What Car? Personal Shopper: best electric car for less than Β£26,000

Want a new car but don't know where to start? Just send us your criteria and we'll give you our recommended choice, plus the best new and used alternatives, and tell you how much we can save you

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Buying used

As always, your money goes much further in the used car market than it would if you were buying a new car. However, there's also a word of caution here: the range of an electric car will decrease over time, and while most manufacturers will be able to either swap or repair your battery if it starts to dip below a set limit, that will add extra cost. That said, here are some used car choices that are still worth looking at.

Our recommended choice: 2017 BMW i3 94ah Range Extender auto

Price Β£24,500 Mileage 4287

If ever there was proof that electric cars have come of age, the BMW i3 is it. Smart, slick and beautifully finished, it offers you the chance to drive an electric car with a premium feel to it. The i3 is terrific to drive, too, and remarkably agile for such a tall car.

Inside the example we’ve found in the What Car? Classifieds, you'll find a truly smart interior, with supple leather seats, a stylish swathe of open-grain wood winding its way across the dashboard, and lots of equipment, including satellite navigation, heated seats and cruise control. All of which will help to make those occasional trips to Scotland more comfortable.

Space inside might be at a premium – especially in the reat seats – but thanks to some clever packaging you can still fit a modest amount of shopping into the boot.

This one’s a Range Extender, which means you have the added bonus of a small, petrol-powered generator on board, to provide back-up range of around 70 miles if you find yourself unable to plug in. And this car is only a year old, with just 4300 miles on the clock, meaning it’s all but a new car.

See the full listing from What Car? Classifieds or read our full review of the BMW i3.

Also consider: 2018 Nissan Leaf Tekna

Price Β£23,990 Mileage 3912

Here’s a thought: if you're willing to buy used, you can afford to upgrade a new Leaf N-Connecta to a top-of-the-range Tekna with a couple of thousand miles on the clock. You'd gain leather seats, heated in the front and rear, plus an upgraded sound system and LED headlights. You’d save yourself a decent sum, too, if you bought the example we’ve found here – enough to be able to extend the warranty, should you be deterred by the few months you'd lose.

See the full listing from What Car? Classifieds or read our full review of the Nissan Leaf.

Also consider: 2017 BMW 330e M Sport auto

Price Β£24,970 Mileage 10,244

Have you ruled out plug-in hybrids from your search? If not, they might be worth a look. You get the ability to drive around on electric-only power in town, with the added reassurance of an internal combustion engine for longer journeys. We reckon the BMW 330e is one of the best around, and it's great value used; this 2017 example with 10,000 miles on the clock is well within your budget at Β£24,970.

See the full listing from What Car? Classifieds or read our full review of the BMW 3 Series.

Next: our verdict >

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