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

The Government has just cut the electric car grant, but you can still get a great electric car for a bargain price if you buy used.....

The age of the electric car is fast approaching.

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 news that the Government is cutting its electric car grant from £3000 to £2500 doesn't help.

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.

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10: MG ZS EV

MG ZS EV long term

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. The thing to remember, though, is that quite a few of its rivals are better to drive.

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

10: MG ZS EV

MG ZS EV interior

Pros
Plenty of space
Responsive infotainment
Big boot

Cons
Poor quality interior
Unsettled ride
Average range in EV version

9: Volkswagen e-Up

Volkswagen e-Up 2020 RHD wide front right tracking

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: 2020 Volkswagen e-Up, 2000 miles, £18,950

9: Volkswagen e-Up

Volkswagen e-Up 2020 RHD dashboard

Pros
Great to drive
Well equipped

Cons
Expensive
Limited range
Not huge inside

8: BMW i3

BMW i3 2018 front cornering

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

8: BMW i3

BMW i3 - interior

Pros
Agile handling
Low running costs
Smart and futuristic interior

Cons
High used prices
Lumpy ride
Not very practical

7: Hyundai Ioniq

FAMILY CAR: Hyundai Ioniq Electric Premium

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

7: Hyundai Ioniq

Hyundai Ioniq Electric 2019 RHD dashboard

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 

6: Honda E

Honda E 2020 RHD dashboard tight

Pros
Wonderful interior
Good driving position
Agile and nippy

Cons
Range requires compromises
Rear space and boot not the largest

5: Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe side panning

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 50kWh Dynamique Nav, 4000 miles, £22,000

5: Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe dashboard

Pros
Low running costs
Quiet and easy to drive
Longer range than most electric cars of the period

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

4: Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf front - 19 plate

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, £22,000 

4: Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf - interior

Pros
Great to drive
Well-equipped
Spacious

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

3: Nissan Leaf

Nissan LEAF

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: 2019 Nissan Leaf 62kWh E+, 11,000 miles, £24,995

3: Nissan Leaf

Nissan LEAF interior

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 e-208 2021 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, £20,500

2: Peugeot e-208

Peugeot e-208 2021 RHD dashboard

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 39kWh

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 64kWh Premium SE, 19,000 miles, £25,000

1: Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric inside

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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