Top 10 Used EV Best Buys Under £20k

At Drive Green we know what we are talking about

Unlike typical motoring journalists, at Drive Green, we don’t just have an EV for a few days, after which we are expected to pass judgment and present an informed review to consumers.  We live with these cars all the time and understand them in much greater detail from our years with them. We also uniquely understand them from the point of view of our thousands of customers.

“We really understand what it is like actually to own and live with these EVs.”

So, unlike a typical car journalist, we understand what it is like to own and live with these EVs, what makes one better, and even their long-term drawbacks or issues. Hopefully, thanks to our experience and knowledge, we can help you find the right EV by creating a short list of what we think represents the very best top 10 used EV buys, accessible by priced at under £20k.

“Hopefully, with our experience and knowledge, we can help you find the right EV for you.”

1. Kia E-Niro

Price: from £14k – Range: 260 miles

Best For:

  • Long Range
  • Efficiency
  • Family Practicality
  • Spec
  • Build quality

Drawbacks:

  • Bland looks
  • Functional interior
  • The boot is not quite big enough

The Kia E-Niro is a great practical all-rounder.  It is well-sized – big enough to be a family car and even take your family holidays- but not too big to be used daily.  It is built to a very high standard, and particularly when you look at the higher-spec models, it carries every bit of spec you could think of (sunroofs, heat pumps, memory seats, self-driving.)

“The Kia E-Niro is a great practical long-range all-rounder, which is why it has the number 1 slot.”

Whilst it may not be the most inspiring-looking EV, inside or out, it certainly wins in the all-around practicality stakes. I think the E-Niro’s range is even more impressive. Despite having a relatively modest battery (64kWh), it is super-efficient and capable of achieving real-world ranges that many of the EVs out there with much bigger batteries can only dream of. Whilst we normally suggest it has a range of about 260 miles, we always edge on the side of caution with our real-world range predictions, and from my personal experience, 300 miles plus is very achievable, even on a motorway drive.

Price-wise, given this car’s range, quality, and spec level, it offers exceptional value and is probably the best fit for anyone looking for a practical EV.

Even top-spec models are now available for about £16k, which, when you consider this is a 300-mile-range EV that can compete with any new EV in terms of range, is truly great value.

2. Renault Zoe 50kWh

Price: from £10k – Range: 220 miles

Best For:

  • Affordability
  • City Driving
  • Familiar controls
  • Attractive styling

Drawbacks:

  • Limited spec options
  • Some models don’t rapid charge
  • Basic interior

When it comes to value, the Renault Zoe has always led the field, and it has always been our best seller as a result. The Zoe is attractive and compact, yet with 5 seats and a decent-sized boot, it is also a practical daily EV.

“When it comes to value, the Renault Zoe has always led the field.”

Where the Zoe has always led the field is it’s price. It is a low-cost EV, but when it comes to range for cost, it has always beaten everything out there.  Most people, when looking at an EV, look at the range first, and it is with range in mind that value is normally judged, and on this basis the Zoe has to come out on top. This has always been true with the earlier 22kWh and 40kWh models, but now, with the 50kWh models, you have an excellent range of around 200 miles, from as little as under £10k.

“If you are looking for an approachable low-cost EV, but with a great driving range then the Zoe has to be top of the list.”

The Zoe is available with a CCS rapid charging connection or without.  If you plan to use your Zoe on longer journeys, be sure to get a ‘rapid charge’ model, but if not then there is some money to be saved by getting one without. If you are looking for an approachable low-cost EV, but with a great driving range then the Zoe has to be top of the list.

3. Hyundai Kona 64kWh

Price: from £14k – Range: 260 miles

Best For:

  • Long Range
  • Efficiency
  • All round medium-sized practicality
  • Modern interior

Drawbacks:

  • Small boot
  • It doesn’t’ rapid charge as quickly as some EVs

The Kona is a really easy EV to love. It is a stylish and modern-looking compact SUV, nicely medium-sized, with great specs and an amazing driving range for such a modest-sized battery.

“The Kona is a really easy EV to love.”

It is a very appealing size, being a truly medium-sized compact SUV-style car. This makes it practical as a daily driver, including in urban environments, and potentially big enough to be the main family car. (However, you will need to take advantage of its roof rails and pop on a roof box for your family holiday trips.)

