guide

Top 10 cheapest electric cars to buy for every type of driver

27 July 2021 | Celia Topping

We’ve come a long way since the first modern EV rolled quietly off the production line. Over the last 10 years, manufacturers have been battling it out to make their electric car models increasingly more affordable for new car buyers. And now, with prices starting from as low as £12k, some of the cheapest EVs can actually compete in price with their combustion engine cousins. 

But it’s not only the upfront cost that makes EVs an attractive option. We should also consider the government incentives, the increased investment in EV infrastructure, and the low running costs of EVs. All these factors make buying an EV a genuine alternative to traditional petrol or diesel cars. Have we finally reached the point where naysayers can no longer play the “they’re too expensive” card? 

The range of EVs has hugely increased since the Nissan Leaf first came to our attention. Nowadays, there are makes and models of EVs to suit every motoring need – from family sedan to city runaround. So here’s our top 10 list of the cheapest EVs to keep everyone happy:

Cheapest electric cars: the top 10

All of our top 10 cars can be bought for under £30,000. And because we understand one car doesn’t fit all needs, we’ve divided the list into different categories, to suit every type of driver. We’re also taking into consideration not only the cost, but the vehicle's range, home charge time, whether rapid charge is possible, and how much it would cost to charge on our newest and cheapest EV tariff, OVO Drive

And, if you’re not looking to buy, there are now loads of EVs you can lease – allowing you to always have the latest model on your driveway. Find out more below about our partnership with Vanarama – the UK’s largest online vehicle leasing company. 

Cheapest electric cars with a great range

1. Hyundai Kona

This is a 5-door, 5-seat, compact SUV with smart, sporty looks and a very impressive range. And with a 64kw battery, you’re looking at a range of 300 miles. Range anxiety? What range anxiety? We’re starting to see EVs that are both affordable, and offer the kind of range you’d get from a petrol car with a full tank. Exciting times. 

  • Cost: £27,950
  • Vehicle range: 300 miles
  • OVO Drive cost for 8,000 miles (UK average): £284
  • 7kWh home charge time: 6 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes: 10 to 80% in 47 minutes
  • When is it available: now

2. Renault Zoe

Although the Renault Zoe has been around for about a decade, some significant tweaks along the way have seriously boosted performance. The latest model comes complete with a wall-mounted 7kW charger installed at your home (if bought at a Renault dealership). We especially like the trim upgrade, which is made partly from recycled Renault seat belts – making an already eco-friendly EV even more sustainable! 

  • Cost: £27,009
  • Vehicle range: 245 miles
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £282
  • 7kWh home charge time: around 9.5 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes, if you pay a little extra. This can charge 0 to 80% in just over an hour.
  • When is it available: now

3. VW ID.3 Pure

Just sneaking in under the £30,000 mark is Volkswagen’s ID.3 Pure. This bespoke EV is a fun drive, being both good-looking and rather nippy in the acceleration department. The fancier models top out at a much higher price point, but have a staggering range of 336 miles. We’re getting to the tipping point where range anxiety will be a thing of the past. 

  • Cost: £29, 990
  • Vehicle range: 217 miles
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £305
  • 7kWh home charge time: 7.5 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes, you can regain 137 miles of range in 30 minutes
  • When is it available: now

Cheapest electric cars for families

Electric car family children driving EV

4. MG ZS EV

This SUV may not be the fastest car off the blocks, but as a family car it ticks lots of boxes – including lots of space inside for passengers and a roomy boot,  plus high standard safety features. The spacious MG ZS EV is actually cheaper than some smaller electric cars – so it’s excellent value for money. But it may depreciate quicker, which is important if you’re considering resale value. 

  • Cost: £21,495
  • Vehicle range: 163 miles, but with more regenerative braking, for example while city driving, it could go up to 231 miles
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £347
  • 7kWh home charge time: 6.5 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes, 0 to 80% in 40 minutes
  • When is it available: now

5. Nissan Leaf

This second generation Nissan Leaf is bigger, faster, better to drive, and has a longer range than its predecessor. As a family car, the Leaf is practical and reliable where you need it, and offers excellent value for money. Yet despite all the improvements – 50% better battery range, 40% better motor power and 25% more torque – the 2nd gen Leaf is cheaper than the previous incarnation by £1,500. What’s not to like?

  • Cost: £28,495
  • Vehicle range: 168 miles
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £285
  • 7kWh home charge time: 8 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes, 0 to 80% charge in 30 minutes
  • When is it available: now

6. Citroen e-C4

The French automotive company is known for their sometimes bold designs, and their Citroen e-C4 is no exception. This is a family-sized SUV coupe, with design traits reminiscent of Citroen’s heritage models. As well as being an easy, comfortable drive, the stylish e-C4 has a good quality, plush interior and lots of gadgets that come as standard, even at entry-level.

  • Cost:  £29,180 (after government grant)
  • Vehicle range: 217 miles
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £276
  • 7kWh home charge time: 7 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes, 20 - 80% in 40 minutes
  • When is it available: now

Cheapest mid-range electric cars

Volvo car plugged in for charging on street parking

7. Peugeot e-208

This sleek, sporty 5 door city car comes with a 6-month charging subscription to BP Pulse, and offers remote heating for those cold winter mornings. As Peugeot’s first mass-produced EV, the French company has chosen to play safe. Visually, you can barely tell the difference between the e-208 and the regular 208, apart from the e badge on the back. But inside, instead of pistons and cylinders, is a 45kWh battery and a motor that can take you from 0 to 60mph in just 7.5 seconds.

