Cheapest electric cars 2022

Andy Brady

Written by

Andy Brady

MG ZS EV Review 2021 front right exterior

Looking to buy a cheap electric car in 2022? Our experts have picked the best and most affordable electric cars on sale in the UK today.

While the best electric cars are usually more expensive than petrol or diesel models, they are getting more and more affordable. Once you factor in an EV's lower running costs, they can actually represent very good value for money.

There's been a flurry of new electric cars hitting the market in recent months, but we're continually updating this guide to the best and cheapest electric cars on sale today. The prices featured here include the Government’s plug-in car grant (if applicable), but if you want an even better deal, we've also rounded up the best used electric cars you can buy as well as the cheapest electric cars to insure.

Take a look at the cheapest electric cars for sale

Cheapest electric cars

Smart EQ Fortwo

Year launched: 2018

Smart EQ Fortwo Review 2022: Front Side View
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Ever since the original Smart car arrived in the late 1990s, the Mercedes-Benz offshoot has produced vehicles with tiny footprints that cost peanuts to run. With Smart now an electric vehicle brand, the Smart Fortwo EQ makes perfect sense. 

It has a range of up to 81 miles, which will be plenty for pottering around town. Unless you live in a pretty enormous town. There’s a Cabrio version, too, while the Smart EQ Forfour caters for those who need four seats (as its name suggests).

A new Smart Fortwo starts from £20,725, making it the cheapest electric car you can buy today. If that's not enough to tickle your fancy, there are often some impressive deals available, while a nearly-new example could be yours for as little as £16,000.

Mazda MX-30

Year launched: 2020

Mazda MX-30 Review 2022: Soul Red exterior dynamic
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Mazda likes to do things differently, so there was no doubt that its first electric vehicle would stand out against competitors. For a start, the Mazda MX-30 has a relatively small 33.5kWh battery, which means it can cover just 124 miles between charges according to official WLTP tests (and, likely, considerably less in reality).

That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. Smaller batteries are kinder to the environment (both to produce and recycle), while they're also a lot quicker to charge. Less than 30 minutes at a public rapid charger will top up the Mazda MX-30, while your home wall box.

It's priced competitively against other small SUVs, too, starting from just £27,145 for the MX-30 SE-L Lux model.

Fiat 500 Electric

Year launched: 2021

Fiat 500 Electric Review 2022: on the road
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The Fiat 500 first arrived in 2008 and has been a huge success for the Italian brand. For this third generation model, Fiat has made the bold decision of making it electric only. 

Still one of the smallest cars on the road at just some 3.6m long, the Fiat 500 Electric starts at £20,495 for the 500 Action model. This entry-level model comes with a modest 24kWh battery which gives a 115 mile range, while the Fiat 500 Electric can be fast charged to 80% of full battery power in 30 minutes (provided you're using a fast charging public station with the bundled mode 3 cable). 

Fiat's freshened up the 500's already stylish looks with some nice little touches, but in Action trim things are a little stripped back inside. Don't expect a large touchscreen, instead there's a smartphone cradle that you can connect your phone to.

Nissan Leaf

Year launched: 2018

Nissan Leaf Review 2022 front exterior
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As more and more electric cars hit the market, the Nissan Leaf is starting to be eclipsed by some very desirable vehicles. It’s still an incredibly competent (and great value) choice, though, with enough space for all the family and a proven electric powertrain.

There are two models available: the standard Leaf and the Leaf+. The latter has a larger 62kWh battery, giving it a range of up to 239 miles. 

It’s the standard car you’ll be looking at if you’re on a budget, though. This can cover 168 miles between charges and is priced from £25,995. That’s not a great deal more than some much smaller alternatives.

MINI Electric review

Year launched: 2020

MINI Electric Review 2022 front-left exterior
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If you’re on a budget but still want a fashionable electric city car, you’ll be pleased to know the MINI Electric starts at 'just' £26,000. Which is kind of cheap for an electric car. It’s great to drive and has a plush interior, just like a standard petrol or diesel MINI.

With a 145-mile range and the ability to rapid charge to 80% in just 36 minutes, the MINI Electric is a really easy to use electric car. 

You can also customise it to make it look more or less like a conventional MINI - you can decide if you want to shout about your green credentials or not.

MG ZS EV

Year launched: 2019

MG ZS EV Review 2022: rear
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Looking for an electric vehicle that is practical enough to replace your family car? Say hello to the MG ZS EV. It’s one of the new Chinese-built MGs, which represent very good value for money and come with generous equipment lists as standard.

