Currently reading: Top 10 cheapest electric cars
Cost-effective EVs are rare but growing in number. Here are the 10 cheapest on sale in the UK today

Electric cars come in all shapes and sizes, and the focus on battery-powered models is sharper than ever. For many drivers, though, one thing is also under consideration: price. 

Many drivers consider electric cars to be expensive. For instance, the Vauxhall Corsa has long been a blue-collar hero, thanks to its low cost, competent dynamics and decent practicality, but the cheapest electric version costs a substantial £32,445. That’s £12,820 more than an entry-level petrol Corsa.

Vauxhall isn’t alone in this, because many manufacturers have spied an opportunity to target well-heeled early adopters who are willing to pay a premium (and a large slice of profit to the car maker) to have the latest all-singing, all-dancing digitally dense EV on their drive.

Yet if EVs are to become commonplace, there need to be some options that aren’t going to break the bank.

And that's starting to happen. Car brands are now introducing more affordable options on a far more frequent basis. 

Brands including Dacia, Citroën, Mazda and MG are all leaving their mark, having launched sub-£30,000 electric cars in the past couple of years – and prices are improving further, with new options coming in at under £25,000 and even under £20,000. 

But it’s important to do your research. The main criticism of battery-powered cars has previously been their range, with very few offering the sort of stamina that would make them a true replacement for a combustion-engined counterpart.

That said, the charging infrastructure is constantly improving and customer expectations have shifted. And there are now plenty of lower-priced models to choose from.

The cheapest electric cars

1. Citroën Ami


Price: £8495

The cheapest car on this list technically isn’t a car, but a quadricycle. Designed to be cheap, effective transport for packed cities, the Citroën Ami’s 8bhp motor, 28mph top speed and 45-mile range mean it's hopelessly out of its depth on the open road.

That said, its tight turning circle and dinky dimensions make it a doddle to drive around town, and the presence of a roof – something you don’t get on a motorcycle – keeps you warm and dry when the heavens open.

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2. Dacia Spring


Price: £14,999 

The Dacia Spring will cost £14,999, making it the UK's cheapest electric car. It almost comes close to being the UK’s cheapest new car overall, with just the Fiat Panda, Kia Picanto and Dacia’s own Sandero coming in cheaper.

The small EV, which initially went on sale in mainland Europe, has had a big overhaul inside and out, gaining a new face and significant improvements to interior quality and connectivity.

With a 26.8kWh battery and tipping the scales at just 984kg, the Spring offers a range of around 137 miles on a single charge. 

3. Vauxhall Corsa Electric


Price: £26,895

The Vauxhall Corsa is the cheapest electric car in the UK, with a new entry-level specification level slashing the supermini's price by £5550. 

Named the Corsa #Yes, the model starts from £26,895. That will get you a 50kWh battery with 221 miles of range, while a front-mounted electric motor supplies 134bhp and 191lb ft of torque.

The equipment you get is decent too. The Corsa #Yes is equipped with 16in alloy wheels, a 10in digital touch screen, wireless smartphone connectivity, automatic LED headlights and wipers, climate control, keyless entry and rear parking sensors. Not bad. Not bad at all.

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4. BYD Dolphin


Price: £25,490

You might not have heard of BYD, but it’s making a splash on its UK market entry. Its first model, the Atto 3, might not have impressed at £37,695, but the follow-up – the smaller Dolphin – may be more palatable because it's the cheapest full-sized electric hatchback currently available.

You do have to accept some concessions when buying one in entry-level Active trim, though. Its suspension set-up uses unsophisticated trailing arms, and its 94bhp motor feels notably short of oomph. It has yet to be seen whether those are acceptable compromises for the majority of UK buyers: watch this space.

5. MG 4


Price: £26,995

The value champion for the better part of the past year has now been undercut by its compatriot, the BYD Dolphin, but the MG 4 is still well worth considering.

It’s genuinely good fun to drive thanks to its rear-wheel-drive set-up and compliant suspension. Moreover, the 218-mile official range of the entry-level SE car puts it on a par with more costly alternatives.

