Best electric cars
With more than 850,000 electric cars thought to be on British roads, these models are far from being niche. According to the latest registration data, almost one in six new cars sold are now fully electric, and more are expected to make the switch in the coming months and years.
When new, though, electric cars are expensive, and more so than the equivalent petrol and diesel car in almost every case.
However, don’t think this means you can’t afford an electric car, as thanks to steep depreciation on used EVs in recent months, it means there are some sensational deals to be had by shopping used.
But what are the best used electric cars available? Let’s take a look.
The Nissan Leaf was the first true mass-market electric car when it launched back in 2011, and if you’re looking for the cheapest way into driving a used EV, you’ll struggle to better than this Nissan. That’s because you’re now able to pick up an early example from as little as £4,500, though admittedly early EV battery technology limits the range to around 70 miles.
If your budget allows, we’d instead recommend a newer, second-generation model, which was introduced in 2018. It’s more stylish, bigger, better to drive and gets a far more convincing claimed range of 168 miles (or 239 miles with the optional E+ battery). With prices starting from £11,000 for a 2018 example, you get a lot of car for your money.Search for a used Nissan Leaf
BMW was quite a trend-setter when it came to electric cars, introducing its funky i3 back in 2013. Though a decade has past since then, it remains a forward-thinking EV, with a cool design and interior that uses various recycled materials – an idea many car firms are only adopting today.
Early i3s will not have the longest of ranges (likely around 100 miles in real-world conditions), but if you don’t do a lot of miles, they’re certainly worth a look. Especially as you can now pick up an earlier car for less than £10,000.Search for a used BMW i3
Fiat’s 500 has been a popular car around the city ever since it was revived back in 2008. Since 2021, its appeal has only been expanded thanks to the introduction of an electric model, often known as the 500e.
Built around a specific electric car platform, it’s great to drive and gets a lot of impressive technology, especially considering its small size. Though a new 500e will set you back £28,000, you can pick up a two-year-old example for around £15,500. Preferably, look for a model with the larger 42kWh battery, as these bring a much longer electric range of up to a claimed 199 miles.Search for a used Fiat 500 electric
Hyundai Kona Electric
Hyundai has established itself as a key contender in the electric car world, and the car that helped to get it noticed was the Kona Electric. Introduced in 2018, it was the first affordable EV that could travel 300 miles on a charge. Though Hyundai has recently introduced a brand-new model, the outgoing car still has a lot going for it, especially with used prices starting from just £14,500.
Just make sure to pick the longer 64kWh battery to get that long range as a smaller 39kWh version was offered, albeit they’re fairly rare. With generous equipment levels and brisk acceleration, the Kona has a lot going for it.Search for a used Hyundai Kona Electric
The Jaguar I-Pace was one of the first electric SUVs to hit the market in 2018, and was great to drive, looked the part and impressively practical. With Jaguar hardly revising this EV since then, and it remaining on sale, you’ll no worse off for choosing an older version.
With a claimed range of up to 298 miles, there’s plenty of scope for longer trips too. It’s exceptional value for money as well, with a three-year-old I-Pace available from £23,500. For contrast, a new I-Pace will set you back £70,000.Search for a used Jaguar I-Pace
MG has cornered the affordable end of the electric car segment, and is doing exceptionally well as a result. If you want value, it doesn’t get much better than the MG5, especially on the used market. It remains one of only a handful of electric car estate cars on the market, bringing plenty of space and something different to the trend of SUVs.
It’s not the most desirable of EVs, but makes up for that with its surprisingly composed driving experience and generous equipment. You also get a range of 214 miles on early cars, increasing to 250 miles on later examples. With used prices starting from £14,000 for a two-year-old example, the MG5 is an exceptional used buy.Search for a used MG5
Vauxhall Corsa Electric
Speaking of great used buys, we have the Vauxhall Corsa Electric. New, this supermini costs an eye-watering £32,000, but if you’re happy to shop used, a three-year-old example can be picked up from £13,000.
Sold alongside petrol versions, this latest Corsa is the best yet, with a smart exterior design and refined interior. A claimed electric range of up to 222 miles and fast charging speeds makes this Vauxhall a very attractive used electric car.Search for a used Vauxhall Corsa Electric
Renault was another early entrant into the electric car world, with its Zoe arriving back in 2013. This supermini is a similar size to the Clio, but roomier and better-equipped. It’s another EV that can be picked up for as little as £5,000, though these early examples will have a poor range, likely of only around 70 miles.
We would recommend a newer model, however, particularly the newer model, sold from 2020 onwards. Packing a more modern interior and a range of up to 239 miles, it’s a great choice, especially with prices starting from just £11,000 for a three-year-old car.Search for a used Renault Zoe
Tesla Model 3
Tesla continues to lead the way in the electric car world, with a brand image most brands could only dream of. Its EVs offer long ranges, rapid performance and easy access to its fantastic Supercharger network of chargers.
You might expect them to be expensive, but they’re becoming more affordable, with a Tesla Model 3 now available from around £20,000. You can expect a range of close to 300 miles for that too.Search for a used Tesla Model 3
Seat Mii Electric
The Seat Mii Electric is one of the rarer EVs, as it was only sold briefly between 2020 and 2021, and right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, which slowed sales. But if you can find a used example of this city car, it’s a fantastic buy.
With used prices starting from just £10,000, and a claimed range of 160 miles, it’s no more expensive than a petrol city car of the same age. The Mii Electric is also good to drive and far roomier than you’d expect something of this size to be.Search for a used Seat Mii Electric
Prices correct at time of publication [09/2023].