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

Matt Rigby
Apr 25, 2021

Leasing a car - also known as Personal Contract Hire or 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 are based on a three-year lease, with an initial rental payment equivalent to three ‘normal’ 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. Mercedes A-Class

Our pick Mercedes A180 AMG Line Executive 5dr automatic
Leasing from £365 per month

The Mercedes A-Class is the entry point into the Mercedes-Benz range, but it doesn’t feel like a poor relation. As well as sharp looks on the outside the current A-Class, launched in 2018, has one of the smartest-looking interiors of any car on sale, let alone one that’s effectively an upmarket rival for a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus.

Our favourite version is the AMG Line Executive model. This gets smart 18-inch alloys, good-looking leather effect sports seats and the larger 10.3-inch touchscreen media system - which makes the futuristic twin-screen dashboard look even smarter.

MERCEDES A-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Audi A3

Our pick Audi A3 40 TFSI e S Line
Leasing from £315 per month

The VW Golf-sized Audi A3 makes for a very sharp-suited family car, with its angular looks inside and out. It’s also very well built, plus this plug-in hybrid model offers decent performance with 204hp and a theoretical electric-only range of up to 40 miles on a full charge.

Go for the S Line trim and you essentially get a sporty-looking makeover for the A3, with 18-inch alloy wheels, dark-tinted windows and a body kit, while inside you get supportive sports seats.

To get behind the wheel of one of these you’ll need to find around £315 every month on a 36-month contract, plus stump up an initial payment of just over £900.

3. Volkswagen Golf

Our pick Volkswagen Golf GTE
Leasing from £331 per month

The latest Volkswagen Golf is as smart-looking, roomy, and efficient as it’s ever been, going about its business in an untroubled, unassuming way most effectively. And in plug-in hybrid GTE form you can go about your day with zero emissions in pure electric mode for up to 40 miles on a full charge.

Remarkably, given the similarity between it and the Audi A3 - the two cars share almost identical mechanicals beneath the skin - the Golf GTE is actually a little more pricey than the Audi A3 to lease, coming in at around £330 per month. That is for a 36-month contract with an initial payment of almost £1,000.

4. Nissan Qashqai

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DiG-T Acenta Premium
Leasing from £228 per month

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 most plush 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. 

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 rear-view camera.

NISSAN QASHQAI BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Range Rover Evoque

Our pick Range Rover Evoque 2.0 D150 R-Dynamic S 2WD
Leasing from £449 per month

Being a two-wheel drive model rather than a fully fledged four-wheel drive off-roader, this version of the stylish Range Rover Evoque won’t be for you if you feel the urge to head off-road all the time. But most high-riding SUVs don’t tend to get used off-road, so it makes sense to opt for the more efficient two-wheel-drive setup to cut your fuel costs.

Similarly, this entry-level model is excellently equipped, with keyless entry, climate control, LED headlights and heated front seats. Add the R-Dynamic package and you get pleasingly sporty additions to the styling, too.

RANGE ROVER EVOQUE BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Volvo XC40

Our pick Volvo XC40 1.5 T3 R Design
Leasing from £341 per month

The XC40 makes a compelling case for itself by combining the traditional Volvo virtues of safety, solidity and dependability with more than a dash of tastefully restrained Scandinavian styling inside and out. On top of this, the XC40 is an SUV, so its chunky good looks and high driving position are bang on trend right now.

You can get mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids and even electric versions, but the basic 1.5-litre petrol engine provides more than enough get up and go. We’ve opted for R Design trim here, as its contrasting roof colour and chunky alloys make it look smart on the outside, while luxuries like leather and suede seats, adjustable ambient interior lighting and power-fold door mirrors make it feel like a premium product.

VOLVO XC40 BUYERS' GUIDE

7. BMW 3 Series

Our pick BMW 320i M Sport automatic
Leasing from £363 per month

The BMW 3 Series is simply one of the most accomplished vehicles you can get. It’s spacious enough to carry you, your family and associated luggage on holiday. It’s smart enough to impress the neighbours, your bosses or potential customers. Most versions are fuel-efficient enough that they won’t break the bank. And it’s beautifully built, offering a genuinely upmarket feel inside and out. It also happens to be enormous fun to drive.

This all pretty much applies to whichever model or trim you go for, but the petrol-powered 320i M Sport is probably the sweet spot in the range. The smooth-spinning petrol engine’s 184hp makes it fast enough to be fun, yet you can still achieve over 40mpg if you drive carefully enough. M Sport specification, meanwhile, means you get attractively sporty exterior styling, plus a full leather interior, on top of the already substantial list of standard equipment found in every new BMW 3 Series.

BMW 3 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

8. BMW 2 Series

Our pick BMW 218i M Sport [Nav]
Leasing from £404 per month

The sleek-looking BMW 2 Series Coupe is every inch a traditional BMW. That means smart and sporty coupe looks and a great fun driving experience combined with reasonable running costs.

That’s especially true with the 218i’s 136hp 1.5-litre engine, which feels nippy enough to make driving the car fun, yet can still manage almost 40mpg according to official fuel consumption figures. And in M Sport trim, with smart alloy wheels and a stylish bodykit, it looks even funkier.

BMW 2 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

9. Vauxhall Corsa

Our pick Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 SE Premium
Leasing from £147 per month

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.

VAUXHALL CORSA BUYERS' GUIDE

10. Range Rover Sport

Our pick Range Rover Sport 2.0 P400e HSE Dynamic
Leasing from £744 per month

There are few more desirable SUVs out there than a Range Rover, and the Range Rover Sport is one of the swishest cars to wear the famous nameplate. Along with the superstar looks, peerless feeling of luxury and serious off-roading capability, the P400e adds plug-in hybrid efficiency and flexibility.

It can manage around 20 miles on electric power alone after a full charge. Plus, when you combine the 300hp petrol engine and the 114hp electric motor, it can provide genuinely speedy performance, too.

RANGE ROVER SPORT BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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