Best new cars for under £400 per month

With a budget of under £400 a month potential customers have a great choice of executive estates and SUVs

Finding a new car to deal for under £400 a month isn’t at all difficult, with a wide variety of exciting new metal on offer. But with that kind of budget and some savvy shopping, you should be able to access some of the most desirable cars from premium manufacturers.

Anyone wanting to save money on their commute and keep cabin noise to a minimum would do well to consider the BMW 5 Series Touring, while a similar budget can also get you the keys to a spacious Volvo V60 or even a Peugeot 5008.

It’s not just executives and SUVs in this price bracket though. If you’re after something sportier though, why not try the Toyota GT86? It can be yours for just £387 per month and with a deposit of just £3,500. 

All the deals are Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) schemes, which means you’ll pay a deposit (unless otherwise stated) and a sequence of monthly payments. When the contract comes to an end you’ll have the option of either paying a final lump sum to take ownership of the car, using the car’s remaining value to trade-in for a new model, or you can hand back the keys and look elsewhere for a new set of wheels.

Best new cars for under £400 per month

• Volkswagen Passat – £363 per month
• Peugeot 5008 – £373 per month
• Toyota GT86 – £387 per month
• Volvo V60 – £390 per month
• BMW 5 Series Touring – £397 per month

Volkswagen Passat – £363 per month

Model: Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI 150 SE
List price: £27,540
Deposit: £3,000 (£4,000 contribution)
Monthly payments: £363.13
Number of payments: 35
APR: 4.9%
Optional final payment: £10,015.20
Total to pay by customer if returning: £15,709.55
Total to pay by customer if buying: £25,724.75

For many, the Passat will be the perfect compromise. Even with VW’s brand cachet, it lacks the high price and monthly costs associated with its ‘premium’ rivals.

The cabin is luxuriously trimmed, and there’s loads of tech to keep high-mileage drivers happy. It’s more spacious than a BMW 3 Series or Jaguar XE, and there’s even an Estate model if you need more room. The 2.0-litre TDI engine is great for long-distance cruising, while the turbo petrol motors are excellent around town.

The Passat is also offered as the plug-in hybrid GTE, which can travel up to 34 miles on electric power alone and offers very low company car tax costs.

Peugeot 5008 – £373 per month

Model: Peugeot 5008 1.5 BlueHDi 130 Active
List price: £29,535
Deposit: £4,700 (£0 contribution)
Monthly payments: £373.44
Number of payments: 47
APR: 5.9%
Optional final payment: £11,661
Total to pay by customer if returning: £22,251.68
Total to pay by customer if buying: £33,912.68

The 5008 has much in common with the smaller 3008, which is no bad thing. It means that those looking for a stylish seven-seater have come to the right place, with little else in this class managing to offer such dramatic looks.

The car is at its best on the inside, where the unique design offers up a quality feel that competes with premium brands. It’s great to drive, too, and the optional smooth-shifting eight-speed auto makes the whole experience very easy.

Petrol or diesel, the engines are among the most fuel-efficient in the class, with our pick being the 128bhp 1.5-litre diesel. The back row is a little cramped, though.

Toyota GT86 – £387 per month

Model: Toyota GT86
List price: £27,830
Deposit: £3,500 (£0 contribution)
Monthly payments: £387.40
Number of payments: 41
APR: 4.9%
Optional final payment: £11,475
Total to pay by customer if returning: £19,383.40
Total to pay by customer if buying: £30,858.40 

The Toyota GT86, along with the near-identical Subaru BRZ, is one of a shrinking band of affordable coupés, which makes the prospect of such a sleek, fun car even more tantalising.

Unlike some others on these pages, the GT86 isn’t about straight-line pace, rather its agile chassis and tyres that provide just enough grip – and no more. So while this sleek little Toyota is at its best on track or on a winding lane, it’s not particularly well suited to motorway work, although there is just enough space for a weekend away.

We reckon the entry-level model is the sweet spot in the range, because it comes with everything you could really want from a car that’s focused squarely on putting a smile on your face.

Volvo V60 – £390 per month

Model: Volvo V60 D3 Momentum Plus
List price: £34,665
Deposit: £4,500 (£3,000 contribution)
Monthly payments: £389.93                                               
Number of payments: 42
APR: 2.9%
Optional final payment: £12,850.50
Total to pay by customer if returning: £20,877.06
Total to pay by customer if buying: £33,727.56

Volvo has a great tradition in estate cars – and the V60 and V90 uphold honour in some style these days. The smaller model is particularly appealing – especially given some of the offers available for both cash buyers and contract hire lease.

The V60’s strengths are solid practicality, comfortable, predictable driving dynamics and a nicely finished cabin. Our engine choice – the D3 diesel – has enough shove for most situations, but also returns decent real-world fuel economy that’ll deliver an excellent cruising range between fills.

You don’t need to look past the entry point of the range to get decent kit, either. Momentum trim has most of the essentials you’ll need, including Volvo’s trademark portrait touchscreen infotainment system.

BMW 5 Series Touring – £397 per month

Model: BMW 520d Touring M Sport
List price: £44,410
Deposit: £5,319 (£7,729.43 contribution)
Monthly payments: £396.59
Number of payments: 47
APR: 3.9%
Optional final payment: £16,406.98
Total to pay by customer if returning: £23,958.73
Total to pay by customer if buying: £40,365.71 

German premium brands are said to have the sharpest focus on impending CO2 emissions penalties – and that means there are some sensational deals available on cars like the 5 Series Touring.

The 5 Series has a terrific chassis, making it the keenest driver’s car in its category. And the 520d’s four-cylinder turbodiesel engine is powerful, torquey and smooth – just what you want when you’re making use of the BMW’s 1,700-litre maximum boot capacity.

Factor in an excellent, smooth-shifting automatic gearbox, low running costs and among the best cabins and infotainment systems in the business, and you can see why the 520d Touring has appeal. Stick with SE spec for a comfy ride, although M Sport looks smarter.

Looking for more new car deals? Check out our comprehensive round-up of the best deals available right now…

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