Used Car of the Year Awards 2022: Electric cars
With demand for used cars on the rise, you’ll want to know which are the best buys. That’s where our annual Used Car Awards come in. These are our favourite electric cars...
Price from £6000
To those who like the idea of an electric car but are put off by the high prices, the Zoe has always been a godsend. It costs only a moderate amount to buy new, and as a used car it’s unbeatable.
You see, the Zoe has been around for nearly a decade, so there are plenty of them on the used forecourts at attractively low prices. In fact, you can pick up an early example for as little as £6000. You’ll find any Zoe easy to drive, surprisingly refined and decently practical.
Those early cars won’t have a very long range, though, so we’d up the budget to £12,000 and buy a post-2018 R110 ZE40 instead. This has a bigger battery and a very competitive official range of 186 miles. Spend a little more and you could even bag a post-2020 version, which upped the range even further, to 245 miles.
This makes the Zoe a much better bet than early versions of the Kia Soul EV, which can’t go as far between charges, and it’s cheaper than the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3. Choose one in Dynamique Nav trim and you’ll have a top-notch and handsomely equipped small car.
One we found: 2019 Renault Zoe R110 ZE40 Dynamique Nav, 18,000 miles Price £13,995
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (2019-present)
If you fancy something more upmarket than the Zoe and much faster, you could step up to the Model 3. This entry-level version is good to drive, handsomely equipped and the most affordable (starting at £40,000), yet it still promises a range of up to 254 miles. The Model 3 is more reliable than other Teslas, too, helping to give it the edge over the otherwise excellent Jaguar I-Pace.
One we found: 2019 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, 30,000 miles Price £42,000
Nissan Leaf 40kWh (2018-present)
The second-generation Leaf is a good bet for anyone looking for something a bit bigger and more practical than the Zoe. It’s good to drive, too. We prefer the 40kWh version to the 62kWh e+, despite its shorter range (168 miles versus 239, officially), because it’s much comfier. Its extra polish gives it the edge over the MG ZS EV too, and it’s more affordable than the equivalent BMW i3.
One we found: 2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh N-Connecta, 29,000 miles Price £18,500