In a bid to help clear London’s air and improve public health, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has expanded across all London boroughs this week, beginning on the 29th of August 2023. The CEO of Carmoola answers the question: What are the cheapest EVs on the road today?

Motorists inside the ULEZ, including the expanded area from 29 August 2023, will be liable for a daily charge of £12.50 if their vehicle does not meet the emissions standards. 

With this expansion, it’s expected that there could be a reduction of up to 135,000 tonnes of CO2 emission every year.

The 2023 expansion means the ULEZ will reach as far as Newham, Lewisham, Haringey and Brent but the specifics are yet to be confirmed. 

Some UK drivers can receive support through the scrappage scheme. With this, they will be able to switch to green cars that produce less pollution. 

Expanding the ULEZ is part of the process to have net-zero emissions in London by 2030. If nothing is done in the next 30 years about the worsening air pollution, it is said that over 550,000 London residents could suffer from health problems.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Which cars are affected by the London ULEZ?

Owners of vehicles that don’t meet the following emissions standards have to pay the daily ULEZ charge: Euro 6 emission standards for diesel cars and Euro 4 emission standards for petrol-powered cars.

Petrol cars that meet the ULEZ standards are generally those registered with the DVLA after 2005, although cars that meet the standards have been available since 2001. Diesel cars that meet the standards are generally those registered with the DVLA after September 2015.

If your vehicle is non-ULEZ compliant and you don’t pay the charge, you will receive a penalty notice in your letterbox. This penalty means you need to pay a fine of £160 but if you pay within 14 days, your fine might be reduced to £80.

EV ownership

According to a recent survey of car owners to investigate the popularity of Electric and Hybrid vehicles. Whilst London has the highest number of charging points in the UK, it’s reported only 11% have an Electric or Hybrid vehicle as their main car.

Cheapest EVs

For most car buyers, the price tag of an electric car is arguably the most important factor when deciding to push through with the purchase or not. Some drivers who want to make the shift to EVs get discouraged when they learn that such cars are more expensive than their diesel or petrol counterparts. However, there are EVs that aren’t exactly the cheapest, but they’re the ones most suitable for your driving needs.

Electric cars can be costly to buy, but in the long run, you’ll save more money than driving a petrol car. Charging an EV is a lot cheaper than topping up at a refuelling station. For example, you only need to pay about £12 to charge your electric car so it can run for 100 miles. With a petrol car, you’ll get 7.2 miles out of one litre of fuel. If the price of petrol per litre is £1.63, then you’d need about £23 to top up your car for a 100-mile trip. That’s twice the cost of charging an electric car!

Aidan Rushby, CEO of car finance provider Carmoola, said: “It’s predicted that EV costs will drop in the next decade as battery technology improves and mass production cuts costs. In the short term, electric cars may have a higher price tag, but charging them is much cheaper than refilling a tank with fuel. You’re sure to save money in the long run if you drive an electric car.”

Best Cheap Electric Car

Technically the Cheapest: Citroen Ami

It’s a small electric vehicle that was first introduced in 2020, and it’s now available to UK car buyers for around £8,000. Technically though, the Citroen Ami isn’t a car in the UK. Instead, it’s a quadricycle, which means the driver doesn’t have to be 18 to drive it. A 16-year-old who has a full AM moped licence may drive the Citroen Ami. With a single motor, you can get 8bhp from the Ami, reaching a top speed of 28mph in 10 seconds. 


For this car, you have to prepare about £26,000. The MG ZS EV is one of the most practical electric vehicles you could buy, especially if you have a family. This car has a boot space of 448 litres, and if the rear seats are folded down, it can increase to 1,375 litres. The battery of the MG ZS EV powers its single motor which can produce a torque of 141bhp and 353Nm. This means the car can go from zero to 62mph, having an 87mph top speed. This vehicle also features 50kW rapid charging, allowing it to reach 80 per cent battery capacity in just 40 minutes. 

Mazda MX-30

The price of the MX-30 is almost the same as the MG ZS EV at £26,000. What’s unusual about this small SUV is its unusual rear-hinged doors, similar to the RX-8 coupe. But there’s a purpose to this because it helps in creating a pillar-less cabin. Add the sloping roofline of the car and you have a unique-looking model. Inside the car, you’ll get that sporty and stylish feel. But the best part is that Mazda made sure to use eco-friendly materials for the interiors. 

MINI Electric

The MINI Electric has one power option, which is a 32.6kWh battery powering a single electric motor. With it, the car has a total of 181bhp and could go from zero to 62mph in 7.3 seconds. Overall, the range of the MINI Electric is about 145 miles. When it comes to driving this car, it will give you that same familiar feeling you get when driving a classic MINI. And for the price tag, it’s also around £26,000. So, if you don’t need a family car or a lot of space in your vehicle, the MINI Electric would be a great choice for city driving. 


At £25,000, you can get the MG5 EV, which is another good option if you’re looking for a practical family car that is also all-electric. This car became available to the UK market in 2020 yet MG has already produced a newer and longer-range version of the MG5. With the latest model, you can get up to 217 miles. It also features a 100kW charging capability and can reach 80 per cent within 40 minutes. If you want to get heated seats, auto wipers, sat-nav, leather-effect trim, and other features, you may have to prepare an additional £2,500. 

VW e-up!

Now, if you’re looking to buy a compact city car, you may want to consider the VW e-up!. For £21,000, you can have a reliable vehicle that has a smart and sleek interior and solid residual values. When you’re inside this car, you can see your surroundings clearly because of its big windows. As for the performance, you can get an instant torque from zero to 62mph in 11.9 seconds. The e-up!’s range can reach a maximum of 159 miles. And when it’s time to recharge the battery, an hour of charging can reach 80 per cent. 

Fiat 500

This vehicle is among the most affordable electric cars. The price tag of this outstanding city car is around £20,000. You can drive the Fiat 500 up to 115 miles on a single full charge. Fiat offers another version that is capable of a longer range of up to 199 miles. It also uses a 42kWh battery, with a 117bhp motor along with an 85kWh recharging. Of course, this version is a bit more expensive than the Fiat 500. 

Cheapest Used Electric Car UK

Nissan Leaf

So, maybe the Citroen Ami isn’t what you have in mind when looking for the cheapest electric cars in the UK. If you want to save money on your EV purchase, what you can do is shop for secondhand electric cars. You can buy a used electric car for as low as £11,000, depending on the car’s condition. For the cheapest used electric car in the UK, the one that tops the list is the Nissan Leaf. Now, this is a real car that can fit a small family. 

What are the best used cars for under £5000?

Scots lead the way on EV ownership: Carmoola