With the current fuel shortages in the UK and many forecourts closed, the advantages of driving an electric car have been highlighted once again. Both Auto Trader and Electrifying websites have seen massive increases in traffic search for electric vehicles (EVs).
With this in mind, we thought we’d bring the cheapest used electric cars and car chargers you can have installed. It’s worth remembering there are many advantages to owning electric cars including far cheaper running costs, lower maintenance costs because of few moving parts, they’re road tax-free and don’t have to pay congestion or emissions charges that are applicable in some large towns and cities.
We looked at the main contenders on the Auto Trader website to find the best priced electric cars at the moment. We found just over 6,000 used zero-emissions battery electric vehicles (BEVs) available for sale on the site. Here we bring you examples of the top cheapest electric car models currently available on the website.
Prices for the most basic electric cars start at around £2,000 but a half-decent family-sized car can be purchased from around £4,500 to £5,000 for cars like the Nissan LEAF and Renault ZOE. These are two of the most established electric car brands in the UK, hence a buoyant secondhand market for them.
We also spoke to an independent professional electric charger installer to find out the best prices and styles of smart charger to have fitted at home. These allow you to charge overnight and take advantage of cheaper charging tariffs. A smart charger will cost around £1,000, but with the current £350 grant, the cost of charger and installation is around £650.
BEST VALUE USED ELECTRIC CARS
Reva G-Wiz £1,995
Year: 2009 (09 reg)
Mileage: 22,000 miles
Insurance Group: N/A
This is an older electric car that offers outstanding value for a cheap town run around. The G-Wiz micro-car AC replaces the current G-Wiz DC. The AC offers enhanced features including an increased top speed of 45mph and a range of up to 48 miles (km). It’s ideal for short journeys and is easily charged at home.
The standard body panels are now colour impregnated without the use of paint, making them 100 percent recyclable. The G-Wiz is exempt from road tax and the congestion charges and enjoys free parking and charging in central London. Prices for these cars start at around £2,000.
Nissan LEAF £4,499
Year: 2011 (11 reg)
Mileage: 96,350 miles
Insurance Group: 22A
The Nissan LEAF is a good example of a family-sized electric car. These have been available since 2010 so there’s a good market for secondhand versions of this car. This LEAF has proved so popular with electric car drivers that it has now sold over 250,000 in Europe and half a million globally.
The LEAF is a good size for a family and is easy to drive and live with. Being such a popular car means that spares are easily available if needed. Range for older models is around 80 miles (129km). Even though the cheaper used versions are up to 10 years old they are reliable and still have modern good looks. Prices start from around £4,500 to £5,000.
Peugeot ION £4,999
Year: 2014 (64 reg)
Mileage: 44,908 miles
Insurance Group: 28P
Alongside the Nissan LEAF and Renault ZOE the ION was one of the first electric cars available in the UK. It’s the perfect small car ideal for around-town duties and shorter trips such as the school run or the weekly shop. The ION offers over 50 miles of range.
Being a smaller car makes it ideal for two people but there is room in the back for two smaller people or children. It’s easy to drive and park thanks to its smaller size. Prices for this electric car start around the £5,000 mark.
Renault ZOE £5,900 (Battery Lease)
Year: 2013 (63 reg)
Mileage: 9,000 miles
Insurance Group: 16E
The Renault Zoe has been around since 2005 when it was first launched in France as the ZOE City Car. It later became the ZOE Z.E. in 2009. With the car being around for over a decade the secondhand market is good. It’s a good small family hatchback. Early ZOE models had a 22kWh battery that offers a range between 130 miles (210km) and 150 miles (240 km).
Since 2013, the Zoe has been the all-time top-selling all-electric car in the French market, with more than 100,000 units registered through June 2020. The example we found on Auto Trader only had 9,000 miles on the clock and is part of a battery lease scheme. This means there is a monthly payment for the battery, hence the cheap price but similar cars can be found at this price but with far more miles on the clock.
Renault Twizy £5,995
Year: 2012 (12 reg)
Mileage: 5,150 miles
The single-seat Renault Twizy is a little to others but offers the single person a cheap and reliable electric vehicle that’s ideal for shorter trips. It’s a cross between a quad bike and a car. This electric supermini measures just 2.33-metres nose-to-tail and 1.23-metres in width.
The futuristic-looking Twizy offers up to 62 miles (100km) of range and can carry two people. It has a top speed of up to 50mph (80kph) and can be fully charged in under three hours. Being small means it’s easy to manoeuvre and park, making it the ideal zero-emissions town vehicle. Prices for this model start at around £6,000. For those that don’t need much space, it’s also worth considering the Citroen Ami which has just been launched in the UK.
When it comes to home chargers smart chargers are the way to go. Smart charging refers to charging that optimises charging through data connections. The charger is essentially communicating between car, the charging operator and the utility company through data connections.
This means whenever you plug in your electric car, the charger automatically sends them important data so they can optimise charging. Smart charging allows the charging operator to manage how much energy to give to any plugged-in electric car. The amount of electricity used varies depending on the number of people using electricity at that time to put less pressure on the grid.
Chargers can either be tethered or untethered. Tethered means that there is a cable attached to the wallbox so you can plug straight in and charge, which makes life easy.
Conversely, Untethered chargers are simply the box on the wall and you will need to attach a cable each time you charge. This does keep things clean and tidy but requires a little more time each time you charge.
When it comes to fitting a smart charger it’s worth talking to an expert and have them fit it. We spoke to Phillip Tilley from The EV Charging Company in Oxford to get the low down on fitting on home chargers, prices and grants. He told us that most people go for smart chargers to get the best value when it comes to charging your car.
He said that his company uses three main smart chargers including EO, Ohme and Sync EV. As for which one it depends on the situation and whether the location has Wi-Fi or not. All are App-based and simple to use with a modern smartphone.
Phillip Tilley, The EV Charging Company owner, said: “If the location doesn’t have Wi-Fi then we usually fit the Sync EV charger because it has a built-in sim that avoids the need to connect it to your home WiFi. It’s a smallest wallbox and is untethered.
“If there is wifi then we usually recommend the Ohme. This tethered charger is probably the best all-rounder for most situations. We also use the EO charger. This is the world’s small EV charger and is compact and neat looking.
“All three chargers have their own merits and the type we fit usually comes down to the location, customer preference and their circumstances.”
Prices and Grants
Prices for a 7kW smart charger and installation costs roughly £1,000. Currently, there is a grant of £350, so a fitted smart charger will cost around £650. This grant runs until March 2022, so will be around for the next six months.
This will need an expert installer to make sure things are hooked up correctly. Usually, it will take an installer around half a day to fit and you’re away.