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The Best New Cars for £250 to £350 a Month

By Tim Barnes-Clay | May 22, 2023

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We take a look at the best cars you can get for your budget

The Best New Cars for £250 to £350 a Month
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Only some people have a bulging wallet when it comes to buying a car.

When it comes to budgets, a survey last year showed just 15 per cent of us purchase a new vehicle outright in the United Kingdom, with the vast majority resorting to finance deals.

But even then, only some folk have hundreds and hundreds of pounds a month to throw at their new wheels.

While exact figures vary, studies carried out over the last two years suggest that the average UK monthly payment on a car is between £220 and £400.

So, if your budget is approximately in the middle of that, between £250 and £350 a month, what could you get your hands on?

A lot depends on which type of deal you go for.

A Personal Contract Hire (PCH) deal means you won't own the vehicle at the conclusion of the contract, while a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) means you will.

As a result, you'll need to fork out substantially more for your deposit if you want to keep your monthly payments under £350 a month.

We are looking at PCP deals here, so let’s look at a few cars you might want to add to your shortlist.

Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage is a superb SUV, combining great practicality, a spacious boot, and a classy, very well-designed interior.

The Sportage is well-equipped across the range and is excellent value for money, especially with a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty, which reflects its superb reliability.

There is a wide choice of trim levels, powertrains, and hybrids, too.

An entry-level '2' version with a 1.6-litre petrol engine will cost around £285 a month with a 15 per cent deposit.

Dacia Duster

Dacia may not be a marque that screams ‘quality’ at you, but don’t judge a book by its cover. Instead, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the high level of performance the Duster achieves, both on and off-road.

It comes generously equipped and boasts meagre running costs, with a reasonably large interior and a big boot.

There is a 4x4 edition, too, which impresses off-road for those looking for something more rural, while there's a range of petrol, diesel and even a bi-fuel LPG version.

The Duster could have better safety scores from Euro NCAP, though, which is a drawback. But it doesn't mean it's unsafe – the Dacia still complies with very stringent standards for it to be sold in the UK.

A 15 per cent deposit on the second-from-top trim, Journey, should be enough to get you a Duster from just under £300 a month. However, choosing a lower grade will save you even more cash.

MG 4

If you’re after something all-electric, the MG 4 crossover could be just the ticket.

MG might still have a whiff of the Rover days about it in terms of public perception, but the MG 4 has won rave reviews. Indeed, some car writers have been left open-eyed in amazement at its value for money as a cheap vehicle that still manages to achieve very high standards.

The MG 4 looks great, too, with a sports car-inspired front end, and it’ll suit those who want a little taste of SUV styling in the form of a medium-sized hatchback.

Even entry-level 'Standard' trim comes very well-equipped and, with a 15 per cent deposit, it could be yours for just under £300 a month.

Skoda Fabia

The Fabia is an appealing family hatchback that offers top value for money.

Designed for comfort and practicality over speed and performance, it's nevertheless a competent performer on the road.

It has a huge boot and a spacious interior, plus it's well-equipped, offering a range of petrol engines from 80 to 150PS, depending on how much power you want.

The Skoda has personality-driven looks, especially in the sporty top-of-the-range Monte Carlo version, which can be yours for around £265 a month with a 15 per cent deposit.

If you're happy with a lower trim, you can get it quite a bit cheaper than that, too.

Peugeot 208

One car that might have something to say about the Skoda Fabia’s looks is the ostentatious Peugeot 208.

With its claw-like LED lights and very shapely grille, it’s great to look at and easily meets that same high standard on the road, too.

While the French hatchback is not the most thrilling to drive, it has excellent comfort levels and a superb interior design.

Add that to a bunch of superbly economical engines from Peugeot's PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel range, and you're on to a winner.

You are looking at around £295 a month for the flagship GT model with a 15 per cent deposit. And if that sounds good, the lower trim levels will be even cheaper.

Ford Puma

With personality in spades, the Ford Puma promises lots of fun – and it delivers.

The blue oval badged motor is exciting to drive, quick, and handles well. Plus, it's practical, economical, and brilliant value for money too.

With a total of six trims to choose from and a range of petrol mild-hybrid powertrains producing 125 to 200PS, there’s a model to suit all tastes and budgets.

While the Vivid Ruby Edition of the Ford Puma will cost around £350 a month, the entry-level Titanium trim could be yours for around £100 a month less than that.

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As you can see, there's an extensive choice, and if the car you're looking at is pricey, then opting for a lower trim could bring the cost in line with your finances.

Likewise, if you set your sights lower and come in under budget, you could treat yourself to a few extra gadgets by selecting a posher model of the same motor.

But, if none of these suit and you’re willing to part with more money upfront as a deposit, you’ll be well on your way into the next bracket of even more desirable cars.

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