The £6,000 electric car you don’t need a licence to drive

Renault has unveiled a two-seater electric car that at £6,000 would be the cheapest vehicle of its kind on the market.

The French car maker can afford to sell the vehicle at such a relatively low price because at less than 400kg, the Twizy is a micro car – officially referred to as a quadricycle. And unlike the approach taken by Nissan with its new electric family-sized Leaf car, Renault plans to lease the battery for the Twizy at less than £40 per month.

Licence free

The Twizy will be offered with a twenty-horsepower motor or a five-horsepower version for those countries, like France, that allow low-powered micro cars to be driven without the need for a licence.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “Electric cars have very low day-to-day running costs, but the cost of the batteries make them unaffordable for most people. Renault is taking a creative approach to this problem by leasing the batteries for its electric cars such as the Zoe EV for around £60 per month, which is less than the cost of a tankful of petrol.”

What is a quadricycle?

Sometimes referred to as a micro car, a quadricycle is a four-wheeled vehicle with an unladen mass not more than 400kg (excluding batteries if it is an electric vehicle) and whose maximum continuous rated power does not exceed 15 kW. The best known quadricycle is the G-Wiz.

What makes a safe car?

There appears to be reluctance by government to promote this type of vehicle because of concerns over safety; quadricycles are not eligible for the government’s £5,000 grant for electric cars. Lightweight micro-cars raise the question of what constitutes a ‘safe’ car.

There is a perception that large, heavy cars such as 4X4s are safe, but they pose an increased risk to pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of lighter cars in the event of a collision. Quadricycles on the other hand are designed to operate in urban areas at low speeds. According to Government figures, Greater Manchester has an average traffic speed of 12.1mph, Leicester 13.6mph, London 14.6mph, West Yorkshire 14.6mph, Merseyside 14.9mph, South Yorkshire 15mph and the West Midlands 15.5mph (Road Statistics 2008: Traffic, Speeds and Congestion).

The fact that quadricycles are lighter than conventional cars makes them less of a risk to pedestrians and less damaging to the road surface.

Comments

  1. lynn power

    Reply

    Can i drive this car in the UK without a licence@

  2. Jim

    Reply

    http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/driving-licence-free-twizy-2013 Yes. I think they tweaked the legislation slightly to allow the Twizy in there. The quoted weights in this article DO NOT include the batteries. Which, incidentally, Renault do not include in the purchase price – you have to lease the batteries from Renault. Insurance is going to be a killer as well, I just called Direct Line, and as a 38yo with no licence, my premium would exceed £3k.

  3. anthony

    Reply

    The way I see it if you don’t need a licence to drive one then why do you need insurance.

    • hilary

      Reply

      Its not for you, they dont care about you, it`s case you hit someone else and injure THEM

  4. Alexia

    Reply

    I am bit short sighted and I am just below the sight required to get a license. I am looking to see if I can drive one of these here in the Uk. I have no intention in going to motorway, plus I don’t like too much speed. I just need a car to be safe going to and coming from work!? Any ideas??

    • Gaz

      Reply

      Hi
      What did you sort out for your vechicle I am in the same predicament

    • Robert Mitchell r

      Reply

      i have phoned FVLA
      theg told me you must have a license for this vehicle /reanalt
      TWIZZY

    • dave

      Reply

      Alexia, i find what you have said to be disturbing to say the least. What you are saying is that you have bad eye sight that does not meet the law and that some how you would cheat the system by not needing a licence! That makes me sick!!!! Thats like some one saying they are getting an self driving car so they can get pissed down the pub then let the car drive them home. Bloody irresponsible!!! There is a good reason you dont drive and i hope you never do.
      People like you kill people! ever thought of laser surgery then passing a test properly if that is possible. The way i and many others see it is if you cant read a number plate from 20 mtrs then driving is not for you! get a push bike.

  5. Lozza

    Reply

    Alexia, how about you get glasses so you can drive?

    • stephen strassen

      Reply

      how about getting your eyes lasered its cheaper now and even lenses can be changed

  6. Rachel

    Reply

    @Lozza,

    Alexia has probably already thought of that.

