanked the team for looking into this promptly and [how-could-i-not] given my two-pence on this saga.

Dear R,

I appreciate  your response. And your reconsidered Final Settlement figure of £90 is thus accepted.

I will be making payments shortly later today. Direct Debit mandate is cancelled.

I would like to add however,

  • implore you rather, to make all such “hidden” charges more transparent to all such future electric vehicle leasing programmes. I am certain these are well justified costs, but to addressed by the finance company, not the end-leaseholder, who will bear no benefit for such services, especially without prior agreement in place. Therefore such fees would always be deemed unfair and not applicable.
  • I have wished to address this earlier without further prompts for such emails. I would further urge you to look into the Manhein’s collection process. I have explicitly disagreed with the aforementioned charges on the outset. Despite doing so, you have sent me an invoice for the Full Amount. This speaks poorly for the quality of such car collection processes.

Regards,

EvMeerkat

Moral of the story, Don’t Blame the EV experience, thats One.

Two. If you need to blame someone, then blame the folks who are not specialists in the field and are not willing to adapt with the times. Best way forward, go for a car, which manufacturer actually manufactures… – their own [in-house] car and thus they are more likely to be are able to adjust the processes to suit their customers. Not the other way round.

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