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Best 5 electric cars on subscription

Here are five excellent EVs that you can run on a subscription.
Best 5 electric cars on subscription
Summary
  • A wide variety of electric cars are available on subscription.
  • There’s just one monthly fee – some services even include charging.
  • Subscription gives you the flexibility to experience life with an electric car without being tied into ownership or a long term contract.

A subscription service is the easiest way of running an electric car. You don’t have to worry about servicing, maintenance or being tied into a long-term financial commitment.

In fact, some subscription services include free access to a number of charging networks, so you don’t even need to pay for electricity. You literally just get in the car and drive. We cover all the other reasons to subscribe to an EV in this guide.

And there’s now more choice than ever when it comes to electric cars. What was once a niche market has exploded into the mainstream, with everything from affordable urban runarounds to sumptuous saloons and ultra-practical SUVs.

Likewise, it’s now easier than ever to run an electric car, with more than 24,000 charging points in the UK. That number is growing all the time, and there are a variety of apps to help you locate convenient charging points along your route or near your destination. For those who are new to electric vehicles (EVs), a subscription service also provides a simple and flexible opportunity to sample different models.

Tesla Model 3 Long Range

Outdoor photo of Tesla Model 3.
  • Model: Tesla Model 3 Long Range
  • Range: 374 miles (official figure)
  • Battery capacity: Undisclosed 
  • 0-62mph: 4.2 seconds
  • Cost: £1,199 per month (elmo)

The Tesla Model 3 was the electric car that the world had been waiting for when the original version was launched in 2017. 

It was spacious inside, fun to drive and capable of tackling even the longest motorway journeys with ease thanks to its impressive range figures. But the most important thing was that it was affordable – at least relatively speaking, with similar monthly costs to a mid-spec BMW 3-Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class. 

Tesla is renowned for its continuous programme of development, which has ensured that the latest Model 3 is still every bit as relevant. Despite strong competition from the Polestar 2 and the Volkswagen ID.4, the Model 3 remains the benchmark for compact executive electric cars. 

The Long Range version listed here sits towards the upper end of the Model 3 line up, but that arguably plays to the Tesla’s strengths of generous battery capacity and ample performance. 

Volkswagen ID.3

Outdoor photo of Volkswagen ID.3.
  • Model: Volkswagen ID.3 Life Pro Performance
  • Range: 264 miles (official figure); 215 miles (real world estimate)
  • Battery capacity: 62 kWh
  • 0-62mph: 7.3 seconds
  • Cost: £619 per month, inclusive of charging (ONTO)

What the Tesla Model 3 has done for electric saloons, the Volkswagen ID.3 is aiming to do for mid-size hatchbacks. The name signifies the fact that it’s supposed to be Volkswagen’s third landmark model after the ubiquitous Golf and the original Beetle that revolutionised mass transport in the 1950s. No pressure then.

Its official range figure of 264 miles sees the ID.3 nipping at the heels of the larger and more expensive Tesla, while also offering generous interior space, agile handling and a suitably futuristic-looking minimalist cabin. 

It’s not as plush inside as the more expensive luxury EVs, and neither is it as outrageously fast, but it’s a stylish and capable electric family hatch for Golf money. And that’s exactly what the world needs right now.

Kia EV6

Outdoor photo of Kia EV6.
  • Model: Kia EV6 Air 77.4 kW
  • Range: 328 miles
  • Battery capacity: 77 kWh
  • 0-62mph: 7.3 seconds
  • Cost: £870 per month (My Car Direct)

The Kia EV6 was voted Car of The Year for 2022, and it’s not hard to see why. Big enough to accommodate a family of five plus their luggage, decent to drive and generously equipped, it ticks a lot of key boxes before we even talk about the 250+ miles of real-world range or the super-fast 800-volt charging capability.

The EV6 looks good too. It’s not as dramatic as the retro futuristic Hyundai Ioniq 5, with which it shares much of its technology, but the overall effect is sleeker and arguably more coherent as a result. It’s also slightly sharper to drive than the Hyundai, although the payback for that is a somewhat firmer ride.

With its high-riding stance you could almost call the EV6 an SUV, and yet there’s something quite sporty and coupé-like about its interior. It’s a great place to sit with comfortable seats, plenty of space and a futuristic feel to the giant wrap around screens that make up the dashboard. 