  7. Tim

    Reply

    For the overall price after buying, insuring this along with what ever else you need you may aswell go and pass your proper driving license as you would still have money and enough left over for insurance lol its a joke

  8. Glenbo

    Reply

    Make your own out of gokart, starter motor and some car batteries. Oh and an umbrella if u require luxiories

  9. michael suter

    Reply

    why not get what i HAVE its a disabled scooter,with a diferance its like a mini car coverd in wipers,indicator,and head/lights,no licence requiered insurance is up to you,send form to DVLA to GET IT REGISTED, UP TO YOU GET ROAD TAX ATNO COST DRIVE ON ROAD LEGAL.
    PS its electric i wil post pohto tomorro 28/06/2014

    • Kath roberts

      Reply

      Hi Michael, can you post details of your electric disabled scooter with wipers etc. would it be suitable for driving down a short mile down country lanes to a village. My 80 yr mum has just lost her licence due to early Alzheimer’s but is a good natural driver. She s devastated…does it fit two people?

    • Bill johnson

      Reply

      Michael
      I would be interested to know more. Can you email me some details of how/where you acquired this???

    • Roy Arthur

      Reply

      Please send details of your electric disabled scooter.my licence was revoked by DVLA due to a stroke.I can still meet all the eyesight requirements and have full use of all my are and legs ,but I failed the rivermead driving assessment test, Which half the drivers in the UK would also fail l think??

      • Roy Arthur

        Reply

        Correction,I ment arms and legs!

    • sRobert Mitchell r

      Reply

      its ridiculous that MOTABILITY dont have them pn ther bokms and have vot know futcher plans to pout them on so that would be me screwed had a stroke 19years ago obviously left me in lots of debt had a business TWO horses for kids now you can see the picture parelized wheelchair bound unabel to work it is self explanatory the bills never got paid was also in carehomes aproxemetly 5 0years so now you can imagine im black listed for credit could not get a twizy if motability don’t do them

  10. douglas mclellan

    Reply

    dear sir
    could I have details sent on about the electric car
    thank you d mclellan

  11. douglas mclellan

    Reply

    dear sir could you tell me if I can drive this car without a licence
    thank you douglas mclellan

    • Yannick Read

      Reply

      You can drive it with what they refer to now as an M or moped licence

    • douglas mclellan

      Reply

      dear sir
      could you let me know if I can drive this car without a licence
      douglas mclellan

  12. richbroughton

    Reply

    Its said you need no liecence but im banned from driving a mechanically propelled vehicle does this apply to an electric vehicle?

    • Dora

      Reply

      Hi i have good sight in one eye but the other one I can’t see.
      I have been to doctors and opticians and did all the tests which they say is safe for me to drive but only now the dvla has stopped me from. So I wonder if I could get one of these cars so Ido t need the licence.

  13. Khan

    Reply

    Hello
    i am living in london i dont have uk license and even provisional can i drive this electic car or what document i need to drive
    thx

  14. Kyle Francis

    Reply

    Do you need an licence to drive an G-Wiz?
    I’ve spoken to various car dealers and they all say I need an B1 or B licence is this true.
    Hopefully you can respond thank you

  15. mark haile

    Reply

    no you cant drive without license.

  16. mark haile

    Reply

    you cannot drive it without licence

  17. Jo

    Reply

    I had one of these cars in the UK for ten years and was glad I experienced it. There is a huge choice of cars with 2 seats or 4. I had 2 with a large boot. It was like a small van which I used for work as it took several large boxes which when you first look at the car you wouldn’t think it would. It also had plenty room for my large dog to move around in his large bed. These cars are very deceptive. They don’t rust because they are fibreglass and don’t eat up your petrol. Maybe not the safest material , but being an ex biker it was slightly safer than being on my two wheels with nothing but my leather jacket to protect me. The only downside in this country is getting them serviced properly and mot’d ! If you can’t get it to the dealer you got it from then you need to get it to an “old school” mechanic preferably one with knowledge of quads. If it is maintained right they run great and in the warm weather they go like a dream. But if they are serviced by someone that doesn’t understand them they start to play up and cost money ! Get a mechanic that’s can service them and you will love it ! Remember it is not a car engine or a motorbike these are quads and in the UK must be driven on licence. The minimum licence is the old B1 licence . There are no gears and it is not automatic. And for those of you that say just make your own go kart lol !! Been there done that and moved on, yeah their not cheap, but it’s fun to try something different, why drive the same car everyone else drives. You do get people look at the car and ask questions and you get the ones that love it and want to race it, I won’t go there on line thank you!!!!! Let’s just say these small cars are a surprise. Not many in the UK but you will see plenty in France and Spain. Mine had been all over the UK and the islands. Now considering a Trike, you only live once!!! Happy driving guys! A fellow female driver !

