Nicole Galliene is a dog groomer and mum of two living in rural Devon. We spoke to her to find out why she traded her expensive, unreliable diesel car for an electric car subscription with Onto, and what it’s been like to make the switch.
Our family car before was a Honda CR-V. It was big, heavy, expensive and unreliable. The last straw was when it broke down on my daughter’s first day of school.
Stuck at home, half an hour’s drive away from the school gates and unable to pick my daughter up, I knew something had to change. And quickly. It was a very stressful start to our EV journey!
I’d seen the advertisements for Onto and the idea of driving an electric car appealed. I’m a dog groomer in rural Devon, and while I can walk to work, we drive around 250 hours a week on the school run alone.
Ten months ago, the cost of diesel was already going up and my partner’s insurance was very expensive.
When we looked at the numbers, joining Onto turned out to be cheaper than running our Honda. And we’d get to drive a brand new, reliable car that’s good for the environment. It felt like a no-brainer.
The subscription model appealed because we didn’t need to put down a huge deposit, and it was one payment every month with everything included. That made it easy to budget for and it was nice to know there wouldn’t be any unwelcome surprises.
When we were driving the Honda, there was always the threat of an unexpected repair bill, which would put a lot of pressure on us, particularly with the cost of living rising.
I also like the fact that Onto takes the hassle and administration out of having a car. For example, I don’t have to worry about organising my insurance premium, breakdown cover or road tax. It’s all taken care of.
Initially I wasn’t sure whether an electric vehicle (EV) was going to suit our lifestyle, particularly because we’re in a rented house and can’t charge a car at home. So that was another reason why Onto made sense – we could try an EV without tying ourselves to a car in the long term if it didn’t work for us.
We chose the Renault Zoe GTI, and it’s been nice and easy to drive. Fortunately, there’s an Instavolt charging station a stone’s throw from home that we use all the time. I think it’s normal to be concerned about whether you’ll run out of charge occasionally, but we’ve never got close and have always been pleasantly surprised by how many miles we get out of a single charge. We’re actually planning a trip up to the Lake District this summer.
I also didn’t expect the car to be so speedy! It took us a while to realise how to take it out of Eco mode, but now we have, that extra boost is really helpful when you need to overtake tractors on narrow country lanes.
And I like the fact that I know I’m not polluting the planet. When we do the school run, I can sit in the car with the air conditioning running, and my one-year-old son in the back, and I don’t have to worry about pumping out emissions while children are walking past. It’s so nice and clean.
I would highly recommend Onto to everyone. My daughter’s dad actually joined a couple of months after we did because he saw what a great experience we were having. I think he might swap his car for a new one soon. But we’re sticking with our Renault Zoe for now. I can’t believe we didn’t make the change sooner.
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- Why electric car subscriptions have caught the attention of tech-savvy Millennials: Car subscription is getting more popular and millennials in particular are attracted to the way it offers access to the latest EVs without the cost, commitment, or headaches of traditional car ownership models.
This is the future of driving
Find out everything you need to know about the latest innovation in car ownership in our latest guide: Car subscription explained.
For an all-in monthly fee, you can enjoy all the benefits of car ownership, but none of the hassle.