The top-spec Ultimate models also carry all the specs you would want from a premium EV, including cooled seats, a sunroof, and self-driving functions.

It is also a super-efficient long-range EV, capable of competing with any other long-range EV at any price point. I have found it more than capable of achieving 300 miles of range on my longer motorway drive, which is incredible considering its battery side. This puts it ahead of most other EVs in the real-world range.

“It is a super-efficient long-range EV, capable of ranges to compete with any other long-range EV at any price point. “

The Kona offers amazing value for a car of this spec and range, with top-spec models available for as little as £15k and the lower-spec Premium models even cheaper.  This is an incredible driving range car for the price, and it makes a great value for a used EV buy.

4. Tesla Model 3

Price: from £16k – Range: up to 300 miles

Best For:

  • Long Distance Driving
  • Self-driving technology
  • Modern controls and infotainment
  • Performance
  • Charging network

Drawbacks:

  • Minimalist interior and controls not to everyone’s liking
  • Boot shape
  • Build quality, not premium

There is a reason why the Tesla Model 3 was by far the most popular EV at the time of its launch – it is a truly great EV.  Now, you can be part of one of the coolest brands on the planet and own what is still considered a premium EV for well under £20k. The Model 3 combines high-efficiency EV technology with cutting-edge tech and a minimalist design, exceptional performance and handling, a great driving range, and of course, that amazing Tesla charging network.  This is a very appealing EV package.

“The model 3 combines high-efficiency EV technology with cutting-edge tech and a minimalist design.”

We find the performance models particularly popular. You have all the benefits of a Model 3, but with incredible supercar performance if you want it and extra stylish looks. And the performance models are currently surprisingly cheap to insure.

With the Model 3 having been around for nearly five years, it is now available at a great value price point and easily able to compete price-wise with other long-range alternatives, even though Teslas are still considered premium vehicles. As little as £15k can now get you behind the wheel of a standard-range model, and even the Long-range models capable of a massive 300 miles of driving range are starting to fall under £20k now.

If you want a reliable long-range EV with good value, please don’t dismiss the Model 3 based on its brand or high-tech nature. It offers great value and is deservedly one of the very best EV choices out there.

“If you are looking for a good value and reliable long-range EV, please don’t dismiss the model 3.”

5. BMW i3 120aH

Price: from £12k – Range: 180 miles

Best For:

  • Driving fun
  • City Driving
  • Parking in tight spots
  • Quirky  modern styling
  • Internal space for such a compact EV

Drawbacks: 

  • Sub 200-mile driving range
  • 4 seater
  • Awkward rear doors

The BMW i3 is a car unlike any other. There is not a car, EV or otherwise, that drives quite like it. It is so nippy, nimble, and incredibly engaging to drive. As a car for darting around the city, nothing has been better made.

“As a car for darting around the city, there has never been anything better.”

Whilst it has the smallest battery of any of the cars on this list (42kWh), its high efficiency and lightweight construction mean it is still capable of up to 180-200 miles of driving range, which is more than adequate for most drivers, especially for a car that is perhaps best suited to urban environments (although it is super enjoyable to drive on the open road).

The i3 is set to be a future classic due to its uniqueness and brilliance as an EV. If you like an enjoyable and engaging drive and prefer your cars to be compact in size, then the i3 may well be the perfect EV for you.

“The i3 is set to be a future classic.”

This premium brand EV is now easily available for well under £15k, and at this price, it is a car that is very easy to fall in love with.

6. Nissan Leaf 62kWh

Price: from £11k – Range: 220 miles

Best For:

  • Affordability
  • Comfort
  • Family sized practicality
  • Good Spec
  • Quality build and reliability

Drawbacks:

  • Range not as high as some EV’s
  • More limited rapid charging options
  • Slower rapid charging speeds than most

Nissan has years more EV heritage than most manufacturers, with the iconic Nissan Leaf being one of the first mass-produced EVs.  Its heritage shows in the quality and reliability of the Nissan Leaf

Always the practical choice, the Leaf is nicely medium-sized, has a decent boot, is very well made, and has a great specification, including a very capable self-driving function on the higher-spec models. If you like a super smooth and comfy armchair-like driving experience, the Leaf has all the comfort and refinement of a luxury car but at a value car price point.

