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Best used electric cars for less than £15,000 – cheap EVs reviewed and rated

You'll soon be able to buy a brand-new Dacia Spring electric car for just £15,000, but what could you buy on the used market for the same money? Here's our top 10...

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by
Oliver Young
Published21 March 2024

Best used electric cars for less than £15,000

The forthcoming Dacia Spring may be something of a bargain if and when it comes on sale for £15,000, but did you know that the average price of a new electric car (EV) is £50,000?

Now, before you set up shop in the Cayman Islands or put that kidney on eBay first consider the thousands of used electric cars out there. With a Spring-like budget of just £15,000, you'll see used electric cars and electric SUVs of many shapes and sizes.

We've put together a list of our top 10 favourites – you can find them (and more) via our used car pages – and, kicking it off, the best used electric car for less than £15,000 is the Peugeot e-208

Strengths

  • Good to drive
  • Modern and well-finished interior
  • Used prices start at around £12k

Weaknesses

  • Steering wheel can obscure the driver display
  • A few alternatives have even better electric ranges
  • Some rivals are more interior and boot space

The Peugeot e-208 is a bargain. For the money, you can expect a 2022 model with less than 30,000 miles on it. There's a variety of trims to choose from, too. Our favourite Allure trim comes with 17in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and power-folding door mirrors.

On the road, the e-208 is a punchy performer, especially from a standstill. All models use a 45kWh battery that powers a 134bhp electric motor, propelling the car, in our tests, from 0-60mph in a spritely 7.5sec – it’s comfortably quicker than a Renault Zoe. Handling is good, too, even though it isn't super sharp. The suspension is on the softer side for an EV, but we don't mind, because that helps create the e-208's comfortable ride. 

Inside, there’s plenty of room in the front – rear room is a little tighter than in the e-208’s main rivals. The boot isn't as big as some of its rivals' offerings, but it can still hold five carry-on suitcases. What's more, the e-208 makes up its subpar space with an interior design and assortment of good-quality materials that makes it feel classier than many rivals, including the Zoe. 

The e-208 has good official range of up to 217 miles on a full charge. You won't get that far in real-world driving but, based on our tests, 150 miles in winter and 170 miles in the summer is a realistic expectation. That's farther than a Fiat 500 can manage. So far, it's proving more reliable than some of its rivals too, including the Zoe. 

We found: 2022 Peugeot e-208 50kWh Allure, 13,573 miles, £14,498

Find used Peugeot e-208 cars for sale

Our pick: 100kW Techno R135 50kWh 5dr Auto

0-62mph: 9.5 sec
CO2 emissions: 0g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 338 litres
Insurance group: 18E

Strengths

  • Cheap to buy and run
  • Quiet and easy to drive
  • Good range (for a car of its size and price)

Weaknesses

  • So-so performance
  • Quality is lacking in places, namely in its interior
  • Some safety equipment was not standard from new

The Renault Zoe might lack the e-208's upmarket feel and level of refinement, but it's the one to choose if you need more range. Get a Zoe with the 52kWh battery (which you can easily do within budget) and the official range is 238 miles. In our own independent Real Range tests, on a warm July day, we saw an impressive 208 miles on a charge. You should still see 160-170 miles from a charge in winter times, too. 

The Zoe beats the electric Fiat 500, the Mini Electric and the e-208 for rear passenger space, even if taller individuals might still feel a little cramped. The Zoe has a surprisingly big boot. It's really deep: we managed to fit six carry-on suitcases below the parcel shelf – only one fewer than the larger and generally more expensive Nissan Leaf managed. 

With £15,000 to spend, there are lots of Zoes and plenty of trims, including range-toppers, to choose from. For instance, GT Line+ gets heated seats, front and rear parking sensors, as well as a rear-view camera, automatic headlights, blind spot monitoring and a digital driver's display. 

The only point against it is that some of the later models don’t come with all of the safety kit you might expect, most notably automatic emergency braking (AEB). However, despite this, few electric cars have the all-round appeal of the Zoe. 

