Top 7 Best Cars To Lease
Should you buy or lease a car? Leasing a car can be the best way to get the vehicle you want at an affordable monthly price.
For less than a monthly car loan repayment (like PCP), you could afford a more expensive car, potentially doubling your budget. This can turn a Vauxhall Corsa into a BMW 2 Series with ease. It’s little wonder that the popularity of leasing is surging.
Leasing works like long term renting, you place a deposit (usually a few months’ worth of payments) up front, then work out a term of either two, three or four years. At the end of that term, you hand the car back. Simple.
Just bear in mind that there are conditions attached to the lease, you’ll only be able to cover a set number of miles per year, go over that and you’re charged an extra fee per mile you drive.
You also have to keep the car in good condition, it needs to be returned with as little damage, or no damage as possible. And remember, you never get to own the vehicle. Leasing definitely has its quirks.
Which, are the best cars to lease? We explore your options…
With that in mind let’s take a look at some of the best cars to lease.
Best cars to lease for 2019:
1. Fiat 500
We’ve seen 500’s for as little as £132 a month with less than an £800 deposit. That’s an incredibly cheap way to get yourself into a new small car.
Now that was on a four year/47 month payment scheme with just an 8,000 mile per year allowance. But for commuting or a second car as a town runabout, you can’t beat it.
That equates to a total payment of around £7,000 over the four years. New, a 1.2 Lounge model would set you back nearly £14,000.
You’d be hard-pressed to even borrow £8,000 over four years for less than that monthly payment. Now you can see why many motorists choose to lease their cars.
A 500 bags you a ton of style along with affordability due to their tiny engines, there’s often a new special edition out to turn heads and make your 500 stand out from the crowd. It’s a great car to lease.
Price: Around £132 a month
- One of the cheapest cars to lease
- Affordable to run
- Probably won’t appeal to male buyers
- Higher level models are pricey
2. SEAT Arona
Arona is SEAT’s crossover offering, we actually featured it in our Top 11 best small SUVs.
Roughly the size of an Ibiza, it gives you the high up driving position and commanding view just without the gas-guzzling nature of fully blown SUVs.
Numerous deals are floating around for the mid-range ‘Technology Lux’ version of the SEAT Arona.
We’ve found them for as little as £172 a month with just a £1,540 deposit. Again, that’s for a four year/47 month lease, but this time with a more generous 10,000 miles per year.
It makes the Arona a promising option for young families or the style conscious millennial looking to lease.
With a wide range of engines on offer, you can even spec the 1.6 TDI diesel which would be perfect for towing due to its 250 Nm of torque.
The full price for the ‘Technology Lux’ Arona would be £20,510 without options. The lease cost comes to just £9,624. There’s also a plethora of customisation options on the Arona, all available at no cost.
Price: Roughly £172 a month
- New model
- Great, modern styling
- Limited rear seat room for adults
- Few option packs to pick from
3. Ford Fiesta
It seems everyone loves the Ford Fiesta, it’s either that or a Volkswagen Golf. Known as ‘white goods’ cars, they’re the go-to choice when people want to lease four wheels and care little about anything else.
A sporty looking ‘ST-Line’ model with the potent 1.0 litre EcoBoost could be yours for £174 a month following a deposit of around £1,000.
47 monthly payments follow, and there’s a 10,000 mile a year allowance. Total lease cost is around £9,000, the price new starts at £17,620 before options.
‘ST-Line’ models give you larger alloys, unique sport front and rear bumpers, a honeycomb grille and ‘ST-Line’ wing badging.
There’s a choice of three different power outputs from the 1.0-litre turbocharged engine, 98, 123 or 138 BHP.
If you want an auto then the 98 BHP petrol is your only option, a single 1.5 diesel is available which makes 118 BHP and comes with a manual gearbox.
Price: From £174 a month
- Great build quality
- Superb reliability
- Powerful little 1.0 litre EcoBoost
- Bit of a boring, safe choice
- It’s a common car
4. Mazda MX-5
A Mazda MX-5 can be leased for a smidge over £200 a month? Crazy huh? We’ve seen leases for the 1.5 litre SE+ MX-5 for as little as £210 a month.
OK, so the initial put down is higher than any on this leasing list, circa £1,900. But you do also get more mileage, 15,000 in fact. Imagine all those adventures you can have with the roof down?
