Best electric cars to lease 2020

  • Leasing is the easiest - often the cheapest - way to get behind the wheel of a new electric car
  • Can get you early access to desirable EVs with long waiting lists 
  • One of the simplest ways to run a car

Here at Parkers, we've been monitoring the changes in the public's buying habits for decades. And as obvious as it sounds, electric cars really are becoming the norm for many.

Don't just take our word for it. According to the latest SMMT (Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders) figures, electrified vehicle sales were up 139% year on year. A staggering result, considering overall car sales are down 4% in 2020.

The change in buying habits can be explained two fold: the cars are getting better, and the public's fears of range anxiety is being quelled.

Electric cars are fast-becoming first cars, rather than second cars. A 300-mile range is easily achievable, and the charging infrastructure is ever-growing too.

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Benefits of leasing an electric car

>> Cheapest monthly cost 

Although prices are always coming down, electric cars are still a touch more expensive than petrol ones. Basic petrol Volkswagen Golfs start at below £25,000 - whereas the electric Volkswagen ID.3 will set you back just under £30,000.

Electric cars do have low depreciation in general, meaning finance deals can work out similar to petrol-powered cars. For instance, Renault Zoe lease prices start at around £200 per month - the same prices as an equivalent petrol-powered Renault Clio.

>> Fuel savings

Electric cars cost less per mile than petrol ones to 'fuel'. According to our own miles per pound calculator, the Kia Niro hybrid will cover 10.1miles for £1 of petrol. The electric Kia e-Niro, will cover 33.1 miles for a £1 of electricity.

>> Air Quality

Then there's the most obvious win. Electric cars produce zero tailpipe emissions. Petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars emit carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants. Driving electric helps improve air quality where you are.

>> Less risk than buying outright

In short, if you want new tech, without any of the financial worry, leasing can be the answer. Leasing compromises of an initial payment, a set of pre-agreed monthly payments, and that's it.

Best electric cars to lease 2020

Tesla Model 3
Renault Zoe
Peugeot e-208
Polestar 2
Nissan Leaf
Hyundai Ioniq
BMW i3
DS 3 Crossback E-Tense
Tesla Model S
Audi E-Tron

Tesla Model 3 

Best electric car to lease for: eco-bling

Tesla Model 3 rear

Parkers 2020 Car of the Year. Need we say more? Ok we will. The Model 3 is a true game-changer and has a clean-sheet approach from the start. Inside, there are no screens or dials in front of the driver. There is just a huge central infotainment screen.

Its semi-autonomous driving tech is one of the most advanced, and its electric range, ranging from 254 miles to 348 miles, is not only brilliant for the money, but is one of the most accurate indications of range on sale.

Tesla regularly changes its pricing structure for its own PCP and HP deals. In turn, leasing deals change regularly. Generally, they hover around the £400 per month mark for the cheapest model, so do shop around to ensure you get the best deal.**

Leasing price: from £481 per month
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Renault Zoe 

Best electric car to lease for: price

2020 Renault Zoe

The Zoe is by far and away the cheapest car on this list. And while it is slightly more expensive than other superminis, it's pretty much on par when compared with a Renault Clio on similar leasing deals.

Considering a full tank of electricity on the Zoe will set you back about a fiver, there are some serious savings to be made.

Mileage between the plugs is rated at 250 miles, which is hugely impressive for this price range.**

Leasing price: from £200 per month
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Peugeot e-208

Best electric car to lease for: electric car newbies

2020 Peugeot e-208

The Peugeot e-208 is just as easy to recommend as the petrol or diesel versions, and the carmaker reckons the electric version is no more expensive to run. This is what makes the e-208 a brilliant first electric car. 

Outside, the exterior is eye-catching. While inside it's best in class thanks to its futuristic 3D i-Cockpit.

Claimed range is 211 miles, although our own testing deemed this to be a little optimistic achieving around 160 miles. What's better news is that there are no differences in practicality compared with the regular 208 - cabin and boot space remains the same.**

Leasing price: from £281 per month
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Polestar 2

Best electric car to lease for: aesthetes

2020 Polestar 2

We bet you've probably never heard of Polestar. It's a spin-off electric brand from Volvo - a Swedish Tesla if you will. 

The 2 is a deeply attractive, well-rounded package. Quality is first-rate (not something all Tesla owners report...) and it's a pleasure to drive. Its new Android infotainment system is delightfully simple to use and the design of the car as a whole is fresh and appealing.

