Think electric cars are all expensive? Think again. Our experts have picked out the cheapest electric cars available to buy or lease today. Read on if you're looking to buy an affordable electric car in 2024.
While electric cars are very much the flavour of the month with car companies, not everybody is convinced. Many motorists feel that electric cars cost too much to buy and lease compared with petrol or diesel models, even with the savings you make on running costs.
But that isn't necessarily the case, because the cheapest electric cars on sale might be more attainable than you think. New entrants to the market from brands such as Citroen, Fiat and MG have brought desirable electric cars to a lower price point, and you'll be surprised how capable and long-range the latest crop of affordable EVs are.
While the best electric cars might still command a premium over petrol or diesel equivalents, the gap is narrowing. Once you factor in the much lower running costs if you can charge on a a cheap overnight energy tariff at home you might actually save quite a considerable chunk of money by going electric.
There's been a flurry of new electric cars hitting the market in recent months, but we're continually updating this guide to the best and cheapest electric cars on sale today. The prices featured here are all accurate as of November 2023 but if you want an even better deal, we've also rounded up the best used electric cars you can buy as well as the cheapest electric cars to insure.
If you're ready to buy we've got over 4000 Used Electric Cars for Sale, while if you want more choice, we have over 70,000 Used Cars for Sale. if you're looking to save money, check out our guide to the Best Car Deals.
Cheapest electric cars 2024
1. Citroen Ami
Used prices from £6000
Forget cheapest electric cars for a second, the Citroen Ami is actually the cheapest new car on sale right now, and by some margin. Even if you head up to the top-spec Citroen Ami Tonic it'll cost £8695, which is thousands less than a Dacia Sandero in 2024. So what's the catch?
Well, we're playing very fast and loose with the word 'car' here. Technically the Citroen Ami is a quadricycle. While that term used to be used for a 'four-wheeled pedal bike', it's changed today. It means the Ami can be driven without a full driving licence by a 16 year-old, but it also means it's limited in use and doesn't have to pass the same kind of safety tests as a car.
As such, the Citroen Ami has an electric range of just 47 miles, but that doesn't really matter when the top speed is limited to a measly 28mph. You only get two seats, the only real equipment on offer is a heater and you can only charge it from a domestic plug socket.
Don't write off the funky little Ami, however. It's great fun to thread through town, costs pennies to run and is certainly more secure and safe than a moped when it comes to city commutes or leisure journeys. The Citroen Ami has its place - just don't expect too much.
2. Renault Zoe
Used prices from £6500
The Renault Zoe is one of the original electric cars, on sale since 2013. It’s been comprehensively updated in recent years, however, meaning it now has an incredible 245-mile range and optional CCS rapid charging, plus a higher-tech interior.
Prices for the Renault Zoe Techno model start from £31,195, rising to £31,995 for Iconic models. Earlier and cheaper models were available as an R110 model, but as of 2022 all models are the R135 with more power.
The more powerful model is slightly quicker, obviously, but range isn’t affected. Go for the R135 if you’re planning to cover long journeys as this one comes with CCS rapid charging. Buying used? The Renault Zoe starts from as little as £6500.
3. Nissan Leaf
Used prices from £7500
As more and more electric cars hit the market, the Nissan Leaf is starting to be eclipsed by some very desirable vehicles. It’s still an incredibly competent (and great value) choice, though, with enough space for all the family and a proven electric powertrain.
There are two models available: the standard Leaf and the Leaf+. The latter has a larger 62kWh battery, giving it a range of up to 239 miles, but it's no longer on sale as a new car. In fact, the Leaf is being phased out in 2024, but it's still a very solid choice.
So, it’s the standard car you’ll be looking at if you're buying new for now. This can cover 168 miles between charges from its 39kWh and is priced from £28,495. That’s not a great deal more than some much smaller alternatives, and it still comes pretty well equipped.
4. Smart EQ Fortwo
Used prices from £8500
Ever since the original Smart car arrived in the late 1990s, the Mercedes-Benz offshoot has produced vehicles with tiny footprints that cost peanuts to run. With Smart now an electric vehicle brand, the Smart Fortwo EQ makes perfect sense.
It has a range of up to 81 miles, which will be plenty for pottering around town. Unless you live in a pretty enormous town. There’s a Cabrio version, too, while the Smart EQ Forfour caters for those who need four seats (as its name suggests).
A new Smart Fortwo starts from around £22,000, making it one of the cheapest electric card you can buy today. If that's not enough to tickle your fancy, there are often some impressive deals available, while a nearly-new example could be yours for as little as £15,000.
5. MG ZS EV
Used prices from £12,500
Looking for an electric vehicle that is practical enough to replace your family car? Say hello to the MG ZS EV. It’s one of the new Chinese-built MGs, which represent very good value for money and come with generous equipment lists as standard.
MG provides a seven-year warranty and says the ZS was originally designed as an EV, and this means the electric version looks and feels identical to the standard car.
You also get an impressive 470 litres of luggage space - which is far more than you'll get in any of its EV rivals, like the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro. It's now offered with a bigger battery providing a range of up to 273 miles which is pretty impressive considering its £30,000 price tag.
6. Vauxhall Corsa Electric
Used prices from £12,500
It shows you how much the market has changed that the Vauxhall Corsa-e went from a seriously affordable electric car buy to being outclassed by a number of cars on this list. But that doesn't mean the electric Vauxhall doesn't deserve your attention, and a 2023 facelift (and a rebranding to the Vauxhall Corsa Electric) has brought it back into contention .
Priced from £32,905 new in Design form, the Corsa Electric is well-equipped from the off with LED headlights, rear parking sensors and keyless start. But used car buyers will be delighted to know that the earlier model starts from around £13,000 with a few years of wear and tear.
The Vauxhall Corsa Electric is well-made and offers a refined, comfortable and fun driving experience. It's agile around town, with punchy performance and an electric range of up to 222 miles using the 136PS motor and a 50kWh battery. Since the facelift, there's also a Long Range model with 156PS and a range of 256 miles.
If the Corsa Electric's design doesn't do it for you, then the Peugeot e-208 is another option. It's the same basic car underneath, but has a more striking appearance and an interior with higher-class finishes.
7. Mazda MX-30
Used prices from £13,500
Mazda likes to do things differently, so there was no doubt that its first electric vehicle would stand out against competitors. For a start, the Mazda MX-30 has a relatively small 33.5kWh battery, which means it can cover just 124 miles between charges according to official WLTP tests (and, likely, considerably less in reality).
That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. Smaller batteries are kinder to the environment (both to produce and recycle), while they're also a lot quicker to charge. Less than 30 minutes at a public rapid charger will top up the Mazda MX-30, while your home wall box.
What's more, the Mazda MX-30 has a fun driving experience, a neatly designed interior with quirky suicide doors and plenty of standard kit. It's priced competitively against other small SUVs, too, starting from just over £31k for the MX-30 Prime-Line model.
8. MINI Electric review
Used prices from £14,000
If you’re on a budget but still want a fashionable electric city car, you’ll be pleased to know the MINI Electric starts at 'just' £32,550. Which is kind of cheap for an electric car, especially one as on-trend as the MINI Electric.
It’s great to drive and has a plush interior, just like a standard petrol or diesel MINI. If anything it's even more fun to steer thanks to its impressive (and instant) performance on tap.
With a 143-mile range and the ability to rapid charge to 80% in just 36 minutes, the MINI Electric is a really easy-to-use electric car, if not the longest range one out there.
You can also customise it to make it look more or less like a conventional MINI – you can decide if you want to shout about your green credentials or not.
9. Fiat 500 Electric
Used prices from £14,000
The Fiat 500 first arrived in 2008 and has been a huge success for the Italian brand. For this third generation model, Fiat has made the bold decision of making it electric only – although you can still buy the old model as a budget new car choice.
Still one of the smallest cars on the road at just some 3.6m long, the Fiat 500 Electric starts at £28,195 in stylish Red form. You used to be able to buy a much cheaper model with a modest 24kWh battery which gives a 115 mile range, but today you can only order a bigger battery version with a 200-mile combined range.
Fiat's freshened up the 500's already stylish looks with some nice little touches, and while Action trim is pretty basic the Icon model gets niceties such as a 10.25-inch touchscreen with sat-nav and fancy styling add-ons.
10. Hyundai Kona Electric
Used prices from £14,500
The first incarnation of the Hyundai Kona Electric flew off the shelves, and we fully expect the second generation, released in 2023, to do the same. Prices start at £34,995 for the well-specced Advance model, up to £43,095 for the feature-packed Ultimate and the sporty N Line S.
You can choose from two versions – the standard model with 156PS and a range up to 234 miles, or the Long Range model which promises up to 319 miles and has a punchy 218PS.
With a spread of four trim levels, competitive pricing, an excellent reputation for reliability (and a cracking five-year warranty), coupled with decent electric range and excellent standard features, don't be surprised if you see a lot of the new Kona Electrics on the road.
11. Citroen e-C4
Used prices from £15,000
With some other electric cars increasing in price noticeably over the past year or so, the Citroen e-C4 has entered this list as a surprisingly affordable buy. It isn't just a cheap electric car, though, as it has lots of things to recommend it.
It's rugged SUV design certainly appeals, but it's actually more of a family hatchback. It sits alongside the regular petrol C4, and is cheaper than a number of electric city cars. But there's space for four adults to get comfort, and a decent 380-litre boot.
With an official range of up to 221 miles from the 136PS 50kWh model, or 260 miles from the 156PS 54kWh version, the Citroen e-C4 could well be used as your main family car. It also has impressive 100kW rapid charging capability for those longer journeys, while its big ace up its sleeve is its very comfortable and smooth ride. Even the entry-level model gets LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels and a 10-inch infotainment system with navigation, and it even has a heated steering wheel.
12. MG5 EV
Used prices from £15,500
If you want maximum bang for your buck, the MG5 EV is quite literally the most amount of electric car you can get for your money. For just under £31,000 you get an EV estate car that's 4.6m long and has more than enough space for all the family.
No, it isn't particularly lavishly trimmed or exciting to drive. But it's a lot less basic than you expect, with standard equipment including adaptive cruise control and a reversing camera. The cabin is roomy and comfortable, while a 479-litre boot is bigger than anything else here.
On the road the MG5 EV offers perky performance and a soft ride, but it isn't the last word in handling prowess. Early versions could be had with a smaller 52kWh battery offering a respectable 214-mile range, but as of 2024 new buyers will only get the 61kWh battery with up to 250 miles available on a charge. That's plenty for those longer family trips, and 50kW rapid charging is possible if you need to go further.
13. MG4 EV
Used prices from £17,000
A recent entry in our guide to the cheapest electric cars, the MG4 is the best budget electric car you can buy right now. It's the brand's first entry into the family hatchback sector and should be seen as a direct rival to the Volkswagen ID.3.
But while the ID.3 starts at £37,255, the MG4 starts at £26,995 and the top of the range MG4 in what's called Trophy Extended Range trim is priced at £36,495. Granted, it's a touch smaller than the ID.3 but the interior is finished nicely, has plenty of good tech and enough space for a growing family. It's also surprisingly good to drive, with tidy handling and a comfortable ride.
You're not compromised when it comes to electric range either, with even the most affordable MG4 capable of covering 218 miles before needing to be charged. Pick the Trophy Extended Range model and you'll get 323 miles on a single charge. The only downside is it's so new that you won't find many good used deals.
14. Ora Funky Cat
Used prices from £22,000
The Ora Funky Cat is a bit of a weird and wonderful entry into the world of electric cars. It's actually produced by Great Wall – one of China's biggest car manufacturers – and sold in the UK by IM Group (who also import Subaru and Isuzu models).
Once you get over the bizarre name (it's called the Good Cat in China), it's actually a pretty decent electric car. You get quirky looks, a feel-good and high-quality interior and quite a large car for your money. The Funky Cat comes with a 48kWh battery which provides a range of up to 193 miles, or a 63kWh battery that gives you up to 260 miles. A public rapid charger can top up the battery in around 45 minutes.
The current £31,995 start price is for the First Edition model, but we expect more affordable models to follow.
Cheapest Electric Car FAQs
If you're buying a new electric car then the cheapest one on sale is the Citroen Ami at £7695. Technically speaking it isn't a car, however, and it'll only do 28mph, so the next best thing is the Smart EQ For Two at just over £20,000.
It depends on your circumstances, but generally yes if you can charge it at home. Most electric car owners have cheap overnight energy tariffs allowing them to charge their electric car at a much cheaper rate than during the day. That's still far cheaper than filling up with fuel, but if you are unable to charge at home and have to use expensive public charging you may well find that your electric is car is barely any cheaper to run than an equivalent petrol or diesel car.
Modern electric cars should have no problems with longevity. Most come with a battery warranty of between five to eight years that covers you if the battery charge level drops below a certain point, but actually there are electric cars over 10 years old with very high mileage that still retain a healthy percentage of their battery performance.
What cheapest electric car is the best?
The best cheap electric car in the UK depends on your priorities, but we think the MG4 represents excellent value for money. Recently going on sale, it offers good performance, a long range, decent cabin quality, plenty of equipment and tech and a good driving experience.
Why do electric cars cost so much?
Even the cheapest electric cars tend to be more expensive than petrol or diesel rivals, but they’re coming down in price. The main reason why electric cars generally cost more is because they're produced in smaller numbers and the technology is newer, with manufacturers having to invest heavily in the development of electric cars. The big batteries are expensive, too. You can still buy a cheap electric car, with used EVs costing from as little as £5000, while new ones start from less than £30,000.
Will electric cars get cheaper?
Yes, we expect electric cars to get cheaper in the coming years. As manufacturers start producing electric cars in bigger quantities and the development costs are reduced, electric cars will become more affordable.
What's the best way to finance a new electric car?
If you're worried about depreciation when buying even a cheap electric car, you should consider leasing an EV or buying one on PCP - that way you can upgrade to a new model (with the latest tech) after three years or so.
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