That’s on a 47-month lease, which equates to around £12,000 in total. An ‘SE+’ MX-5 costs £19,495 before you option it up.
While that’s still a healthy saving you could also have paid a large chunk off a loan by that time. In fact, you’d only have around £7,000 left to pay, and the thing is yours.
The little MX-5 is still seen as the best, and purest drop-top sports car money can buy, while it may only have a 1.5-litre engine, it’s still a hoot and proves you don’t need big BHP to have fun.
There is a higher powered 2.0-litre engine with 182 BHP available, but that’s only on ‘SE-L’ and above.
Price: From £210 a month
- Wind in your hair
- Great handling
- Not entirely practical
- Costs can rocket depending on trim/engine
5. DS 3 Crossback
DS has made a strong comeback in the last few years, bringing that French flair and design Citroen were known for back in their heyday.
The DS 3 Crossback is the latest model in their line up, and it’s the newest car on this list of cars to lease.
Touted as the ‘luxury crossover’ the DS 3 is in the same league as the Arona but it outclasses it tenfold in terms of style and design. However, that does come at a premium.
Around £250 will bag you a Crossback, there is also a £2,200 deposit that needs to be paid first. Again, that’s a 47-month lease, and you get 15,000 miles per year.
Compare that to the outright purchase cost of £23,500 for the same 1.2 litre PureTech in ‘Performance Line’ trim, and you’ll pay roughly £14,000 for the car over those four years.
Inside the Crossback is a gorgeous place to be, the melding together of Alcantara, leather and aluminium would have you thinking you’re in a high-class German machine. The style is second to none both inside and out.
Price: From £250 a month
- Incredible design throughout
- Brand new, barely on the road
- Very expensive to lease
- It’s still only a Citroen at the end of the day
6. BMW 4 Series
Arguably one of the most attractive Coupe’s on the market right now, the BMW 4 Series can be yours for around £300 a month. The initial deposit is naturally more, but still a relatively small £2,730.
You still get 15,000 miles, and it’s over the same 47 month/four year basis as the rest of our lease finds.
New, an M Sport 420i would set you back £36,000 before you spec it to your tastes, compare that to leasing and you’ll pay roughly half that price over the 4-year term.
Not bad seeing as you don’t have to worry about the depreciation or ongoing MOT and service costs, just hand the keys back and walk away.
As with all BMW’s the M Sport trim blends those go faster looks with healthy kit levels on the inside.
If you need more power you can plump for the 430i with its 252 BHP and 0-62 time of 5.8 seconds. If you need even more the 440i will bump the horses to 326 and drop the 0-62 to 5 seconds flat.
There are also several diesel engines to choose from, the quickest of the whole range is actually the xDrive 435d model which gets to 62 in just 4.7 seconds, that also adds nearly £14k to the price though.
Price: From £300 a month
- Superb build quality
- Great handling
- Gorgeous looks
- Anything above the standard engines becomes pricey to lease
- Only two trims, Sport & M Sport
7. Jaguar I-Pace
One car that’s currently giving Tesla a run for its money is Jaguar’s first ever fully electric car, the I-Pace. Now when it comes to buying or leasing a Tesla, the prices can become pretty eye-watering, but leasing an I-Pace is quite affordable by comparison.
With a deposit of £4,750, you could own a 400 S I-Pace for just £530 a month. That’s on a shorter lease than we’ve looked at previously, only 35 months this time and the mileage limit is 8,000.
The total leasing cost for ownership for those three years comes in at £23,550, which is way less than half the £64,500 it would cost you to buy.
You do get supercar performance though, 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds, 398 BHP and 696 NM of torque. Not bad for a family wagon that can seat five in comfort.
Oh, and it’s all-wheel drive, so there’s no worry of being stuck in the snow come winter time.
Range is around the 200 – 250 mile mark, though that totally depends on how you drive it. You also have to rely on the UK’s charging network which can be hit and miss, unlike Tesla and their supercharges that always seem to work.
Price: From £530 a month
- Instant torque as it’s an EV
- Comfortable for the whole family
- Cheap to run and lease
- Expensive to lease or buy
- Looks won’t be to everyone’s taste
Don’t want to lease a car?
Leasing isn’t for everyone, while it’s easy to extend your budget you’re tied in for the full term, you can also rack up some severe costs through going over your mileage or paying fines due to damage.
But fear not, we’ve got other car guides for you, exploring budgets and ownership options. Why not check out our guides to: