The electric car segment is growing thick and fast with new models being added all the time. In fact, with this rapid rate of expansion, there are more options than eve...
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).
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.