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Etoile
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Discussion Starter #1
As a family we are about to make a complete switch over to possibly two Nissan Leafs. Per day I do a 23 mile round trip while my partner goes a bit further at 55 miles. These drives are about 75% A road with 25% town/city each. We have two kids and a large dog, hence our attraction to the pragmatism that the Leaf seems to offer post research. We intend to lease the cars as 'all inclusive' as possible, probably on a 3 yearly cycle.

We very rarely go on lengthy drives i.e. beyond 100 miles. For those journeys we had considered the possibility of simply renting a fossil fuel car but have been unsettled by the prices... It occurred to us that we could sell one of our cars and retain the other (the best one which is a 4x4) placing it on SORN until we have said need. Also from a peace of mind point of view - having the capability there if required.

Thus my questions; how pragmatic would it be to keep an uninsured car on SORN on our driveway for a long period of time, likely > 6 months between drives? Moreover how practical would it be to get it legally derivable as and when needed i.e. temporary insurance and tax?

Has anyone done anything similar? We appreciate any input and advice.
 

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Don't nissan still do a free petrol loan car up to 14 days/year?

We have a leaf which does 95% of our journeys and an ice for about 20 days a year when we need 2 cars, 4 longer journeys and 1 2-week summer holiday. Doing the maths it is cheaper to have a second car than to hire/taxi for these needs assuming it doesn't depreciate more than expected or have a mechanical disaster.

Don't forget with sorn you have to pay at least 1 month tax each time you use the car.
 

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The costs and value hinge on your choice of spare/backup ICE car. You could lose a lot of money in taxing for 6 months and claiming a SORN/tax refund after one month of use. Plus you'll lose the flexibility of being able to use it as an ad hoc substitute if the need for a long journey comes up unexpectedly. You'll probably need to keep the car insured all the time anyway.

I thought about having an older 4x4 as a backup but decided that it would cost too much so I'm prepared to hire if necessary rather than having the recurring costs of a car that isn't used much.
 

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As has been said, in certain finance plans with a new Leaf they will allow 14 days a year loan of an oil burner to cover the very points you mention. Worth asking the questions. Other than that you have to factor in the large savings in fuel costs, car tax and servicing being made and be prepared to re-cycle some of that into car hire costs. Or replace one car with a plug in hybrid that could handle your own 23 mile daily trip on electrons.
 

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I imagine the depreciation on anything but an old run around far outweighs any potential cost of hire etc?
 
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We are a 2 Leaf house with not too different usage patterns. In 3 years I have loaned an ICE from Nissan once.
The few longer trips except this one time we still used the Leaf.
 
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Cars like to be used not stood around. Rusted calipers /stuck on brakes,flat batteries,rusted exhaust and other parts etc etc. You did not say what the problem was with hiring a car a few times a yr. Many people train/fly to holiday destination and hire a car.

Anyway get a plug in hybrid and use the ICE just when you need it.
 

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Etoile
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assuming it doesn't depreciate more than expected or have a mechanical disaster.
The costs and value hinge on your choice of spare/backup ICE car.
I imagine the depreciation on anything but an old run around far outweighs any potential cost of hire etc?
Honestly depreciation is not really a factor for us :D Our vehicle model to date has been 'banger economics'; each car we own is never newer than ~10-15 years old! We have no proactive maintenance/servicing in effect, we simply buy a car for ~1K and drive it to scrap; fixing only major mechanical issues as they appear. If the costs of any repairs ever approach ~1K mark we scrap it and buy a new one for the same amount. Every MOT has cost us between £200 to £600 a time as the cars never pass. Moreover, due to the older and more worn out technology our general running costs are quite expensive in comparison.

Digressing a little, this is exactly why leasing is so attractive to us. For around the same cost that we pay out in fuel a month we can run both leases. Moreover because the maintenance and upkeep is included, whatever happens is not really our problem, thus we eliminate the MOT costs and those other random breakdown costs - not to mention replacing a car should it be deemed unfeasible to repair.
You'll probably need to keep the car insured all the time anyway.
In hindsight that's probably right, at least a third party fire and theft would likely be needed...

And given that:
Cars like to be used not stood around. Rusted calipers /stuck on brakes,flat batteries,rusted exhaust and other parts etc etc. You did not say what the problem was with hiring a car a few times a yr. Many people train/fly to holiday destination and hire a car.
When really thinking about it this is totally correct. Therefore I think that we have indeed arrived at the conclusion that:
Keeping a spare car for the odd journey in a sorn way is lunacy.
This is certainly helpful to hear:
Don't nissan still do a free petrol loan car up to 14 days/year?
As has been said, in certain finance plans with a new Leaf they will allow 14 days a year loan of an oil burner to cover the very points you mention. Worth asking the questions.
If that is a possibility then it will probably completely nullify the concern. We will certainly make those enquiries.

