Cheapest used electric cars

Cut-price recharging, free road tax - and the cars start at just over £100 per month: these are the cheapest used electric cars

BuyaCar team
Oct 11, 2019

They might be cheap to run, but electric cars have a reputation of being expensive to buy, which isn't helped by some substantial price tags being slapped on the most desirable - and therefore well known - electric models.

The Jaguar I-Pace, for example, costs from more than £60,000, to say nothing of the Tesla Model X, which can easily exceed £100,000 with a few additional options.

But below the flashier end of the market sit plenty of far cheaper alternatives. These won't break the bank to buy or to finance, and will also come with the cheap recharging costs, zero road tax, and low company car tax associated with electric cars.

At the moment, the cheapest electric cars from BuyaCar start at £7,990 or from £133 per month on finance. You'll usually find that the very cheapest cars require you to lease the battery, adding an additional amount to your monthly payments

A word of warning about electric cars; just like with mobile phones, battery life reduces significantly the more the battery is used. Most manufacturers offer a five to ten year battery life warranty, or around 60-100,000 miles. If the battery reduces below a certain percentage rate (depending on the manufacturer) the manufacturer will have to replace the battery.


Cheapest used electric cars

1. Renault Zoe

Latest Renault Zoe deals from £7,990
Monthly finance from £133

If you like the idea of electric motoring but don't want to shout about it, the Renault Zoe could be for you. It looks just like any petrol or diesel-powered small car, the only giveaway being the large blue bonnet badge concealing its charging point.

It’s a roomy car that can easily seat five people, although rear passengers do sit higher than normal because the batteries are tucked away under the back seat. The 338-litre boot is bigger than a Renault Clio's, so it’s quite practical. The Zoe is good to drive, with brisk acceleration from a standing start. It leans a little in corners and will thump harshly over some potholes but on the whole, it’s perfectly comfortable.

Older cars have a 22kWh battery with a real-world range of around about 100 miles. More recent ones have a bigger 41kWh battery for 180 miles of driving between charges. Most Zoes require you to lease the battery separately, from £49 per month (£59 for 41kWh batteries). Versions badged ‘i’ include the battery but are more expensive.

Renault Zoe buyers' guide

2. Nissan Leaf

Latest Nissan Leaf deals from £8,950
Monthly finance from £154

The car that started the electric revolution has a loyal following. People like its roomy, practical interior, comfortable driving experience and decent 100-mile range between charges that you can realistically expect.

At 370 litres the boot is around the same size as a VW Golf’s and will comfortably swallow a week’s family shopping. If you need more load space, it’s possible to fold down the rear seats.

The only real downside to Leaf ownership is the model’s ungainly looks. It can’t be a coincidence that the all-new version launched in early 2017 looks more conventional.

Nissan Leaf buyers' guide

3. BMW i3

Latest BMW i3 deals from £17,980
Monthly finance from £250

Even though the car first went on sale four years ago, the BMW i3 still looks futuristic, thanks to its oddly-shaped windows, rear-opening back doors and squat bonnet that doesn’t need to accommodate an engine.

The interior is up to he quality standards of any other BMW and it drives fairly nimbly too, with that fast electric acceleration and good grip in corners, which allow you to drive confidently.

The range of the original car is around 100 miles but that was extended to 125 miles from early 2017 with the 94Ah model. For more range, there's the more expensive range-extender version (current BuyaCar prices start at £17,980). This has a small supplementary petrol engine that powers the electric motor should the batteries run out of charge.

BMW i3 buyers' guide

4. Hyundai Ioniq

Latest Hyundai Ioniq deals from £22,490
Monthly finance from £329

The Ioniq is full-size family car that comes in three versions: a hybrid, combining a petrol engine with an electric motor; the plug-in hybrid which can be charged to provide pure electric motoring for around 30 miles. Finally, there’s the full-electric Ioniq. This has a real-world range of around 130 miles on a full charge. It’s quiet around town and on the open road, and accelerates quickly, too.

Although it costs more than an equivalent Nissan Leaf, the Ioniq feels more upmarket, with a high level of standard equipment and more conventional interior, which helps to justify the cost. Being a Hyundai, it comes with a five-year warranty from new which means a 2017-registered model still has four years’ cover remaining.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric buyers' guide

5. VW e-Golf

Latest VW e-Golf deals from £21,999
Monthly finance from £290

For the ultimate in understated electric motoring, you’ll want the Volkswagen e-Golf. You’d be hard pushed to tell it apart from its petrol and diesel equivalents, which is a large part of its appeal.

It feels like a traditional Golf to drive, too: solid, composed and steady in corners. Being an electric car, it zooms away from a standstill and can cruise at 70mph on the motorway without difficulty.

Saying that, high speeds will reduce the battery’s range. In average motoring, the e-Golf’s range is around 125 miles, compared with VW’s official claim of 186 miles.

Volkswagen e-Golf buyers' guide


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