Hybrid & Electric Car Leasing Hub
If you're wanting to find out more about leasing an electric car, or have questions around charging, our comprehensive guides have everything you need to know.
Which Electric Car is the Best?
As the world transitions towards a greener and more sustainable future, electric cars have become increasingly popular. Advances in battery technology, combined with government incentives and a rapid improvement in national charging infrastructure, make EVs a practical and eco-friendly choice for everyday Brits.
Iconic manufacturers like Tesla no longer dominate the market. Instead, we’re seeing a growing number of electric car models on British roads. How do you choose the best electric car for your needs? The key is to do lots of research and arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible.
This comprehensive guide is designed to help you choose the best electric car by considering factors like lifestyle, budget, range and charging options. We also spotlight the top 10 electric cars currently available in the UK, handpicked by the Leasing Options team.
How to choose an electric car
A one-size-fits-all approach no longer applies when shopping for EVs. British motorists are now spoilt for choice and free to choose a model that aligns with their unique preferences and lifestyle. Below, we take a closer look at some of the factors to consider when choosing an EV.
Firstly, you’ll need to think about your lifestyle and how it will impact the electric car that’s right for you.
City vs suburban living
If you plan to drive your EV mostly in the city you may prefer compact models like the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe. All offer great manoeuvrability and are a cinch to park. In comparison, larger models like the Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV may be more suited for suburban and country driving.
The size of your family, including additions like pets, can have a big impact on what EV is right for you.
The distance of your daily commute can be a big factor to consider when shopping for an EV.
If you plan to use your car for road trips, camping adventures and other recreational activities that involve bulky gear, it’s worth investing in a larger EV model.
Next up, we have the typical performance-based factors you should consider.
Range is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an EV. Most modern BEVs offer between 100 to 300 miles per charge, though some models climb as high as almost 400 miles. If you use your car for short trips, a lower-range EV can be a great choice. However, if you have a longer commute, plan to use your car for off-the-grid getaways or have limited access to charging infrastructure, a higher-range EV is recommended.
Some electric cars like the Tesla Model 3 and Kia EV6 offer a high-performance driving experience. Powerful electric motors promise sports-inspired torque, lightning-fast acceleration and responsive handling. Other models keep things mellow and will get you from A to B without a fuss.
Access to charging infrastructure
Where you’ll be charging your EV will impact the car you should choose for convenience. For more information, visit our electric car charging guide.
Access to a home charging system isn’t essential for EV ownership but it does make things more convenient and cost-effective. If you have space to install a purpose-built Level 2 240V charger at home, you can consider most EV models. Another option is using a standard 120V household outlet to “trickle charge” overnight.
Many British workplaces are now equipped with EV charging stations making charging extremely convenient.
Public EV charging infrastructure in the UK is continually growing. If home or work charging isn’t an option, or you need to charge your EV on the go, public stations are a great option.
Fast and convenient, rapid charging stations can slash the time it takes you to top up your battery.
What's my EV budget?
This is a very personal question and will depend on your unique financial situation and personal preferences. The best way to establish your budget is to develop a full understanding of how much EVs cost and the costs associated with ownership.
With prices starting at just over £100 a month for a Citroen Ami lease, it’s one of the most affordable EVs in the UK. It’s cute and compact with an electric car range of almost 50 miles.
Increase your budget and you can consider larger and more high-end models. For example, the KIA EV6 is priced at around £500 and offers a luxurious feel without an eye-watering price tag.
Luxury EV models like the Polestar 3 start from around £1,000 a month.
As well as purchase price, you should also consider the following factors when calculating your EV budget:
- Cost of ownership expenses like insurance and maintenance
- The cost of electricity in your local area
- The cost of installing a home charging system
- Access to free or paid charging infrastructure
- If you’re eligible for government incentives or tax credits
What electric car range do I need?
Low-range EVs typically offer between 40 to 150 miles per charge.
Mid-range EVs raise the bar and offer between 150 to 300 miles per charge.
Capable of tackling long distances on a single charge, high-range EVs offer between 300 to 400 miles of range. If you’re looking for a best-in-class electric car range, it’s hard to look past models like the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model 3.
How quickly do I need it to charge?
When choosing an EV it’s important to consider charging speeds, as times can vary significantly between makes and models. EV charge times are also determined by the type of infrastructure you have access to. For example, DC fast chargers can top batteries back up to 100% in less than an hour.
What type of vehicle do I need?
Like petrol and diesel-powered cars, EVs come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and styles. Here’s a quick overview of what’s available:
Compact EVs and superminis
Small and zippy, compact EVs are a great choice for city drivers and commuters. Seating and boot space can be limited, however, for motorists who simply want to get from A to B and squeeze into tight parking spots, compact EVs and superminis can be a great choice.
Practical and versatile, hatchbacks combine a compact design with a surprising amount of power and storage space.
Also known as sedans, electric saloons combine space, comfort and style. They typically offer higher ranges than compact EVs and can be a great choice for small families and motorists looking to use their cars for longer trips.
Electric SUVs and crossovers
Spacious and practical, electric SUVs and crossovers are ideal for large families, outdoor enthusiasts and motorists looking for extra cargo space.
Performance is front and centre in sports EVs.
Plush leather interiors, state-of-the-art technology, powerful electric motors and sleek styling come as standard in luxury EVs.
Would a hybrid be better?
BEVs offer a laundry list of benefits, however, for some motorists, the addition of an internal combustion engine (ICE) can be a game-changer. Hybrids offer the best of both worlds and combine an electric motor with an ICE. Here's when a hybrid car may be a better choice than an EV:
- You frequently travel long distances
- You have limited access to charging infrastructure
- You have budget constraints
- You prefer ICEs but want to reduce your emissions
Top 10 best electric cars
Now you know more about electric cars, let’s take a look at the top 10 best models currently available in the UK.
- Audi Q4 e-tron
- BMW i4
- MG5 EV
- Polestar 2
- MINI Electric
- Nissan Leaf
- Volkswagen ID.3
- Kia e-Niro
- Tesla Model 3
- Tesla Model Y
With more than 35,000 models registered in the UK in 2022, the Tesla Model Y is one of the most popular EVs on the market. The midsize electric SUV combines a futuristic design with an impressive electric car range of almost 330 miles on a single charge.
Under the hood is a pair of ultra-responsive electric motors that take the Model Y from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. It also boasts state-of-the-art technology and a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, making it a top choice for families.
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