Top 10 best cars for under £300 per month 2022
Many people put aside £300 a month for car repayments, and doing so will secure you an excellent vehicle. We select 10 of the best.
The popularity, flexibility and availability of car finance packages like Personal Contract Purchase, or PCP, means new cars are more affordable than ever. Today, around 90% of private buyers choose a finance package to fund their new car, rather than buying outright.
So what do you get for £300 a month? Well, quite a lot actually. Being such a popular price point means car companies are keen to cater for a variety of tastes and requirements, offering everything from practical estates and SUVs right through to hot hatchbacks and sporty roadsters. Many retailers also offer their own great offers and deals, too, so it’s worth looking out for those to save money.
Our top 10 covers a broad range of models and also highlights the engine and trim combinations that are available for £300 a month. Of course, this is an arbitrary cut-off point, so if you want to spend slightly more or less than this, specifying a car up or down will alter your monthly expenditure, but not necessarily by enough to have a huge effect.
One final note: some of the cars and offers we recommend here may depend on attractive dealer or manufacturer deposit contributions or discounts. These are subject to change – prices were correct at time of writing.
Read on for our list of the top 10 best cars for under £300 per month you can buy right now.
The Skoda Octavia Estate is a fantastic all-rounder, making it a smash hit with families over the past two decades. Throughout that time, it has been based on the same underpinnings as the Volkswagen Golf, although the Skoda’s larger size often makes that hard to believe. As the Golf has grown and become more advanced, so has the Octavia, which is more accommodating and better equipped than ever. Safety keeps improving, too, with sturdy construction and plenty of advanced driver safety aids ensuring a five-star Euro NCAP rating.
Its broad engine range provides plenty of options, from the surprisingly punchy and fun 1.0-litre TSI petrol to the powerful 2.0-litre TDI diesel. There’s also the option of all-weather four-wheel drive.
The Hyundai Tucson doesn’t just stand out when it comes to looks, it also has a premium-feeling interior, lots of tech and loads of space. The Tucson is one of the most practical family SUVs around, and is even quite good to drive. With all those attributes, it’s hardly surprising that we awarded it our Car of The Year gong for 2022.
We also named it our hybrid car of the year, although hybrid versions are likely to cost more than £300 per month or require a large upfront deposit. Stick to the petrol engine, which is capable of 40mpg, and even the sporty-looking N Line trim is available within budget.
The Renault Captur is one of our favourite small SUVs, thanks to its versatility, stylish interior and economical engines. It’s also one of the only small SUVs to get the option of a plug-in hybrid engine, which is capable of over 30 miles of electric-only driving. Plug-in hybrids are often better suited to company-car drivers because they’re much more expensive than petrol versions, but that’s not the case here.
Yes, the Captur E-Tech PHEV is the costliest version, but it still comes in under our budget (albeit with a chunky deposit). If you can recharge at home and regularly mix lots of small journeys with the odd long trip, then the plug-in hybrid Captur will offer much lower running costs than the petrol versions. Renault also offers a standard ‘self-charging’ hybrid Captur that doesn’t need plugging in, and this could be a better option if you want to pay a lower deposit - although it won’t be quite as efficient.
If you weren’t aware that Hyundai is on a roll at the moment, just check out our Carbuyer 2022 award-winners. Not only did the Korean brand take the honours for hybrid and electric cars, it also took victory in the hot hatchback category. The i20 N is the only real alternative to the Ford Fiesta ST, and in terms of driving feel, performance and price it’s a bit of a firecracker.
Its 1.6-litre turbocharged engine produces 201bhp - quite a lot in a car this size. The handling is excellent, and highly customisable too, while the five-door body means it’s a surprisingly practical small car. The only niggle is the firm the ride, but get the i20N on your favourite road and you’ll quickly forgive it as few cars provide so much fun for so little a month.
Recently updated, the MG ZS EV is arguably one of the best-value electric cars on the market, especially in standard range guise. On PCP finance, the entry-level version costs roughly the same as smaller EVs like the MINI Electric and Fiat 500, while the Mazda MX-30 SUV offers less range between charges.
The ZS EV manages up to 198 miles from a full charge, while the entry-level SE trim is generously equipped with LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and a 360-degree camera.
The Jaguar XE is a rival to the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, but you’d struggle to get those cars for £300 per month. Yet with the Jaguar, you can have a plush executive car on your driveway for the same monthly price as a family hatchback, and one that’s more exclusive than its rivals.
The XE’s sharp looks and a premium badge will make your neighbours think you’re driving something much more expensive, and you can enjoy a luxurious interior with the latest connectivity and assistance technology. The boot size is good, too, if not class-leading.
Admittedly the deposit needed is substantial at over £7,000, so we’d look out for deals to bring the price down.
We considered putting the Toyota Supra on this list, but the five-figure deposit you need is prohibitive for most people. Instead, we chose the ultimate affordable sports car, the Mazda MX-5. It’ll put just as big a smile on your face as the Toyota, but the upfront cost is around a third of the amount. Better still, not only is it fun on a twisty road, it’s also economical and comfortable enough to use on a daily basis.
Previously, the entry-level version didn’t feature a touchscreen, but now it does - complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone connectivity. Alloy wheels and air con are both standard. You can add more, but the extras are largely unnecessary and add extra weight.
If you don’t need a large car, you could treat yourself to a posh supermini like the Audi A1. Distilling the technology and premium materials from bigger Audis into a cheaper package, the eye-catching A1 S line is available for our monthly budget and with a deposit of less than £2,500.
S line features parking sensors, LED headlights, cruise control and sport suspension. It’s marked out by special badges and a body kit. The A1 is fairly practical for a car this size, and the eager 1.0-litre petrol engine promises more than 50mpg.
SEAT’s first-ever SUV has gone down a storm, selling better than the Spanish manufacturer could have hoped for. With looks inspired by the SEAT Leon and the extra practicality of an SUV, it's a real contender in an oversubscribed class.
Because SEAT is the VW Group’s sporty brand, the Ateca offers a crisp driving experience, with suspension that’s a little more driver-focused than its Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen Tiguan sister models. This means the ride is slightly firmer, too, but comfort is still perfectly acceptable. Engines include a 1.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel, offering a good blend of performance and low running costs.
If you thought a huge MPV with seating for up to eight people wouldn’t be in reach of a £300-a-month budget, think again. Better still, the Citroen e-SpaceTourer is fully electric, meaning low running costs too. Use it in five seat mode and there’s not only more than enough room in the light and airy interior for a family, there’s also a vast boot.
The rather van-like Business Edition sneaks under the plug-in car grant, but the better-equipped Flair trim is around £15,000 more expensive, so isn’t available for £300 per month. Still, even the Business Edition gets cruise control, parking sensors and a touchscreen with Bluetooth and DAB radio.
For the same price, Citroen also sells the e-C4 hatchback, which uses the same 50kWh battery and 134bhp electric motor.
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