Skip advert
Advertisement
Best cars

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2024

Contrary to popular opinion, not all electric cars are expensive. Here are the cheapest ones available in the UK right now

There's a wide range of electric cars on the market these days, more than a few being flagship SUVs and luxury saloons that easily attract six-figure price tags. However, that doesn't mean there aren’t much more affordable routes into zero-emissions motoring, too.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Electric cars tend to be more expensive than their petrol or diesel-powered counterparts, but prices are coming down, and a new generation of entry-level EVs will be arriving within the next few years. This being the case, some of the best electric cars are also some of the cheapest and the fact that nearly all models are far less expensive to run and insure than the equivalent petrol model just makes them even more attractive.

Therefore, if you’re a budget-minded motorist, you needn’t wait until 2024 when the £23k Citroen e-C3 and sub £30k Renault 5 go on sale, let alone when the Volkswagen ID.1, Cupra UrbanRebel arrive, which are both pinned to cost less than £20,000. Here is our list of the cheapest electric cars you can buy right now…

1. BYD Dolphin – £26,195

While this entry may be cheating a bit as the cheapest models aren’t due to go on sale until later in 2024, BYD is nevertheless living up to its name by building the dream of a future where electric cars can be affordable. Even top versions of the BYD Dolphin are inexpensive enough to squeeze onto this list, though all models get things like synthetic leather upholstery, a rotating touchscreen, a reversing camera and a strong four-year warranty. Throw into the mix a comfortable drive and a roomy interior and the BYD Dolphin really begs the question: why pay more?

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Read our full BYD Dolphin review to find out more.

2. MG4 – £26,995

The winner of both the Car of The Year and Best Value Electric Car titles in the 2023 DrivingElectric Awards, MG’s Cupra Born and Volkswagen ID.3 rival remains one of our favourite EVs over a year later. This is because, while its main competitors both start from around £34-37,000, the MG4 comes in at under £27k. For that you get eye-catching styling, 150kW rapid charging, a surprisingly sporty driving experience, a generous amount of standard kit and a 51kWh battery that’s enough for a range of 218 miles. If you have a little extra cash to spend, we recommend stepping up to the Long Range model which, as its name suggests, boosts the MG4’s range to a maximum of 281 miles – all still for under £30,000.

Read our MG4 EV review here to find out more.

3. Fiat 500e – £28,195

The latest and greatest Fiat 500 may be electric-only, but it retains the charm and fun factor its predecessor was known for. It's good to drive, has a well-designed interior and is roomier inside than the car it replaces. It's still not the most practical proposition – the boot measures just 185 litres, for example – but we at least appreciate how Fiat has now fixed the old car’s awkwardly high seating position in the switch to electric power. There are two versions available: a 24kWh model with a 118-mile range and a 42kWh variant that can travel up to 200 miles. Whichever you go for, all electric 500s are currently being offered with a £3,000 ‘E-Grant’ discount, bringing down the base price even further.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Read our full review Fiat 500 to find out more.

4. Nissan Leaf – £28,495

The Nissan Leaf was one of the first mainstream electric cars, and 11 years on, it remains one of the most affordable EVs on the market, starting at just under £29,000. Range in the entry-level Shiro model stands at 168 miles, which is significantly less than some of the other hatchbacks on this list, while the Leaf’s relatively dull interior and lacklustre tech are indicative of its age. Things aren’t all bad, though; the Leaf’s one-deal driving mode remains one of the best we’ve tried and is great to have around town. That’s not mentioning the Leaf’s pretty smooth and punchy electric motor, spacious boot and long list of driver assistance systems which will all help you overlook some of the ageing model’s shortcomings.

Read our in-depth Nissan Leaf review to find out more.

5. MINI Cooper E - £30,000

What has come as a big surprise in today’s economy of inflation, MINI’s second-generation electric hatchback is actually slightly cheaper than the one it replaces. Renamed the MINI Cooper, even the entry-level model of the plug-in British hatchback offers around 200 miles of range, while top-of-the-range variants get a larger battery for a 250-mile maximum. On the inside, all models – including those costing bang-on 30 grand – get a stunning, circular OLED touchscreen, as well as leatherette upholstery and a reversing camera. We’ve yet to drive a full production-spec car, but from what we’ve gathered from getting behind the wheel of a prototype, it should retain MINI’s traditional go-kart-style handling, too.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Read our breakdown of the new MINI Cooper to find out more.

6. MG ZS EV – £30,495

You might be a tad surprised to find a fashionable SUV on a list of the cheapest electric cars, but the MG ZS EV has nonetheless managed to drastically undercut the competition, all while offering a generous list of equipment and a strong electric range. It may not feel the most premium of products, but with features like LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, a 360-degree parking camera and a 10.1-inch central touchscreen all coming as standard, you definitely won’t be left feeling shortchanged. Entry-level ZS EV models offer a 198-mile range thanks to a 51kWh battery, but upgrading to the Long Range version with its 72kWh battery boosts the car's potential range to 273 miles, which is on par with much more expensive cars from the same segment like the Kia Niro EV.

Read our in-depth MG ZS EV review to find out more.

7. MG5 EV - £30,995

Not only is MG offering cheap-as-chips electric hatchbacks and SUVs, but the British-Chinese maker also has another strong and appealingly affordable option in the form of a spacious electric estate. The MG5 EV was recently updated to boast the same angular front-end design and minimalist interior of the smaller MG4 hatchback, with the only version now available to buyers being the 280-mile Long Range model. It may be far from the most exciting EV to drive and while it’s plagued with the same cheap-feeling interior as other models from the MG range, it’s hard to deny the sheer value the 5 offers – especially considering the band's strong five-year warranty.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Read our in-depth MG5 EV review to find out more.

8. Renault ZOE - £31,195

If you’re after a capable, compact electric car, the Renault ZOE is still one of the best on sale. Updated in 2020, the latest model uses a 52kWh battery and comes with an official range of 245 miles, which should be sufficient for a mix of short and longer trips. However, we think the ZOE’s strongest selling point is its smart interior which has been pinched from the petrol-powered Renault Clio. Featuring an iPad-style portrait touchscreen and sustainable materials, the ZOE’s cabin makes it one of the few mainstream EVs that feels worthy of its £30k+ price tag. Thankfully, you now don’t have to step up to the range-topping Iconic model (£31,995) to get access to 50kW DC rapid charging which, in 2024, shouldn’t really be a selling point given how many rivals offer speeds twice as fast.

Read our Renault ZOE review to find out more.

9. Mazda MX-30 EV - £31,250

The Mazda MX-30 is perhaps one of the strangest electric cars you can buy as it’s not only available with a zero-emissions electric motor, but also in Wankel-engined range extender hybrid form for the same price. It’s the former we’re focusing on here which has a pretty lacklustre electric range of 124 miles – roughly the same as a base Fiat 500e. It’s not all that spacious, either, with the rear seats being accessed via a rear-hinged door that can only be opened when the front door is ajar. That being said, the electric Mazda is pretty fun to drive and its interior, while cramped, feels incredibly premium and unique. If you’re not a company car driver after low BiK rates, we think the range-extender is probably the way to go, though.

Read our full Mazda MX-30 review to find out more.

10. Smart #1 - £31,950

Smart has been making cheap electric cars for years; the now-discontinued Smart EQ ForTwo was once on sale for as little as just over £23,000. Fast forward to 2024 and the Smart #1 is the brand’s new entry-level model and comes in the form of a stylish small electric SUV. With a range of up to 193 miles, base #1 Pro models have more than sufficient range for pootling around town, while all versions come fully loaded with kit such as a panoramic glass roof, heated leatherette seats and a 360-degree camera system. It may be one of the cheapest EVs around, but with a punchy powertrain and luxurious-feeling interior, you really can see the brand’s connection with shareholder Mercedes-Benz.

Read our full Smart #1 review to find out more.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Cupra Tavascan review
Cupra Tavascan - front tracking
In-depth reviews

Cupra Tavascan review

17 May 2024
Peugeot E-3008 review
Peugeot E-3008 - front tracking
In-depth reviews

Peugeot E-3008 review

15 May 2024
Smart #3 review: a fun coupe-SUV with a few frustrations
Smart #3 - front tracking
In-depth reviews

Smart #3 review: a fun coupe-SUV with a few frustrations

14 May 2024
New Kia EV6 facelift revealed with a host of updates
Kia EV6 Silver facelift front 3/4
News

New Kia EV6 facelift revealed with a host of updates

14 May 2024

Most Popular

New Kia EV6 facelift revealed with a host of updates
Kia EV6 Silver facelift front 3/4
News

New Kia EV6 facelift revealed with a host of updates

The new EV6 has been revealed with EV9 derived looks, an upgraded battery and updated interior
14 May 2024
Cupra Tavascan review
Cupra Tavascan - front tracking
In-depth reviews

Cupra Tavascan review

Cupra’s first electric SUV is the beginning of a new chapter for this growing brand, and a very promising one at that
17 May 2024
How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
BP Pulse charging
Your questions answered

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

It should cost less to run an electric car than a combustion one, but exactly how much does it cost to charge one up?
15 May 2024