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Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2024

Here are the cheapest electric cars you can buy new in the UK right now

cheapest electric cars

If you’re looking to make the switch to emissions-free motoring but don’t want to spend a fortune, you’re in the right place – these are the cheapest electric cars currently on sale. As a general rule, electric cars are more expensive than their petrol counterparts, but the EV market is expanding rapidly, with new affordable models appearing from a wide range of manufacturers.

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You might also consider a hybrid or plug-in hybrid car as these have similar low running costs, but are usually cheaper to buy than pure electric cars. It’s worth bearing in mind that you’re likely to get more equipment for your money by opting for a hybrid car compared to an EV of the same price, but for some, that’s a trade-off that’s worth making.

Alternatively, if budget is not an issue for you, check out our list of the best electric cars for a full rundown of our favourite zero-emission models currently on sale.

The cheapest electric cars on sale today

Read on to find out more about the top 10 cheapest electric cars on sale.

Citroen Ami hatchback review

Citroen Ami Buggy
Carbuyer rating

3.3 out of 5

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  • Priced from £7,695

While the Citroen Ami is technically a quadricycle, this small electric ‘car’ offers unrivalled value for money. Unlike the now-discontinued Renault Twizy, the left-hand-drive-only Ami offers a surprising amount of interior space for its size. Its boxy shape allows for plenty of headroom for you and one passenger, as well as lots of floor space and ingenious cubbies to store a handful of items from an impromptu shopping trip.

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Don’t expect to get anywhere particularly quickly; the Ami has a top speed of 28mph and the ride is unsettled enough that you may be glad it doesn’t go any faster. Furthermore, a short range of up to 46 miles means it’s only realistically suitable for city dwellers looking for a cheap and easy-to-drive commuter vehicle. A Citroen Ami can be yours for as little as £20 per month after a relatively small deposit, which can make it a cheaper option than taking the bus or train. It certainly won’t be for everyone, but as a tool for nipping around city streets, it does an admirable job.

Dacia Spring hatchback review

Dacia Spring hatchback
Carbuyer rating

3.2 out of 5

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  • Priced from £14,995
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The Citroen Ami may be around half the price, but for many, the Dacia Spring will be more than double the vehicle. For starters, it’s a genuine ‘car’ – no quadricycles here – coming with a far more flexible 143 miles of range. While still aimed at city-dwellers, the Spring packs a practical and well-equipped interior with amenities such as air conditioning, cruise control, a digital driver’s display and a 10-inch infotainment screen in top-spec models. 

Finally available in the UK in facelifted form, the Spring comes as standard with a 44bhp electric motor, while a 65bhp option costs an extra £1,000. The latter is nippy enough around town, and a 78mph top speed means it can handle the occasional fast road, too. We doubt it will ever win any awards for style, speed or handling, but the Spring could be the ideal affordable set of wheels for sneaking around town in EV silence.

BYD Dolphin review - our favourite new car

carbuyer car of the year 2024
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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  • Priced from £26,140
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The BYD Dolphin is the Chinese brand’s smallest and most affordable electric car, sitting under the Seal and Atto 3 SUV. It’s similar in size and shape to the MG4 (below), offering up to around 211 miles of driving range on a single charge. There is also a more expensive version with a larger battery and 265 miles of range.

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We have already been impressed by the Dolphin’s comfort, equipment and performance, but particularly its value for money. It’s not the most distinctive-looking model, but it’s a genuinely impressive small car for people looking for a cheap and cheerful EV to get them to work and back with minimal costs. It does that job so well, in fact, that we crowned it the Carbuyer Car of the Year for 2024.

Vauxhall Corsa Electric review - cheap to run, but expensive to buy

Vauxhall Corsa Electric facelift UK drive front dynamic
Carbuyer rating

3.8 out of 5

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  • Priced from £26,895

The Vauxhall Corsa has long been a popular choice for UK car buyers on a budget, but the electric model never offered quite the same value for money. That changed in 2024 with the introduction of the Yes! trim level, cutting the Corsa Electric’s starting price by over £5,000. At under £27,000, the Corsa Electric Yes! is a far more compelling proposition for budget-conscious buyers, offering the same driving experience, low running costs and rapid-charging speeds as more expensive models.

