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There’s never been a better time to get a good value electric car. On the market today, there’s a great range of EVs at affordable prices that come well-equipped with all manner of high-tech features. Of course, you still have your super EVs like the Tesla Model S and Jaguar i-Pace that cost from and above £60K-£100K. Yet lower priced electric cars can still offer great performance and excellent range (check out our top 10 list of the Best Long Range Electric Cars to learn more).

Choosing an Electric Car

Whilst electric cars typically cost a bit more in the short term compared to petrol and diesel vehicles, they do promise much lower running costs and can offer excellent long-term value. They’re eco-friendly to boot, which is great for the planet and for generations to come.

Typically, electric cars are:

  • Very well-equipped as standard, proving good value for money
  • Very cheap to run, saving money in the long term
  • Packed with clever driver assistance systems and high-tech kit
  • Cheaper to service and maintain as there are less-complex moving parts
  • Exempt from road tax and the London congestion charge as they offer zero CO2 emissions
  • Eligible for a government grant and/or an interest free loan to help cover the cost of purchase and the installation of a dedicated home charge point

Save Money by Hiring the Battery

What if you want to go electric, but your budget doesn’t cover the asking price? You could reduce the upfront cost of the initial purchase of some electric cars, such as the Renault Zoe, by choosing to hire the battery. By doing so:

  • You’ll get around £5-6K off the starting price
  • You’ll pay a monthly bill instead, between £50-£120 depending on your expected annual mileage
  • You often get a battery performance guarantee to at least 75% of its original capacity, where the manufacturer will repair or replace it
  • You can still sell the car – the new owner will simply take over the agreement

The Top 10 Best Value EVs

The cars on this list all offer a reasonably low starting price and plenty of high-tech kit as standard, proving EVs can be affordable for everyone. Read on to find the best electric car for your money.

1. Renault Zoe

One of the cheapest EVs on sale, the Renault Zoe packs in an incredible number of features for its relatively cheap starting price. In fact, the car is one of the top electrics you can buy, coming in second place in our top 10 of The Best Electric Cars in the UK.  It offers an excellent driving range of 250 miles and quick recharge times. If you opt for the reasonably priced Dynamique Nav trim, you get a lot for your money – from rear parking sensors and electric windows to a 7-inch touchscreen, a sat nav and DAB radio.

Best features:

  • Great value for money
  • Excellent driving range
  • Well-equipped as standard

2. Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf has proved to be a top performer in numerous categories, coming in first place in our top 10 of The Best Electric Cars in the UK and The Best Electric Cars for New Drivers. It’s slightly more expensive than the Renault Zoe and its range isn’t as good at 235 miles, which is why it sits in second place. Yet, the Leaf is still a great electric car. In its favour, it offers quick recharge times, and – like the Zoe – you can choose to lease the car battery, knocking a substantial amount off the starting price.

Best features:

  • Best in its class
  • Good to drive
  • Well-equipped as standard

3. Hyundai Ioniq Electric

The Hyundai Ioniq is also available as a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid, which lowers the cost for buyers as well. Although, we’re just looking at the electric model here. The car is well-priced enough to compete with the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf. But despite this its driving range of 174 miles doesn’t match its rivals. However, it’s well-equipped as standard with useful tech like a reversing camera, parking sensors, cruise control and a touchscreen infotainment system that features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. On top of that, a 7kW home wall charger will recharge the car in less than 5 hours.

Best features:

  • Well-equipped as standard
  • Quick recharge time
  • Good to drive

4. BMW i3

At around £30K, the BMW i3 has a higher starting price than most of the cars on this list, but you get a great all-round package. In addition, you can find used models with low mileage for half the price – and they tend to prove excellent value for money. The car has a good driving range of up to 160 miles, it has superb build quality with a healthy dose of refinement, and it looks stylish. Like the Nissan Leaf, the BMW i3 has regenerative braking too, which allows you to drive the car with just one pedal.