We found: 2022 Renault Zoe R135 EV50 52kWh GT Line+, 4900 miles, £14,500

Find used Renault Zoe cars for sale

Strengths

  • Good to drive with nippy performance
  • Plenty of range
  • Spacious interior

Weaknesses

  • Underwhelming interior quality
  • Questionable reliability
  • Infotainment system misses the mark

If you'd like even more range and interior space – and you don't mind an older example with slightly higher mileage – then take a good look at the Volkswagen ID 3. With the 58kWh battery, the ID 3’s official range stands at 265 miles. In real-world summer conditions, we saw 228 miles.

Front and rear passenger space is excellent, with plenty of head and leg room available. The boot is about the same size as the one in the Volkswagen Golf. It's down one carry-on suitcase on the Zoe, but it's fine for the typical requirements of fitting in a buggy, the weekly shop or a couple of reasonable-sized suitcases.

The ID 3 has light steering, so manoeuvring it around town is a breeze. Beyond the urban sprawl, the steering proves accurate and confidence inspiring, so it’s not an unnerving car to thread along B-roads. Grip is decent and the ID 3 handles very well overall.

We found: 2020 Volkswagen ID 3 Pro Performance 58kWh Life, 32,995 miles, £14,799

Find used Volkswagen ID 3 cars for sale

Strengths

  • Terrific range
  • Spacious interior
  • Well equipped

Weaknesses

  • Can lean on the pricey side
  • Doesn't charge as quickly as some rivals

At 289 miles, the Kia e-Niro has the longest official range of any car on this list. In a summer real-range test, it managed a 257 miles, which was remarkable given its price point when new. It's even more impressive given the price today. 

The e-Niro is available with some desirable luxuries, too. For example, First Edition cars get heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a wireless phone charger. 

Why doesn't the e-Niro finish higher up on this list? Well, it's mainly because it can't match the podium holders on age and mileage for the money. Plus, the e-208 is comfier and classier, the ID 3 is better to drive and the Zoe is better value. 

However, in the grand scheme of things, the e-Niro is a fantastic, well-rounded buy and we can certainly see it rightfully making people's short lists, if anything for its range alone. 

We found: 2019 Kia e-Niro 64kWh First Edition, 43,000 miles, £14,989

Find used Kia e-Niro cars for sale

Strengths

  • 250-miles-plus range in real-world driving (64kWh version)
  • Strong acceleration
  • Even the base trim level is well-equipped

Weaknesses

  • Rear seat space and boot is limited
  • Doesn't ride as well as the Kia e-Niro or Peugeot e-208
  • Owners report mixed reliability

While the Hyundai Kona Electric shares many parts with the e-Niro, but it's a step below on our list. Why? Well, the Kona Electric is down on interior and boot space, plus it feels a bit cheaper inside than its sibling does.

Still, you can expect a similar range between charges with the Kona Electric – officially, the 64kWh version can go 279 miles before running out of juice. Used prices are similar, too. Although, on our budget, there are actually more of these to choose from than there are e-Niros, so there's a point in the Kona's corner. 

There's also a smaller 39kWh battery – allowing for 189 miles of travel, officially – if range isn't your top priority and you'd like to save some money. Mind you, in our eyes, the saving isn't large enough to warrant the downgrade. 

We found: 2020 Hyundai Kona Electric 64kWh Premium SE, 38,029, £14,980

Find used Hyundai Kona Electric cars for sale

Strengths

  • Good performance for a small car
  • Well equipped
  • Capable of fast charging speeds

Weaknesses

  • Low prices indicate harsh deprecation that could continue
  • Reliability has proven subpar
  • The similar e-208 feels more upmarket

Underneath, the Vauxhall Corsa-e sports a lot of the same parts as our top-spot holder, the e-208, so how has the apple fallen so far from the tree? Well, firstly, don't get us wrong, the Corsa-e is still a good car and a good buy – it deserves to be here on this list – but there are a few reasons as to why the e-208 is a better choice. 

