Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2023
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.
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. Plus, electric cars generally are far less expensive to run and attract lower company-car tax than their combustion-engined competitors, so you can claw back some of the difference over the course of ownership.
Therefore, if you’re a budget-minded motorist, you needn’t wait until 2025 when the sub-£20,000 Renault 5, Volkswagen ID.1 or Cupra Urbanrebel are all on sale. Here is our list of the cheapest electric cars you can buy right now:
Cheapest electric cars on sale now
Make sure to check out the winners of the 2023 DrivingElectric Awards and our list of the best electric SUVs as well to see what’s impressed us the most over the past year – and don't forget to follow DrivingElectric on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for the very latest news and reviews.
1. Smart EQ ForTwo – £21,870
The incredibly compact Smart EQ ForTwo is not only the cheapest entry on this list, but by far the smallest. It's only a two-seater and offers a range of just 83 miles on a charge, which is far below what the likes of the Fiat 500 can manage. There's also a Cabrio version that combines city-focused driving dynamics with open-air thrills, but it adds a few thousand pounds to the Smart's price tag and probably isn't the ideal EV for contending with British weather.
Read our full Smart EQ ForTwo review to find out more.
2. MG4 EV – £26,995
The winner of the Car of The Year and Best Value Electric Car titles in the 2023 DrivingElectric Awards, the MG4 EV is the brand’s first electric hatchback, and rival to the likes of the Cupra Born and Volkswagen ID.3. But while its competitors start from close to £37,000, the MG4 comes in under £27,000. For that you get eye-catching styling, 150kW rapid charging, a generous amount of standard kit and a 51kWh battery; enough for a range of 218 miles. But, if you upgrade to the Long Range version, the family hatchback can cover 281 miles on a charge, all for under £30,000.
Read our MG4 EV review here to find out more.
3. Fiat 500 – £28,195
The latest and greatest Fiat 500 is electric-only, but 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 there's still much to enjoy. As of January 2023, the entry-level 24kWh Fiat 500 is available to order again, offering 118 miles of range for the price, as well as lots of kit. But you can still upgrade to the 42kWh battery to get a range of up to 200 miles and 85kW rapid charging.
Read our full review Fiat 500 to find out more.
4. Nissan Leaf – £28,995
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 model stands at 168 miles, which is significantly less than some of the other hatchbacks on this list, but you do at least get one-pedal driving capabilities – which is great to have around town – plenty of boot space and the option of advanced driver assistance systems, too.
Read our in-depth Nissan Leaf review to find out more.
5. MINI Electric – £29,000
The MINI Electric is targeted at city-dwelling buyers, as it offers a limited amount of space and around 120 miles of real-world range from its 32.6kWh battery. At 1,360kg, the electric MINI is around 130kg heavier than the petrol version of the hatchback, but it still feels agile and fun to drive, preserving that trademark MINI 'go-kart handling' that fans love. Plus, the MINI Electric’s build quality, cabin design and infotainment system embarrasses electric cars that cost twice as much, yet it starts from £29,000.
Read our full MINI Electric review to find out more.
6. Renault ZOE – £29,995
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. 50kW CCS rapid charging is also available, making quick top-ups at public stations more feasible, too, with prices starting from just under £30,000.
Read our Renault ZOE review to find out more.
7. Mazda MX-30 – £30,050
Although it's priced very close to the French hatchbacks above and below it in this list, the Mazda MX-30 is something a little different. For starters, it's not quite as practical as they are, with pretty cramped and dark rear seats, plus an unusual pillarless door arrangement. It's also not a class leader when it comes to range, promising only 124 miles on a charge. But it does offer typically sporty Mazda handling, as well as an attractive cabin with sustainable materials used throughout.
Read our full Mazda MX-30 review to find out more.
8. MG ZS EV – £30,495
MG's ZS EV offers an impressive range and standard kit for just over £30,000. The compact electric SUV comes with a generous amount of equipment, including LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, a 360-degree parking camera and a 10.1-inch central touchscreen. The entry-level model gets 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.
Read our in-depth MG ZS EV review to find out more.
9. MG5 EV – £30,995
The recently refreshed MG5 EV is one of the best-value electric cars on sale – not to mention the only mainstream electric estate car you can buy. Offering family-car practicality for supermini money, it has plenty of space for passengers, luggage and pets. Range stands at 250 miles for the entry-level version, while 87kW rapid charging means you can top up to 80% in a little over half-an-hour from a compatible charger. The MG5’s cabin received an extensive overhaul as part of its facelift for 2023, with the upgrades including a new 10.25-inch touchscreen running MG’s latest infotainment system.
Read our in-depth MG5 EV review to find out more.
10. Peugeot e-208 – £31,435
The French brand's electric hatchback currently features a 50kWh battery and offers a solid range of up to 225 miles. It uses the same platform and running gear as the Vauxhall Corsa Electric, but both the exterior and interior design of the e-208 are arguably better that of the Vauxhall. Despite that, the Peugeot is a few hundred pounds cheaper than its British counterpart at the time of writing, and is due to be updated later this year with a bigger battery and more range.
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