Range is 292 miles - making it especially alluring to families. Bonus: there's a 405-litre main boot plus a 35-litre front boot.**

Leasing price: from £547 per month
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Nissan Leaf

Best electric car to lease for: not showing off

Nissan Leaf front

You've probably seen quite a few of these zooming around urban environments. That's because the Leaf is ultra easy to use, pretty cheap on finance offers, and full of semi-autonomous kit.

Interior quality and feel isn't up there with the Audis of this world, but the Leaf is a few hundred quid less a month. Innovative e-Pedal brings with it one pedal driving too. The regenerative braking is pushed right up to ten, meaning you very rarely have to actually use the brake pedal.

The Leaf e+ is the model you really want, as it has a 239 mile range.**

Leasing price: from £293 per month
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Hyundai Ioniq Electric

Best electric car to lease for: cut-price Tesla Model S vibes

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

The Ioniq is also available as a hybrid and as a plug-in hybrid. The main difference between the hybrids and the electric car visually is in the grille design. If this kind of anonymity appeals to you, then we can definitely recommend an Ioniq.

The interior is logical and well laid-out, and the ride is surprisingly pliant for such a heavy car. With a range of 193 miles, it's out classed in this department by every other car on this list. But if you charge from home, we bet it won't bother you that much.

Look out for lease deals hovering around £200 per month.**

Leasing price: from £269 per month
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BMW i3

Best electric car to lease for: the premium small car market

BMW i3 front

The i3 is more than five years old. And yet, it's still one of the best electric cars around. It's similar in size to the Renaut Zoe, but has a much more premium feeling interior, and more space-age looks.

Buyers can choose between a pure electric model, or one with a small petrol engine range extender that is used as a generator to charge up the battery. There's also a sporty model called the i3s, with bigger wheels, wider arches, and 182hp.

Leasing isn't cheap on these premium city cars. Expect to pay between £250 and £400 per month.**

Leasing price: from £233 per month
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DS 3 Crossback E-Tense

Best electric car to lease for: the premium and small SUV vibes

DS 3 E-Tense Crossback

The DS 3 Crossback E-Tense is a perfectly executed niche-filling exercise. Small SUV? Check. Premium interior? Check. Electrically powered? Double check.

It's powered by a 100kw electric motor and a 50kWh battery, making 136hp. 0-62mph is a respectable 9.0-seconds, while its 200-mile range is more than enough for most people's commutes.

Inside is really where you're getting your value for money. It's really striking - and definitely more noteworthy than other cars of this price range. The seats are plush-feeling nappa leather, while the touchscreen infotainment system works well too.**

Leasing (DS 3 Crossback model range) price: from £179 per month
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Tesla Model S

Best electric car to lease for: range

Tesla Model S

The older and bigger brother to the Model 3, the S had a change to its lineup in 2019. Now there are two distinct models, long range and performance. The long range has a range of 379 miles and a 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds. While the performance has a dazzling 0-62mph time of 2.4 seconds and a slightly reduced range of 367 miles.

The price difference between the pair is more than £10,000, so leasing prices will vary depending on the model.

The Tesla Model S is available with free Supercharging at the moment. The usage of these Tesla-only chargers can depend on the leasing provider, so remember to ask.**

Leasing price: from £1,117 per month
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Audi E-Tron

Best electric car to lease for: interior quality

Red 2019 Audi E-Tron rear three quarters

Not quite as game-changing as the Jaguar I-Pace, not as next-generation feeling as a Tesla, the E-Tron is deliberately an Audi first, and an electric car second.

Millions of customers, and millions more potential customers, know Audi for its premium feeling interiors and solid looking build quality. And the E-Tron is simply another well put-together, posh looking Audi SUV that just happens to be electric.**

Leasing price: from £673 per month
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Looking for your next car?

Want to find out more about leasing? Check out our video guide explaining how leasing works. Want to look at some leasing deals? Take a look at our personal leasing search tool.

>> Best cars for £90 per month
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>> Best cars for £400 per month
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** These deals are indicative examples of some packages available as of 19 October 2021, but are subject to change without prior notice. Everyone's financial circumstances are different and the availability of credit is subject to status. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically.

Bauer Consumer Media Limited is an appointed representative of ZenAuto Limited for the broking of regulated consumer hire agreements. ZenAuto Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. ZenAuto Limited's registered office is Number One, Great Exhibition Way, Kirkstall Forge, Leeds LS5 3BF. ZenAuto Limited's company registration number is 10967345. ZenAuto is the trading name of ZenAuto Limited.