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The cheapest electric cars on sale in the UK in 2024

Dacia has just blown the cheap EV market wide open with the price announcement for the Spring.

With a confirmed starting price of just £14,995, the Spring becomes the cheapest new electric car in the UK and among the 10 cheapest cars regardless of powertrain.

With the price of electric cars still regarded as one of the biggest obstacles to ownership, the Spring is a far more accessible option and hopefully heralds a new wave of more affordable EVs. We’ve got the Citroen e-C3, Renault 5, VW ID.2 and Fiat Panda to look forward to in the next 12 months but until then, here’s the list of the cheapest electric cars (and one quadricycle) you can buy in the UK right now.

Citroen Ami – £7,695

Citroen Ami

Technically, the Ami is a quadricycle rather than a car, but you still need a full licence to drive one in the UK, so we’re counting it on our list. Citroen’s teeny EV – it’s 2.4m long – is purely a city vehicle thanks to its meagre 8bhp and 28mph top speed. A maximum range of 46 miles also wouldn’t get you far on the open road. But for £99 a month, the Ami has real appeal for city dwellers looking for something more robust than a bike or scooter, with space for shopping or luggage. It’s also ideal for businesses who need affordable last-mile delivery options, with a single-seat Cargo edition available too.

Dacia Spring – £14,995

Dacia Spring

The Dacia Spring is the first ‘proper’ car on our list and the cheapest EV that’s actually suitable for use outside a city centre. That said, it’s still going to be most at home in urban environments. The Spring is a compact city car, intended as a family’s second vehicle or an affordable electric option for those who rarely make long journeys. That’s reflected in the spec, which has been kept simple in the name of value. The 26.8kWh battery is small by modern standards but should offer up to 137 miles of driving (180+ if you never leave the city) and 30kW DC charging will get it from 20% to 80% in 45 minutes. Two motors offer either 44bhp or 64bhp and top-spec versions get a 10-inch touchscreen, wireless smartphone mirroring and two-way charging for less than £17,000.

Smart EQ fortwo – £22,225

Smart EQ fourtwo

Famed for its tiny cars, Smart is launched an assault on the larger crossover segment with its #1 and #3 electric models. But you can still get your hands on its first EV, for the moment at least. Based on the latest version of the original Smart car, the EQ fortwo, packs 80bhp and a 17kWh battery beneath its tiny two-seat body. Range is 81 miles. That’s not much in this day and age, and perhaps explaining why dealers are offering 0% APR and discounts of more than £4,500 on brand-new examples.

Vauxhall Corsa – £26,895

Vauxhall has announced a new more affordable version of the Corsa Electric supermini, making it one of the cheapest electric cars in the UK.

Vauxhall created a bit of a stir in 2023 when it revealed that you could spend £42,000 on an electric Corsa. That’s a lot of money for a mainstream supermini, electric or not. But now Vauxhall has turned the Corsa into one of the cheapest EVs out there. Announced in February 2024, the Corsa YES edition slashed £5,500 off the model’s entry-level price. This model uses Vauxhall’s older powertrain, which means a 50kWh battery with a range of around 221 miles and a 134bhp motor. It’s not quite as good as the updated system in more expensive cars but given the price difference, we don’t think that matters too much. And you still get generous equipment levels including a 10-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, climate control, LED headlights with high beam assist and cruise control.

MG4 – £26,995

MG4

The MG4 is perhaps the greatest proof so far that EVs don’t have to cost a fortune. Unlike the earlier cars on our list, which are pretty compact, the MG4 is a full-sized family hatchback capable of carrying five people and a decent amount of luggage. The cheapest SE version comes with the smaller 51kWh battery, which returns an official 218 miles of range. The SE Long Range bumps that up to 281 while still costing less than £30,000, and all versions come with generous equipment levels and a seven-year warranty.

Mazda MX-30 – £27,995

Mazda MX-30

Mazda’s electric curiosity has fought its way back onto this list courtesy of a recent £3,000 price cut. Mazda says it’s repositioning the MX-30 to appeal to a wider audience and cutting the price will certainly do that. It still remains a tricky prospect due to its tiny battery and 124-mile range, but Mazda argues that the smaller battery is better for efficiency and more than enough to meet most average customers’ needs, especially as it sees it as a second car rather than a family’s main transport. If the range fits your needs and you like the idea a compact SUV with suicide doors and a premium-feeling, cork-lined interior, then it’s worth a look.

 

Fiat 500e – £28,195

Fiat 500e

Fiat’s electric reinvention of its retro-chic city car is a real success. It blends the styling cues of the earlier models with a sleeker finish and high-tech interior, and what it lacks in space it more than makes up for in charm. Entry level versions come with a less powerful drivetrain featuring a 93bhp motor and 24kWh battery that’s good for around 118 miles of range. If you can find an extra £3,000, higher-spec versions offer an extra 25bhp and, more importantly, a range of almost 200 miles, plus faster charging.

Nissan Leaf – £28,395

New Nissan LEAF Shiro

The Nissan Leaf is the grandaddy of mainstream electric cars. The first generation was groundbreaking in making EVs accessible and the second generation continues that trend thanks to its relatively low price. Like the MG4 and Fiat, the entry-level Shiro models save money by using a less powerful motor and smaller battery, so you get 148bhp and a range of 168 miles, which is pretty poor by modern standards. However, it’s still usable if you don’t make many long journeys and there’s a reasonable level of equipment even in the cheapest versions.

BYD Dolphin – £30,195

BYD Dolphin

BYD is at the forefront of a new wave of Chinese car makers bringing their EVs to Europe. The Dolphin is the brand’s entry level model, sitting beneath the Atto 3 family SUV and the Tesla-targeting Seal saloon. It’s a compact hatchback whose closest rival in terms of size and capabilities is the Renault Zoe. Its bland exterior hides a more ambitious interior design, complete with rotating central touchscreen. Currently you can only buy the 201bhp version with a 60.4kWh battery good for 265 miles of range. Later this year we should see an even cheaper version with a smaller battery and less powerful motor.

MG ZS – £30,495

MG ZS EV

The ZS EV is the second MG model on this list, proving the firm’s commitment to affordable eclectic vehicles. As with the MG4, you get a lot for your money in this Kia Niro-rivalling family SUV. Equipment levels are generous and there’s plenty of space for your average family. As with the 4, there’s a compromise between range and price. Less expensive versions offer 198 miles of range from a 51kW battery, while more expensive cars cover up to 273 miles. If you can afford the extra £2,500, it’s an upgrade we’d recommend.

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of inews.co.uk, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.