When new, electric cars tend to command a premium. Fortunately, EVs have been on sale for longer than you might expect, so some of the best electric cars are now filtering into the used market where they offer the same great technology and low running costs at a fraction of the price when new.

In this article, we’re going to take a look through some of the best used electric cars available.

Why should you buy a used electric car?

There’s a lot of chatter about electric cars at the moment, but if you’re teetering on the point of making the switch, then what are the main positives?

Chief among them is running costs. Even with energy costs being higher at the moment, it’s still extremely cheap to run an electric car – particularly if you’re able to top up at home.

Electric vehicles also produce no emissions, so they’re great for reducing localised pollution. They’re also exempt from the vast majority of emissions zones – including London’s ULEZ – so there’s no penalty for driving them in urban areas.

Finally, there are the maintenance costs. Electric vehicles have considerably fewer moving parts than a petrol or diesel car, so they’re comparatively cheaper to maintain.

What should you consider before buying a used electric car?

There are quite a few things to consider before opting for an electric car. The main point concerns charging. If you’ve got off-street parking and a driveway, then you’ll find charging an electric vehicle easy. You can get a charge point installed – you’ll have to include the price for this in your initial budgeting – but once you’re done, topping up is a breeze.

If you don’t have a driveway, then you’ll need to think about how you’ll top up an EV. It’s worth doing some research on your nearest charge points, as well as how much they charge per connection. Public chargers are generally more expensive than home ones, so make sure that you’ve done your sums correctly in this area.

An EV is also a lifestyle change, so you’ll need to plan journeys out more carefully and get up to speed with how chargers operate.

What types of electric cars are available?

Because the demand for EVs has exploded in recent years, there are far more types than ever before. There are a variety of body styles amongst the best used electric cars, so you’re sure to find something that matches your needs.

Early EVs were generally small, compact and well suited to city driving, but more recent versions have leant towards larger, more SUV-focused shapes and sizes. Companies like MG have also produced their own electric estate cars which combine that battery-powered setup with a more practical body style.

However, electric estates are in the minority – you’ll find much more variety when shopping for the likes of small electric cars and SUVs. You’ll also find a better variety of ranges and in-car technologies if you check out these areas of the market, too.

The best used electric cars

  • Tesla Model 3
  • BMW i3
  • Jaguar I-PACE
  • Volkswagen e-Golf
  • Nissan LEAF
  • Kia e-Niro
  • MG ZS EV
  • SEAT Mii Electric
  • Hyundai Kona Electric
  • Vauxhall Corsa-e

1. Tesla Model 3 (2017-Present)

Despite more competition than ever, Tesla’s electric cars remain at the top of their respective segments.

It was the mid-size Model 3 saloon that really saw this American EV brand’s sales grow, and with prices for used examples becoming more affordable, it represents great value.

The Model 3 is packed full of technology and eclipses almost any EV of this price for both range and performance. You also get access to Tesla’s fantastic ‘Supercharger’ network of EV chargers, which are dotted across the country. Tesla is the only firm to have its own chargers.

Best Features

  • Standard Range’ can manage 264 miles on a charge
  • ‘Long Range’ models can achieve up to 348 miles
  • Strong acceleration performance on all models

2. BMW i3 (2014-2022)

BMW was one of the early pioneers when it came to usable, attractive and attainable electric cars, and introduced the i3 in 2013. Available as an EV or a hybrid range-extender, which features a small petrol engine, the latter was later discontinued as buyers realised the benefits of going fully electric.

Production of the i3 ended in 2022 but it still continues to look modern and futuristic, even a decade after it was first introduced. Its light and airy interior, filled with sustainably-sourced materials, wouldn’t look out of place on a new EV launched today.

Look out for a model from 2018 onwards, though, as this brings a much larger battery that allows a claimed range of 186 miles.

Best Features

  • Able to hold its own against newer EVs
  • Range of up to 186 miles on later cars
  • Great value on the used market

3. Jaguar I-PACE (2018-Present)

Jaguar’s first and only electric car, the I-PACE arrived in 2018 and proved to be an impressively capable model. Arriving ahead of rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the I-PACE features a stylish look inside and out, though the cabin is starting to look a bit dated compared to its rivals.

The I-PACE boasts an electric range of up to 292 miles, while its powerful dual motor powertrain allows for a 0 to 62mph sprint time of just 4.5 seconds.

While a new I-PACE has a starting price of around £70,000, used examples can be had for much less, allowing you to experience a Jaguar for a fraction of this price.

Best Features

  • The I-PACE is great to drive and stylish inside and out
  • Claimed electric range of 292 miles, though it can’t charge as quickly as newer EVs
  • Terrific used buy due to its steep initial depreciation

4. Volkswagen e-Golf (2014-2020)

Volkswagen’s Golf is known as being the ‘car for the people’, and that’s what the German firm managed to carry through to the EV world with its all-electric variant, the e-Golf.

Looking almost identical to the standard seventh-generation Golf hatchback inside and out, albeit with subtle differentiation, it’s ideal for those wanting an unintimidating EV that is easy to ‘learn’.

