Cheapest new electric cars

Fuel for thought: these are the cheapest new electric cars on offer in the UK

BuyaCar team
Jul 1, 2019
Renault Zoe front

The latest wave of electric cars are here. And they continue to become more practical, faster, and will go even longer between the sockets on a single charge.

They’re becoming more affordable too. When the Nissan Leaf first rocked up on the scene, it was around £10,000 more expensive than a Ford Focus. Today, new Leafs start at £27,995, while a similarly specced Ford Focus will set you back £21,905.

Even high-end electric cars are becoming cheaper. While a Tesla Model X can set you back £90,500, the company's new Model 3 starts from £38,050.

Oh, and there’s the Government electric car grant of £3,500, applicable when you buy an electric car. Admittedly, some manufacturers factor this grant into the pricing.

Below are the cheapest new electric cars to buy in the UK.

Cheapest new electric cars

1. Renault Twizy

Our pick Renault Twizy Expression (£6,690)
Battery Approx. £49 per month

The cheapest car on this list technically isn’t a car. It’s actually a ‘quadricycle’, something small vehicles like this are often classified as in order to skip out on some safety testing. The fact that it’s not classed as a car also means that it isn’t eligible for the £3,500 government grant.

It is at least cheap. Official range is around 62 miles, enough for most city dwellers. And Renault reckons it’ll only cost around a quid to charge up. The battery typically costs around £49 per month on a 36-month 6,000 mile finance agreement.

2. Citroen C-Zero

Our pick Citroen C-Zero (£17,020 including grant)
Battery Included in car’s price

The Citroen C-Zero was an electric car pioneer: on sale nine years ago at the same time as the Nissan Leaf, it was one of the first mainstream battery-powered cars that you could buy.

Unfortunately, it’s still on sale now when the Nissan Leaf has been replaced by an all-new model, and many more modern rivals have been launched. It means the C-Zero's gawky design looks old, and it feels it too. The small interior makes life uncomfortable for passengers and its real-world range of around 60 miles between recharging is woeful compared with competitors.

Those disadvantages do mean that there are large discounts available, and at a low price, the C-Zero makes more sense as a little city runaround.

3. Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

Our pick Smart EQ prime (£17,340 including grant)
Battery Included in car’s price

The Smart FourTwo is a city car that is actually better in electric form than in petrol. The battery-powered version is much nippier, so you lose less time dawdling in traffic, and it’s more enjoyable to drive.

The FourTwo has a very tight 6.95m turning circle, plus, it can be parked perpendicularly, saving you the hassle of parallel parking. Its official 100-mile range is acceptable, but does limit the car’s use for long journeys, where you’ll need to recharge after around 80 miles.

4. Renault Zoe

Our pick Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav R110 Z.E. 40 (£17,720 including grant)
Battery Buy for approx. £6,600 or lease from £59 to £110 per month

Updated for 2018, the latest Renault Zoe is now available in purple and also gets a more powerful 110hp motor, bringing faster acceleration particularly at motorway speeds. However, long journeys can take a while because it takes 1hr 40min to charge the batteries from empty to 80 per cent from a fast charger. A less-powerful 90hp model takes 65min. 

The Zoe is the only new car that gives you the choice of buying or leasing the battery. Which is best for you depends on how you use the car. If you’re buying a car, intend on keeping it for at least five years and cover more than 10,000 miles a year, it’s best to buy the battery too, as it’ll cost the same overall as leasing - and you get to keep it, so the car should be worth more.
Renault Zoe buying guide

A new Renault Zoe boasting a 242 mile range and a much improved interior is due out next year. Read about the new Renault Zoe.

5. Smart ForFour Electric Drive

Our pick Smart ForFour (£18,190 including grant)
Battery Included in car’s price

According to the King James bible God can both ‘giveth’ and ‘taketh’. Much the same can be said about Smart.

Smart has given the ForFour more space than the ForTwo. It has five doors and seating for four, meaning it’s a lot more practical than the ForTwo.

Yet, at the same time, it’s less practical than the ForTwo. Smart has taketh range away. It shares the same battery power as the ForFour - so will only do around 97 miles on a charge.

6. Hyundai Ioniq electric

Our pick Hyundai Ioniq Premium (£27,250 including grant)
Battery Included in car's price

In case you’re wondering, the Ioniq also comes in hybrid and plug-in hybrid flavours. The plug-in version should cover around 30 miles on a charge, while this fully electric model will do more like 130.

Its biggest rival is the Nissan Leaf below. The Leaf has more range, but the Ioniq is cheaper, and is more conventional in look and feel. It also comes with a five-year warranty.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric buying guide

7. Hyundai Kona EV

Our pick Hyundai Kona Electric SE (£27,250 including grant)
Battery Included in car's price

Beneath the body, the Kona shares much of its mechanical bits with the Kia e-Niro. Although the e-Niro is slightly more expensive, and not as good looking.

There are two batteries that drivers can choose from. The first is a 39kWh unit that can manage up to 180 miles if driven like a saint. This is the cheaper of the two, at £27,250. The larger battery version can provide up to 279 miles between charges and costs £32,845.
Kia Kona Electric buying guide

8. Nissan Leaf

Our pick Nissan Leaf Acenta (£27,995 including grant)
Battery Included in car’s price

The latest version of the Nissan Leaf may cost around £10,000 more than the Renault Zoe when brand new but your money buys more space, more technology, more power and more range. The battery is also included in the price.

One of the Leaf’s most interesting features is the ePedal, a single pedal that doubles as an accelerator and a brake. You accelerate by pressing the pedal and release it for mild braking, which charges the battery at the same time. If you need to stop in a hurry, then you’ll need to use the conventional brake pedal, which the car still has.

The Leaf has a real-world range of around 168 miles. It takes 7.5 hours to charge from empty using a 7.5kW home charger or 40 minutes from 0-80% using a 50kW fast charger.
Nissan Leaf buying guide

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