MG provides a seven-year warranty and says the ZS was originally designed as an EV, and this means the electric version looks and feels identical to the standard car. 

You also get an impressive 470 litres of luggage space - which is far more than you'll get in any of its EV rivals, like the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro. It's now offered with a bigger battery providing a range of up to 273 miles which is pretty impressive considering its sub-£30,000 price tag.

Peugeot e-208

Year launched: 2020

Peugeot e-208 on road
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You can still buy a petrol or diesel Peugeot 208 but, for a lot of buyers we reckon the all-electric Peugeot e-208 is the best choice out of the three options. It’s capable of covering up to 217 miles between charges - a genuinely impressive figure for an electric car.

It also has a much classier interior than most other cheap electric cars and, thanks to its eager motor and nimble handling, it’s also a lot of fun to drive. 

Prices for the Peugeot e-208 in Active trim start from £27,225 (after the Government’s plug-in car grant). If you’re tempted, you should also consider the very similar Vauxhall Corsa-e.

Renault Zoe

Year launched: 2013

Renault Zoe Review 2022 Front View
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The Renault Zoe is one of the original electric cars, on sale since 2013. It’s been comprehensively updated in recent years, however, meaning it now has an incredible 245-mile range and optional CCS rapid charging. 

Prices for the Zoe Play model start from £27,595, rising to £32,095 for GT Line models. There are two motors available: the R110 and R135 - each with 110 and 135PS respectively. 

The more powerful model is slightly quicker, obviously, but range isn’t affected. Go for the R135 if you’re planning to cover long journeys as this one comes with CCS rapid charging.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Year launched: 2019

Hyundai Kona Electric frontleft exterior
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With a range of up to 278 miles, trendy crossover looks and practicality to match, it’s no wonder the Hyundai Kona Electric is flying off the shelves. 

If you’re on a budget, you’ll want the 39kWh model (which can cover up to 189 miles between charges), but that’ll be sufficient for lots of buyers. Even the entry-level model is great to drive and comes packed with equipment.

Prices for the Hyundai Kona Electric in SE Connect trim with the smaller 39 kWh battery pack start from £27,950. You can easily spend a lot more (the Ultimate starts from £37,200), but it’s not really necessary as even the most affordable models are generously equipped.

Honda e

Year launched: 2020

Honda e Review 2022: exterior front
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The Honda e is one of the most desirable electric cars to go on sale in recent years. It just looks awesome, with retro styling that has barely changed since Honda’s Urban EV concept car (which was never intended to hit the market). 

We love how it drives (especially the 154PS Honda e Advance), with zesty performance and nimble handling. Its 137-mile range is plenty for scooting around town.

It’s just as impressive inside, where you’ll find a dashboard-full of digital screens (covering everything from infotainment to the rear-view mirror). With prices starting from £28,215, it’s one of the pricier electric cars to feature here but it’ll also feel the most special.

The best cheap electric car in the UK depends on your priorities, but we think the MG ZS EV represents excellent value for money. It's recently been revamped with an improved interior, fresh technology and a longer range.

Electric cars tend to cost more to insure than a comparable petrol or diesel. That's because they have large batteries that are expensive to replace if the car is damaged. But savings on fuel should offset any additional costs on insurance. 

If you're worried about depreciation when buying even a cheap electric car, you should consider leasing an EV or buying one on PCP - that way you can upgrade to a new model (with the latest tech) after three years or so. Search our used electric cars

What cheapest electric car is the best?

The best cheap electric car in the UK depends on your priorities, but we think the MG ZS EV represents excellent value for money. It's recently been revamped with an improved interior, fresh technology and a longer range.

Why do electric cars cost so much?

Even the cheapest electric cars tend to be more expensive than petrol or diesel rivals, but they’re coming down in price. The main reason why electric cars generally cost more is because they're produced in smaller numbers and the technology is newer, with manufacturers having to invest heavily in the development of electric cars. You can still buy a cheap electric car, with used EVs setting costing as little as £5000, while new ones start from around £25,000 (after the Government’s plug-in car grant).

Will electric cars get cheaper?

Yes, we expect electric cars to get cheaper in the coming years. As manufacturers start producing electric cars in bigger quantities and the development costs are reduced, electric cars will become more affordable.

What's the best way to finance a new electric car?

If you're worried about depreciation when buying even a cheap electric car, you should consider leasing an EV or buying one on PCP - that way you can upgrade to a new model (with the latest tech) after three years or so.

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