“Its years of EV heritage shows in the quality and reliability of the Nissan Leaf.”

Whilst it makes a great value used EV in any of its battery sizes and ages, the biggest battery 62kWh / 59kWh models currently represent amazing value for an EV of this standard. Their 220-mile range costs as little as £11000, which is a bargain for an EV of this quality.

Its price is lower than the value it has as an EV.  We think this is because it has a different rapid charging connection to most new EVs, which is holding back its popularity (it has a CHAdeMO connection rather than the now more common CCS). However, there are still plenty of CHAdeMO charger connections out there. Unlike CCS charging, there isn’t an exponentially growing number of cars on the road wanting to use this connection. As a result of my recent long trips, every CHAdeMO connection I came across was free (unlike the CCS chargers), and there was also a connection at every charging stop I made. So don’t let this fact hold you back; in many ways, it is a positive attribute to the Leaf at the moment.

“A very practical choice; it is nicely medium-sized, with a decent boot, very well made, and great spec.”

If you are looking for a practical, reliable and very comfy EV at a great value price point, the Nissan Leaf is a lot of car for the money and should definitely be considered.

“A very practical choice; it is nicely medium-sized, with a decent boot, very well made, and great spec.”

If you are looking for a practical, reliable and very comfy EV at a great value price point, the Nissan Leaf is a lot of car for the money and should definitely be considered.

7. Hyundai Ioniq 5

Price: from £19k – Range: 270 miles

Best For:

  • Size
  • High Tech
  • Modern interior and looks
  • Efficiency
  • Fast rapid charging

Drawbacks:

  • No roof rails for added practicality
  • Ultra-modern looks not to everyone’s liking
  • It’s a big car

The Ioniq 5 was the first of a new generation of high-tech and high-quality EVs coming out of South Korea. Hyundai benefited from its years of early EV experience to now produce market-leading EVs in terms of style, tech, efficiency, and range.

“The Ioniq 5 is a market-leading EV in terms of style, as well as tech, efficiency and range.”

Now that the Ioniq 5 has been on the market for a couple of years, they are finally starting to hit the used market in decent volumes, with some now falling below the £20k price point, opening this great and previously premium priced EV to a wider used market.  Whilst very similar to its cousin, the Kia EV6, it is the Ioniq 5 that has made it onto this list, as due to its popularity and higher numbers sold, it is now thousands of pounds cheaper than its equivalent EV6.

“If you want to drive something at the cutting edge, then it is worth looking at the Ioniq 5.”

You get great value for money. It’s definitely an industry-leading car with great tech, up to a 300-mile driving range if you buy a long-range model and proper futuristic styling. If your budget is at the upper end of £20k and you are looking for a larger EV, and you want to drive something that is cutting-edge, then it is definitely worth looking at the Ioniq 5.

8. Jaguar iPace

Price: from £18k – Range: 250 miles

Best For:

  • Performance and handling
  • Premium quality interior
  • Premium Badge
  • Big boot

Drawbacks:

  • Outdated infotainment system
  • Software glitches
  • Expensive maintenance

Perhaps the first premium EV to enter the market after the Teslas, the iPace remains the best premium EV out there, in our opinion.

“The iPace is the best premium EV out there, in our opinion.”

It is very well put together, handsome and undeniably premium in its interior, fully doing justice to its premium badge. Where the iPace truly stands out, though, is its performance and handling. It is a ferocious car to drive (should you like a spirited sporty drive), with incredible handling, and certainly outperforms other premium and high-performance EVs, which are surprisingly dull by comparison.

Although the iPace has been around since late 2018, this very expensive premium EV has now dropped in price to a point where you can get a very nice high-spec example for under £20k. This is a huge amount of premium high-performance EV for the money.

It has a very big battery; however, being a heavy performance car, its range does suffer with harder driving, although I have found 230-250 is possible on a steady, long motorway drive, so it still has a high driving range when you need it to (certainly a range that compares to its competing larger premium EVs).  It is also big and spacious and has a very ample boot, while not being too big to use daily in the city, with parking etc.  It’s a very good all-around size, even though it definitely falls into the big car category.

