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The Best Cheap Electric Cars You Can Lease In 2022

We've highlighted some of the best and cheapest electric cars available today

26th Aug 2022
The Best Cheap Electric Cars You Can Lease In 2022

From chic city cars to stylish SUVs, the affordable electric car has arrived. 

We know that electric cars are cleaner, greener and less smelly than petrol or diesel cars, but can they also be cheaper? The short answer is yes.

When comparing figures, you may find that some electric cars appear more expensive than equivalent petrol or diesel models, but remember you also need to account for all the other important, and often hidden costs, that come with car ownership. Things like fuel, congestion charges, servicing and taxation are all bundled into what is known as your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and this is where electric cars start to offer a clear advantage.

As more people discover that electric cars are quieter, smoother and so much better than petrol or diesel cars at performing the daily grind, carmakers will continue to launch more new electric car models and these economies of scale are why we’ll continue to see costs tumble.

But you don’t need to wait to pick up a great deal. To prove it, we’ve selected some of the best and cheapest electric cars on sale today and we’ve intentionally not presented an overall winner-takes-all victor.

Our aim here is to simply showcase some great value electric car lease deals that are available today and may be perfectly suited to your needs.

The best cheap electric cars

Here's our pick of the best cheap electric cars available in 2022.

Quick links

Want to get straight to our favourite electric cars for dog owners of 2022? 

Fiat 500 Electric

Nissan LEAF

Smart EQ ForTwo

Volkswagen ID.3

Vauxhall Corsa-e

MG Motor UK ZS

Citroen e-C4

Mazda MX-30

MG Motor UK MG5

Mini Electric

Fiat 500 Electric

0-62mph: 9 seconds

Range: 199 miles

Max charging speed: 85kW

 

Fiat 500 Electric Review

Much of the FIAT 500’s appeal lies in its unashamedly retro looks, the lineage of which can be traced all the way back to 1957. Even in the electric age, FIAT is staying faithful to that iconic three-door silhouette for its oh-so-bella city car, never to cause a bout of asthma again. Uniquely, it’s also available as a convertible with a big fabric sunroof.

Whereas most modern cars seem to be ballooning in size, the FIAT 500 remains nicely compact at just over 3.5m in length, and that makes it brilliant to cut through narrow streets or make cheeky U-turns. The generous EV range and ultra-rapid charging speeds also mean that high-speed motorway trips are more than tenable. The Fiat 500 Electric is one of the best electric cars to lease right now.

 

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Nissan LEAF

0-62mph: 7.9 seconds

Range: 168 miles

Max charging speed: 50kW

 

Nissan LEAF Review

Forget Tesla, it’s the Nissan LEAF that’s the OG of affordable family electric cars, having been around since 2011. And did you know that ‘LEAF’ stands for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family vehicle? You’re welcome. Developed from the ground up as a bespoke electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF still manages to offer broad appeal today. There are no look-at-me histrionics going on here; this is simply a very good, very practical and affordable family electric car.

Don’t be put off by its age, especially when viewed in a sea of new upstarts. Instead, think of it like a fine wine that’s improved over time: the EV range has been extended, the styling has been sharpened and the ‘e-Pedal’ set-up - which lets you stop and go by using the accelerator - makes it an absolute doddle to drive. More than 500,000 LEAF drivers would agree the Nissan LEAF is a great electric car to lease.

 

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Smart EQ ForTwo

0-62mph: 11.6 seconds

Range: 81 miles

Max charging speed: 22kW

 

Smart EQ ForTwo Review

If you’re after a city runabout, then look no further than the Smart ForTwo. Not only is it small enough to park perpendicular to the curb, it also boasts a turning circle that is better than a London black cab. Despite its compact stature, the cabin feels spacious thanks to the panoramic glass roof and it’s brimming with safety equipment, including what Smart calls its tridion safety cell, an incredibly strong steel cage that cocoons the occupants in the event of a crash. 

Without wishing to state the obvious, the ForTwo is a tiny two-seater, which means it has a small battery, which in turn means it has a limited range. While it may not have ultra-rapid charging capability, a full charge should only take around 40 minutes. Also keep in mind that we drivers tend to overestimate how much distance we actually cover - the average Brit only travels around 20 miles per day. The Smart EQ ForTwo is one of the cheapest electric cars to lease today.

 

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Volkswagen ID.3

0-62mph: 8.9 seconds

Range: 264 miles

Max charging speed: 125kW

 

Volkswagen ID.3 Review

Volkswagen’s first, purpose-built electric car, the ID.3, is so-called because it’s expected to usher in a third age of success following that of the original Beetle and the Golf and makes up the smallest member of the ID family next to the ID.4 and ID.5. Everybody loves a Golf, but thanks to better packaging associated with battery electric vehicles, the ID.3 boasts a roomier cabin, a bigger boot and a better turning circle than a Golf.

