Autotrader ad desktop
sponsored

In partnership with Auto Trader

Best used electric cars

Electric cars are expensive, but if you buy used you don’t need to spend a fortune to get into one. Here we list our top 10 favourites, from urban runarounds to luxury SUVs...

Author Avatar
by
Oliver Young
Published07 December 2023

It's perhaps not surprising that, since the proposed legislation banning the sale of pure petrol and diesel-engined cars in the UK was first announced, interest in electric cars has grown enormously. 

Buying a new electric car can still cost rather a lot of money, though. One solution is to buy one used, where you can dip your toes in the future without spending a fortune. 

Top 10 used electric cars

Here, we've brought together our top 10 favourite used electric cars. Some are stylish, some are sensible, but all have plenty to offer the eco-conscious motorist looking for a bargain.

Our road testers have tested all the electric cars that have been sold on the market over the past few years and, if you want to know which one we rate most highly as a used buy out of all of those, it's the terrific Tesla Model 3

Strengths

  • Tremendous performance
  • Long range
  • Surprisingly practical

Weaknesses

  • Build quality could be better
  • Ride and handling not up to top ICE rivals

Launched in 2019, the Tesla Model 3 has been a runaway worldwide sales success. It offers state-of-the-art tech, great performance and an excellent range in a relatively affordable package. Of these earlier models, the Standard Range Plus is WLTP-certified for 254 miles of claimed range and the Long Range steps that up to 348 miles. The Performance officially does 329 miles. All Model 3s come with plenty of luxuries, and the best news of all is that used prices have now fallen to an extremely tempting low.  

We found: 2019 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, 47,000 miles, £21,000 

Read our full used Tesla Model 3 review

Search for a used Tesla Model 3 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 electric car to buy if money is limited, and the best value overall. Yes, you can pick up an old Renault Zoe for as little as £5000, but even the later versions are great value.  Its official range, under the latest WLTP testing, is 238 or 245 miles depending on power output. It's good to drive, too, and decently practical, though its poor safety rating – which was mostly due to a lack of safety kit on entry-level models – could work against it. 

We found: 2019 Renault Zoe R135 50kWh GT Line, 28,000 miles, £8000

Read our full used Renault Zoe review

Search for a used Renault Zoe for sale

Strengths

  • Extremely spacious
  • Well equipped
  • Plush ride

Weaknesses

  • So-so performance by electric car standards
  • Some rivals are more adept at handling
  • Infotainment isn’t as responsive as rival systems

The Skoda Enyaq may look rather conventional next to one or two of its modern electric SUV rivals, but don’t be put off: it’s one of the best around, new or used, regardless of size. It’s good to drive, comfortable, practical, extremely refined and comes with a decent range.  The iV 60 version has a 58kWh battery and a decent official range. Bought used, it’s also great value. It could be all the car you’ll ever need. 

We found: 2021 Skoda Enyaq iV60 63kWh Nav Loft, 12,000 miles, £22,995

Read our full used Skoda Enyaq review

Search for a used Skoda Enyaq for sale

Strengths

  • Impressive range
  • Fast-charging capability
  • Spacious inside
  • Long warranty

Weaknesses

  • Firm ride
  • Shallow boot
  • Headroom not great
  • Reliability mixed

The Kia EV6 is a brilliant and bang-on-trend electric car with a long range and the ability to charge up very quickly. It’s also plush inside and huge in the back and very good to drive. The cheaper rear-wheel-drive versions make more financial sense than the faster four-wheel-drive models, especially used. You'll also pick up the residue of Kia's excellent seven-year-from-new warranty.

We found: 2021 Kia EV6 77.4kWh Air, 20,000 miles, £29,000

Read our full used Kia EV6 review

Search for a used Kia EV6 for sale

Strengths

  • Longer range than most direct rivals
  • Great infotainment system
  • Well equipped

Weaknesses

  • A fair few alternatives are faster
  • An Audi E-tron or Mercedes EQC will cost you less to buy
  • The Tesla Model Y can go further on a single charge

From its driving experience to its interior quality, the BMW iX3 is a class act. It's well-rounded and in our eyes devoid of any major weaknesses. And the good news is you can now pick one up for a very healthy discount off the price you'd pay for one new. Part of its appeal is the way it drives. For a car as heavy and tall as the iX3, it has remarkable agility and composure in the bends. It feels well put together and has lots of dense, squishy materials in the most important places. 

