Cheap Contract Hire Vehicles

Are you looking for your first vehicle and are unsure about how to go about your purchase?

Do you need to save money on your motoring and downgrade to a cheaper car?

Are you in the dark about how to get the best deal on the vehicle that you want?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes then hopefully today I can shed some light on the matter through my own experiences and my knowledge of today’s market in the automotive industry.

Firstly you need to think about the vehicles which are generally the cheapest to own, run and maintain. These are usually small city cars for obvious reasons. The next thing to consider is whether you will go for a used, new or lease vehicle. I am going to focus on the advantages of a lease vehicle, as used cars may be cheaper but aren’t always reliable or in good condition, particularly if they’re 10 years old or more. A contract hire Peugeot 107 is undoubtedly a more financially viable option than buying a new one. Here are a few models which represent good value in my opinion and would make an excellent first car.

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Contract hire Ford Ka models are priced from as little as £140 per month, which makes them more than affordable even to someone working part time on minimum wage!

The Ka has now been on the market for over eighteen years and has established itself as one of the best and most recognisable city cars on the market. Personally, I think it’s one of the most attractive vehicles in its class too. It boasts sharp and responsive handling which makes the Ka a really fun vehicle to drive, while it is also a class leader in terms of the practicality it provides. There’s a decent enough amount of room in the boot and leg room for rear passengers is respectable too. Ford Ka leasing deals can be found in abundance online, and impressive fuel economy complements the low monthly rates.

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A couple of small negatives about the Ka: some rivals are better equipped, and there is quite a lot of road noise inside the cabin particularly at high speeds.

The aforementioned 107 is another class leader when it comes to city cars, and Peugeot 107 leasing deals can be found for as little as £120 per month! Now that is what I call affordable. The 107 delivers superb fuel economy and actually emits less than 100g/km of CO2 which qualifies it for free road tax – unfortunately with a lease you don’t benefit directly from this as road tax is already included within a monthly price.

The Peugeot 107 is, similarly to the Ka, one of the best looking city cars around and it delivers a smooth driving experience.

Finally, a model which simply cannot fail to save you money is the Renault Twizy. It has been on the market since 2012 and Renault Twizy leasing offers start from around £200 a month. The biggest advantage you have with going for a Twizy, certainly in terms of the financials, is that it is 100% electric so you’ll never need to worry about regular expenditure at the petrol station.

Additionally, because of its tiny size it feels like a go-kart when you’re driving in and around the city which is a lot of fun. Obviously there’s not a lot of space inside and it isn’t particularly quick, but the Twizy is not a vehicle made for long distance driving.

As a first time buyer, there really aren’t many cheaper options than a contract hire Renault Twizy. If you’re on a shoe string budget it is definitely a model worth having a look at.

Economical Cars

The price of fuel in the UK has risen dramatically over the past decade. A litre of fuel is more than twice as expensive as it was ten years ago. Couple this with the fact that the country is only just starting to recover from the recession of 2008, and it is clear to see why people are trying to save money on fuel from all angles.

Consequently, manufacturers have put a lot of effort into improving the fuel consumption rates of their vehicles in recent years. The Seat Mii for example will only cost around £9 – £10 on average for every 100 miles driven, and used Seat Mii models are available for as little £7,000.

The Nissan Micra, another city car, boasts similar fuel consumption figures to the Mii. A used Nissan Micra can be picked up for less because older models are available, however it is worth remembering that they may not be as economical as the latest generation.

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For these reasons, there is far more to consider than simply how economical a car is. How many miles you’re likely to cover, how long you’re likely to keep the car for and what type of driving you’ll be doing should all be at the forefront of your thoughts. For example, a 54 plate second hand Nissan Micra may not be quite as economical as a Seat Mii which is only a year or so old, but if it costs a few thousand pounds less then it will inevitably prove to be the smarter purchase.

When thinking of economical vehicles it is usually city cars which come to mind first. As an alternative for people who’re looking for something larger there are hybrid cars such as the Lexus CT, which are powered in part by an electric motor. Hybrid cars are much more viable options for most people, as they cater for families and are generally better for long distance driving too. Paying monthly for a vehicle can help to cut costs too – Lexus CT 200h leasing deals can be found easily online.