  18. Alec Winwood

    Reply

    That was in 2011, what’s the current situation for someone without driving licence due to viision problem and living in Spain?
    A) types/makes of car?
    B) Price?
    C) Insurance?
    D What extra to pay?

  19. Richardjohnridley@.co.uk

    Reply

    Is quad cycle left right hand drive

  20. Kevin

    Reply

    very good optician can often prescribe glasses that will allow you to drive safely, few opticians will take the time to do so. It can take unto 2 hours and more to get a really good prescription for driving when sight begins to fade badly. I go to an optician in Galway Leo Wall he is very good at this sort of thing. You will leave with the best prescription possible and often 20/60 20/40 vision 20/80 I believe is the requirement. He does not recommend driving at 20/80 but usually can get 20/40 20/60. He has many foreign patient from USA, Europe who get their glasses their. To contact him try Galway University were is is/was on the staff.

  21. douglas mclellan

    Reply

    dear sir
    could you tell me ifyou can drive this car without a driving licence
    thank you d mclellan

  22. Nicholas farran

    Reply

    Hi if I get a twizy do I need a full licence to drive it

  23. Pam eely

    Reply

    I live in the campo n Spain. Just list my husband need transport. Would this car go up steep hill. As we are in a deep to the house. I do need transport. Have a invalid licence.

  24. Jim

    Reply

    Hello my understanding is you need a licence for most things on the road but always check with the DVLA or other countries equivalent. The French make a few micro cars that can be driven from 16 on a moped licence from what I can tell like the Axiam. The G-wiz and other electrics will need a full motorbike or car licence in UK due to changes in the law as far as I know. You will need to check other countries equivalent if you live elsewhere in the world.
    The other option is a pedal assist electric recumbent bike like the podride, Elf etc.

  25. James

    Reply

    Hi you dont need a licence to drive under comeing law you can comute from place to place there is a difrence from the defanishon as a driver and travelr and comuter you can fined more on this on YouTube it is a very big thing the people r all being liyd to please look it up you legely dont need a licence to drive if you r not using it for trading or profit

  26. George

    Reply

    What type of electric operated car availabe new that doesnt need a full driver’s licence or no driver’s licence at all to purchase and operate on the road except Motorways? first in:

    The UK
    Spain
    France
    Belgium

    I would be pleased to get pictures and the website url of manufacturers and or their authorised agents.

  27. stephen strassen

    Reply

    i would be interested to know of any electric cars or mobility 2 seaters you can use with out a license please. i did see one for sale a while ago on facebook and ebay a mobility off road 2 seater and had reverse gear too and you didn’t need a licence for that for sure but i just cant remember what it was called.. my wife needs some thing like this for work for when its raining as only works a few miles if anyone can help .

  28. Richard field

    Reply

    I believe in France you can drive a microcar on a no licence required is that true in France

  29. Richard field

    Reply

    I think that a car is available in the French system without a driving license

    • David B

      Reply

      Look up Aixam and Ligier. There are probably other makes as well. The acronym for such vehicles is “VSP” (Voiturette Sans Permis)

  30. anna

    Reply

    can this car be driven in usa florida without license?

  31. George

    Reply

    True you can drive a small car in France without a licence. It looks just like the old Mini and has a two stroke engine. The speed is limited to 50K 30MPH. and there is a lot of them !!!
    Not allowed on motorways but OK on other roads.
    If you drive a normal car and get behind one of these on a country road you will mutter rude words!!!