We found: 2021 BMW iX3 80kWh Premier Edition, 35,000 miles, £34,000

Read our full used BMW iX3 review

Search for a used BMW iX3 for sale

Our pick: 168kW Premium 77 kWh 5dr Auto [Part Leather]

0-62mph: 7.3 sec
CO2 emissions: 0g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 527 litres
Insurance group: 35E

Strengths

  • Very quiet and cosseting to drive (on 19in wheels)
  • Lots of passenger room, especially in the rear
  • Quick to charge

Weaknesses

  • Woolly handling, more so in regards to pre-2022 cars
  • Interior doesn't feel as premium or solid as it looks
  • While capacity is good, the boot itself is quite shallow

Its looks are arresting enough, but there's plenty more to like about the Hyundai Ioniq 5. It's a supremely comfortable and spacious electric SUV, with a surprisingly good range and eager performance to back it up. It's quiet and cosseting, there's loads of room inside and it's quick to charge. It might look like a million dollars but its used prices are now very competitive.

We found: 2021 Hyundai Ioniq 5 77kWh Ultimate, 19,000 miles, £25,000

Read our full used Hyundai Ioniq 5 review

Search for a used Hyundai Ioniq 5 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

Launched in 2020, the Volkswagen ID 3 was the first-born child of the manufacturer’s ever-expanding all-electric ID series. It's good to drive, with nippy performance, it has plenty of range and it comes with a spacious and practical interior. True, the overall quality of the interior is a little underwhelming, and the infotainment system can be fiddly, but overall the ID 3 is now one of the best used electric cars you can buy. 

We found: 2020 Volkswagen ID 3 Pro Performance 58kWh Life, 19,000 miles, £17,000

Read our full used VW ID 3 review

Search for a used VW ID 3 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

The Hyundai Kona Electric is practical and easy to live with. There are two power outputs and battery pack sizes available: a 134bhp/39kWh version and a more potent 201bhp/64kWh model. The range is exceptional, with the 64kWh version managing 259 miles on a single charge during real-range resting. That variant also has a fairly speedy 0-60mph time of 7.9sec. It just bests the similar Kia e-Niro by having a slightly longer real-world range and being cheaper to buy age for age. 

We found: 2020 Hyundai Kona EV Premium 64kWh, 26,000 miles, £15,000

Read our full used Hyundai Kona Electric review

Search for a used Hyundai Kona Electric for sale

Our pick: 390kW 4S 79kWh 4dr Auto

0-62mph: 4 sec
CO2 emissions: 0g/km
Seats: 4
Boot: 407 litres
Insurance group: 50E

Strengths

  • Astonishing to drive, with great performance and class-leading handling
  • Luxurious interior
  • Reasonably practical

Weaknesses

  • Good value used, but still pricey
  • Some alternatives will go further on a single charge
  • Poor reliability

The Porsche Taycan is sublime in every area, from the driving experience to interior quality. You’ll find used Taycans are most affordable in 4S guise, because this mid-range variant was first to market. It has four-wheel drive and, if you find an example with the 93kWh Performance Battery Plus, a power figure of 469bhp (which rises to 523bhp for quick bursts). Prices are wonderfully low now on the used market, but watch out for infotainment-based reliability, which is a little mixed. 

We found: 2021 Porsche Taycan 4S, 19,000 miles, £49,500

Read our full used Porsche Taycan review

Search for a used Porsche Taycan for sale

Strengths

  • Terrific range
  • Spacious interior
  • Well equipped

Weaknesses

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

The Kia e-Niro might not look like a revolution, but it was one of the first pure electric cars offered at a reasonable price that came with a terrific on-paper range. It's handily sized outside and roomy inside, and it comes with a range that will embarrass many more expensive electric cars. In one of our Real Range tests, it achieved 253 miles in real-world use. Look for '3' trim which has the 64kWh battery, because it's quicker, has a much longer range, is better to drive and gets an upgraded infotainment system.

We found: 2020 Kia e-Niro 64kWh 3, 49,000 miles, £16,000

Read our full used Kia e-Niro review

Search for a used Kia e-Niro for sale


For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here