Tips For Leasing A City Car in 2020

City cars are an incredibly popular option for thousands of people across the country, being the ideal choice if you work in a traffic-flooded city centre. Just ten years ago, many city cars would be an obvious few steps down in quality from their larger brothers and sisters.

But the increasing popularity of car leasing has given many of us the chance to drive cars that may have been beyond our price range if we were forced to buy them outright. This means that we don’t have to settle for anything less than high quality, which has made the market for city cars more competitive than ever.

Now that we no longer have to compromise on quality, city cars have become a desirable option for many of us, often being cheaper than larger vehicles. This, coupled with constant developments in driving technology, has given manufacturers a reason to step up their game when it comes to city cars. And as a result, we have more options than ever.

With a huge range of practical and fun options available, it can be quite a challenge to find the perfect urban runabout to suit you. We’ve put together a few points that we think are crucial to consider before choosing a city car in 2020. Let’s get started!

Fuel Economy

If a city car doesn’t come with great fuel economy, then there’s something wrong. Any car being marketed as a nimble urban vehicle needs to have great fuel economy, as that’s kind of the main point. City driving comes with a lot of starting and stopping, making fuel consumption the first prerequisite in choosing a city car.

Most city cars do have decent fuel economy, but some heavily sway towards the stop-start style of driving. These cars tend to quickly guzzle through fuel if any long-distance driving is involved. If you are a complete city driver with no plans to do any major mileage in one sitting, a standard 1.0-litre engine should suit you fine. But 1.0 L engines generally don’t perform as well on motorways as a 1.2 L or 1.3 L.

The key here is to weigh up your own driving habits, and determine which style suits you the best.

Size & Space

One of our favourite things about good city cars is nimbleness. A smaller car that’s easy to park will beat a larger vehicle in the city, any day of the week. Many city cars don’t always take this into account, with very little size difference between models. If you’re looking for a car you can nip and manoeuvre around the city in, the more compact, the better.

While overall dimensions are important, you also don’t want to feel cramped and short of interior space. Given that city cars are not exactly built to be roomy, taking the time to find one with a healthy balance of external dimensions and internal space is recommended.

Some city cars offer a surprisingly decent amount of boot space, such as the Hyundai i10. While cars like the Toyota Aygo are compact inside and out, which makes it great for parking.

Nimble Steering

As with leasing any car, taking your new city car out for a test drive before committing is essential. Reading a car’s spec is all well and good, but until you get behind the wheel and see how it feels for yourself, you’re in uncharted territory.

One of the key things to look out for with a city car is how the steering behaves. A city car needs to be agile and nimble, which can easily be hampered with sluggish steering.

Many modern cars come with options to change the power steering to offer more responsive steering, which can be helpful for manoeuvrability. This can also be handy for driving in adverse conditions, so it’s definitely something to look out for.


Over the last ten years, the amount of driver technology that has arrived has been staggering. While some of it can seem a little gimmicky, some of it can yield some serious benefits for city drivers. Most notably, the parking camera.

This comes as standard with a lot of modern city cars, and can make reverse parking much easier. Driving in a city often forces you into cramped spaces where it can be easy to scuff other cars without really realising it.

Other tech such as vehicle detection sensors will let you know when you’re too close to other objects, helping to prevent dings and scrapes. As we mentioned earlier, steering wheel controls can also help you get the most of your city car.

Carbon Emissions

Many city centres have already put in place measures to cut down on carbon emissions, such as central London’s Low Emission Zone. While you’d be hard-pressed to find a small city car that crosses into the billable amount of emissions, no one is too sure how much more strict these regulations are going to become in future.

With recent efforts to cut down emissions across the world, there is a chance that laws may become more strict. Alongside this, the fewer emissions you create, the less road tax you pay. While low emissions is another prerequisite of a car being categorised as a city car, it can’t hurt to aim for something as low as possible.


Driving and parking in a city centre comes with less of a risk of major accidents due to speed limits found in city centres. However, city driving puts drivers at more of a risk of receiving small scrapes, thanks to the lack of space on the roads, high concentrations of traffic and smaller parking spaces.

Due to this, one of your chief priorities should be making sure you have a good warranty deal with your lease. Many leases come with extended warranty deals that cover small scrapes, so be sure to check with your lender before you sign off.

Our Favourite City Cars For 2020

Here at RGW Contracts, we provide a wide range of affordable city car leasing deals. We have many deals on new 2020 models also available, so let’s quickfire a list of our favourites.

Volkswagen Up

The VW Up is a stylish little hatchback that comes with a nifty 1.0 L petrol engine, a choice of 3 and 5 door access, and outstanding fuel economy. The Up is also heavily customisable and comes with pretty much everything we’ve mentioned in this article. It is missing a middle seat in the rear, but has topped lists of ‘Best City Car’ for many reviewers, including number 1 for Car Buyer.

Toyota Aygo

An immensely popular city car in the UK, the Toyota Aygo was designed in Japan with the purpose of being a car for big cities. It’s compact yet stylish design is perfect for slotting in hard to access parking spaces. The Aygo is one of the cars we mentioned earlier, being far more efficient at city driving than long-distance journeys. The Aygo also comes with a whopping five-year warranty as a nice bonus.

Kia Picanto

The Kia Picanto is now totally different to when it first arrived in the UK. What it lacks in engine power it makes up for in consumption, agility and unique design. The Picanto won the What Car? City Car of the Year award for 2019, along with the Value For Money category for its 2020 revamp. For something reliable and practical, you won’t go far wrong with the Picanto.

Hyundai i10

The Hyundai i10 is what I think of when I think ‘city car’. Showing off a great fuel economy for both long-distance and city driving, its practicality cannot be understated. It’s also a great looking car, and doesn’t feel as small as it is when driving it. It also comes with a lot of boot space for a smaller car, while somehow not causing the seating space to suffer.

Final Notes

We hope this has given you some insight into the key things to look for when leasing a city car in 2020. Here at RGW Contracts, we offer a range of affordable leasing deals on new city cars. Browse our offers to see what suits you the best, or feel free to get in touch with our team if you have any questions.

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