  32. Ishfak Miah

    Reply

    I have no licence. Do I have elected. Car

  33. David B

    Reply

    I am not Cornish but in 1979 I won an action for a cottage that had 1/2 an acre of l and and there has been a dreadful forty year long vendetta run against me ever since. In 2017 my 4×4 was burnt-out followed by endless nagging from Cornwall Council about ” eyesores”. Next someone fly-tipped a load of tree-prunings on my frontage but gallons of waste engine-oil had been poured over them so they couldn’t be taken to the tip by car as the upholstery would have been ruined. The council refused to send the dust-cart so I had to deal with the problem myself. The work was very hard for a 70 year-old and resulted in a stroke so I was railroaded into hospital. Next the Cornish mafia managed to get my driving licence revoked because “My memory and Power of Reasoning might make it unsafe for me to drive a car”. Eyesight is OK and a brilliant physiotherapist has taught me to walk again so I regard it all as a witch-hunt run by the clan of Cornish Freemason-farmers who didn’t win the auction. Unfortunately the DVLA who deserve to be nuked on a daily basis, refuse to back-down. The situation is so diabolical that I may have to relocate to France as ” They” (the bent coppers and the bent D/VLA won’t even let me ride a Honda 50 moped in the UK.! Decades ago I saw a solicitor when the trouble started brewing but he said “Look everyone is related to one another around here so I don’t want to get involved”. People who actually know me have said “Where are they coming from Dave? |There’s nothing wrong with your memory or power of reasoning!” Well I know that but I would surmise that the problem farmer wants my house and land for his son who is now grown-up and aged about 30. How’s that for Power of Reasoning? It would appear that the only vehicle that the fascist police state will allow me to use is an electrically-assisted bicycle with a maximum power output of 250 watts and around here there are some really rotten tyrants. For example there used to be a surfer who had a skateboard fitted with a 22 cc strimmer engine. The “vehicle” was so light that it could be picked-up easily with one hand but one day a bad cop decided to fit-up the teenager who was nicked for no number plates, no insurance and no tax or MOT and allegedly he was lucky to avoid being sentenced to six months in jail!

  34. Patricia Fay

    Reply

    I’m a 76 yr old lady I lost my husband he was the driver I failed my test years ago due to bad eyesight, I have caravan I’ve got to walk to the village which is about 1 1/2 mile away is there any wee electric car I could drive without a licence would only use it for that purpose.

    • Michael Rust

      Reply

      patricia look up tga mobility scooters..i have one up to 30 miles on a charge..some have roofs..one to look at may help tga breeze s4 hope this helps good luck ps have done about 8000 miles in 3 years on mine…

  35. nei doleman

    Reply

    The DVLA are ridiculouse i am 60 and have been trying to get my licence back since 2010 after providing letters from my previous doctor and my consultant stating clearly that i am fit to drive my latest doctor has stated that i have high bloodpressure and this might affect my safety on the road. Yet i have had i blood pressure all my life and have not had a stroke or heart attack as yet, i do need a new hip so have trouble walking without pain and have been so looking forward to buying a new car and getting around as i feel like a prisoner at my home- i have no access to my flat for a mobility scooter or any where to keep it and charge it so thats out of the question. Solicitors dont want to help dealing with the DVLA and so know am trying the electric small car avenue now as i cant imagine the rest of my life being without the right to travel and being cut off from my family and few friends-Simply put this government organisation are bullies and are destroying my quality of life

  36. dave

    Reply

    YOU MUST HAVE A LICENCE! THATS IT.
    If you think different then your a fool, The uk gov wont even allow electric push bikes to have a large power output and it only is assistance meaning that the motor helps you out up a hill and the big and only when the pedles are turning because if you just had to turn the grip then its classed as a motor bike. So no car will be aloud on the road without a licence, m.o.t, and insurance simple

  37. dave

    Reply

    To add i just phoned my insurer esure, i asked if i could be insured without a licence on a twizzy and these were the exact words…. Sir, without a full uk licence or in the case of a learner with a provisional licence, esure will not and could not provide you with cover as there insurer loyds of london WILL NOT PROVIDE COVER.
    Most insurance actually goes through loyds of london then its a no go!
    FRANCE YES
    UK NO!

  38. Dave F

    Reply

    I would certainly be interested in one of these for my elderly father who could then tootle about around the village & town with a passenger with the freedom to get out and about at a leisurely pace.
    Watch this space … maybe??

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Your name and email are required.