Best used electric cars 2021

Nick Francis

27 Sep 2021

New electric cars are, in general, more expensive than new petrol and diesel cars. But if you’re happy to buy second hand you can pick up an emissions-free motor for an affordable price. Here we round up our favourite used electric cars.

1. Renault Zoe 

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You can pick up a used Renault Zoe very cheaply these days, although we recommend looking for models made after 2015, when the battery was upgraded. It easily covers 200 miles on a full charge in real world conditions, although Renault reckons it can do up to 245 miles, and it’s highly practical for a small car. 

2. Volkswagen e-Golf

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The e-Golf has been eclipsed a bit by the launch of VW’s ID range of electric cars, but there are plenty on the second-hand market to be had at affordable prices. It offers all the practicality, build quality and interior comfort as a regular Golf, only it’s powered by an electric motor. That means it’s nippy off the line too. 

3. Jaguar I-Pace

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You can buy a decent Jaguar I-Pace for around £45,000, a car that costs £65,000 new. Not only does it look great, but you’ll get a good 250 miles out of a charge and it will box of 0-62mph in less than five seconds, which makes it a lot of fun to drive. The cabin is spacious enough for a family of four and feels appropriately premium for the price tag. 

4. Nissan Leaf

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Just like its sister car, the Renault Zoe, the Nissan Leaf is a practical small electric car that won’t break the bank. Cheaper models will be powered by the 24kW battery and are therefore best avoided, but if you can find a 30kWh or 40kWh model you will have an EV that can do 130-220 miles on a charge. It doesn’t look nearly as pretty as the Zoe though.

5. Tesla Model S

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High mileage examples of the Model S can be had for well under £30,000, but £35-40,000 will buy something with plenty of life left in it. This is a car that cost well north of £80,000 when it was new. The Model S is unbelievably rapid and earlier examples still give you around 240 miles of real-world range. A premium cabin and bundles of great tech will reassure you that you’ve spent your money well. 

6. BMW i3 

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 One of the most characterful and entertaining EVs money can buy, the i3 is only let down by its modest battery range, but if you have the money to buy one made after the 2019 facelift then you’ll get around 150 miles of real world range per charge. The i3 makes an ideal car for those who only do short journeys or spend most of their time in town. It’s also a great second car that could seriously reduce your fuel bills. 

7. Kia e-Niro

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There isn’t a tonne of second-hand e-Niros to be found, which is testament to how good Kia’s electric crossover is, but if you can track one down at a good price you are unlikely to have any regrets. It’s spacious inside and has a great infotainment system, and if you drive it intelligently you can come very close to achieving Kia’s claimed 280 miles of range. 

8. Volkswagen e-Up

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The e-Up is so small and dinky that it only really makes sense for city-livers who don’t drive far, or as a second car, so for that reason you might want to bag one of the cheaper earlier models which offer a range of 80 miles. A battery upgrade came in 2019, but those are still quite pricy. It’s a fun little car, offering nippy performance and a smart interior. 

9. Hyundai Ioniq

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The Ioniq is a solid family car with plenty of space inside and a quiet, refined driving experience. Older models go for around £17,000 but keep in mind those come with a limited range, you won’t get much more than around 120 miles per charge. A bigger 38kWh battery arrived in 2019 which upped the range to around 180 miles, but expect to pay more like £25,000 for one. 

10. MG ZS EV

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The electric MG ZS is a very reasonably priced SUV when new, so if you’re prepared to buy one second-hand you stand to get even more value for money. New, it costs £26,000 after the plug-in car grant, but a nearly new model with well under 10,000 miles on the clock will set you back around £20,000. That’s a bargain for a large family car which will do around 140 miles in real world conditions. 

Read more 

Best electric SUVs 2021

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Nick Francis

27 Sep 2021