One of the most regular – and increasingly outdated – criticisms of electric cars is that they cost way more than their petrol or diesel equivalents. It’s common knowledge that electric cars are expensive to buy, but how about if we told you that we could get you a list of 10 great electric vehicles (EVs) together, all of which could be leased for less than £275pcm?
Leasing electric opens up a range of choice that is normally beyond the reach of anyone who doesn’t want to pay in full to buy a car and it means that some of the world’s most popular electric models are now the smart leasing choice.
And remember that electric cars will offer significant savings, too, in terms of running and maintenance costs, all of which makes leasing an EV ever more affordable throughout the lifetime of your contract.
If that sort of thing interests you, read on to find out the cheapest 10 EVs available with Vanarama right now – and bear in mind that all 10 cars on this list come with a free home wallbox charger installed as part of the deal!
1. Volkswagen E-Up (60kW electric motor/32kWh lithium-ion battery pack)
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 159 miles 0-62mph: 11.9 secs Lease From: £200pcm 1 Year’s Free Insurance Currently Included?: Yes Vehicle Type: City car
An oldie but a goldie, the Volkswagen E-Up – insert your own jokes about Yorkshire greeting patterns here if you must – continues to offer a compelling way into EV ownership, as you can stick one on your driveway for slightly less than 200 quid per month with Vanarama… making this the cheapest EV you can lease. It doesn’t have a huge amount of power – in fact, its 60kW (82hp) motor is the joint-least potent propulsion unit on this list – but a middling 32kWh battery pack gives up just shy of 160 miles of 1-shot driving range. Lease one now, while you still can!
2. Fiat 500 Electric Hatchback Red (70kW/24kWh)
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 115 miles 0-62mph: 9.5 secs Lease From: £222pcm 1 Year’s Free Insurance Currently Included?: Yes Vehicle Type: City car
The all-new Fiat 500 Electric is a truly brilliant city car and, at £222pcm for this Red-specification model, it’s a complete bargain. However, this deal is for the smaller 24kWh battery pack, which means the 70kW (95hp) motor and an all-in range of just 115 miles. For an increase to just £238pcm, a figure which would still see it featuring on this list if it were the cheapest 500 Electric of them all, the 42kWh 87kW (118hp) model is available, which has a range of up to 199 miles. We’d go for that one, if you love the look of the Fiat – and we wouldn’t blame you if you do.
3. Smart EQ Fortwo Coupe Brabus Line (60kW/17kWh)
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 83 miles 0-62mph: 11.6 secs Lease From: £225pcm 1 Year’s Free Insurance Currently Included?: No Vehicle Type: Ultra-compact city car
Accept the obvious compromises with the Smart EQ Fortwo Coupe EV – as in, it’s a minuscule 2-seater and its titchy 17kWh battery pack results in a theoretical maximum driving range of 83 miles – and you’ll get on fine with this car. It is intended purely as a city-based form of transportation for young singletons or couples, and if you treat it like that then you’ll probably get more than 83 miles from a charge as it’ll go further if you’re sticking to a maximum 30mph.
The other big appeal of the Smart EQ Fortwo is that nothing else looks remotely like it and therefore you won’t find anything easier to park this side of a bicycle (until Citroen brings the Ami quadricycle to the UK later in 2022, that is), either.
4. Vauxhall Corsa-E Elite Premium (100kW/50kWh)
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 222 miles 0-62mph: 7.6 secs Lease From: £230pcm 1 Year’s Free Insurance Currently Included?: Yes Vehicle Type: Supermini
Holding the dual distinction of being the fastest-accelerating and longest-range EV on this list, the Corsa-E played a big part in the Vauxhall supermini becoming the best-selling car in the UK in 2021, with nearly 41,000 unit sales (of petrol, diesel and EV versions combined). The Corsa-E’s appeal is that it looks exactly like a ‘normal’ Vauxhall Corsa, despite its clever electrical underpinnings, and you have to sacrifice precisely nothing in terms of interior space nor practicality to own the EV version. Not only that, but the Corsa-E will charge at up to 100kW DC, so it's fair 50kWh battery pack will quickly be replenished if you find a fast public charger.
5. Smart EQ Forfour EQ Premium (60kW/17kWh)
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 81 miles 0-62mph: 12.7 secs Lease From: £236pcm 1 Year’s Free Insurance Currently Included?: Yes Vehicle Type: City car
Using the same incredibly modest powertrain set-up as the Smart EQ Fortwo at No.3 on this list, the larger Smart forfour is for those who need to transport more than 1 passenger around in urban landscapes on a regular basis. Because it is a physically larger car than the Fortwo, the Forfour can’t quite make its resources go as long a way as its smaller sibling (so the maximum range is a mere 81 miles), while it’s also slower to hit 62mph from rest and more expensive to lease. But if you want to take yourself and 3 friends around a city in both zero-emissions silence and also the utmost of style, you won’t be able to do it for any cheaper than the monthly leasing price the EQ Forfour commands.