Moreover, following huge strides forward in technology over the past few years, it is now possible to drive a car without ever having to visit a petrol station again. Many of the world’s leading manufacturers now offer an all-electric vehicle. They are inexpensive to buy – used Renault Twizy models cost around £5,000 – and the only cost you’ll incur for driving one is the electricity needed to charge it.

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Electric vehicles can be fun to drive but certainly aren’t without their drawbacks – most of them have a range of around 100 miles or less, and a pretty low top speed. Consequently they are only realistically suitable for short journeys around town.

Save On Your City Car

The city car market has grown rapidly in the UK over the past decade or so as British residents are constantly looking for ways in which to save money following the recession. City cars don’t just save you money in your initial purchase price; they are considerably cheaper to run and maintain than larger cars due to their smaller size and weight. This is often a decisive factor for money-saving motorists as the cost of fuel is currently at an all-time high. My wife has been driving city vehicles – currently a used Hyundai i10 – for the last seven years and she’d never turn back now. I have always been someone who prefers larger cars, mainly family saloons, but I must admit I have been tempted to get myself a city car. I could definitely do with some extra cash and I’ve been having a little look around lately at the best ones on offer.

The Citroen C1 is a model which has been on the market since 2005 and is based on the same platform as the Toyota Aygo and the Peugeot 107. It is available as either a 3-door hatchback or a 5-door hatchback, both of which are 4-seater models. It always confuses me a little when rival manufacturers produce seemingly identical cars on the same platform, but I suppose it shows just how important branding is as some people will prefer Toyota, some Peugeot and some Citroen. Although all city cars are effectively built for the same purposes, they do offer different advantages. One of the most appealing benefits of the C1 is that it is actually cheaper than most of its rivals; used Citroen C1 vehicles can cost as little as £2,000. Unfortunately the ride is rather firm with the C1 and refinement isn’t particularly impressive especially at high speeds, but CO2 emissions are very low.

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One of the cars which impressed me the most when looking online was the Alfa Romeo Mito. Technically I shouldn’t really be including it in this article as it is actually classed as a supermini, but I thought it deserved a mention. It has been on the market since 2008 and is available only as a 3-door hatchback. You can almost tell instantly from looking at the Mito that it is not really comparable to other city cars, as it boasts stunning aesthetics. Moreover, the range of engines is really impressive – there is an excellent balance between performance and fuel economy. CO2 emissions are low too and, while it is clear that a premium supermini will cost more than your average city car, you can get a second hand Alfa Romeo Mito for less than £5,000.

Seeing as my wife is usually the first person to read any article that I write I don’t think I’d have gotten away with leaving out her Hyundai i10! The i10 has been produced since 2007 as a 5-door hatchback and it is certainly a car I can vouch for. My wife has had hers for nearly three years and never had a single problem with it. Probably what impresses me most about the i10 is how quiet and refined it is as well as its practicality. Even at motorway speeds the cabin is not too loud, certainly quieter than some of the larger cars I have driven, and there is undoubtedly more space in the cabin than nearly every one of its rivals.

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My wife was very close at the time to buying a used Suzuki Splash instead of the i10, and while she and I are both very happy with her decision, I also think that Splash is one of the best vehicles in its class.

 

Affordable Fast Cars

Regardless of the restrictions placed upon us in the UK by national speed limits, there is no denying that the vast majority of British motorists would jump at the chance to own a fast car. When I say fast car I am not just talking about anything which can travel above 100mph – which is almost all cars these days – I’m referring to sports cars with quick acceleration.

Unfortunately the reality is that only a very small number of us can afford high end sports cars, especially considering that they cost a fortune to run too. However, there are plenty of models cheaper than say a Lamborghini Aventador for example. Today I am going to highlight some affordable fast vehicles which you may or may not be aware of.

The Toyota GT86 is a sports coupe which has been in production since 2012. It is available with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission and costs around £25,000 – £30,000 to buy brand new. The GT86 is a lot of fun to drive thanks to sharp, responsive handling and also comes favourably equipped inside.

It has a top speed of 145mph and can accelerate from 0 – 62mph in less than 8 seconds. If you search hard enough online you can find used Toyota GT86 models for less than £20,000, which can certainly be classed as affordable considering some sports cars cost in excess of £100,000.

