Buying an all-electric VW Golf

Buying an all-electric VW Golf is like the Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch.

You would think that buying an electric car would be simple, but the sorry saga continued until today Tuesday 17th February when I finally placed an order and paid a £1,000 deposit on a a new Metallic (Night Blue) Volkswagoen Golf Hatchback e-Golf 5dr Auto.

I pushed the boat out with black leather seats and lots of extras, but did a good deal with Huntingdon Volkswagen and avoided the punitive deposit required from Robinsons.

The delivery date is 30th June but it is ordered.

I still have not driven the car but there are some nice reports from the USA and other more enlightened countries where I think they actually might want to sell electric cars.


Having decided to buy a VW Golf all-electric I have yet to test drive one (today is the 10th February).

At the time of writing there are 6 demonstrators, with the nearest now in Watford (123 miles away), and last week there were just 3, (Watford, Newcastle, and Scotland).

Our plan to test drive the e Golf in Southampton on the 18th of January was thwarted because the garage in Southampton had not plugged it in and we could not even start it up because it was blocked in. The sales team were pretty much uninterested and to get brochures we had to ask the lady on reception for them.

So what about our home town of Norwich and a Sunday test drive on the 1st Of February? After getting past the first sales person, who explained how the car was not popular due to its limited range,  I insisted I wanted to buy one anyway, but we were told the demonstrator was in Lowestoft. Phoning Lowestoft we were told the demonstrator was in Norwich. The next attempt to arrange a test drive on Monday morning was even less promising, as we were told that not only was the car in Norwich on the Sunday we wanted to test drive, but they had sold it and it was the only demonstrator. I was told they would order a new demonstrator and keep me updated, but when I phoned them today (a week and a bit later) I was told – ‘We have decided not to buy a demonstrator as they had had no enquiries for the car’.

In Belgium the same electric car sells for £23,325, which is £7,000 less than the UK price of £30,544, so even without the £5,000 plug-in grant funded by the UK taxpayer the car is £2,000 more in the UK. Unfortunately the plug-in grant can only be claimed by UK dealers who having added £7,000 to the selling price enjoy a £5,000 taxpayer hand-out, plus another £2,000 from me.

Hoping not to be thwarted, and having bought 2 imported cars before, I contacted a garage in Belgium and asked for a right hand drive car. I was told that since buying my imported cars, Belgium car dealers can not supply right hand drive cars.

Current demonstrators in the UK are:-

Citygate, Watford
Heritage, Bristol
Sinclair, Swansea
Inchcape, Stockport
Arnold Clark, Glasgow
Isaac Agnew, Belfast.