6. Nissan Leaf Acenta (110kW/40kWh)
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 168 miles 0-62mph: 7.9 secs Lease From: £237pcm 1 Year’s Free Insurance Currently Included?: Yes Vehicle Type: Family hatch
Arguably the car which popularised the everyday EV, the Nissan Leaf Mk2 continues to soldier on gamely among much newer, flashier opposition. And the enduring appeal of the Japanese EV is that it is incredibly pragmatic and straightforward – a sensible cabin, lots of space, big boot and decent driving range. There’s a pricier Leaf e+ model, with a 62kWh battery pack and enough power to post a hot-hatch-troubling 6.9-second 0-62mph time, but for less than £240pcm you could have a well-specified Acenta on your driveway, complete with 168 miles of 1-shot driving range. That’s more than enough for a regular urban commute, we can tell you.
7. MG ZS EV Excite (130kW/51kWh)
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 198 miles 0-62mph: 8.2 secs Lease From: £245pcm 1 Year’s Free Insurance Currently Included?: Yes Vehicle Type: Crossover-SUV
The first crossover on our list, the MG ZS EV therefore represents the cheapest possible way you can lease yourself into the driver’s seat of a zero-emission SUV-alike. This deal is for the Standard Range model with the 51kWh battery pack, so if you want the 273-mile headline figure of the ZS line-up then you’ll need the Long Range variant with the 72.6kWh lithium-ion unit – from £300pcm, about 55 quid a month more than this one. However, in mitigation of the Standard Range, it still has more driving capability to a charge than the old pre-facelift MG ZS had (176 miles), while a quirk of its voltage system means this car has more power (130kW, or 177hp) than the Long Range (115kW, or 156hp), so this ‘basic’ ZS is 2/10ths of a second quicker to 62mph than the 72.6kWh model.
8. Mazda MX-30 SE-L Lux (107kW/35.5kWh)
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 124 miles 0-62mph: 9.7 secs Lease From: £247pcm 1 Year’s Free Insurance Currently Included?: No Vehicle Type: Crossover-SUV
Another stylish crossover-SUV and Mazda's MX-30 has it all going on – rear-hinged back doors for maximum ‘wow’ factor at the kerb, a cork-lined interior to emphasise its ecologically sound cabin materials and also a ‘right-sized’ battery pack that lets it drive better than almost any other EV in this sort of price bracket. The drawbacks are it’s not the fastest thing in the world, only just cracking 10 seconds for the 0-62mph run, and it has a maximum theoretical range of just 124 miles. However, keep it to the city and urban limits, and this is one standout EV to lease.
9. Vauxhall Vivaro-E Life Combi (100kW/50kWh)
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 143 miles 0-62mph: 13.1 secs Lease From: £266pcm 1 Year’s Free Insurance Currently Included?: No Vehicle Type: Large MPV
In terms of the sheer size of the EV you get for your money, nothing else comes close to the value offered by the Vauxhall Vivaro-E Life, yours to lease from a mere £266pcm. This is a vast 9-seater minibus, in essence, although the use of the same 100kW (136hp)/50kWh motor-and-battery combination as used in every other Stellantis EV does limit the maximum driving range somewhat, to a maximum of just 143 miles. Nevertheless, if you’ve got lots of people to transport and you want to do it without harming the environment with tailpipe emissions, the bargain Vivaro-E Life Combi is the obvious candidate.
10. DS3 Crossback E-Tense Performance Line (100kW/50kWh)
Maximum Electric Driving Range: 206 miles 0-62mph: 8.7 secs Lease From: £270pcm 1 Year’s Free Insurance Currently Included?: Yes Vehicle Type: Crossover-SUV
Arguably the most out-and-out desirable EV on this list, the DS3 Crossback E-Tense still comes in at less than £275pcm with Vanarama’s unbeatable leasing deals. This is a crossover-SUV with a distinctive body and then an even more idiosyncratic interior, complete with a repeated diamond motif. The Performance Line spec comes with a truly decent amount of luxury kit, while the 136hp motor and 50kWh battery pack mean you get more than 200 miles of 1-shot driving range, as well as a brisk 8.7-second 0-62mph time. It might be the most expensive car we’ve got for you on this round-up, but then such high quality rarely comes this cheap.