Used: which electric car to buy with 15,000 euros?

With a diesel price of around 2 euros per litre, it has never been so tempting to opt for electric. Lower refill price than a full tank of fuel, reduced usage costs, generally cheaper insurance… there are numerous arguments in favor of this type of vehicle. Added to that is less expensive maintenance. And for good reason: there is no gearbox, clutch or exhaust in an electric car. Parts that wear out over time and can be expensive to replace.

On paper, the electric car is therefore the ideal solution to reduce your car’s budget. Problem: Despite the ecological bonus, the new purchase price remains high, much higher than an equivalent thermal model. Count 26,800 euros to offer you a new Renault Zoé, after deducting the bonus of 6,000 euros, when a Renault Clio with a hybrid engine (E-Tech 145) starts at 22,350 euros, almost 4,500 euros less.


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For anyone looking for an affordable electric car, the second-hand choice remains the preferred option today. With 15,000 euros in your pocket, you won’t be leaving behind the wheel of a Tesla Model 3 or an electric Fiat 500, but older models, mainly city ones, which can be used as a second vehicle in the house or for mainly urban or peri-urban trips. .

And if your budget is tight, know that you also benefit from State aid: a bonus of 1,000 euros without means test that can be combined with the conversion bonus if you have an old car to scrap. Enough to benefit from aid of up to €6,000, i.e. more than a third of the total budget, if you meet all the conditions (reference tax income below €13,489, trips of more than 12,000 km per year to work, etc.) .

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Our selection of used electric cars with a budget of 15,000 euros:



It’s hard not to start with the Renault Zoé, which remains the most common electric car on the second-hand market. It must be said that this city car (4.08 meters long) is one of the oldest since being marketed 10 years ago in France. A decade in which Zoé went through several evolutions. The most important appeared in 2017 with the arrival of a larger battery to improve autonomy (more than 200 km in real use). This is felt in the prices as a model this year costs more than 10,000 euros at the time, against approximately 6,200 euros for a 2013/2014 version.

Newer versions from 2018 to 2019 are much more expensive. Count from 13,000 to 15,000 euros for a well-equipped, low-mileage version. A price difference also justified by the fact that Renault has abandoned its purchase formula with battery rental from 2018. This is also a point where you should be aware. Because an attractive model may not include the battery… which will then have to be paid up to sixty euros a month, depending on the formula chosen by the owner at the time.



We voluntarily put these two models together because, aside from the logo and name, they are strictly identical. They have nothing to do with French, as they are first cousins ​​of a small Japanese woman, Mitusbishi i-Miev. Perfect for city driving (small size, good manoeuvrability), these cars are now on show for less than €6,000 for models dating from 2011 to 2012.

With 13,000 euros, you can even walk away with a copy that is less than 2 years old and showing only 10,000 km on the odometer. A good deal that shouldn’t make you forget about the black dot of the Citroën C-Zero (pictured above) and Peugeot Ion: a range of just over 100 km. And this regardless of the year of production, as they never underwent major changes in terms of battery life.


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SP/Daimler AG

It was in 2012 that Smart turned down its small two-seater city car in an electric version, called the ED for Electric Drive. Its small battery capacity of 17.6 kWh limits its use in the city (maximum range of 120 km), but that is what it was designed for. It is also a pleasant car to drive, which even exists in a convertible version. Unfortunately, you will mostly find coupes with your budget. Count around 7,500 euros for a 2015 copy and almost 10,000 euros for a last generation 2017, renamed EQ. A newer model (2019) is traded for around 14,000 euros.

As for the Renault Zoé, meet the coveted model. Smart also proposed the purchase of the car with a battery rental system.


SP/Daimler AG

Take a Smart Fortwo, add two seats in the back, you get the Smart Forfour. More spacious, especially for small children, this model however has the disadvantage of not benefiting from a larger battery than the small Smart. Therefore, its use on expressways should be excluded. In terms of prices, the older models (2017) are presented at less than 12,000 euros and it is easy to find a model that is only three years old for around 14,000 euros.



Like the Renault Zoé, the Nissan Leaf was one of the first cars designed around electricity. In addition to its very original style, the Japanese will attract families with its large size (4.45 meters in length) and its very large trunk (over 300 liters of capacity). Pleasant to drive and quite comfortable, its fast charger allows for trips on the motorway, even if its low autonomy (between 150 and 200 km depending on the evolution) requires regular stops. Today, you can easily find 2012 copies for less than 7,000 euros, but you have to count almost double for a 2016 model with a bigger battery. Finally, be aware that the so-called “Flex” models mean that the price does not include the battery, which is rented on a monthly basis.


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The electric e-Up had two careers. The first, launched from 2013 to 2019, was powered by an 18.7 kWh battery, offering a few hundred kilometers. The second, called 2.0, benefited from a larger battery (32 kWh) allowing more than 250 km of autonomy. With 15,000 euros, it will be necessary to be satisfied with the first generation. And yet the models are rare on the second-hand market. Like the Smart, it is a model dedicated exclusively to urban use.



With 16,000 euros (15,000 euros thanks to the 1,000 euros bonus), it is still possible to drive in a premium car: the BMW i3. But at this price, it won’t have to be difficult. The few versions available date as early as 2016 (so with the smallest battery available), they are generally entry-level versions and display over 50,000 km on the watch.

But the i3 remains a striking car with its technological options (inverted opening doors, carbon fiber structure) and its interior containing recycled materials. It is also one of the sportiest in this selection, with acceleration worthy of a small GTI (0 to 100 km/h in 7.5 seconds).

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