I think that ultimately from driving ICEs all of our lives it's a very hard mindset to switch away from... But we do indeed want to make that switch ;)
 

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If that is a possibility then it will probably completely nullify the concern. We will certainly make those enquiries
Re 14 day free ICE hire.

Many of the better Nissan dealers are quite co-operative over this. I use Nissan Chorley ( Wigan branch) And when I approached them under this scheme they were more than accommodating. I was able to borrow a Qashquai for a week without any issues. It was exactly like having a courtesy car if your own was in for repair work. Same process exactly. Of course they require a lot of notice and you can't specify what car is loaned, but as my need was for five people plus luggage they recognised that a Note wouldn't work and went that extra mile; making a few internal changes to accommodate me. ( Thanks Richard ) An excellent benefit of a PCP from a reputable dealer and certainly a deal sealer for me.
 

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Etoile
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
An excellent benefit of a PCP from a reputable dealer and certainly a deal sealer for me.
Thanks, though these would be PCH so I'm not sure if the same would be available under that. Literally just at the start of our research.
 

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I very nearly went into business buying restoring and selling classic cars and I am still looking at the classic to EV model but still too niche. (aka no money in it yet). I did until recently own multiple cars 10+ for years they produced a very good return which has now become part of my Pension fund.

I loved the Sorn thing when it came out it meant I could easily tax one of my cars as and when for shows etc.

I have kept many cars off road for months and a few for a couple of years at a time they really are fine like that if protected covers that don't touch the paint under a carport is adequate I tend to put some of them up on stands in order to be able to rotate the wheels to avoid disk damage where the pads stick or the proximity leads to rust.

I use battery conditioners - the thing to avoid is condensation when garaged so ventilation is key but for a relatively modern car that not going to be a problem.

If you are thinking of leaving it on your drive will it be an obstruction will it be in the sun all day do you have room to start it and move it around from time to time legally?

The bigger choice is do you keep it insured as well, you probably would have to and very low mileage policies can be very cheap.

On balance though I don't think Ii would keep a car just incase if only for perhap one or two longer journeys a year it really isn't that expensive to rent a runabout for a week not when you also factor in a months tax, a years insurance and an MOT.
 

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Etoile
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Discussion Starter #13
If you are thinking of leaving it on your drive will it be an obstruction
It certainly wouldn't be an obstruction as we have a sizeable driveway and plenty of land in addition.
will it be in the sun all day
Yeah it would be, however we do have a garage that could accommodate it but it's currently used for storage.
do you have room to start it and move it around from time to time legally?
Yes due to the land that we're lucky enough to have, it could be started and driven a few meters when needed.

However, again due to the paraphernalia; blocks, battery conditioner and covering/garage (loss of storage)... Plus the messing around with tax and the insurance overhead (consolidation of costs being the primary drive for our switch), it seems to be too much effort.

The other thing we looked at was renting it out and using it to potentially make us some extra money. However it still seems that the mechanical issues and any damage that people may inflict would be our problem at the end of the day.

So it really does seem that:
On balance though I don't think Ii would keep a car just incase if only for perhap one or two longer journeys a year it really isn't that expensive to rent a runabout for a week not when you also factor in a months tax, a years insurance and an MOT.
Makes the most sense i.e. get rid and move on and take out an occasional ICE hire when needed (which will be rare).
 

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Re 14 day free ICE hire.

Many of the better Nissan dealers are quite co-operative over this. I use Nissan Chorley ( Wigan branch) And when I approached them under this scheme they were more than accommodating. I was able to borrow a Qashquai for a week without any issues. It was exactly like having a courtesy car if your own was in for repair work. Same process exactly. Of course they require a lot of notice and you can't specify what car is loaned, but as my need was for five people plus luggage they recognised that a Note wouldn't work and went that extra mile; making a few internal changes to accommodate me. ( Thanks Richard ) An excellent benefit of a PCP from a reputable dealer and certainly a deal sealer for me.
Don't count on this. Glyn Hopkins St Albans always made it very difficult for us, made it clear they would never provide anything other than a note or micra and after 18 months scrapped the pay a fiver a day for insurance offer and insisted we got our own which made the whole deal uneconomic, renting elsewhere was cheaper.
 

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@Nuluvius loving your processing of the points. I would suggest you are already decided.
I have had great experience of the ICE thing. It seems that the Nissan owned dealers are more likely to honour it without quibbling.
I have heard of issues with dealers changing franchise etc. Carefully check the T&C's.
 
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Where are you located. There may well be recommended dealers from the good people here.
 

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On the Insurance side as I understand it you now have to have continuous Insurance, even if the car is on SORN. Trying to clamp down on uninsured drivers.
 

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It certainly wouldn't be an obstruction as we have a sizeable driveway and plenty of land in addition.
Yep same here I used to run a few meets in my field when I was technical lead for the 75 & ZT Owners club.

This was about 10 years ago, a stick your key in your ear and see how much farther it works test after an article on Top Gear iirc and I think the best was about 200'
:)

DSCN0171.JPG
 
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