Best features:

  • Used models prove excellent value
  • Good driving range
  • Stylish with an attractive interior

5. Hyundai Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona is another EV that comes in just below the £30K mark, but for your money you get a lot of car. First, the Kona has class-leading range, offering a fantastic 300 miles. Next, add a generous equipment list and you have a great value electric car. As standard, you get cruise control, lane keeping assistance, hill start assistance, a reversing camera, Bluetooth and a DAB radio. It’s not the best car on this list to drive, but it does provide decent handling and a good amount of punch for city driving. Its selling-points certainly outweigh the criticisms, and you could even argue that the range alone makes the Kona worth it.

Best features:

  • Fantastic driving range
  • Generous level of equipment
  • Quick to recharge

6. Volkswagen e-Up

The Volkswagen Up is an excellent budget city car that proves good value for money. Whilst it’s a little more expensive, the electric e-Up version is just as impressive and for that extra cost you get those cheaper day-to-day running costs and a lot of tech as standard. Expect cruise control, rear parking sensors, sat nav, a DAB radio and more. The e-Up performs very closely to its petrol counterpart, although against rivals its range of around 99 miles isn’t the best. However, the car can be charged in six hours with the optional fast charger. If you need an affordable city car, the e-Up is a capable performer.

Best features:

  • Well-equipped
  • Performs as good as the standard VW UP!
  • Quick recharge time

7. Volkswagen e-Golf

The Volkswagen e-Golf is similar in price to the BMW i3 and offers a premium build. It’s tough to gauge the value of a used e-Golf at the moment as the car hasn’t taken off particularly well compared to rivals. Yet, second-hand cars do appear to have held their value. Buying new, the VW e-Golf comes kitted out with front and rear parking sensors, full LED headlights and a 9.2-inch touchscreen with sat nav, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If you like the standard Golf, you’ll be pleased to know the e-Golf retains all the best parts of that car.

Best features:

  • Driving range of 144 miles
  • Performs as good as the standard Golf
  • Well-equipped as standard

8. Toyota Prius

Ok, this is a little bit of a cheat, as the Toyota Prius is a hybrid. Nevertheless, it proves good value for money. Buyers will be impressed by an excellent list of safety features that come as standard, from road sign recognition, to a lane departure warning system with corrective steering control. You also get cruise control, a reversing camera, dual-zone climate control and more. In addition, the Prius has good fuel economy at 94.1mpg and low CO2 emissions at 70g/km. If that wasn’t enough, it has a good level of reliability too.

Best features:

  • Well-equipped as standard
  • Great safety tech
  • Good reliability

9. Citroen C-Zero

The Citroen C-Zero offers lots of space for four adults, a pleasantly smooth ride and handling that is quick and responsive. It’s a small car ideal for day-to-day city driving, something demonstrated by its range of around 93 miles. However, there are better alternatives on the market, like the Renault Zoe and the Nissan Leaf, which perform better and aren’t that much more expensive. Also, whilst the C-Zero more than matches the standard equipment list of fossil fuel vehicles, the kit on offer doesn’t match its rivals. However, in its favour is the low starting price as one of the cheapest electric cars on sale.

Best features:

  • Low starting price
  • Good handling
  • Spacious cabin for its size

10. Smart EQ ForFour

Like the Citroen C-Zero, the Smart EQ ForFour doesn’t perform as well against rivals like the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe. Similarly, its range is around 96 miles, indicating its use primarily as a city car – and that is where it performs well. Surprisingly, it’s quite an enjoyable car to drive. It’s nippy, agile and with a lightness that makes cornering fun and involved. It also has decent boot space at 185 litres. However, like other cars in the Smart range, you’re either a fan of its simple styling or not, and due to the stiff competition, it’s tough to recommend the ForFour over similarly priced EVs. To end on a positive, it does come well-equipped as standard.

Best features:

  • Great personalisation options
  • Great to drive around town
  • Well-equipped as standard
Back to articles January 3, 2019

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