Used EVs: 7 of the best family EVs to buy second-hand, from VW and Nissan to Renault and Tesla
Our pick of some of the most family-friendly EVs and what to look for in a used EV
With brand new EV prices so high and demand outstripping supply for many models, a used EV makes a lot of sense for many buyers. However, many drivers still don’t know what to look for in a used electric vehicle, especially when they’re looking for an all-rounder to get their family to and from school, work and all the kids. Activities.
With that in mind, we spoke to James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, to get his advice on what to look for when buying a used EV and his pick of some of the best family-friendly EVs to consider.
What you should consider when buying an electric car
If you are looking to buy your first electric car, the first thing you should think about is where you want to charge it.
For the majority of EV drivers, most of the charging takes place at home, which is usually much cheaper than gas stations or other locations. On long journeys, however, it may also be necessary to use charging points outside the home, so it is worth checking the location of charging points on regular routes. Search near where you live, in places you visit often, and along the routes you drive regularly. As of July this year there were 32,011 public electric vehicle charging points in the UK, of which 5,974 were fast devices, so there should be plenty.
The cost of buying an electric vehicle can still be relatively high. Anyone who wants to drive an electric vehicle but can’t afford the upfront cost could consider it lease one. This is a great way to try an electric car for the first time, and has the added benefit of paying a fixed cost each month, including road tax and, in some cases, breakdown cover.
Despite the rise in electricity prices, running an electric vehicle is still cheaper than a petrol or diesel car and there are environmental benefits. There are also other savings that come with an electric vehicle, including no ultra-low-emission zone fees, preferential parking fees in some areas, and lower maintenance costs.
What to look for in a family-friendly electric vehicle
Check if the car can be fast charged. The last thing busy parents want is to be stuck at charging stations for long periods of time.
When considering which electric vehicle to go with, consider how far you drive each day and compare the range of each model you’re interested in. Range isn’t the issue it was when EVs were first introduced, and many can go 300 miles on a single charge.
Outside of charging and range, many of the features you might consider in an electric vehicle are the same ones you’re looking for in a petrol or diesel car. The good news is that there are plenty of family-friendly EV options, including hatchbacks and SUVs. You can even squeeze three child seats side-by-side in the back of a row of electric vehicles. It is recommended that you look at a car before you buy it so you can check if the space is right for your family. This also means that the trunk is suitable for strollers, luggage or other equipment and that there is enough space in the back to accommodate growing children.
Read on for James’ picks of some of the best electric cars for families.
The Nissan Leaf was the first truly affordable mass-market electric vehicle. As it was one of the very first electric cars to be offered for sale, there are now a good number of used models. It’s a practical choice, offering a spacious interior and a decent boot – more than many petrol and diesel models of the same size. Early models may not have the range you’re looking for unless you only drive short distances. If range is important, the regular 40kWh battery version is said to do 168 miles on a single charge, but if you opt for the long-range E+ model, that official range increases to 235 miles.
Some drivers want the reassurance of a familiar car that just so happens to be an electric vehicle. The Volkswagen e-Golf is a solid choice in this regard, following the example of a petrol or diesel Golf, just with a battery. With its quick reactions, it’s arguably an improved drive for the original Golf. Like its petrol-powered counterparts, the e-Golf is easily large enough as a family car, with more rear space than in a Nissan Leaf. However, the position of the battery means that the trunk is slightly smaller, although it is still larger than many other electric vehicles.
MG ZS EV
MG may be familiar to you as an old British sports car manufacturer, but since then there have been many changes of ownership and production is now taking place in China. The brand’s focus is on value for money and this car delivers on that promise and comes at a lower price point than many on this list. It benefits from a generous amount of cabin space, with plenty of rear legroom and many used models still have some manufacturer warranty thanks to MG’s generous coverage. Although the regular MG ZS has a disappointing three-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety test, the ZS EV scores the full five stars. MG ZE EV under test.
This small family SUV is one of the most comfortable in its class, with plenty of legroom for passengers and good headroom in the rear seats. As you’d expect, it also comes with a generously sized boot. The e-Niro is a practical car with a range of almost 300 miles. Each e-Niro can be powered by a 100kW fast charger, drastically reducing charging time.
Tesla Model S
Tesla didn’t produce a car before 2008 and now produces nearly a million each year, specializing exclusively in electric vehicles. The Model S was the company’s groundbreaking car, although the Tesla name means it’s still priced higher than the other vehicles on this list. It has a range of 260 miles to 400 depending on age and model, and its spacious cabin offers a comfortable journey for driver and passengers. Tesla may have been one of the first electric vehicles on the market, but there are many competitors that can outperform it in terms of quality and often at a lower initial cost.
Jaguar I Pace
Until this Jaguar came out, the Tesla Model X SUV was the only real car in this class – now it has stiff competition. Although the I-Pace is an SUV weighing over two tons, it drives more like a sports car or sedan. You can charge it at fast charging points at speeds of up to 100 kW, so the battery is 80 percent charged in just 45 minutes. Inside, the I-Pace is a perfect blend of luxury and technology. It’s also a very spacious electric vehicle, with plenty of room for adults in the rear seats and a 656-litre trunk that’s perfect for the family. Jaguar I-Pace on test
The electric Zoe hatchback has proven popular since its launch in 2013, offering cost-effective driving without real compromises in driving dynamics and practicality. Early cars were disappointed by a small range, but newer models could go close to 250 miles on a full charge, making them one of the best in their class. This Renault is best for city driving, but there’s decent rear space and the boot is a good size too at 338 litres, although unlike some other electric cars there’s nowhere to store the charging cables. Renault Zoe on test