Volkswagen e-Up review

Costs & verdict

Volkswagen e-Up 2019 LHD front seats
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Opting for a Volkswagen e-Up and plugging in rather than filling the tank, means you’ll be spending less on fuel bills than you would if you bought a petrol Up 1.0 TSI. However, even after the government’s £3500 electric car grant is deducted from the purchase price, the e-Up costs many thousands of pounds more to buy. That means you’ll have to cover an awful lot of miles to recuperate the difference. 

What’s more, while you might imagine the e-Up would be a tax haven for company car drivers, that isn’t the case, either. Yes, it’s in a much lower benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax band than any petrol Up, but you’ll still sacrifice more of your salary each month to run one, because it’s so much more expensive to buy.

The only way you might genuinely save money over a petrol Up is if you regularly travel into London’s Congestion Charge zone, because the e-Up is exempt from the fee.

The e-Up does come with more kit than the range-topping petrol High Up, though, with climate control, automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors and cruise control all thrown in. You get a long warranty of eight years (or 99,360 miles) for the battery as well.

So, the e-Up offers little compelling financial reason to choose it instead of a petrol Up, but it starts to make sense when compared with the Renault Zoe or Seat Mii Electric because it broadly matches them on range.

As for charging times, a full fill takes around 16 hours from a standard three-pin socket, five hours and thirty minutes from a 7kw home charger and you can top up to 80% in just an hour if you have access to a CCS fast charger.

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

Volkswagen e-Up 2019 LHD boot open
Volkswagen e-Up 2019 LHD front static
Open Gallery8 Images


The VW e-Up is great to drive, easy to park and comes with a decent, if not class-leading, electric range. It’s a good choice if you’re after an electric city runabout but, for a little bit more money, you can have a Renault Zoe with a plusher interior, more passenger space and a longer range.

  • Great to drive
  • Well equipped
  • Exempt from London Congestion Charge
  • Expensive
  • Average range
  • Not exactly spacious