If you’ve got a top car leasing budget of £250 a month, that’s about £57.70 a week – or £8.25 a day, which is not much more than a fancy cup of coffee and a sandwich will cost you for lunch. So, presumably, if you want to lease a hatchback for that cash, you don’t have a lot of choice for such a minimal outlay? Wrong! Here, we’ve rounded up the ten best hatchbacks you can lease for less than £250pcm (prices correct at the time of writing, October 2022).
1. Vauxhall Corsa
The cheapest car on our list was the best-selling vehicle in the UK in 2021 – it’s the ubiquitous Vauxhall Corsa. The latest model is lovely to look at and has a really well-appointed cabin, while there’s even a fully electric version to choose called the Corsa-e if you're looking to switch to an electric car. This deal, for less than £180pcm, doesn’t put you in the zero-emission variant but a 1.2 SE Edition, which still comes with plenty of standard kit and an economical yet feisty 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.
2. Citroen C3
The Citroen C3 is one of the most distinctive-looking cars in this class, while it also favours comfort over speed or pretensions of handling prowess. That makes it a lovely, relaxing little French car to drive around in and this deal, for a smidge beyond £190pcm, would find you behind the wheel of a 1.2 Shine Plus – that’s a decent specification, plus you get a charismatic 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine. For this budget, you can even get into the crossover spin-off, the C3 Aircross, but that costs more than £200 a month, should you need its extra cabin space and loftier stance.
3. Skoda Fabia
Skoda has come a long way in terms of both its brand prestige and the perceived quality of its products under Volkswagen’s ownership, but it can still do excellent no-frills motoring as good as any other company. The Skoda Fabia is hugely pragmatic and practical, with a spacious cabin and a relatively vast boot. This deal, still the right side of £200pcm, puts you in an SE-spec car with the Volkswagen Group’s lovely 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine making 95hp.
4. SEAT Ibiza
Related to the Fabia above, the SEAT Ibiza brings a touch more glamour and youthfulness, as it has sharper styling, a more interesting cabin and a playful chassis. It’s not quite as big inside as the Skoda but it’s still more than practical enough for most needs, while just a touch beyond £200 per month will sit you in an SE with the 1.0 ‘MPI’ engine - that’s the one without a turbocharger. That’s why we advocate digging in your wallet for an extra fiver a month, as that will get you into the TSI 95 instead. That’s the turbocharged version with a lot more torque, making it even more fun to drive every day.
5. Toyota Aygo X
City cars are slowly dying out as manufacturers struggle to make the margins on them, but thankfully there are still some belting cars available in this sector – and the 2022-launched Toyota Aygo X (that letter is pronounced ‘Cross’) is the best of the lot. This replaces the old long-serving Aygo but it has more than a hint of crossover to it, with a higher ride height and driving position. It also looks cracking on the outside, especially in its funky two-tone colour schemes, and the interior is not only well built but a marvel of packaging as well – you’ll get four adults and some clobber in the boot into an Aygo X without any major dramas at all.
6. Renault Clio
The Renault Clio is a great all-rounder, with effortless good looks, a high-quality cabin and the biggest boot in its class – up to 391 litres of stuff can be crammed into the French supermini’s cargo area, without folding down any of the seats in the interior at all. A budget of around £210pcm puts you into the 90 TCe Iconic, which means a revvy three-cylinder turbo petrol engine and a healthy array of standard-fit equipment are thrown into the Clio’s mix.
Read our in-depth Renault Clio review for more details.
Dacia is a value brand and what you get with a Dacia Sandero lease is a lot of car for your money. It's a supermini, based on a Renault Clio’s underpinnings, but it feels big and accommodating inside, while the mid-spec Essential trim you’ll enjoy here comes with luxury items like air conditioning, cruise control, and the Media Control infotainment with DAB and Bluetooth. You’ll also benefit from the smooth, willing and likeable 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, which gives great fuel economy around town yet which thankfully doesn’t feel underpowered when you’re on the motorway.
Few cars in this class look as bold and daring as the Peugeot 208, and that exterior appeal is not let down when you get into one of the most idiosyncratic interiors in the whole automotive business – Peugeot’s proprietary ‘i-Cockpit’ layout places a tiny steering wheel low down beneath a high-set instrument cluster with digital graphics. The 208 is also roomy in the back and has a decent boot, there’s a full electric version called the e-208, and for a leasing price of around £235pcm, you’ll get into a well-equipped Allure Premium-grade model with the fuel-sipping 100hp BlueHDi 1.5-litre diesel engine.
Read our in-depth Peugeot 208 review for more details.
9. Toyota Yaris
Toyota’s latest Yaris is a brilliant supermini, with a much-refined 1.5-litre hybrid drivetrain bringing easy and effortless economy numbers – expect to get 60-to-the-gallon from it in normal, daily driving, without having to even think about adjusting your motoring style when behind the wheel. That this efficient drivetrain is packaged in a great-looking body with a quality and spacious interior is merely the icing on the Yaris’ cake. Around £240pcm sits you in an Icon-spec model – and it’s a CVT automatic, for maximum ease-of-use around town.
10. Hyundai i20
Probably the class leader in the supermini segment, the Hyundai i20 has – remarkably – deposed the Ford Fiesta from that particular throne. This is because the Korean car has sharp-suited styling, a really high-quality interior, lovely hybrid-assisted drivetrains… and then the usual Hyundai strengths of loads of standard equipment for your money, plus the peace-of-mind back-up of that five-year, unlimited-mileage manufacturer’s warranty. The most expensive car on the list here, just scraping beneath the £250pcm ceiling, the i20 is unquestionably worth the outlay – your budget will see you in a lovely 1.0 T-GDI 48-volt mild hybrid in SE Connect trim.
__Read our in-depth Hyundai i20 review for more details.
The above list is a great place to start if you're looking for the best affordable hatchbacks around, but if you haven't found what you're looking for head to our hatchback leasing page to see what else is on offer.