One of the world’s most recognisable sports cars, which has now been in production for 25 years, is the Mazda MX-5. This is largely down to the fact that its exterior shape and appearance has remained a constant since its debut in 1989. The vehicle has been produced in its third and current generation since 2005 and, like the GT86, can accelerate from 0 – 62mph in less than 8 seconds. The fastest version has a top speed of 130mph.

You won’t find a car for less money which is more fun to drive than the MX-5. It is comfortable inside but road noise can be rather a nuisance, especially on the motorway – you’ll need to turn up the stereo pretty loud!

Fuel economy is not as favourable as it is in some rivals, although used Mazda MX-5 models are available for less than £3,000 – now that is what I call affordable!

One of the MX-5s main rivals is the Porsche Boxster. The Boxster has been in production since 1996 and initially looked incredibly similar to its Japanese counterpart. The current generation however, which has been produced since 2012, looks a lot different to the original and more like a Lamborghini or Ferrari.

It is an excellent vehicle to drive, but if you want to buy a brand new one you’re looking at more than double the price that you’d pay for a new MX-5. That being said, if you search online you can find used Porsche Boxsters available for less than £5,000 – these won’t be the latest generation of course and may well have a fair few miles on the clock.

Moving a little higher up the price scale we have the Nissan GT-R. Now I’m not necessarily saying that the GT-R is an affordable fast car, because it certainly isn’t for most people; what it does offer though is the sort of acceleration and speed that you only see in supercars which cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

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The GT-R can accelerate from 0 – 62mph in just 3 seconds and reach 193mph! Used Nissan GT-R models start from around £45,000, which may not seem like an “affordable” price, but when you compare it to the prices of its Italian rivals it is one of the greatest bargains in the automotive world in my opinion.

5 Most improved cars (MPG)

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Number 5 on the list is the Volkswagen Golf Match Tdi 105, and you can only get this particular Volkswagen Golf Second hand. It contains a 1.6-litre diesel engine which can do a whopping 75.1mpg on a typical trip, which is especially impressive when the official figures suggest it can only do 62.8mpg. Just to put it into perspective, it can do London to Birmingham, for just £11.05!

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The Fiat Panda 1.3 Multijet Easy sneaks in at number 4, and you will find a 1.3-litre diesel engine beneath its bonnet, which can provide a fuel economy 23% better than the original manufacturer figures. This means it can do 88.9 mpg and it can travel from London to Birmingham for £9.30.

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This one was not expected, but despite the fact that the BMW 320D Efficient Dynamics is a large executive saloon, it has not sacrificed any of its green credentials, and it has proven to be better than even BMW had envisioned when it comes to efficiency, 23.2 per cent better in fact. Driven properly the BMW 320D Efficient Dynamics could achieve 84.9 MPG, and a trip from London to Birmingham could potentially set you back £10.12.

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There aren’t many top ten lists that the Ford Fiesta doesn’t feature in, and here we go again. The Ford Fiesta EcoNetic 1.6 TDCi is another to exceed the MPG expectations of even their creators, and this time, it is by a massive 27.1%! In turn this Fiesta is capable of 108.8 MPG and is can carry you from London to Birmingham on just £7.60.

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The car that most exceeds its expectations is the Citroen C1 1.0 VTR. The initial figures stated that the Citroen would achieve 65.7 miles per gallon, yet at the MPG Marathon, they got an average of 84.7 miles per gallon, a whopping 28.9% improvement on the initial figures! The trip from London to Birmingham would cost you £9.48, meaning that the Fiesta was the cheapest overall. The C1 also received great praise from its owners in the 2012 JD Power customer satisfaction survey, suggesting that you wouldn’t have to devote a great deal of cash to servicing costs.

New car registrations on the up

Are UK buyers turning away from the used car market? Probably not. But new figures suggest that new car sales are improving, after an 11.5% increase in January when compared to the January in 2012.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders have also provided figures which prove that this is not just a one off, and it in fact marks the 11th successive month of growth in terms of new car registrations. The biggest seller in January, with 7,906 purchases, was unsurprisingly the new Ford Fiesta with its award-winning 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine to ensure nothing too damaging leaves the exhaust pipe.

So it would seem that things are looking up for the car industry, despite the rest of the country falling into the economic crisis we are constantly hearing about.