Compare the best cheap electric cars

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Last updated April 5, 2024 by Darren Cassey

Best affordable and budget electric cars and deals of 2024

Electric cars are becoming more and more popular, but there's still a way to go before they become affordable options for many people. That's where some of the cheapest electric cars on sale can help you.

Inexpensive electric cars, in the early days, often suffered with tiny battery packs giving poor ranges, slow charging, and ugly styling making them frankly undesirable. That's still the case for some models, but there are many affordable electric cars on the market today which offer everything the best electric cars can, in a cheaper package. The best cheap EVs have space for a family and their clobber, enough range to last the average driver a week between charges and are fantastic to drive. You'll find 15 of them below.

Note, however, that this isn't a list of the very cheapest EVs, but the best cheap electric cars on sale today, as tested by Carwow's expert car reviewers. They are also the EVs that offer the best value. Further down the page you can see the absolute cheapest models, if purchase price is truly your only consideration.

Volvo EX30
Car Of The Year Award

1. Volvo EX30

Volvo EX30 review
Battery range up to 295 miles
Urban Living Award
Highly Commended

2. MG4 EV

MG MG4 EV review
Battery range up to 323 miles
BYD Dolphin
Smart Spender Award
Highly Commended

3. BYD Dolphin

BYD Dolphin review
Battery range up to 265 miles

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Peugeot e-208

4. Peugeot e-208

Peugeot e-208 review
Battery range up to 254 miles
Peugeot e-2008

5. Peugeot e-2008

Peugeot e-2008 review
Battery range up to 252 miles
Nissan Leaf

6. Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf review
Battery range up to 239 miles
Hyundai Kona Electric

7. Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric review
Battery range up to 319 miles
Smart #1
Urban Living Award
Highly Commended

8. Smart #1

Smart #1 review
Battery range up to 273 miles
Fiat 500e

9. Fiat 500 Electric

Fiat 500e review
Battery range up to 195 miles
Mazda MX-30

10. Mazda MX-30

Mazda MX-30 review
Battery range up to 124 miles
Citroen e-C4

11. Citroen e-C4

Citroen e-C4 review
Battery range up to 260 miles

12. MG ZS EV

MG ZS EV review
Battery range up to 273 miles
GWM Ora Ora 03

13. ORA 03

GWM Ora Ora 03 review
Battery range up to 261 miles
Vauxhall Corsa Electric

14. Vauxhall Corsa Electric

Vauxhall Corsa Electric review
Battery range up to 222 miles
Kia Soul EV

15. Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV review
Battery range up to 280 miles

5 cheapest electric cars on sale

If you really just want to spend the absolute minimum sum of money on an electric car, here are five of the absolute cheapest on sale right now.

1. Citroen Ami

The Ami is technically a quadricycle rather than a car, with a range of 47 miles and a top speed of 28mph. It's fantastic fun to drive around a city, though.

2. BYD Dolphin

This price is for the entry-level Dolphin, which has a lower range and limited performance compared to the version we recommend. It's still practical and funky, though.

3. MG4 EV

Also hitting the podium on our list above, the MG4 EV is fantastic to drive, offers everything from a basic entry-level car to a ballistically fast four-wheel drive model, and has a seven-year warranty.

4. Fiat 500 Electric

The base model of the 500 Electric only has an official range of 118 miles, but that could be plenty if you primarily drive around the city.

5. Nissan Leaf

The Leaf's quite an old car now but it's very spacious and well-equipped, so if you want the biggest car for the least money it could be a good option.

Browse all electric cars

Advice about electric cars

Best value electric cars FAQs

Electric cars can offer real value for money, even if they’re not necessarily cheap to buy. If you want to know more, our FAQs should help you decide if now is the time to switch...

EVs are often more expensive than petrol or diesel cars, because of the costs of developing the technology for the battery packs, motors and all the other features of an electric vehicle. Manufacturers are doing their best to achieve price parity, though, and until then you should be able to offset the higher initial purchase price of an EV with lower running costs. For example, charging an electric car at home is cheaper than refuelling a petrol or diesel car. And, if you’re a company car user, an EV is extremely tax efficient, too.

The smallest EV on sale is the Citroen Ami, but it's very compromised and can't really replace a proper car. The smallest real EV we'd recommend is the Fiat 500 Electric, which is good-looking, fun to drive and surprisingly practical for a city car.

EVs are relatively new and in high demand, which means that used prices are strong and there are no really cheap examples to be found. You can pick up an early example of the Renault Zoe or Nissan Leaf, but they still aren’t as cheap as combustion-engined cars of a similar age.

If you want a newer model, all Kia and MG cars come with a seven-year transferable warranty, so they have a lot of appeal on the used market.

The answer to this question starts with two letters: MG. The MG4 is our top pick, with its generous space, smart styling and excellent battery range. However, if you want an SUV, the MG ZS EV is the cheapest you can buy and if estates are your thing, the MG5 offers fantastic value.

Leasing a car is a great way to get into a brand new EV at an affordable monthly cost, with the added bonus that a warranty and tax are included in the fee. It tends to be more affordable than other finance methods and after the lease expires, you just hand the keys back (and, if you want, take a lease out for another new car).

There are lots of cars that can be leased for a relatively inexpensive monthly fee, but it’s worth bearing in mind that your monthly payment is usually dictated by the initial payment and length of contract. Check out the latest electric car leasing deals on Carwow.

As car companies ramp up production to meet the increasing demand for electric cars, economies of scale will start to cover research and development costs and prices will fall.

We’re starting to see this already, with the MG4 and other Chinese EVs showing that a practical and well-made car can be bought for not a huge amount of money. And as more smaller electric cars come on to the market, this will start to lower the cost of entry further.

The UK government did offer a plug-in car grant, which discounted zero-emission vehicles to encourage uptake, but it was axed in 2022. Certain vehicles – including some vans, taxis and motorcycles – can still qualify for a grant, but EVs are no longer eligible for any money off.

However, there are still some financial incentives to go electric, such as zero-rated vehicle excise duty and a 2% company car benefit-in-kind tax rate, until the 2024/2025 tax year (it will increase to 3% until 2027/2028). Installing a chargepoint can also be eligible for a £350 grant if you own or rent a flat, or for companies installing workplace chargers.

What we’re seeing so far is that EVs don’t depreciate in the same way that petrol and diesel cars do, with the current trend being for them to hold their value much better. A number of factors affect used prices, with one of the key reasons being the high demand for EVs, with long waiting lists for new cars pushing some buyers to the used market. The price premium over equivalent new petrol and diesel models is also resulting in many buyers turning to cheaper used EVs, although it's still early days in the used EV market.