If you’re looking for an EV with a bit more punch, why not consider the XPower model? It’s significantly more expensive, at £36,495, but its dual motors output a whopping 429bhp, allowing it to out-accelerate many supercars at lower speeds.

Read our MG 4 review

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6. Fiat 500e


Price: £28,195

If any manufacturer has the city car formula nailed, it’s Fiat. The latest version of the iconic 500 oozes desirability inside and out and its combination of a tight turning circle and diminutive sizing make it a cinch to drive around town.

Even better, this electric city car doesn’t feel terribly out of depth once you hit the open road, although the entry-level car’s 118-mile range does significantly limit the 500e’s usefulness.

7. Nissan Leaf


Price: £28,495

The original Nissan Leaf was a trailblazer for mainstream electric cars. Although the second-generation car isn’t quite as revolutionary, it does have an important role to play as one of the UK’s cheapest full-sized EVs. 

The entry-level Shiro variant features a 39kWh battery that officially yields 168 miles of range – shorter than similarly priced rivals and a product of the Leaf’s age.

Another age-related oddity is the Leaf’s use of the now uncommon Chademo charging connector: you’ll probably want to buy a Type 2 adapter if you choose a Leaf.

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8. Mazda MX-30


Price: £28,995

Where Western manufacturers zig, Mazda zags. The Japanese firm famed for the rotary engine now makes a point of its first-ever electric car having a relatively short, 124-mile range – enough for the average commute, in its estimation.

The quirkiness continues inside the MX-30, where it feels surprisingly upmarket for a car priced at the lower end of the EV spectrum. 

A new variant with a petrol rotary-engined range-extender is soon to hit the UK. Its battery is good for 53 miles on a single charge but the range can be swelled to more than 400 miles by using the rotary engine as a generator, with the added benefit of being able to quickly fill up with petrol and make good progress on longer journeys.

9. Mini Cooper Electric


Price: £29,945

The Mini Electric is getting a huge update later this year and the car will be priced from £29,945 in its cheapest specification. 

For that, you get a 41kWh battery giving it a claimed range of 190 miles – substantially up on the old Mini Electric's.

It's set to launch alongside with the new Mini Countryman, kick-starting a wide-reaching revamp and expansion of the British marque’s line-up as it pushes to become an EV-only brand. 

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10. MG ZS EV


Price: £30,495

The MG ZS EV is the cheapest electric SUV you can buy in the UK, with a price of just £30,495. That's cheaper than the brand's electric estate - the MG 5.

Fitted with a 51.1kWh battery as standard, the ZS EV offers up to 198 miles of range. But choose the larger, 72.6kWh battery and you'll get 273 miles. 

Performance isn't bad either: you can hit 0-62mph in just 8.0sec. It's also the most practical car on this list, with up to 470 litres of boot space. 

11. MG 5


Price: £30,995

Under Chinese ownership, MG has quickly established itself as a key player in the electric car market by virtue of affordability.

The MG 5 isn’t a one-trick pony, though, because it’s also the only electric estate car on sale (for now).

Pay £30,995 for an entry-level SE Long Range model and you get a practical, well-equipped EV officially capable of driving 250 miles between charges.

Read our MG 5 review

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Miha Leban 28 July 2023

All cheap EVs are awful. There is no reason for buying one.

Footloose 7 March 2023
The only one of these EVs that caters for my needs - as a wheelchair user - is the estate version made by MG. I want a boot which is as long as this car, so the chair can be stored on its side. As things go at the moment, the vast majority of EVs and hundreds do not cater for disabled people, or indeed those who have baby buggies mainly because their sloping rear door.
Tim Ford 7 March 2023

Have you looked at the Citroen Berlingo and space tourer? I think Vauxhall and VW also make something you'd like

OfficerDibble 6 March 2023

"Cost-effective EVs are rare"?  No, cheap EVs are rare, and that's what this article is about.  EVs by Kia, Hyundai, VW, Ford, even Jaguar and Tesla, are all cost-effective because of the low running costs.