Top 10 most popular lease cars

Want a brand new car for the lowest monthly cost, but don't need to own the car? Check out the most popular lease deals available now

Craig Hale
Jul 25, 2022

Leasing a car - also known as Personal Contract Hire (PCH) - can be a tempting proposition if you’re looking for a new car but don't have buckets of cash to spend. PCH can be a great way to get behind the wheel of an in-demand brand new model, since it offers potentially low monthly payments relative to the cash price of the car.

Effectively a long-term rental arrangement, leasing is also a hassle-free way to put a new car on your driveway. Because you never own the car - and you don't have the option of buying it at the end of the contract - you don’t have to bear the risk and responsibility of selling it on at the end of the lease term. Instead, you simply return the car to the leasing company and walk away, with nothing further to pay - provided you've stuck to the pre-agreed mileage limit and haven't caused any damage to the car beyond fair wear and tear.

The downside of leasing a car is that, compared with a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) deal, leasing is a bit inflexible. Once you’ve signed up to a lease, it can be hard to get out of the contract in the middle of the term, for example, which is potentially problematic if your personal circumstances change.

Another area where leasing may not work for you is in terms of end-of-contract flexibility. Unlike a PCP deal, there is no option to buy the car at the end of a lease agreement - you simply hand the car back and get another one. Meanwhile, with a PCP deal you can pay the optional final payment at the end of the contract to take ownership.

Finally, it’s worth noting that lease deals are generally only available with brand new cars. So, if you want a quick, hassle-free way to get hold of a new car with relatively low monthly payments then a PCH lease could be ideal. Here are the most popular models to lease according to Leasing.com that are available via BuyaCar here.

Each of the monthly figures for the cars in this list is based on a three-year lease, with an initial rental payment equivalent to three of those monthly payments, followed by 35 fixed monthly payments. The mileage limit is set at 8,000 miles per year. Keep reading to find out more.

Most popular lease cars

1. Nissan Qashqai

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DIG-T MH Acenta Premium
Leasing monthly payments from £221
Used deals from £23,995
Monthly finance from £300*

The popular Nissan Qashqai is a comfortable, sensible and dependable family SUV, with plenty of space for adults, kids, pets and children, and all the gadgets and high-tech safety equipment you could reasonably expect.

It’s not the plushest feeling model around and nor is it at the cutting edge of style or technology, but the Qashqai strikes just the right tone of everyday usability - like a really good pair of jeans. A new model arrived in 2021 with improved technology like a mild hybrid fuel-saving setup.

Our pick is the Acenta Premium with the 140hp 1.3-litre petrol engine. This balances good fuel economy with enough performance to comfortably haul you along even when the car’s fully loaded. It also comes with goodies like dual-zone climate control, high-beam assist, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

NISSAN QASHQAI BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Cupra Formentor

Our pick Curpa Formentor 1.4 eHybrid 204 VZ1
Leasing monthly payments from £252
Used deals from £26,495
Monthly finance from £381*

In the past, Cupra has made performance versions of Seat cars, including the Leon and Ateca. The Formentor is its first go at its own car, and takes the form of a stylish crossover. Performance versions go head-to-head with the likes of the Ford Puma ST.

There are 1.5-litre petrol engines and more powerful 2.0-litre petrols borrowed (and slightly tweaked) from the Golf GTI and Golf R, as well as plug-in hybrids capable of more than 200mpg providing you can charge it regularly.

Every model gets LED headlights, a digital driver’s display, a large 12-inch touchscreen media system, three-zone climate control, and keyless entry, so no trim’s necessarily a bad trim.

3. Hyundai Tucson

Our pick Hyundai Tucson 1.6 T-GDi Hybrid SE Connect
Leasing monthly payments from £259
Used deals from £26,000
Monthly finance from £414*

The latest version of the Tucson can be identified by its head-turning front end, which combines a seemingly large grille with integrated LED daytime runnings lights: a standard setup on all trims.

Power comes from a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which comes in many flavours. There are two- and four-wheel-drive versions, manual and smooth-shifting dual-clutch automatic gearboxes, as well as mild hybrid, self-charging hybrid, and plug-in hybrid options.

Even entry-level SE Connect comes with rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, and a pair of 10.3-inch screens in the front, so there’s little need to upgrade to a more expensive trim.

4. Volvo XC60

Our pick Volvo XC60 B4 D Plus AWD
Leasing monthly payments from £400
Used deals from £23,999
Monthly finance from £350*

The Volvo XC60 is a premium family SUV pitched against the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Mercedes GLC, and costs more than any of those, though there are plenty of attractive leasing deals and used car deals available.

New models are only available with mild hybrid or plug-in hybrid engines, including a couple of diesels which make this car great for towing. The plug-in hybrids get costly, but can do more than 40 miles on electric range so could offer some huge benefits in terms of running costs.

Because every model is well equipped, we’d recommend spending any extra money on engine upgrades rather than trim upgrades.

