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The best electric car discounts right now – with more than £8,000 off one popular model

Manufacturers of electric vehicles are offering big discounts to entice buyers
Manufacturers of electric vehicles are offering big discounts to entice buyers

It’s no secret that one of the biggest stumbling blocks to electric car adoption is their high purchase price. And with the cost of producing electric cars still very high, manufacturers are struggling to bring prices down to a level at which many buyers can afford to transition from petrol or diesel cars to an electric equivalent.

But manufacturers are feeling the squeeze, in the UK at least, as the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate ramps up. This legislation requires manufacturers to ensure that a certain proportion of the cars they sell in Britain are electric – and imposes penalties on them if they don’t meet those targets.

As a result, many manufacturers are starting to offer substantial discounts off the list prices of their electric cars, choosing to take the hit on their bottom line rather than face a hefty fine, in the hope of tempting buyers into choosing one over and above a petrol or diesel model.

The Nissan Ariya is one of a number of electric vehicles to have had its prices slashed in recent months
The Nissan Ariya is one of a number of electric vehicles to have had its prices slashed in recent months - David Shepherd

New data released last week by What Car? magazine has revealed just how big some of these discounts are, with as much as £8,379 off the list price of some of the most popular electric models.

Steve Huntingford, the editor of What Car?, said: “Electric vehicle sales grew last year, but this was due to tax rules favouring company and fleet drivers. By contrast, the extensive discounts that we’re now seeing target private buyers.”

“It will be interesting to see if these incentives can tempt more private buyers to go electric in 2024, particularly in light of the new ZEV mandate. With some brands offering up to a fifth off the price of an EV, the importance of shopping around has never been clearer.”

The discounts listed below are specifically available through the magazine’s New Car Deals service, which puts buyers in touch with dealers that can offer favourable rates. However, they can be taken as representative of the market as a whole.

In other words, if you’re thinking of buying any of these cars, don’t pay the full price, whatever you do, because dealers are keen to sell – and they may well be willing to let them go for much less.

The most heavily discounted EVs on sale

10. Renault Megane

one of the nicest EVs currently on sale
Renault Megane: one of the nicest EVs currently on sale - Mark Fagelson Photography

The Megane is one of the nicest EVs currently on sale to drive, not to mention one of the most eye-catching. Inside, too, it’s smartly finished and easy on the eye, not to mention practical and roomy. Early tests revealed that cold temperatures have a deleterious effect on its range, even for an EV, which is the only real downside – otherwise, the Megane is a smart piece of kit.

Most discounted version: Megane EV60 160kW Equilibre 60kWh Optimum Charge

On-the-road price: £34,495

Discounted price: £32,133

Saving: £2,362 (7 per cent)

9. Citroën ë-C4

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Citroen e-C4: the most comfortable EV - Adrien Cortesi

If you want the most comfortable EV on the market, this is probably it. The ë-C4’s soft suspension and plush seats make it the antithesis of the usual weighty, stiffly sprung electric cars. Comfort isn’t all it has to offer, though; behind its SUV styling cues, it’s a sensible, family-sized hatchback with a good-sized boot and spacious rear seats. It can’t deliver quite as much range as its strongest rivals, but if you can live with that the ë-C4 is a good bet – especially at these prices.

Most discounted version: ë-C4 100kW Max 50kWh

On-the-road price: £35,135

Discounted price: £32,505

Saving: £2,630 (7.7 per cent)

8. Fiat 600e

Fiat 600e: a trendy, family-friendly EV
Fiat 600e: a trendy, family-friendly EV - Simona Alampi

It’s only been on sale for a few months, but already dealers are hacking almost 10 per cent off the price – so if you’re after a trendy, family-friendly EV, it’s worth considering. What sets the 600e apart is its sense of style, in which it apes the smaller 500; buyers are offered a wealth of personalisation options, too, which helps the 600e to stand out from the crowd further still.

Most discounted version: 600e 115kW Red 54kWh

On-the-road price: £32,995

Discounted price: £29,995

Saving: £3,000 (9.3 per cent)

7. Nissan Ariya

Nissan Ariya: one of the smartest interiors on the market
Nissan Ariya: one of the smartest interiors on the market - SEBASTIEN MAUROY

It might be blessed with one of the smartest interiors on the market, but that hasn’t been enough to turn buyers on to the Ariya yet, so clearly Nissan dealers are hoping some big discounts will. And to be fair, at these prices, the Ariya is starting to look like pretty good value; a large, roomy SUV with lots of power and a huge battery for the price of a Tesla Model 3 saloon.

