8 Sep 2023
Buying a car is one of the biggest purchases we make, so you want to make sure the vehicle you choose meets your needs and expectations. As the UK transitions towards a future of electric travel, investing in a zero-emissions vehicle is quickly becoming the norm.
But, buying an electric car doesn’t have to cost the earth. Despite common misconceptions, electric cars can be affordable - you can even fund your EV by applying for finance.
In this article, we list the top 10 cheapest electric cars in the UK, discuss the benefits of electric car finance, and highlight how EVs comply with London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone. Read on to find out more…
Will electric cars become more affordable?
The main reservation motorists have about EVs is their affordability. What’s good to know is that costs will come down and there are many models already available considered to be budget-friendly.
To put consumers' minds at rest, manufacturers have assured drivers that electric cars could match the price of combustion engine vehicles as soon as 2025. By the year 2030 when the sale of new petrol and diesel cars are set to be banned, it is expected that EVs will become even cheaper.
The top 10 cheapest electric cars in the UK
Here we highlight the most affordable electric cars in the UK which we’ve put together in a handy top 10 list, ranging from the very cheapest available. For clarity, we’ve provided the price from new and the used price too, as well as discussing the selling points of each model. Which will you choose?
Smart EQ fortwo
MG5 EV Long Range
MG ZS EV
Renault Zoe E-tech
1 - Citroën Ami
Price from NEW: £7,695 | Price from USED: £7,295
Kicking off our top 10 cheapest electric cars in the UK is the newly launched Citroën Ami model, which like Marmite, really does divide opinion. That’s because the all-electric Ami only just qualifies as a car - in reality, the micro EV is classed as a quadricycle - but is legal to drive on the roads in the UK (apart from motorways).
Launched in June 2022, this non-conformist battery-powered car seats two adults at a squeeze, and don’t expect too much room in the rear for luggage. What the Citroën Ami lacks in size it makes up for in practicality, making it ideal for nipping around town and parking in busy city centres.
Capable of a full battery charge in just 4 hours, don’t expect to travel too far as the Ami model is only capable of driving distances up to 48 miles per charge - more than enough for most daily commutes to and from work though.
2 - smart EQ fortwo
Price from NEW: £22,225 | Price from USED: £11,790
Sticking with the micro EVs, number two on our top 10 cheapest electric cars list is the smart EQ fortwo. This all-electric two-seater isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but much like the Citroën Ami, there certainly is a place for the fortwo model in today’s market.
The smart EQ fortwo is designed to be as individual as you are, with many customisable options available when purchased new. Not to be underestimated, smart provides an 8-year battery guarantee as standard.
Almost doubling the range of that in the Citroën Ami, expect to drive a distance of up to 81 miles in a smart EQ fortwo with a max power output of 60kW. For charging on the go, a quick charge will take just 40 minutes.
3 - Fiat 500e
Price from NEW: £23,495 | Price from USED: £14,998
Third on our list of the most affordable electric cars to buy is the extremely popular Fiat 500e. An electric version of the much-loved city car, this supermini is not only fun to drive but is surprisingly more spacious than you may think.
Comfortably seating four fully grown adults, you can expect a boot space of 185 litres which is over 10 litres bigger than what the MINI Electric can offer. You won't be left with ‘range anxiety’ either; the 500e is capable of distances up to 199 miles on a single charge AND has the ability to charge up to 80% of its battery in just 30 minutes.
Recognising that electric cars can be more expensive than their combustion-engined cousins, Fiat is offering an ‘e-Grant’ of £3,000 towards the all-electric Fiat 500, which we think is a very appealing deal.
As a franchise partner, at Wilsons Fiat, we are proud to offer both new and approved used models of the Fiat 500e which is also available in a convertible version aptly called the Fiat 500e C. With over 120 all-electric Fiat 500’s in stock, start shopping online today!
4 - BYD Dolphin
Price from NEW: £25,490 | Price from USED: TBC
Fourth on our list of affordable electric cars is an EV that will be available in the UK by the end of 2023. The unusually named BYD Dolphin is set to make BIG waves on this side of the pond, having already taken the Chinese market by storm.
However, BYD as a manufacturer is an unknown quantity in Britain so while the price of the all-electric car is on point, it is yet to be tried and tested by those that matter the most - YOU, the consumers.
That being said, the zero-emission Dolphin not only looks like a sophisticated subcompact drive but can also go the distance by promising up to 265 miles on a single charge. As for its popularity, watch this space!
5 - Nissan LEAF
Price from NEW: £26,390 | Price from USED: £14,950
Number five on our list of affordable EVs doesn’t need much of an introduction, as the model has been paving the way for electric cars since 2011… The Nissan LEAF is a 100% electric family-sized car that has been winning hearts and minds for over 10 years now.