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The entry-level Corsa Electric gets a 50kWh battery powering a 134bhp front-mounted electric motor. Pricer models get a newer 54kWh pack with more range, but we think most buyers can live without this upgrade, especially those who largely stick to around-town driving. Just be warned that motorway driving has a big impact on the Corsa Electric’s range and the ride is slightly lumpier than the equivalent petrol version.

MG4 hatchback review

Best Family Electric Car: MG4
Carbuyer rating

4.3 out of 5

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  • Priced from £26,995
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A list of appealing cheap electric cars wouldn’t be complete without the MG4, as not only is it competitively priced, but it has range figures and charging times that compete with more expensive rivals such as the Volkswagen ID.3. Entry-level MG4s will manage just over 200 miles on a charge – which is perfectly sufficient for those spending most of their time around town – while the more expensive Long Range model is claimed to be able to travel around 280 miles before needing to be plugged in.

Despite its low price, even the base SE trim comes loaded with standard equipment including a 10.25-inch touchscreen, climate control, adaptive cruise control and rear parking sensors. There’s also a seven-year/80,000-mile warranty, and MG has said all its EV models will have lower servicing charges than petrol models, helping to keep running costs low. While boot space is compromised in comparison to the equivalent small electric SUV, it’s important to remember that the MG4 is priced more in-line with less-practical superminis.

Fiat 500 review - a fun and affordable EV city car

Fiat 500 electric
Carbuyer rating

4 out of 5

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  • Priced from £28,195
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The top-selling Fiat 500 has been reinvented as an of-the-moment electric city car, yet it still retains all the retro-charm of its petrol predecessors. While the exterior of the new 500 looks rather familiar, the interior has more space than ever and boasts a large and easy-to-use touchscreen. As before, the new 500 is also available with a folding fabric sunroof, meaning it’s one of the few electric convertibles currently available on the UK market. There’s also a ‘3+1’ model with a rear-hinged door for easy access to the back seats.

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There are two battery sizes to choose from: a 23.8kWh unit offering a range of 115 miles, and a larger 42kWh battery pack with a 199-mile range. Despite the Fiat’s electric motor only producing 117bhp (92bhp in the smaller battery model), its instant power delivery means the 500 feels extremely peppy when driving around tight city streets. If your budget can stretch to it, we recommend opting for the larger battery as the added range is good to have if you plan to go on the occasional longer journey – this starts from £31,195.

Nissan Leaf hatchback review

Nissan Leaf - front
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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  • Priced from £28,495

One of the first mass-market electric cars, the Nissan Leaf remains good value to this day with its spacious interior and usable electric range. Roughly the size of a Volkswagen Golf, the Leaf offers enough space inside for a small family, while the design of the interior is simply laid out – if a bit dull compared to newer rivals. 

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Entry-level Nissan Leaf models with the 39kWh battery are claimed to return up to 168 miles on a single charge. Upgrade to the ‘e+’ model and this brings a larger 62kWh battery with a 239-mile range, a more powerful electric motor and bundles of extra kit. Despite costing around £6,000 more than the entry-level Leaf, this still undercuts similarly-sized rivals like the Volkswagen ID.3 and Cupra Born – although it is a chunk more than the equivalent MG4 EV.

Mazda MX-30 review - a fun urban EV with optional range-extender

Mazda MX-30 SUV
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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  • Priced from £28,995 (including offer discount)
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Mazda’s first electric car is one of the quirkier options on this list. Its striking looks are made more unusual by its back doors that open rearwards, and the inside uses recycled cork trim to recognise Mazda’s origins in the cork business. Rather than chasing a long range with a big battery, the Mazda MX-30 packs quite a small 35.5kWh cell with a 124-mile range.