Most discounted version: Ariya 178kW Engage 87kWh

On-the-road price: £44,645

Discounted price: £40,466

Saving: £4,179 (9.4 per cent)

6. Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford Mustang Mach-E: sleek styling
Ford Mustang Mach-E: sleek styling

With its low profile and sleek styling, there is some truth to Ford’s assertion that the Mach-E evokes the spirit of its famed Mustang “muscle cars” of the 1960s. It feels pretty sporty, with lots of power and agile handling; meanwhile, the huge touchscreen and simple software are easy to operate, and there’s plenty of space in the rear seats and the boot. In theory, then, the Mach-E is a one-size-fits-all EV; and with a 13 per cent discount, its Achilles heel of a high price is less of an issue.

Most discounted version: Mach-E 198kW Select 72kWh RWD [Tech+]

On-the-road price: £53,830

Discounted price: £46,830

Saving: £7,000 (13 per cent)

5. Peugeot e-2008

Peugeot e-2008: a great little EV
Peugeot e-2008: a great little EV

We’ve criticised the e-2008 in the past for being too expensive. This hefty discount doesn’t quite make it good value – bear in mind the Active version that carries the greatest discount is the base model – but it does take the edge off that high cost, at least. And when you factor out the price, this is a great little EV, with neat styling, an interior that feels upmarket, and great driving dynamics – more than enough to recommend it, in other words.

Most discounted version: e-2008 115kW Active 54kWh

On-the-road price: £36,500

Discounted price: £31,434

Saving: £5,066 (14.3 per cent)

4. Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e: truly endearing-looking
Fiat 500e: truly endearing-looking - Jeff Gilbert

Fiat is counting on its battery-powered 500 building on the huge success of the petrol-powered model, but the almost £30,000 cost of the entry-level version is a big ask, especially given its minuscule range. At less than £25,000, though, the 500 starts to make a little more sense. Let’s not forget this is a truly endearing-looking little car, with lots of beautiful design details and a slick interior. Only cramped rear seats and a tiny boot really let it down.

Most discounted version: 500 70kW 24kWh

On-the-road price: £28,195

Discounted price: £24,212

Saving: £3,983 (14.6 per cent)

3. Peugeot e-208

Peugeot e-2008: a great little EV
Peugeot e-208: discounts make it food for thought - MATTHEW HOWELL

As with its SUV-styled stablemate the e-2008, the e-208’s main turn-off has always been its high price. But with a whopping 16.2 per cent off, it starts to look rather more affordable. While this price isn’t quite enough to give it parity with the petrol-powered equivalent, it certainly brings the electric version closer – and reduces the gap to one that might be mitigated by its lower running costs. Food for thought.

Most discounted version: e-208 115kW Active 51kWh

On-the-road price: £32,400

Discounted price: £27,299

Saving: £5,101 (16.2 per cent)

2. Vauxhall Corsa Electric

Vauxhall Corsa Electric: significant savings to be had
Vauxhall Corsa Electric: significant savings to be had

What can be said for the Peugeot e-208 can also be said for this compact Vauxhall, which is to be expected given that the two are one and the same under the skin. However, the savings are even more significant with the Vauxhall than with its French sister – almost 20 per cent off, to be precise, though it is worth keeping in mind that this discount is only available on a version with the smaller of the two batteries; the Peugeot, by contrast, is most heavily discounted in larger-battery form.

Most discounted version: Corsa Electric 100kW GS 50kWh

On-the-road price: £34,080

Discounted price: £28,035

Saving: £6,045 (18.3 per cent)

1. Vauxhall Mokka Electric

Vauxhall Mokka Electric: pretty impressive value
Vauxhall Mokka Electric: pretty impressive value - Vauxhall Motors

On the one hand, it’s a bit of a surprise that the most heavily discounted car here is one of Britain’s most popular EVs – on the other, it’s not a shock that one of Britain’s most heavily discounted EVs has also become one of its most popular. Whichever way you view it, the Mokka Electric is pretty impressive value with this sort of discount – although keep in mind that it has also been declared one of Britain’s least reliable electric cars by one recent dependability study.

Most discounted version: Mokka Electric 100kW Design 50kWh

On-the-road price: £36,610

Discounted price: £28,231

Saving: £8,379 (23.5 per cent)