VOLVO XC60 BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Tesla Model Y

Our pick Tesla Model Y Long Range
Leasing monthly payments from £558
Used deals Limited stock

The Model Y is based on the Model 3, and offers similar amounts of interior space and style, with a large 15-inch touchscreen media taking centre stage. This houses the digital speedometer and all of the car’s controls and settings, and gets free over-the-air updates to keep on top of safety tech.

Unlike the Model 3, the Model Y has a large hatchback boot which makes loading items into the back much easier. It also gets a ‘frunk’ (a small boot under the bonnet in place of an engine), which is handy for keeping charging cables hidden out of sight.

You can only get the Model Y in Long Range or Performance forms, both of which use a pair of motors for more than 300 miles of range. There’s no cheaper single motor option, as there is with the Model 3 and Polestar 2, but if you’re prepared to spend that much money, not a lot comes close.

6. Volkswagen Polo

Our pick Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI Style
Leasing monthly payments from £168
Used deals from £9,850
Monthly finance from £142*

The latest version of the Polo arrived in 2018, but was last updated in 2021 to reflect Volkswagen’s current trim levels. If you can afford to upgrade from entry-level Life to Style, you get extras like adaptive LED headlights, a larger touchscreen media system, and all-round parking sensors.

In terms of engines, the more expensive and more powerful ‘TSI’ petrol engines should prove more economical in real-world scenarios, as you’re less likely to have to work them as hard as the basic 80hp 1.0-litre engine. They suit the manual and automatic gearboxes well, so it comes down to preference.

It shares the majority of its mechanical parts - and engines - with the sportier looking Seat Ibiza, budget friendly Skoda Fabia, and upmarket Audi A1, so there should be plenty of models to choose from.

VOLKSWAGEN POLO BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Hyundai Kona

Our pick Hyundai Kona 1.0 T-GDi SE Connect
Leasing monthly payments from £197
Used deals from £11,899
Monthly finance from £179*

Now that Hyundai has done away with its hybrid Ioniq models, the Kona is the cheapest hybrid you can buy from the company. There are mild hybrid and self-charging hybrid versions, but no plug-in hybrids. That said, there are two electric Konas with ranges of around 200 miles and 300 miles respectively.

Even though it’s the same car, the electric version feels more planted on the road because of the battery’s low centre of gravity. This does make it significantly more heavy than the basic petrol versions, though.

The 1.0-litre petrol engine is well suited to the Kona, and isn’t an awful lot less efficient than the 1.6-litre hybrid in most cases. There’s even a 280hp Kona N, which is around £6,000 cheaper than the 300hp Volkswagen T-Roc R.

HYUNDAI KONA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Vauxhall Corsa

Our pick Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 SE Premium
Leasing monthly payments from £168
Used deals from £10,400
Monthly finance from £202*

The Vauxhall Corsa features regularly in the UK’s bestselling car lists, and has done so for decades. And there’s a good reason for this; it makes great-value transport for young people, small families, as a second car, or for older drivers looking to downsize. So basically anyone, really, thanks to its versatility, spacious interior and compact exterior.

The latest version is particularly capable, offering good fuel economy, all the latest gadgets, and a big-car sense of solidity. SE Premium trim is our pick, as it includes automatic lights and wipers, rear parking sensors and heated front seats.

The electric model can do more than 200 miles from a full charge, making it an easy electric car to live with that doesn't cost the earth.

VAUXHALL CORSA BUYERS' GUIDE

9. Volkswagen T-Roc

Our pick Volkswagen T-Roc 1.0 TSI Style
Leasing monthly payments from £234
Used deals from £15,285
Monthly finance from £181*

The T-Roc is the largest crossover in the Volkswagen family, sitting above the T-Cross and Taigo, however it’s nowhere near as practical as the larger Tiguan and Touareg SUVs. It’s based on the Golf, and has similar levels of passenger comfort but a larger 445-litre boot.

Like the Polo, we think the upgrade from Life to Style trim is worth the extra cash, which is slightly offset by the fact that the basic 1.0-litre petrol engine suits the car really well. We prefer it to the 1.5-litre engine, but it can struggle with a car full.

What sets the T-Roc apart from almost every other rival is that it’s available in convertible form. Its only real competition is the much more expensive, and now discontinued, Range Rover Evoque Convertible.

VOLKSWAGEN T-ROC BUYERS' GUIDE

10. Mercedes CLA

Our pick Mercedes CLA 200 Shooting Brake AMG Line
Leasing monthly payments from £311
Used deals from £27,699
Monthly finance from £392*

The CLA is based on the A-Class, and shares much of its in-car tech and mechanicals with the GLA, too. It’s available in four-door Coupe form or a more practical Shooting Brake estate form - both look incredibly slick, even if they are a bit short on interior space.

There’s a range of engines available, starting with a Renault-sourced 1.3-litre petrol engine and heading up to some performance-oriented AMG models. The plug-in hybrid promises great mpg figures if you can charge it regularly, but it can be expensive to buy or lease in the first place.

We recommend going for the Shooting Brake model for its more practical boot opening - it should be just as easy to drive as the regular CLA thanks to their identical lengths and standard fit parking sensors and reversing camera.

MERCEDES CLA BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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