First introduced in 2014, the later 2018 (and onwards) models are the best to go for as they get a larger battery and longer range – Volkswagen claims 144 miles to a charge.

Best Features

  • The e-Golf is a practical EV that is very easy to live with.
  • Generous standard equipment – including adaptive cruise control, large media system and LED headlights.
  • Volkswagen claims a range of up to 144 miles (on 2018 onwards models).

5. Nissan LEAF (2018-Present)

The Nissan LEAF was the first true mass-market EV, and was the most popular electric car across the UK for several years.

First introduced in 2011, a second-generation model followed in 2018, with both being manufactured at Nissan’s large Sunderland factory. The best value will be found within second-generation models (2018 onwards) thanks to better tech and more modern looks, but first-generation examples are well worth considering if you’re working on a tighter budget.

Early LEAFs get a small battery with a real-world range of around 70 miles, but the latest models are capable of 200-plus miles from a charge.

Best Features

  • The first mass-market electric car
  • Great value on the used market
  • Practical interior makes the LEAF a capable family car.

6. Kia e-Niro (2019-2022)

Kia has become one of the most well-respected electric car manufacturers, and a key part of this came from the introduction of the e-Niro in 2019.

Thanks to a good-sized 64kWh battery, Kia claims a range of up to 282 miles, and unlike some other EVs, the e-Niro’s range is trustworthy and quite easily achievable in careful driving. This Kia is practical and represents good value for money, with the majority of used examples benefitting from the remainder of Kia’s 7-year warranty when new.

The e-Niro can also be bought as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid if you want something more familiar.

Best Features

  • The e-Niro boasts an electric range of up to 282 miles.
  • Generous standard equipment, including adaptive cruise control, 8.0-inch touchscreen and reversing camera.
  • Remainder of Kia’s 7-year warranty will be included.

7. MG ZS EV (2019-Present)

MG has really earned itself a reputation for its value-packed electric cars, and these have helped this brand to go from strength to strength. It now sells more cars a year than the likes of Peugeot and Skoda.

It was the ZS EV that helped to kick off its electric car success. Launched in 2019, it was the first truly affordable and usable electric SUV, making it one of the best electric cars for families.

The ZS EV was updated in late 2021, adopting larger batteries that allowed for a claimed range of up to 273 miles.

Best Features

  • Introduced in 2019, with a 163-mile range model.
  • Updated in late 2021 with two new powertrains – larger 72kWh battery allows for claimed 273 miles.
  • Great value on the used market, and you’ll still have the remainder of MG’s 7-year warranty, too.

8. SEAT Mii Electric (2019-2021)

SEAT’s first and only EV was an electric version of the brand’s popular Mii city car.

The Mii’s small size makes it a fantastic city car, as it’s very easy to drive and park with sensors and a reversing camera coming as standard. It’s also surprisingly practical, while a 160-mile range is very respectable for a car of this size.

You may also want to consider the Skoda CITIGOe IV and Volkswagen e-up!, as they feature very similar approaches, yet slightly different styling.

Best Features

  • Very popular, despite only being on sale for a short period.
  • Range of 160 miles is excellent for a car of this size.
  • Affordable prices make the Mii Electric a very attractive used buy.

9. Hyundai Kona Electric (2018-2023)

The Hyundai Kona Electric was a milestone EV, being the first model to break through the 300-mile range barrier, while still being sold at an affordable price.

First introduced in 2018, there was limited availability in the first couple of years, so most examples you’ll see will be 2020 or newer.

The Kona is a funky crossover that offers a decent amount of interior space, while standard equipment levels are generous as well.

Best Features

  • 64kWh batteries offer a staggering 300-mile-plus range.
  • Great value for money
  • Generous equipment levels, regardless of which version you choose.

10. Vauxhall Corsa-e (2020-Present)

A signal that electric cars are entering the mainstream is when a mass-market nameplate like the Vauxhall Corsa becomes available as an EV. That’s what happened in 2020 with the introduction of the Corsa-e.

Bringing a claimed range of 222 miles and no compromise on practicality compared to a petrol Corsa, it’s a very attractive EV that makes a lot of sense on the used market.

New, the cheapest Corsa-e you can get is £32,000, but examples on the used market can be had for much less and prove to be a great entry-level option in the EV segment.

Best Features

  • Significant initial depreciation makes for a used buy that’s great value.
  • 222-mile electric range is good for a car of this size.
  • Plenty of standard equipment and ease of use means the Corsa has plenty going for it.

Tips for finding and buying a used electric car

If you’re new to the world of electric cars, then things might feel a bit daunting initially. One of the best things you can do is think about your budget – factoring in the price of charger installation if you need one – as well as the size and shape of the car you need.

Seeking expert advice can also help you to better understand what each car is like to live with on a daily basis. If you are looking for further information, we’ve reviewed a variety of different EVs such as the MG5 and quirky BMW i3 over at our YouTube channel.

Finally, giving any car you’re looking at a good test drive can help you work out whether it’s right for you. It’s particularly the case for electric vehicles too, as they drive in a completely different way to a regular petrol or diesel car. If you’re new to EVs, then getting behind the wheel of one early on in your buying journey is a great idea.

Used electric car FAQ

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