Cheapest electric cars 2023
Fuel for thought: these are the cheapest new electric cars on offer in the UK
The constant stream of new electric cars is continuing to flow, and the technology involved in making them seems to be progressing month by month, to the point where the latest models being introduced this year vastly outstrip those that launched even just a year ago. Electric cars continue to become more and more usable as day-to-day cars with ever increasing range per charge.
They’re slowly becoming more affordable as brand new cars, too. When the latest Nissan Leaf first arrived on the scene, it was around £10,000 more expensive than a Ford Focus. Today, a brand new Leaf starts from around £27,000, while a similarly equipped yet petrol-powered Ford Focus will set you back around £23,500, so the gap is beginning to close up. Needless to say, you could save thousands on both of these by going for a used car deal instead with BuyaCar.
Even high-end electric cars are becoming cheaper. A Tesla Model X will still quite easily cost more than £100,000 with a few options attached, but the company's new Model 3 starts from around £46,000. Meanwhile, the new Volkswagen ID.3 is now on sale with prices starting from around £30,000, they are coming into the reach of the masses, slowly.
Let's not forget there’s still the Government electric car grant of £2,500 to take advantage of as well. This discount is applicable when you buy a brand new electric car, although some manufacturers simply factor this grant into their pricing, so keep an eye out for that. If you're interested in seeing what's new on the electric car market, perhaps you might even be able to afford one of these yourself, read on for our list of the cheapest new electric cars in the UK.
Cheapest new electric cars
New from £7,695
Coming soon to our streets, the Citroen Ami is in with a chance of being the cheapest new car on sale, let alone the cheapest new electric car. Citroen is now officially going to sell the car in the UK, after receiving 12,000 expressions of interest from potential customers. Pricing starts from £7,695 (more than in France, where it starts at around £6,300), but it still undercuts the Dacia Sandero - one of Britain's cheapest new cars - by almost £5,000.
Admittedly, the Sandero is more of a car than the Ami, because the Ami isn’t really classed as a car at all. It’s a quadricycle, which means regulations for crash safety are much less strict, and in continental Europe you can drive one before you get your full licence (although that won’t be the case in the UK).
The Ami is unashamedly designed for the city, with a 46-mile range and a top speed of 28mph. It was initially pitched at car-share schemes, but will also be available to buy for private buyers.
It rivals another electric quadricycle that’s been on our roads for quite a while now, but the quirky Renault Twizy can hit the heady heights of 50mph - which will feel like 200mph in a buggy with no proper doors. The Twizy was around double the price of the Ami, though, and it's no longer on sale new.
The ForTwo is now only available in electric form, making the EQ model the only one you can buy new. This is an understandable move because this tiny car is definitely at its best nipping around congested city centres which, thanks to the introduction of ULEZ and alike, are no place for petrol-powered cars these days.
The EQ ForTwo has a very tight 6.95m turning circle, plus, it can be parked perpendicularly, saving you the hassle of parallel parking. An official WLTP range of around 80 miles from the 18kWh battery is very usable, too, providing you have the capability to charge it on a daily basis.
We have one rather large issue with this car though, the price. More than £20,000 for a car this small with just two seats feels extortionate.
The Fiat 500 is now available as a fully electric model. It’s a new generation of the 500, although you’ll still be able to buy the existing mild hybrid 500 as a cheaper alternative. Still, the electric Fiat 500’s starting price of less than £30,000 is reasonable, especially if you can take advantage of a cheap electricity tariff to recharge on.
Entry-level Action versions, with no touchscreen media system, and a smaller battery setup, have ended production, which means you'll now have to pay more for a higher trim level unless you're willing to buy used.
These models get a 199-mile range which is reasonable by today's standards, though this is no long-distance cruiser. The 500 Cabrio is technically one of the only electric convertibles on sale.
The reborn MG brand now offers two electric cars (with a third on the way) and a plug-in hybrid, and all are focused on being better value than their competitors. Its electric cars - the MG 5 estate and the MG ZS EV - offer plenty of equipment for not a lot of money (compared with their rivals, at least). The MG 5 is based on a Chinese car called the Roewe Ei5, and was the first electric estate on sale in the UK.
It offers a range of over 200 miles in Long Range form, plus a practical interior and nippy acceleration. Two versions of the MG 5 are available, with one getting key features and the other adding luxury bits like keyless entry and heated seats.
New from £30,450
Used deals Limited stock
Beneath the body, the Hyundai Kona Electric shares much of its mechanical bits with the Kia e-Niro. Although the e-Niro is slightly more expensive, though.
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, the larger battery version can provide up to 279 miles between charges but that will cost more than £35,000 when new.
The latest version of the Nissan Leaf is a much more conventional successor to the original Leaf. Bear in mind that this car now costs the same as the latest Renault Zoe, but your money buys more space, more technology, more power and more range.
It again features the innovative ePedal, a single pedal that allows you to control the speed of the car with one foot. You accelerate by pressing the pedal, then release it for mild regenerative braking which charges the battery and slows the car down. 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 around 6 hours to charge from empty using a 7kW home charger or 40 minutes from 0-80% using a 50kW fast charger. If the concept of charging an electric car baffles you, our handy guide lays it out in simple terms.
New from £28,555
Used deals Limited stock
The latest version of the Corsa, launched in 2020, was Vauxhall's first attempt at an electric car, built alongisde the Peugeot e-208. Both have since gone on to launch crossovers, too, all using the same 136hp electric motor and 50kWh battery pack which is good for around 200 miles in all four models.
The Corsa-e's current entry point is GS Line, which comes with a seven-inch touchscreen media system, rear parking sensors, and push-button start. It costs £28,555, but cheaper versions were previously available in SE trim helping to keep the cost even lower. There are plenty of these available to buy used, which not only represent great value for money but cut the wait time on a new model too.
New from £31,000
Used deals Limited stock
The Mini Electric also makes for a great, affordable electric car. It was once available for below £30,000, but has been subject to the industry-wide price rises. In the now entry-level Level 2 spec, it costs £31,000, but this comes with an 8.8-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera, and heated seats in the front, so it's not short on kit.
It's quite punchy thanks to a 184hp electric motor, but it's best suited to towns and cities where its fairly small 33kWh battery will do just over 140 miles according to official figures. Another bonus is that it's one of the most economical electric cars available today, especially at this point, where it can average more than 4mi/kWh.
*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:
48 monthly payments of £192
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.