It’s also smoother, more comfortable and quieter to drive than a Golf. The cabin isn’t full-on Tesla just yet, but gone are the majority of physical buttons and switches, to be replaced by touch-sensitive controls and voice command, where ‘hello ID’ are your wake words. The Volkswagen ID.3 is a classy entry-point into electric cars and definitely worth considering for your next electric car lease.

 

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Vauxhall Corsa-e

0-62mph: 7.6 seconds

Range: 222 miles

Max charging speed: 100kW

 

Vauxhall Corsa-e Review

There’s a huge amount to be said for Vauxhall’s ‘just a great supermini, but electric’ approach. Like the Peugeot e-208, on which this car shares a lot of its electric underpinnings, the Corsa-e looks almost identical to its petrol-powered cousins. Not everybody wants to make a massive statement when they drive to Costa.

Despite being decidedly less peacock-y than supermini rivals from Honda or MINI, the Corsa-e offers more range and loads more passenger space than both. It’s also generously equipped with standard items including Apple CarPlay, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system and rear parking sensors. The Vauxhall Corsa-e is a superb option for anyone looking at electric cars to lease.

 

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MG Motor UK ZS

0-62mph: 8.2 seconds

Range: 273 miles

Max charging speed: 80kW

 

MG ZS SE Review

If you haven’t heard much about the MG badge, think of it like the Dacia of electric cars: great value vehicles with low frills and low thrills. The recently updated MG ZS has the on-trend SUV styling nailed, uses a big battery and features vehicle to load charging, allowing you to power other electrical items with the car's battery pack. It's also large enough to carry the family and all your holiday luggage.

It may not be the last word in refinement or perceived quality, but we reckon it could top the list in terms of bang-for-your-buck. If you don’t need such a large EV range, an even cheaper smaller battery option is on the way. The MG ZS is one of the cheapest electric cars on the market today.

 

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Citroen e-C4

0-62mph: 9 seconds

Range: 217 miles

Max charging speed: 100kW

 

Citroen e-C4 Review

The Citroen e-C4 is a five-door family EV in the same mould as a Volkswagen ID.3, but it has more adventurous styling, a slightly higher-riding driving position and plenty of black plastic cladding to make it look and feel more like a crossover. It’s also packed full of storage cubbies, including a neat ‘tablet tray’ for the front passenger.

If you like the looks, then you’ll be pleased to learn that it’s also quiet, easy to drive and supremely comfortable, ironing out any of those nasty potholes and speedbumps you may have on your daily commute. The e-C4 is all about comfort and it delivers. One to put to near the top of your electric car lease shopping list.  

 

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Mazda MX-30

0-62mph: 9.7 seconds

Range: 125 miles

Max charging speed: 50kW

 

Mazda MX-30 Review

Mazda’s first electric car offers up striking looks and unusual back doors that open rearwards to reveal a pair of occasional seats. You’d best describe the MX-30 as a posh crossover, with a suitably premium cabin that adds unusual materials like recycled cork to reference the company’s heritage - Mazda started life as a cork manufacturer back in 1920.

The Japanese carmaker says fitting a small battery with a subsequently limited range was an intentional decision to reduce cost, and its own research suggests that customers approve. An additional benefit of that reduced battery size is a reduction in weight, making the MX-30 feel surprisingly agile and spritely to drive. Keep the Mazda MX-30 in mind when considering your next electric car lease.

 

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MG Motor UK MG5

0-62mph: 7.7 seconds

Range: 250 miles

Max charging speed: 100kW

 

MG Motor UK MG5 Review

Here comes MG again. While the vast majority of electric vehicles adopt the bang-on-trend SUV bodystyle, there’s a lot to be said for the less fashionable estate car. The MG5 is a roomy five-door estate that currently has no rivals at this price point.

The boxy silhouette, low ride height and buckets of space make it super-practical for carrying the family pooch, as well as the kids, and it also boasts the aforementioned vehicle to load charging. As an affordable and fuss-free entry point into electric car leasing, this could be about as good as it gets.

 

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MINI Electric

0-62mph: 7.3 seconds

Range: 145 miles

Max charging speed: 50kW

 

MINI Electric Review

The MINI Hatch is another iconic city car that is making the switch to electric power. However, because the MINI is essentially an adapted fossil fuel car (rather than an all-new platform like the FIAT 500 Electric), the batteries have had to be awkwardly stuffed in to fit. That means its packaging is more limited and so too is the range.

That said, the MINI Electric is a homegrown hero with bags of personality and is perfectly suited to the electric era. The car feels nimble and sporty, the handling is alert and precise, while its sheer presence has an uncanny ability to make nearly everybody smile. The Mini Electric is certainly one of the best and cheapest electric cars available to lease.

 

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