And Nissan’s latest model of its zero emissions LEAF does not disappoint! Packed with intelligent mobility technology, Nissan promises its customers that the EV will charge faster and go farther than ever before - reaching up to 168 miles on a single charge.
Ideal for a family of five, the Nissan LEAF boasts a large-size boot that can easily cope with the weekly shop or weekend camping trip. The onboard infotainment system with integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will make light work of even the longest car journeys.
Find a new or approved used Nissan LEAF at our Wilsons Nissan dealership where you can speak to us about our too-good-to-miss finance deals.
6 - MG4 EV
Price from NEW: £26,475 | Price from USED: £22,000
Sixth on our list of budget-friendly electric cars is one to get excited about - the MG4 EV. Launched in September 2022, the distinct-looking fully electric MG4 has been turning heads on the roads across the UK ever since.
Not only does it look the part, but the price tag gets a thumbs up from us too. The model is MG’s first-ever 100% electric hatchback which is capable of driving around 323 miles on a single charge depending on the conditions.
This intelligent mid-sized car comes with an abundance of driver assistance systems as standard thanks to MG Pilot technology designed to keep you and your passengers safe when on the road.
At Wilsons MG, we proudly sell the competitively priced MG4 EV at our Surrey-based dealership. As one of the fastest-growing car brands in the UK today, MG has so much to offer customers - including a 7-year warranty as standard on all new models. The MG4 EV is available from £109 per month on a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) finance deal - terms and conditions apply.
7 - Mazda MX-30
Price from NEW: £28,755 | Price from USED: £14,998
Mazda is another manufacturer prioritising the development of EV technology with the launch of its first battery electric vehicle, the Mazda MX-30 which sits in at number 7 on our most affordable electric cars list.
The all-electric SUV certainly has some style and sass about it and leads a new era for the Mazda brand - and about time too. Interestingly, the model has already been discontinued in America, instead focusing on European markets where it proves more popular.
For an SUV, the interior space seems to be a bit cramped and the other downside is that the battery range only reaches up to 124 miles on a single charge - only matching those in the micro and supermini EV segment.
8 - MG5 EV Long Range
Price from NEW: £29,455 | Price from USED: £16,498
Dominating our top 10 list of the most affordable electric cars in the UK is the mighty MG brand with no less than 3 models appearing - that’s quite a feat. At number 8 then is the second of three MG EVs that come out on top as far as price is concerned - quite frankly, they are almost unbeatable where family-sized electric cars are concerned!
Well, expect big things from the MG5 EV Long Range which is classed as a ‘Long Range’ model. The 100% electric estate car has plenty of room for all the family - and even your beloved pets! It has a boot capacity of up to 1,367 litres with the rear seats folded and has won numerous awards for practicality and affordability all rolled into one.
As standard, the MG5 EV Long Range can drive distances of up to 250 miles on a single charge and boasts many extras for driver assistance, such as a 360-degree parking camera. And you can keep the kids happy thanks to vehicle load charging which means you can charge other electrical items using the car’s battery pack.
The new MG5 EV Long Range is available from our Wilsons MG dealership for just £339 a month on PCP finance. Book a test drive today at our showroom in Surrey and take advantage of a £1,000 test drive voucher against the price of a new MG.
9 - MG ZS EV
Price from NEW: £30,495 | Price from USED: £23,495
At number 9 on the list of most affordable electric cars is an SUV that performs - the MG ZS EV. The third MG to make it onto our budget-friendly battery vehicles top 10, the ZS EV boasts up to 273 miles of electric range on a single charge - not too shabby at all.
When using a 100kW public rapid charger, the MG ZS EV can charge its battery by up to 80% in just over 40 minutes. Comfort and convenience are the aim for MG and the ZS EV has it in abundance - making it an ideal family vehicle with low running costs.
As with the MG EV4 model, you’ll benefit from the multitude of MG Pilot advanced driver assistance safety systems as standard. In addition, make the most of MG’s clever iSMART technology which keeps you connected on the go.
If you’re looking for a new or approved used MG ZS EV, then our Wilsons MG dealership is the place to go. Test drive an MG model at Wilsons and you could SAVE £1,000 on a new MG - such as the ZS EV - which also comes with a 7-year warranty as standard. We can’t say fairer than that!
10 - Renault Zoe E-tech
Price from NEW: £30,595 | Price from USED: £6,499 (old model only)
Pipped to the post for affordability only marginally by the MG ZS EV, is the compact Renault Zoe E-tech model which is number 10 on our list of the cheapest electric cars. A much-loved brand here in the UK, with Renault, you know exactly what you’re getting - and more.
The manufacturer's range of electric cars is growing in a bid to offer customers more choice. As such, the 100% electric Renault Zoe E-Tech offers drivers everything you can expect from a city car with the added benefit that comes with refined EV design and technology.
