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Top 10 used electric cars for less than £25,000

Electric cars don't come cheap, but you can get a great one for a bargain price if you buy used...


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by
Mark Pearson

Used electric cars

It's perhaps not surprising that, following the proposed legislation banning the sale of pure petrol and diesel-engined cars in the UK from 2030, and hybrid cars from 2035, interest in electric cars has grown enormously and demand for zero-emissions vehicles is growing fast.

Buying a new electric car can still cost rather a lot of money, though, and the recent cut in the electric car grant from £3000 to £2500 doesn't do much to help matters.

One solution is to buy one used, where you can still dip your toes in the future without spending a fortune. Here, we've brought together our top 10 favourites for less than £25,000. Some are stylish, some are sensible, but all of them have plenty to offer the eco-conscious motorist on a budget.

10

MG ZS EV

Used MG ZS 2017 - present

The MG ZS EV offers a lot for the money in the electric car world, with good interior space, a big boot and plenty of standard equipment. There's a claimed range of 163 miles, too. Our budget will buy you a decent car that's under a year old. It's even quite decent to drive.

We found: 2020 MG ZS EV Exclusive, 9000 miles, £21,000

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Pros

  • Plenty of space
  • Responsive infotainment
  • Big boot

Cons

  • Poor quality interior
  • Unsettled ride
  • Average range in EV version
9

Volkswagen e-Up

Used Volkswagen e-Up 2013-present

The desperately cute Up has always been one of our favourite city cars and this latest all-electric version's a bit of a hoot. A 2019 facelift brought a 37kWh battery, good for a claimed range of 161 miles. Take a look at the Up's siblings, too, the Seat Mii and the Skoda Citigo, both of which are available to buy used as fully electric cars. 

We found: 2021 Volkswagen e-Up, 2000 miles, £19,950

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Pros

  • Great to drive
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited range
  • Not huge inside
8

BMW i3

The i3 was a refreshing and innovative delight on its launch in 2013 and it still turns heads today. A 2019 facelift upped the range to between 177 and 193 official miles, depending on the power output. It remains a pleasant thing to drive and grips the road well, despite its skinny tyres. The ride can be a little firm, but that helps the i3 to resist body lean well in corners, despite being fairly tall.     

We found: 2020 BMW i3 42kWh, 8000 miles, £24,000

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Pros

  • Agile handling
  • Low running costs
  • Smart and futuristic interior

Cons

  • High used prices
  • Lumpy ride
  • Not very practical
7

Hyundai Ioniq

Used Hyundai Ioniq 17-present

The Ioniq is available in three different flavours – hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric – and we think this all-electric version is well worth seeking out used. Later models from 2019 onwards have an official range of 194 miles and a healthy real range too, nearer to 170 miles. It doesn’t drive quite as nicely as one or two rivals, but it’s comfortable and quiet. It's also well equipped.

We found: 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric 38 kWh Premium, 6000 miles. £23,000

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Pros

  • Good-quality interior
  • Low running costs
  • Hybrid is good to drive

Cons

  • Poor rear head room
  • Unsettled ride around town
  • EV model expensive
6

Honda E

Honda E front

The Honda E's not just as cute as a puppy, it's also fun to drive, well-equipped and relatively upmarket inside. There are now some good examples on the used car market, too. The only stumbling block is its rather limited range of just 137 miles. However, if it fits into your lifestyle it's a very tempting proposition. 

We found: Honda E 36 kWh Advance, 3000 miles, £24,000 

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Pros

  • Wonderful interior
  • Good driving position
  • Agile and nippy

Cons

  • Range requires compromises
  • Rear space and boot not the largest
5

Renault Zoe

Used Renault Zoe 2013 -

Yes, you can pick up an old Zoe from as little as £6000, but here we'll concentrate on the later, heavily revised 2020 version.  Its official range, under the latest WLTP testing, is 238 or 245 miles depending on power output, and it also achieved an excellent 192 miles in our Real Range tests. It's good to drive, too, and decently practical, but its reliability record is poor. 

We found: 2020 Renault Zoe R135 Rapid Charge 50kWh Dynamique Nav, 4000 miles, £22,000

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Pros

  • Low running costs
  • Quiet and easy to drive
  • Decent range

Cons

  • So-so performance
  • Inconsistent brake feel
  • Interior isn't plush
4

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf 2014-present

Not the brand new Mk8 version but the very popular Mk7 one here. Don't worry, though, it's good to drive, rides well and it's a highly practical electric car. Indeed the biggest compliment you can pay the e-Golf is that it feels just like a regular Golf.  The claimed range increased to 186 miles after the 2017 facelift. 

We found: 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf 35kWh, 11,000 miles, £23,000  

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Pros

  • Great to drive
  • Well-equipped
  • Spacious

Cons

  • Other electric cars offer greater range
  • Smaller boot
  • Heat pump not standard
3

Nissan Leaf

2019 Nissan Leaf 62kWh front driving

This second-generation Leaf is a well-equipped car that's good to drive and easy to live with. Nissan claims a range of around 168 miles for the 40kWh version. And, while that version only managed 128 miles in our real range tests, the 62kWh version increased that figure to 217 miles, which isn't that far away from its predicted range of 239 miles.

We found: 2020 Nissan Leaf 62kWh E+ Tekna, 11,000 miles, £24,995

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Pros

  • Good performance
  • Easy to live with
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Rear head room limited
  • Interior could be classier
  • Limited steering wheel adjustment
2

Peugeot e-208

Peugeot 208 2020 RHD front tracking

Peugeot's first all-electric mass production car is as pretty as a peach and models are now filtering through to the used forecourts. Not only does it look the part it also has a great interior and is surprisingly good fun to drive. It rides well, too, and it's quieter than most of its rivals. In fact, it's a great all-rounder. Its official range of 217 miles is also decently competitive.

We found: 2020 Peugeot e-208 50 kWh Allure, 7000 miles, £22,500

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Pros

  • Upmarket interior
  • Comfortable ride
  • Stylish looks
  • EV version very competitive

Cons

  • Can be pricey for a used small car
  • Distracting infotainment system
  • Rear space a little tight
1

Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric 18 plate front corner

The impressive Kona Electric is more than just a pretty face: it's good to drive, practical, comfortable and well-equipped, too, and some of the earlier models are now just within our budget here. But its USP is its terrific range, with the 64kWh Kona holding the record for being able to travel the farthest in our Real-Range tests, at 259 miles – not far off its claimed range of 279 miles. 

We found: 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric 39kWh Premium SE, 19,000 miles, £22,000

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Pros

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

Cons

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