The Best Budget Electric Bikes Under £500

Not so long ago the thought of getting an e-bike for less than £500 would have seemed an impossible deal, but advances in battery technology and motor production now make the £500 e-bike a viable proposition for people looking to start cycling on an e-bike in the UK.

We’ve carried out comprehensive research and testing and uncovered quite a few electric bikes available at this price point, but its worth being clear about the type of e-bikes that are allowed to be ridden on the road in the UK so that you don’t get caught out by buying using an e-bike on UK roads that isn’t legal.

While e-bikes are a relatively new invention, there are certain laws that govern their usage on UK streets:

UK E-Bike Law

An e-bike must be of the pedal assist variety, meaning the motor only activates when you turn your pedals. 

E-bikes without pedals are not legal in the UK

The top speed that the motor can propel the e-bike at can’t be more than 15.5mph (25km/h).

The e-bike must have a motor rating of no more than 250watts

The e-bike can’t have an additional throttle

If the e-bike has a button to propel the bike, it can’t be at a faster speed than walking pace (commonly known as Walk Assist)

If any of the UK e-bikes don’t conform to these rules, then they are illegal to use on the road as they are classified as motor vehicles and are treated as such, rather than as electric bicycles.

Please ensure that the bike you purchase is fully legal and compliant before taking it on the public highway or other areas covered by legislation.

So with the formalities out of the way, is it possible to get a good e-bike for less than £500 in the UK today?

In short, yes!

The Best UK Electric Bike Under £500

(April 2022 Update: Due to supply shortages and changing prices, some of these bikes are currently priced just over their original sub £500 price. Given inflationary pressures, and energy price rises, they still represent incredible value for money.)

Swifty Liberte Electric Bike

Motor: 250watts
Top Speed: 15.5mph
Range: Up to 30miles
Removable Battery: Yes
Brakes: Disc
Folding: Yes
Suspension: No

Check Price on Amazon

The Swifty Liberte has got it all.

With this bike Swifty will dominate the budget e-bike market. A front wheel drive 250watt motor, powered by a 36V 7.65 amp hour battery, with powerful disc brakes and a six-speed derailleur gearing system. All on a folding aluminium frame. This is an incredible package for the money.

The Swifty electric bike was orignally a favourite of ours when it was at its original launch price of over £600. With the recent price drop to £500 it just pips the runner up Assist E-bike. The added bonus of a foldable frame and a Shimano 6 speed gear system really make it stand out from the competition. With its 250w front wheel motor the 36V Lithium ion battery provides up to 30 miles of pedalling assistance for that extra push up hills and when pulling away from lights. Like other UK legal e-bikes the top speed is limited to 15.5mph and the bike also features a walking mode which engages the motor from a standing start. The battery is fully removable so you don’t need to place the bike near the charger in order to top it up again, just take the battery out and plug it into the charger. The 20inch wheels will give a more predictable ride than the smaller wheels of some of the other e-bikes and the disc brakes will add confidence when it’s time to stop.

The folding frame on this bike also makes very long journeys a breeze – a folded bike is much easier to take on bus and train services – ride to the station, take the bike on the train, and ride it at the other end. You can even fold it up and keep it under your desk at work, in a cupboard or even in a cloakroom.

In scouring the UK’s bike shops and mail order outlets we cannot find a single e-bike that comes close to this bike in terms of value for money. This is by far and away the best possible e-bike for under £500.

If you want to see what else is out there take a look at the following bikes on both the UK high street and Amazon. There are some great offers to be had on there, but working out what is technically legal to ride in the UK can be confusing, so always double check if you’re in doubt.

The Runners Up

Assist Hybrid Electric Bike

Motor: 250watts
Top Speed: 15.5mph
Range: Up to 20miles
Battery: Removable
Brakes: Rim
Folding: No
Suspension: No

Check Price

The Assist Hybrid Electric Bike  is an outstanding e-bike at this price point. It’s official retail price is £599 but we often see it on offer at £499 so this becomes our runner-up for the best electric bike for under £500. Even if it’s not on offer with a discount, it’s still absolutely worth getting at £599 to use as your daily commuter or leisure e-bike.

This Assist Hybrid has a maximum Range that will take you up to 20 miles and a recharge time of just 2-3 Hours, plus with its removable battery you can easily charge it up when you get to your destination and have a full range for the return journey. The front wheel drive motor will propel you at 15.5mph, and will go faster if you choose to pedal it quicker. It comes in one size which is suitable for riders ranging from 5′ 3″ – 6′ 1”. While its 20 mile range may not be as far as other more expensive e-bikes on the market, in practice most people’s journeys to work are generally much less than 20 miles so the bike can be charged up during the day for the return trip home again afterwards. If you’re surprised that the Assist e-bike only comes with one gear, it makes sense at this price point to keep things simple and functional. The motor will do the hard work when the bike rides up hill, and less gears mean less technical components to maintain. Simple works best.