For a small car, the Zoe E-tech boasts a surprisingly good range of up to 239 miles on a single charge, with added fast-charging capabilities thrown in the mix too. The ‘My Renault’ app provides you with a thoroughly competent connected experience when behind the wheel - handy for those with busy lifestyles.
We are one of the oldest Renault dealerships in the country and are a proud stockist of the brand as it enters an exciting new era. At our Wilsons Renault dealership, you can secure a Zoe E-Tech from just £299 a month on PCP finance - speak with us to find out more.
What’s the cheapest electric car available in 2023?
Love it or hate it, the new Citroën Ami is technically the cheapest electric car available in the UK in 2023. Coming in at a price of £7,695 from new, it is over £15,000 cheaper than its nearest competitor - the smart EQ fortwo model.
Benefit from electric car finance
Unless you’ve been saving scrupulously for a new car, it’s likely you’ll need help where cash is concerned. Electric car finance can provide a helpful solution to access the funds needed to get behind the wheel of your dream drive.
Car finance for an electric car works just the same way it would for a petrol or diesel version; you put down an initial deposit, and the remainder is borrowed and paid back to the lender over a certain period of time.
Here at Wilsons Epsom, we offer our customers a range of car finance options when it comes to electric driving - including Personal Contract Purchase (PCP), Hire Purchase (HP), and Contract Hire (CH). Each works in a slightly different manner depending on your needs.
If you’d like to find out more about electric car finance, then speak to one of our expert advisors who can talk to you about the process in more detail.
Electric cars comply with London’s ULEZ
Tuesday 29th August was a controversial date for motorists in London, as this was the day the Ultra Low Emission Zone (known as ULEZ for short) was expanded from inner London to outer London. The zone now stretches across all 33 boroughs of Greater London which means that in some areas, it borders the M25 motorway - affecting millions more drivers every year.
The expansion means that for any motorist who drives a non-compliant ULEZ vehicle, a charge of £12.50 is applied daily. For cars and vans that don’t meet tough emission standards, the fee is unavoidable.
But there is hope for drivers - electric cars are classed as exempt from the daily ULEZ charge as they produce zero emissions. As long as a car can travel at least 20 miles on pure electric power, it can avoid the daily ULEZ charge.
To find out more about ULEZ and if your current car is compliant or not, read our London ULEZ expansion 2023 article for more information.
Electric car FAQs and answers
We hope our affordable electric cars blog has helped you understand your options. As EV experts, we get asked a lot of questions in relation to electric vehicles which we’re more than happy to answer. We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked the most:
Is it still cheaper to run an electric car?
Yes, it is cheaper to run a car on an electric compared to paying fuel prices for petrol or diesel. Read our article which highlights how much money you can save when switching to an electric car to find out what savings you could make.
Are cheap electric cars worth it?
Just because an electric car is cheap, doesn’t mean that it’s not up to scratch. EVs that are more affordable tend to be based on practicality with less onboard technology than their more expensive counterparts.
Why do electric cars cost so much?
The main reason an electric car is more expensive than a combustion engine vehicle is because of the battery. In the case of an EV, the battery powers the car and because of all its components, costs a lot more to manufacture and build.
What is the best small cheap electric car?
Scooping up awards left, right, and centre, the MG4 EV has been hailed as the best small electric car - largely down to its affordable price tag.
Can I buy a used electric car for under £5,000?
It is possible to purchase a cheap electric car for under £5,000 if you’re not fussy about the age of the vehicle or the mileage it has already driven.
How much will my electric bill go up with an electric car UK?
Depending on how often you drive an electric car will determine how regularly you need to charge it - this, in turn, will affect how much your electric bill may go up as an EV owner, and what the going electricity rates are at the time.
What are the free EV charging stations across London?
Electric car drivers can access multiple charging points across London - these are usually found in public car parks and supermarket car parks. We recommend you download an EV charging app such as Zap Map to find out where to access free electric car charging points across London and the rest of the UK.
Affordable electric cars available at Wilsons Epsom
Here at Wilsons Epsom, we are big advocates for electric driving and proudly stock some of the best names in EV. When it comes to affordability, we aim to keep our electric car prices as low as possible and as such, have many offers on new and used zero-emission cars.
Our multi-franchise dealership is located in Epsom, Surrey, and we’re open 7-days a week. Out of showroom opening hours, you can view our EV stock online at any time on our website - happy shopping!
Electric vehicle guides and top tips
Explore the world of electric driving thanks to our helpful collection of EV guides and articles. Accelerate your knowledge of battery-powered travel by reading our electric car charging guide, discover the rules of parking in electric car spaces, and find out how far electric cars really can go on a single charge.