While this figure may sound disappointing, Mazda’s research suggests that it’s fine for the majority of its customers that will likely use the car as a city runaround. A plug-in hybrid R-EV version with a small petrol engine is now also available for the same price if you like the look of the Mazda, but need a bit more range. A slightly claustrophobic rear seat area means the MX-30 isn’t the best family car around though, even if many of the cars on this list are similarly compact.

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The MX-30 sneaks onto this list thanks to a £2,255 saving currently offered by Mazda, dropping its list price to under £29,000 – so get it while it’s hot.

MG ZS EV SUV review

Carbuyer best family electric car MG ZS EV
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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  • Priced from £30,495

Although it’s expensive compared to the petrol ZS, the MG ZS EV is one of the cheapest electric cars currently on sale – and by far the largest vehicle on this list. Proving that desirable, electric SUVs can also be affordable, the ZS EV has a well-equipped, spacious interior with a big 448-litre boot. While material quality does lag behind rivals, we can forgive this as the nearest direct competitor costs around £7,000 more.

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Switching to electric power has transformed the ZS’ driving experience; while the petrol model feels underpowered, the EV’s electric motor offers sufficient punch and its near-silence benefits overall refinement. Entry-level ZS EV models offer a respectable 193 miles of range, while ‘Long Range’ cars with the larger 72.6kWh battery can do 276 miles on a charge. Partner this with a brilliant seven-year 100,000-mile warranty and it's no wonder the MG ZS EV was awarded our Best Family Electric Car award for 2023.

MG5 EV estate review

2022 MG5 EV - front 1
Carbuyer rating

4.1 out of 5

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  • Priced from £30,995

If producing affordable electric hatchbacks and SUVs wasn’t enough, MG also offers a plug-in estate in the form of the MG5 EV. An update in 2022 saw the MG5 adopt the same angular styling as its smaller sibling, the MG4, as well as receive an upgraded interior and infotainment system. As with most MGs, standard equipment is strong, with all MG5 models getting a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, keyless entry and a reversing camera. 

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There is only one powertrain variant available: the Long Range model, which utilises a 61kWh battery to provide a range of up to 250 miles on a single charge. While the MG5’s electric motor does provide a decent punch, the car is primarily set up for comfort and does not encourage you to push it hard. Regardless, a boxy and spacious 464-litre boot and comfortable rear seats make the MG5 the perfect zero-emissions family workhorse.

What to look for when buying an affordable electric car

Electric cars are becoming increasingly desirable, with a stream of new models arriving and improvements in the charging infrastructure. However, if you’re cross-shopping electric and combustion-engined family cars you’ll no doubt have noticed that electric cars are nearly always more expensive than their petrol and diesel counterparts.

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Why is this the case? Like any new technology, prices are high for early adopters in order for manufacturers to recoup the significant research and development costs that have gone towards getting the first models off the production line. As carmakers streamline the production process of their EVs, technology trickles down to more humble models, and battery production ramps up, many expect prices to decrease. Competition from new Chinese manufacturers, whose EVs tend to undercut models from more established brands in Europe, should drive prices down further.

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But how long this will take is anyone’s guess. Today, petrol cars are still the most affordable on the market, and are usually cheaper to insure and repair as well. If you do choose to purchase an affordable EV, there are a few things you should consider.

Many manufacturers offer their EVs with a choice of battery sizes, with larger batteries providing a longer range but costing more. While many buyers are concerned about range anxiety, it’s worth considering how far you’ll realistically be driving on a daily basis. If you stick to around-town driving for 90% of the year, then it would make sense to save the cash and opt for the cheaper model with the smaller battery pack.

Insurance is another point to consider. While EVs typically offer much lower running costs than a petrol car thanks to cheap home charging, sky-high insurance premiums can quickly undo any fuel savings. This is particularly apparent with some new models from Chinese brands, such as BYD and GWM Ora, due to factors including part supply issues. We recommend contacting your insurer beforehand for a quote to avoid any expensive surprises.

Now read our list of the best electric cars on sale…

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