9. Kia Soul EV 64kWh

Price: from £15k – Range: 260 miles

Best For:

  • Individuality
  • Quality interior
  • Range and Practicality
  • Great stereo

Drawbacks:

  • Quirky styling splits the crowd
  • Only one trim level

The Electric Kia Soul is an often-overlooked EV gem. It is built around the same super-efficient platform as the E-Niro, but it has not been nearly as popular. As it has sold in smaller numbers, it has a greater sense of exclusivity. As a result of being less well known, this great-quality EV is available in a very high-spec first edition model at an even lower price than its brother, the E-Niro.

“The Electric Kia Soul is an often-overlooked EV gem.”

The Soul is an ideal, practical, long-range EV for people who like their cars to be a bit different.  It has standout styling, looking like a kind of modern 4WD, and nothing out there looks quite like it.  It is a nicely put-together car with a quality interior (nicer than the Niro) and great specs, including the most amazing Harmon Kardon sound system.

It has a real road presence, but it isn’t an impractically big car. Yet it is spacious inside, has a practical-sized boot with an adjustable floor height, and even roof rails if you want to pop on a roof box and take it on holiday.

“It is a quality EV with real style and personality.”

Its 64kWh battery will give you somewhere between 250 and 300 miles of driving range, depending on the time of year and your diving style, which gives it an excellent range comparable to any modern long-range EV. It is a quality EV with real style and personality, and a bargain for its sub £18k price tag. If you are looking for a practical long-range EV with a unique design and want to stand out from the crowd, you should check out the Soul EV.

10. MG4

Price: from £16k – Range: up to 280 miles

Best For:

  • Good Range
  • Nearly New affordability
  • Modern Styling

Drawbacks:

  • Poor Brand Reputation
  • Clunky infotainment

MG has always produced great-value EVs, and the MG4 is no exception. Its range, specs, and build quality make it a great value price point, but it is still a quality and refined EV. MG has benefitted from its several years of experience focusing on EV production.

“It is definitely a ‘value’ EV. However, its quality and price are still very impressive.”

While the earlier MGs are great value, they are not as worthy of this list as the newer models, for which the MG4 is the star. Yes, it is definitely a ‘value’ EV. However, its quality for its price is still very impressive, and that is probably why it has been the best-selling EV in the UK, even outselling the mighty Tesla Model 3.

The MG4 has made it onto our list, as even though it is still a relatively new car compared to the other EVs on this list, they are now hitting the used market already and at an amazing value price point for an EV this new and of this quality.  Where it was such a value car to begin with, and where it has sold in such volumes now means they are hitting the used market at a real bargain price.

You can now pick up a nearly new top-spec (Trophy) long-range model for under £20k, with the lower-spec standard-range models coming in at under £16k when they are only a year or so old. This is incredible value for a nearly new car that is still under the manufacturer’s warranty. The MG4 has been outselling even Teslas, so it is definitely a car that is being appreciated for what it is. Its great value used pricing is now hard to resist.

“This is incredible value for a nearly new car still under manufacturer’s warranty.”

MG is a company to watch, so don’t dismiss it as a second-rate Chinese brand. It is now producing some really good-quality EVs while still retaining a great value position.

The Naughty List

Some other great EVs out there now fall into this sub £20k category, many of which it pains me not to be able to include on this list of top recommended cars. Still, our experience has shown that some of these manufacturers’ vehicles have recurring problems. These issues mean we currently cannot recommend them in the same way we can the above list.

The list of EV manufacturers we currently cannot include due to reliability and recurring software  issues are:

Peugeot, Vauxhall, DS, VW iD Range, Polestar

Other EVs cannot compete with the top ten list of cars because they are comparatively overpriced or often have a disappointingly low range (the Mazda MX30, Audi E-Tron, and 33kWh Mini Electric, for example). Hopefully, all these manufacturers will soon have addressed these issues, and we can soon add even more EVs to our list of the best.

Find the Right EV for You

Based on our broad experience with literally thousands of EVs and their owners’ experiences, the above list includes what we think are the very best EVs that offer amazing used EV value.

If you are looking for a used EV, this list gives you the benefit of our extensive experience and will hopefully make your used EV search easier. Do get in touch for extra advice so we can help you find the right EV for you and your driving lifestyle.

NOTE: prices, etc., are correct at the time of writing