Crucially, while the family-sized EV6 costs more than some electric cars, it represents great value for money. Even the base models come with plenty of standard equipment and strong performance. The two-wheel drive car’s 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds is edging into hot hatch territory, while the four-wheel drive model takes just 5.2 seconds. Being a Kia, you can expect it to be utterly reliable as well.

Fiat 500e

Outdoor photo of Fiat 500e.
  • Model: Fiat 500e Icon 42 kWh
  • Range: 199 miles (official WLTP figure)
  • Battery capacity: 42 kWh
  • 0-62mph: 9.0 secs
  • Cost: £449/month (elmo)

The Fiat 500 is one of those cars that was born to be electric. Designed for zipping around city streets, the New 500 (sometimes known as the 500e) builds on the strengths of the petrol-powered model with cute looks, sprightly performance and a stylish interior.

It’s not big – inside or out. In fact, the boot is one of the smallest found on any car, and grown ups will struggle in the back seats for anything other than short journeys. But it is clever, with a 10.25-inch touchscreen on this Icon model, featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, not to mention satellite navigation, DAB radio and a range of different driving modes to tailor the way it feels.

Just as the performance of the New 500 is perfectly sized to suit the city, it has all the range you could realistically need in urban driving. A 42 kWh battery is now standard across the line up giving a claimed 199 miles on the official WLTP test (previously there was also the option of a smaller 24 kWh battery). That equates to around 150 miles in the real-world – enough to do the average UK commute 10 times over before having to recharge.

BMW iX

Outdoor photo of BMW iX.
  • Model: BMW iX xDrive50 M Sport
  • Range: 380 miles (official WLTP figure)
  • Battery capacity: 105 kWh
  • 0-62mph: 4.6 secs
  • Cost: £2,250/month (My Car Direct)

The new BMW iX is, in all respects, a lot of car. It’s similar in size to the X5 luxury SUV, but laden with even more technology, not to mention sports car-baiting performance and one of the largest batteries fitted to any production car, giving a claimed range of 380 miles.

Except the first thing most people talk about when they see the iX is its looks. Although not to everyone’s taste, there’s no denying that the futuristic, angular lines and giant kidney grille grab the attention. It’s the same inside with a high-tech minimalist interior that looks completely different to the rest of the BMW range (and anything else for that matter).

A faster, more driver-focused M60 version is planned, but for the time being, the xDrive50 model here is the range topper. Not only is it the most powerful model in the current range (with no less than 516 bhp) but it gets standard-fit air suspension, allowing you to toggle between silky smooth luxury car ride quality and genuinely involving handling. 

Of course, you’ll pay handsomely for the privilege, but this 2.6-tonne uber-SUV packs all the luxury, technology and performance that you could conceivably need. 

How to choose the best electric car

It used to be that electric cars were quite thin on the ground; you’d make the decision to go electric and then find which of the available offerings was the closest fit to your needs. Now, there’s an electric car for all lifestyles, and pretty much all budgets, ranging from small, affordable city cars to vast, opulent SUVs.

One of the biggest factors to bear in mind is the amount of range that you need. Running an electric car often requires a degree of mental recalibration to start with, but once you get into a routine, it doesn’t always follow that you need the largest possible battery. Start with your typical daily mileage, factoring in the availability of charging facilities where you live and how often you’re likely to venture further afield.

When you do come to plug in, the car’s onboard electronics can be just as important as the charging facilities. A 150 kW ultra-fast charger will only provide a benefit if your car supports charging at that sort of power. The Kia EV6, for instance, can charge at up to 250 kW, whereas the Fiat 500e is capped at 85 kW. Bigger, heavier cars will need to take on more charge to cover the same distance, but there can still be a significant discrepancy in the time that you need to leave it plugged in. If you're looking for something more premium, you should check out the best luxury car subscription vehicles!

Beyond that, most of it comes down to budget and personal preference. Electric cars are typically faster than their petrol or diesel counterparts in a straight line, so performance is rarely an issue. Conversely, the extra weight of the batteries tends to blunt the handling slightly through the corners. Where electric cars really score, however, is their refinement, with even the most affordable models providing smooth, relaxed progress and low noise levels. Check out our EV glossary guide if you find any of the terms in this article are unclear!

Browse all cars available on subscription

There are hundreds of cars available via UK subscription companies.

Article sources
Our writers are required to use primary sources of information to support their content. These include research from authoritative brands, government data sets, first-hand experience where relevant and advice from industry experts.

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This article was written by our expert car reviewer, Chris Pickering. He has hands-on experience with the latest cars. Read more about his experience.

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