Used BMW i3 2013-present review

Category: Electric car

Section: Ownership cost

Star rating
Seven reasons to buy a BMW i3
  • Used BMW i3 13-present
  • Seven reasons to buy a BMW i3
  • Used BMW i3 13-present
  • Used BMW i3 13-present
  • Used BMW i3 13-present
  • Used BMW i3 13-present
  • Used test: BMW i3 vs Volkswagen e-Golf
  • BMW i3 interior
  • Used BMW i3 13-present
  • Seven reasons to buy a BMW i3
  • Used BMW i3 13-present
  • Used BMW i3 13-present
  • Used BMW i3 13-present
  • Used BMW i3 13-present
  • Used test: BMW i3 vs Volkswagen e-Golf
  • BMW i3 interior
Loading interface...
Share review

Ownership cost

What used BMW i3 hatchback will I get for my budget?

The starting point for a used i3 is around £12,000, at the time of writing. This will get you a 2013 model with an average mileage and a full service history bought from a specialist dealer. Upping the wedge to between £13,500 and £15,000 will earn you a 2015 or early 2016 model, including the range-extender version, with the same criteria. Once you’re in the realms of £18,500 to £20,000 you’re looking at good 2017 cars, with a low to average mileage, from a franchised dealer, while £25,000 to £27,000 or more should hook you up with a 2019 car with the larger battery pack.

Check the value of a used BMW i3 with What Car? Valuations

Used BMW i3 13-present

How much does it cost to run a BMW i3 hatchback?

Obviously in terms of motive juice, very little – we reckon it should cost between £4.67 and £6.94 (based on a rate of 12p per kWh in our Real Range tests) in electricity to charge up the i3 fully.

The range extender has a slightly reduced electric range but a higher official overall one, as measured under the older NEDC tests, of 186 miles, although this will be a lot less on the road. The standard electric-only i3 is available now on the used market in three different flavours: early examples had a 60Ah, 22.6kWh battery pack and 80 miles of range; 2017 introduced the bigger 94Ah, 33kWh pack that increased the usable range to 121 miles, and finally, there was an even bigger 120Ah, 42.2kWh battery pack installed in 2019 that improved the range further still to 165 miles. Officially, the post-2019 and more powerful i3s can manage 175 miles while the regular i3 can do 181 miles. However, BMW says 160 miles is more realistic, and our own real range tests seem to bear this out. 

A full battery charge takes eight hours from a domestic plug socket, but a faster-charging Type 2 wallbox can cut that to less than three hours. BMW offers its own charging unit, but it’s bulky and expensive; other 32A solutions offer the same charging speed and a more compact design for less than half the price (there are government schemes to help you with this, too). The i3 also gets a fast-charging, 50kWh capability and a DC cable as standard; this can give you an 80% charge in just 42 minutes.

Road tax should be free for most i3s registered before 1 April 2017, but you'll need to pay the reduced flat-rate fee for anything registered after this point. Find out more about the current road tax costs here.

BMW offers fixed-price servicing on used i3s, with a variety of plans available and a number of different ways to pay, including direct debit. The i3’s battery is covered by an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty as standard.

Page 2 of 5

Used test: BMW i3 vs Volkswagen e-Golf