5 Cheap Used Electric Cars to Fit Tight Budgets

Many Americans hope to save money in the new year, and what better way than by cutting fuel costs? Electric vehicles were once a luxury that only the wealthy could afford, but EVs have become more affordable. And some electric cars are cheap enough for any budget. 

U.S. News recently released a list of the best inexpensive used EVs. If you want to go all-electric while saving money, look no further. Here’s everything you need to know about the top five cheap used electric cars according to U.S. News.

2016 Fiat 500e

Cheap used electric cars: 2016 Fiat 500e
2016 Fiat 500e | Dünzlullstein bild via Getty Images

The original Fiat 500e was a compliance car sold only in California and Oregon. Fiat — and, more important, Chrysler — received clean-energy credits for producing a certain number of zero-emission vehicles. By placing an electric motor in a Fiat 500, the automaker created the 500e. Surprisingly, the little compliance car has become a cult classic, even if the 84-mile range is a bit low. The 2016 Fiat 500e is nimble and easy to park, and with the average price starting around $9,000 for a used model, you can get your foot in the door of EV ownership without much investment.

2016 Ford Focus Electric

The end of the Ford Focus came after the 2019 model year. But when this compact car was in production, many consumers never knew the Blue Oval produced an electric Focus. It’s a solid driver offering 74 miles available on a full charge — a little less range than the Fiat 500e. However, the Ford Focus Electric makes up for the low range in the cabin. It offers much more cargo and passenger space than many other vehicles in its class. According to U.S. News, you can find a 2016 Ford Focus Electric for around $10,000 to $12,000.

2012 Toyota RAV4 EV

Although the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV is the oldest model on this list, it remains one of the most capable cheap used electric cars. Toyota offered this early EV only in select markets and built it through a partnership with Panasonic and Tesla. This EV is over 10 years old, but it provides a solid range of around 103 miles and still holds up well. 2012 RAV4 EVs go for about $15,000 to $19,000, depending upon the condition.

2017 Chevy Bolt EV

The Chevy Bolt was Chevrolet’s first mass-market, fully electric vehicle sold nationwide. And with the Bolt entering its second generation, the first-generation models have become more affordable on the used market. It’ll cost you around $17,000 to $32,000 to get behind the wheel of a 2017 Chevy Bolt, but that cost brings plenty of value. This competent hatchback boasts solid performance and an impressive 238-mile range, long enough for nearly any day trip.

2013 Chevy Volt

Though the Chevy Volt is no longer in production and was never fully electric, it offers an electric-only driving mode that rivals other small EVs. On a full charge, a Chevy Volt has a 38-mile range, which covers a full commute for many drivers. When the battery runs out of charge, the Volt operates on a regular gas-powered engine, reducing the range anxiety drivers typically feel when behind the wheel of an EV. You can find a used 2013 Chevy Volt for around $11,800.

Which cheap used electric car is right for you?

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As with any other vehicle, ensuring your EV purchase makes sense for your lifestyle is vital. If you have a long commute, an electric car with a longer range is necessary. And if you work in a congested city, you might need to adjust your search to find an EV that’s small and easy to park. No matter which model you choose, any option from this list of cheap used electric cars can save you cash and get you where you need to go.