AmazeFan DYU Folding Electric Bike (Currently sold out)

Motor: 240watts
Top Speed: 15.5mph
Range: Up to 60km
Removable Battery: No
Brakes: Disc
Folding: Yes
Suspension: Yes

Check Price on Amazon

The AmazeFan DYU Folding Electric Bike has an innovative design that features a 240w motor, a 60km maximum range, suspension for comfort, disc brakes and integrated lights. As with many electric bikes on Amazon it’s worth checking their legalities such as whether the motor is limited to 15.5mph and no more than 250watts – and in this case at the bottom of the page you’ll notice the seller’s declaration that “DYU ebikes are legal for riding on the road of most countries in the world including USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam etc with proper motor power and speed.” 

WHIRLWIND C4 Lightweight 250W Electric Bike

Motor: 250watts
Top Speed: 15.5mph
Range: Up to 35miles
Removable Battery: No
Brakes: Disc
Folding: Yes
Suspension: Yes

Check Price on Amazon

The pedal assist 250w Whirlwind is assembled in the UK. It features a smaller ‎36V 5.2Ah LG lithium battery giving a UK legal top speed of 15.5mph and a max range of up to 35 miles. Charging only takes between 3-4 hours and although it doesn’t feature a removable battery like the Assist e-bike it’s lightweight aluminium frame does fold up small enough to take it into an office or home to be charged up in situ. Being a folding bike means you can also take it on a train or in the boot of a car for joined up commuting. As you’d expect it also features robust disc brakes for added stopping power and a built in front light (you’ll need to buy your own regular rear bike light to be legal if riding at night). For the money this is an excellent choice.

The Bikes Below Are Sadly Not Legal For UK Road Use

Unfortunately not all of the deals available are suitable for use on UK streets. If you’re buying an e-bike for use on private land, or in a country where restrictions aren’t applicable, then there are some great deals to be had.

Windgoo B20 Electric Bike

Windgoo B20

Motor: 350watts (not legal for UK roads)
Top Speed: 15.5mph
Range: 15-22km
Removable Battery: No
Brakes: Disc
Folding: Yes
Suspension: No

Check Price on Amazon

On paper the Windgoo B20 Electric Bike looks like an absolutely perfect e-bike for UK riders but a closer look at the specs and you’ll notice that even though it has a top speed of 15.5mph, it’s got a 350w motor which sadly renders it not legal for use on UK highways. It is a great shame because for the money this bike really is feature packed: an aluminium frame which folds up small when not in use, disc brakes, kick stand, disc brakes, integrated lights for riding at night, and up to 22km range depending on rider weight and type of journey.

If you’re intending on using the Windgoo B20 in a country where a 350w motor is permitted, or on private land, then this bike is an absolute steal.

Windgoo B3 Electric Bike

Motor: 350watts (not legal for UK roads)
Pedals: None (not legal for UK roads)
Top Speed: 15.5mph
Range: Up to 30km
Removable Battery: No
Brakes: Rear Disc Only (not legal for UK roads)
Folding: No
Suspension: No

Check Price on Amazon

Although the Windgoo B3 is called an electric bike, in reality it’s more of an electric sit on scooter. Unfortunately it doesn’t have any pedals, making it illegal for use on UK roads, where only pedal assist e-bikes can be used. Plus the fact it comes with a 350w motor rather than the UK legal 250w and you can see why this can’t be used on UK roads. It’s a great shame as this little gem packs a lot of features for the money, but can only be recommended if you plan to use it on private land and not on UK roads.

Special Mention for an Electric Bike Just Over £500

If you can go a little over budget you get into the realm of getting a lot more more for your money – options like disc brakes, removable batteries, a folding frame, suspension, and multiple gears become more available to you at this price.

HOMERIC 20 Inch Folding Electric Bike – Our best choice for under £600 (Stock Shortages – Awaiting updates)

Motor: 250watts
Top Speed: 15.5mph
Range: Up to 50-80km range
Removable Battery: Yes, fold bike to access
Brakes: Disc
Folding: Yes
Suspension: Yes

Check Price on Amazon

250watt motor with 3 electric speeds and 6 mechanical gears. 7.8ah battery is inside the frame giving 50-80kmn range which is more than enough for every commute. The distinctive orange magnesium alloy frame with rear hub motor provides solid IPx4 water proofing for the worst weather days . This clever compact design is well suited to commuters and carried in to office or on to train where the folding handlebars make it sqeeze into some of the smallest spaces, especially when used with the folding pedals. For security the battery can be removed when locking bike in town when it’s folded Other nice touches are the easily adjustable seat height and quality disc brakes on the front and rear, although its worth noting that the brakes are set up euro style with the British left and right style swapped. This is a really well thought out bike for the money and definitely hard to beat.

Other Choices

If you’re in the market for a more expensive e-bike then you can find plenty of cheap electric bikes here. There are lots of options at the moment with a lot of brands making value for money commuters at £800 and mountain bikes from around £1000.