Before you get too carried away looking at second hand cars, have you considered what kinds of new cars you could afford if you chose to lease instead of buying outright? As an example of the sort of value, leasing can represent, we’ve rounded up three key electric car leasing deals at around the £300-400 per month mark.
Why electric cars? Because these are typically more expensive than conventional cars to buy – which makes them an even better demonstration of the available new car value if you go down the leasing route. Better yet, while they cost more to buy, they can be much cheaper to run. Servicing is typically cheaper, due to the reduced number of moving parts and consumables, and if you are able to charge at home using an electricity tariff optimised for electric cars you should find the cost per mile much lower than it is with petrol or diesel, too. Road tax is currently zero as well.
Just keep in mind that the current price of energy means charging using the public network will be much more expensive – to the extent that petrol or diesel might actually be cheaper.
What is car leasing?
Personal leasing, also known as Personal Contract Hire (PCH), is essentially a form of long-term rental. You make an initial payment – equivalent to a number of monthly payments (the more you pay at this point, the less you pay every month) – followed by a fixed term of monthly charges. Once the contract is up, the car goes back, and you move on to your next set of wheels.
Driving a new car this way is often much better value than other forms of purchasing, including other types of finance. Sounds great, right?
There are a few things to consider before deciding on leasing it for you, though. Firstly, you never have the option to keep the car at the end of the contract, so if you’ve grown attached you’re out of luck. Secondly, you never build up any equity in the car – something that can help make your next purchase cheaper. Finally, as with all forms of finance, you’ve got to be careful to stick to the mileage limit agree at the start of the contract, as the excess mileage penalties can be very expensive. Keeping the car in tip-top condition is probably even more important when leasing, too (though this is important for all forms of finance as well).
Still keen? Then let’s get to that list of electric cars.
Mid-price electric cars you can lease right now
All of the models below were available to lease for less than £400 per month at the time of writing
Citroen e-C4 – £272/month
The Citroen e-C4 is a kind of compact SUV coupe with electric power. As with most electric cars, it delivers smooth performance – but it’s major selling point is comfort. This is not a sporty car, but it is certainly a relaxing way to get around.
DS 3 Crossback E-Tense – £316/month
The DS 3 E-Tense is effectively the e-C4’s poshest relation. They share a lot of technology under the skin, but DS projects a more premium image. The DS 3 is more of a conventional upright SUV design, making it practical inside, but also packed with intriguing details.
Fiat 500 Electric – £367/month
The Fiat 500 has long been the darling of trendy urbanites, and this electric version brings this bang up to date with new engineer, a brilliant zero-emissions driving experience and a revised take on the cute retro looks. A real winner for the money.
Mazda MX-30 – £366/month
Mazda has designed a stylish electric SUV, with neat features including rear Freestyle doors that open backwards to improve access and interior trimming options that include cork. But it’s chosen to fit only a very small battery. Fine, if you don’t need to go far.
MG4 – £312/month
You can actually choose from three electric MG models in this leasing price bracket, but the MG4 is the newest and greatest by far. A long driving range, good comfort, fun handling and sharp style make this a real challenge to the mainstream.
Nissan Leaf – from £364/month
The venerable Nissan Leaf is one of the cars that started the electric revolution. But this second-generation model is far from old hat. It offers good range, good efficiency and some clever tricks – including an intuitive one-pedal driving mode.
Peugeot e-2008 – from £281/month
Another electric SUV, the e-2008 offers smooth performance and plenty of practicality. It’s also great value for money – being available to lease for far less than the smaller Peugeot e-208 hatchback (£380/month).