BUYING a car on finance is an appealing proposition. You don’t have to save up or spend what savings you may already have, leaving your finances free for other things, such as family holidays or work on the home. Instead, the cost of the car is spread over a defined time period, often three years, and monthly payments make a new car more attainable for many drivers.
However, most loans of any kind will involve a cost to you called the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The charge means that you pay back more than you borrowed over the period, and the APR can vary greatly.
In order to lure buyers there are some loans that charge nothing, though, saving consumers thousands of pounds. These 0% finance deals aren’t all that common, and of the few there are, many are only offered for a limited period.
Auto Trader has been keeping a keen eye on the market and in this buying guide names the best cars in a variety of shapes, sizes and budgets that are available with a 0% finance package.
The prohibitive sum of the deposit can often rule out 0% loans
With all the cars listed, terms and conditions will apply, and the size of the necessary deposit contributions, monthly payments and agreement periods also vary. The prohibitive sum of the deposit, in particular, can often rule out 0% loans for drivers choosing to buy a new car using finance.
What’s more, 0% finance may well be available only on specific versions of the models mentioned, and the deals could be only available with a specific type of finance agreement, whether that be a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP), Hire Purchase (HP) or another product. That means drivers must read the small print carefully to check what’s being offered.
The best small car with 0% APR: Ford Fiesta
The Fiesta has always been the stand-out small car in the driving stakes, thanks to its mixture of sharp handling, comfy ride and punchy performance. That latest version, however, also brings more sophistication to the party, with a bigger, comfier quieter cabin, posher materials and more tech.
See the latest 0% deals on the Ford Fiesta here
The best compact family car with 0% APR: Seat Leon
The 0% deals we’ve seen are available across most of the Seat Leon range, so whether you’re after a fuel-efficient version or high performance mode, there should be an offer to suit you. Whichever Leon you go for, though, you get a cracking car, with neat styling, a practical cabin, plenty of technology and equipment and a very well-rounded driving experience.
See the latest 0% deals on the Seat Leon here
The best large family car with 0% APR: Ford Mondeo
The Ford Mondeo isn’t getting any younger, having been on sale for quite a few years compared to most of its rivals, but even so, there are still very few competitors that can match its combination of smoothness and agility on the road. As with the smaller Fiesta, 0% deals are only available on a very limited number of engine and trim combinations, so you won’t have much choice.
See the latest 0% deals on the Ford Mondeo here
Read Jeremy Clarkson’s review of the Ford Mondeo
The best compact SUV with 0% APR: Renault Captur
Drivers can’t get enough of small SUVs thanks to their reassuring mix of a lofty seating position and practical interior, and manufacturers are lining up to get a piece of the action by launching SUVs in all sizes. The Renault Captur is comfortable and economical to drive. And for a young family, it has the boot space and clever practical touches to help accommodate kids and the travelling circus that accompanies them.
See the latest 0% deals on the Renault Captur here
Read Driving’s review of the Renault Captur
The best large SUV with 0% APR: Nissan X Trail
As an all-rounder, the X-Trail is very hard to fault. It looks great, is nice inside, comes well equipped and is comfortable and quiet on the road. Nissan’s offer applies to the front-wheel drive diesel (130) model but bear in mind that the engine sometimes feels like it needs more power, such as when towing or hauling a full complement of seven people and their luggage.
See the latest 0% deals on the Nissan X-Trail here
Read Driving’s review of the Nissan X-Trail
The best people carrier (MPV) with 0% APR: Ford S-Max
The Ford S-Max is more stylish and better to drive than most MPVs, combining the comfortable ride that a family needs with the sharp handling that a fun-hungry parent desires. It also has bags of space and an enormously flexible seating system.
See the latest 0% deals on the Ford S-Max here
Read Driving’s review of the Ford S-Max
The best sports car with 0% APR: Mazda MX-5 RF
The world’s best-selling roadster combines a fun drive with good looks and affordability. The two-seater MX-5 becomes even more affordable on a 0% finance deal, which Mazda is currently offering on a limited number of versions when choosing a hire purchase agreement. Jeremy Clarkson called the MX-5 a “full-on, five-star gem.”
See the latest 0% deals on the Mazda MX-5 RF here
Read Driving’s comparison of the Mazda MX-5 and Fiat 124 Spider
The best luxury sports saloon with 0% APR: BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
BMW’s 6 Series Gran Coupé is not a luxury saloon in its most classic sense. As its name suggests, it has been designed to resemble a coupé but still has four doors, space for four adults, a big boot and a prestige badge. What more does an executive saloon need? A gorgeous interior? Check. Lashing of clever technology? Oh yes. It’s also a great car to drive, especially with the 40d diesel engine.
See the latest 0% deals on the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe here
The best luxury car with 0% APR: Mercedes-Benz S-class
There are quite a few luxury cars being offered on 0% deals at the moment – including the BMW 7 Series and Jaguar XJ – but the fact remains that if you’re after a luxury saloon, there’s one obvious choice, the Mercedes S-class. It has its rivals licked for comfort and quietness, while the cabin has the space, build quality and wow-factor to satisfy even the most discerning clientele.
See the latest 0% deals on the Mercedes S-class here
Read Jeremy Clarkon’s review of the Mercedes S-class
Driving’s bonus car with 0% APR: New Suzuki Swift (and a £500 bonus)
Suzuki offers 0% APR finance deals across its range, including ones that require no deposit. One of our favourite models has always been the Suzuki Swift and the new version, launched at the very end of 2017, is all new with a classier, more high-tech interior, improved safety and cleaner engines, including a SHVS hybrid option.
What’s more, the car maker is running a special one-day Suzuki Saturdays event on February 17, 2018, where buyers can get £500 (including VAT) off a new car at one of its 154 dealers. That means a five-door Swift SZ-T with 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine can be purchased with on a PCP deal with a deposit of £1,916 and 42 monthly payments of £147, plus an optional final payment of £4,905.
See the latest 0% deals on the Suzuki Swift here
(Deals correct at time of publication, but many such deals are temporary. Although this article is updated on a regular basis, Auto Trader and Driving cannot guarantee that every deal will remain available between updates.)