  • Cost: £25,050 (after the Government’s plug-in car grant)
  • Vehicle range: 217 miles 
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £276
  • 7kWh home charge time: 8 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes, 0 to 80% in 30 minutes
  • When is it available: now

8. Corsa-e

The Corsa-e has much in common with the Peugeot e-208, except for its outside appearance. Head and leg room are ample, and there’s enough room for your luggage, so long as you don’t carry a spare wheel. Vauxhall will supply and fit a charger for you at home, for free, if you buy direct from them. 

  • Cost: £26,490
  • Vehicle range: 209 miles
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £286
  • 7kWh home charge time: 7.5 hours
  • Rapid charge available: Yes, 0-80% in 30 minutes
  • When is it available: now

Cheapest electric cars for city driving

city driving ev

9. MINI Electric

The appeal of the British-built Mini never seems to wane. And with the electric 3 door hatchback version being almost as powerful as the petrol-powered Cooper S (and cheaper too!), that may long continue. The MINI electric’s official 0 to 62mph time is 7.3sec, which is quick by any standard. 

But on the downside, space is limited in the back seat, due to the battery configuration. And although it’s a zippy little city runaround, you won’t be able to run for long before recharging, as the 145 mile range comes to more like 100 miles in test conditions. 

  • Cost: £27,900
  • Vehicle range: 145 miles
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £265
  • 7kWh home charge time: 4.75 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes, 0 to 80% charge in 29 minutes
  • When is it available: now

10. Fiat 500e

This is the cheapest car on our list, and even the mid-range upgrade costs less than many others in this category, at £23,494. The lack of legroom in the back is made up for in head and boot space, with a surprising amount of room for your supermarket shopping in this diminutive vehicle. The Fiat 500e retains as much charm as when it first launched as a petrol car back in the 50’s – so for a supermini that turns heads, look no further.

  • Cost: £19,995
  • Vehicle range: 115 miles (mid range has 199 miles)
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £249
  • 7kWh home charge time: 6 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes, 0 to 80% in 26 minutes
  • When is it available: now

Cheapest EVs to lease

Leasing an electric car is a  great alternative to buying one  – especially if you want to drive a brand new car for less money per month than finance methods, without the worries of depreciation. Most drivers find they can afford a more expensive car through leasing, than they could afford to buy. Just ask our OVO team member, Todd Carter who’s been leasing his car for over a year. 

Through our partnership with the UK’s award-winning vehicle leasing business, Vanarama, you can access the best cars at great prices. And with our Free Green Miles scheme, you can convert the EV miles you drive into a reduction on your energy bills – meaning you’ll save money on charging your vehicle, as well as on your household energy.

And that’s not all! When you lease a “Hot Offer” EV, you’ll also qualify for a year’s free full insurance (worth an average £538) and a fully installed EV home charger. Not bad eh

The best offers at the moment include:

MG ZS EV

This brilliant little SUV is also one of our top picks for the cheapest family car, and has loads of room for all your family’s bits and bobs. Plus, you don’t need to worry about resale value with a leased car! Find out all the details about leasing the MG ZS EV. 

  • Cost: from £215 per month, including a year’s insurance and a home charge point
  • Vehicle range: 163 miles – but with more regenerative braking, for example while city driving, it could go up to 231 miles
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £347
  • 7kWh home charge time: 6.5 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes, 0 to 80% in 40 minutes

Renault Zoe

The Renault Zoe has always been, and continues to be one of the most popular EVs around, and is one of our top picks for cars with a great range. Find out all the details about leasing the Zoe.

  • Cost: from £210 per month, including a year’s insurance and a home charge point
  • Vehicle range: 245 miles
  • OVO Drive cost for 8000 miles (UK average): £282
  • 7kWh home charge time: 9.5 hours
  • Rapid charge available: yes, if you pay a little extra. This can charge 0 to 80% in just over an hour.

Both these cars are offered with Vanarama’s complimentary Redundancy & Life Event Cover for the duration of your lease – meaning you could return the car at any time for no charge, should the worst happen. 

Once you get your car, don't forget to switch your electricity to our OVO Drive tariff. It's our cheapest EV tariff for cheaper charging overnight. 

Got more cash to splash? Check out our guide to some of the most exciting new EVs entering the market.

Charging your EV from home

Find out how you can save £70 off the latest EV smart home chargers when you sign up to OVO. All your electric car needs in one place! And see if you’re eligible for the government’s OLEV grant, for up to £350 off your home charger. 

What can OVO offer you as an EV driver?

Our OVO Drive tariff doesn’t only offer unbeatable flat rates for charging your EV at home. Our members also get:

  • 100% renewable electricity as standard1
  • A tree planted in your name every single year you’re with us2
  • An award-winning smart meter experience (Uswitch 2020)
  • A £50 gift card every time you introduce a friend
  • A 5-Star TrustPilot rating by 30,000 members

So why not get a quote, and switch to OVO today? You could be charging your EV and saving money sooner than you think.



Sources and references:

1100% of the renewable electricity we sell is backed by renewable certificates (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates (REGOs)). See here for details on Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates and how these work. A proportion of the electricity we sell is also purchased directly from renewable generators in the UK.

2 Each year, OVO plants 1 tree for every member in partnership with the Woodland Trust. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so tree-planting helps to slow down climate change.

Come, join us

For 100% renewable electricity, tree planting power and so much more.

Get a quote in 2 mins