The Corsa-e's choppier ride and cheaper feeling interior are two of them, but the main one is worse reliability. In our 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, the e-208 finished 10th out of 20 cars in the electric car class. Its reliability score of 91.2% is decent. The Corsa-e, on the other hand, placed 15th, with its score being 87.4% – that's lower than all of the cars listed above, actually.   

On the flip side, the Corsa-e has a slightly better official range than the e-208 does. In fact, it stands at 222 miles. You can easily find a good 2022 model within budget, too. 

We found: 2022 Vauxhall Corsa-e 50kWh SE Premium, 7010 miles, £14,250

Find used Vauxhall Corsa-e cars for sale

Strengths

  • Well-cushioned ride
  • Good equipment levels
  • Good quality interior

Weaknesses

  • Peugeot's i-Cockpit won't suit everyone
  • Some rivals have longer ranges
  • Lacklustre handling

Can you see the trend? The Peugeot e-2008 is yet another car on this list that shares the e-208's mechanical basis. Its official range may be the worst one of the lot, at 206 miles, plus there's no chance (as of writing) of getting a 2022 model here, but the e-2008 might catch your eye, because it's an SUV. 

Sure, it's not an especially big one, but you'll sit slightly higher up in it than you will in the e-208 or Corsa-e. You'll also enjoy more rear-seat space. The e-2008 has an eerily familiar, upmarket-feeling interior (just like the e-208), too. 

We found: 2021 Peugeot e-2008 50kWh Allure Premium, 27,200 miles, £14,600

Find used Peugeot e-2008 cars for sale

Strengths

  • Good fun to drive
  • Reasonable range
  • Cheap to run

Weaknesses

  • Some similarly priced alternatives are more versatile
  • Cramped in the rear
  • Can be noisy on the motorway

The Fiat 500 Electric may not provide the level of practicality that a lot of buyers are looking for, but it's still a great little car, being stylish, fun to drive and reasonably priced, especially used: on our budget, you'll see a plethora of great examples, many featuring the larger, 42kWh battery (for an official range of 199 miles). 

Trim-wise, there's a huge choice, but we'd seek out Icon. It gets you a generous amount of kit for your money, including keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers and 50/50 split-folding rear seats. 

We found: 2022 Fiat 500 Electric 42kWh Icon, 9009 miles, £14,157

Find used Fiat 500 Electric cars for sale

Strengths

  • Decent range
  • Good value for money used
  • Quite comfy

Weaknesses

  • Infotainment is fiddly
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Charging speeds not the quickest

Here we have an electric estate car – something you don't hear all that often. The MG5 a practical choice, being roomier than a lot of cars on this list and going farther on a full charge than some of them, too: officially, you have 250 miles to play with.

The value for money is rather staggering, even if its budget roots do show in some places. For instance, it doesn't conceal its electric motor whine as well as more refined rivals. Its infotainment system is a little low-rent and fiddly to use as well. On the plus side, it is proving reliable so far, with a 96.1% showing in our most recent reliability survey

We found: 2022 MG5 61.1kWh Exclusive, 20,000 miles, £14,995

Find used MG5 cars for sale

Our pick: 110kW Acenta 39kWh 5dr Auto

0-62mph: 7.9 sec
CO2 emissions: 0g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 435 litres
Insurance group: 24E

Strengths

  • Good performance
  • Easy to live with
  • Well equipped

Weaknesses

  • Rear head room limited
  • Interior could be classier
  • Limited steering wheel adjustment

The original Nissan Leaf was introduced in 2011, but, while it steadily improved over the years, it wasn't until this second-generation car arrived that the model became a challenger to a traditional family car.

Sure, it isn't a class leader in any respect, but the Leaf remains a comprehensively decent choice. Our budget allows for the larger, 62kWh battery: the official range is 239 miles, but be warned it has a slightly stiffer ride than the base Leaf. It's nippy, too, with a hot-hatch-like 0-60mph time of 6.9sec. 

We found: 2021 Nissan Leaf 62kWh N-Connecta, 29,400 miles, £14,950

Find used Nissan Leaf cars for sale

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