If you’re looking to keep your emissions down, these are six of the best low emissions cars you can lease

Whether you’re looking to lower your fuel costs or want to make a conscious effort to drive something a bit more environmentally friendly, there are many reasons why low emissions might be at the top of your lease car wishlist. 

With government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035, and more cities introducing congestion charges and low emission zones, it can make financial sense to start thinking about your tailpipe emissions now.

This is especially true if you’re after a business car lease, with your Benefit in Kind (BiK) tax directly tied to the tailpipe emissions of your car. If you’re not ready to commit fully to an electric car lease – which currently attracts a BiK rate of 2% - opting for a car with lower emissions can save you some serious cash month on month.

Technically, a low emissions car is one that emits less than 100g/km of CO2. This is calculated by a standard lab test known as the WLTP, which calculates the volume of the car’s impact on the environment and air quality. 

The lower this figure is, the less fuel the car uses and the better it is for the environment – and your wallet. 

However, in the interests of looking at low emissions cars that aren’t fully electric – we know that not everyone is in the position to make the switch – a couple of the cars on our list do creep over the 100g/km mark, but they’re still worth it for their fuel efficiency and all-around greatness. 

And with average emissions sitting around the 138g/km mark, according to data from the Department for Transport, these cars all represent a much better alternative.

Peugeot 208

Peugeot 208

While not technically a low emission car, if you’re not ready to make the switch to a plug-in hybrid or fully electric car, the Peugeot 208 mild hybrid makes for an excellent compromise, coming in with emissions of 101g/km for the less powerful model, and 104g/km for the 154bhp version.

It’s an excellent little car too, with a stylish exterior and surprisingly spacious interior. 

There’s a choice of three trims, but even the entry-level Active comes with plenty of kit as standard, including LED lights, rear parking sensors, a 10in touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Peugeot’s i-Cockpit dash. 

And if you were looking to make the switch to electric – and benefit from zero-emissions – there’s always the Peugeot e-208.

Our pick: Peugeot 208 1.2 Hybrid 100 Active 5dr e-DSC6 

CO2 emissions: 101g/km

Kia XCeed

Kia XCeed

The Kia XCeed is an excellent alternative to the Kia Ceed hatchback if you’re looking for something a little more spacious and – we’ll admit it – stylish. 

To get the most bang for your buck, you’ll want to go for the plug-in hybrid XCeed. With a claimed range of around 30 miles, you could spend most of your working week relying solely on the electric motor and battery combo, leaving the 1.6L petrol engine for back-up on longer trips.

If you can plug it in to charge each evening, you’ll have no issues. 

And with the Kia XCeed PHEV attracting a BiK tax rate of 12%, it makes for an attractive company car lease. 

Our pick: Kia XCeed 1.6 GDi PHEV 3 5dr DCT

CO2 emissions: 32g/km

Renault Clio

Renault Clio

If there’s one thing the French manufacturers do very nicely, it’s stylish and compact superminis – the sort you could see yourself zipping around Paris in (beret optional), or rolling through the lavender fields of Provence with the windows down.

Sure, you might actually be riding around muddy English lanes in your Renault Clio, but the fantasy is there.

And the Clio is an excellent option for your next car lease if you’re looking to keep emissions down. There is a petrol option that offers emissions of around 118-120g/km of CO2, which isn’t bad if you’re on a budget and not looking at hybrids.

However, if you’ve got a bit more cash to splash, the full hybrid Clio is the car for you to keep those emissions below 100g/km.

Our pick: Renault Clio 1.6 E-TECH full hybrid 145 Evolution

CO2 emissions: 96g/km

Toyota C-HR

Toyota C-HR

Toyota have long been known for their fuel efficient and low emissions vehicles. 

The Toyota Prius was one of the first to prove that the hybrid concept really worked (if you can find a taxi company without one in its ranks, we’d be surprised), and Toyota are still the cream of the crop for efficient and economical cars. 

The Toyota C-HR rolls efficiency, safety and space into one good-looking package, and with a hybrid engine line-up, keeps emissions to a minimum.

The two mild hybrid engines do have emissions of between 105k/gm and 110g/km, which is pretty good if you’re not wanting a PHEV, but it is the plug-in version where you’re going to see the lowest emissions - and the biggest savings on running costs.

However, whichever C-HR you choose, you’re sure to be delighted with its efficiency and fuel economy.

Our pick: Toyota C-HR 2.0 PHEV GR Sport 5dr CVT

CO2 emissions: 19g/km

Ford Focus

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus is one of the most iconic cars on our roads – and for good reason.

It’s efficient, it’s affordable, and it’s a decent size for a family wagon without falling into the bigger SUV hype. Sometimes, like Goldilocks, you need a car that’s just right.

Not too big, not too small, not too flashy, not too dull.

And the Ford Focus works perfectly for that, without compromising on looks or performance.

The latest variants of the Focus are only available with Ford’s 1.0L EcoBoost petrol engine, but that’s good news when it comes to keeping your emissions down. While you won’t hit the dizzying lows that you’ll find with PHEVs, the mild hybrid tech is enough to get your emissions down to 116g/km of CO2.

While not technically classed as a low emission car, it’s an excellent choice for an affordable and efficient pure petrol model, if that’s more your speed.

Our pick: Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid mHEV ST-Line

CO2 emissions: 116g/km

Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris

It’ll come as no real surprise that there’s a second Toyota in our low emissions line-up. They really are some of the best around if you’re looking at lowering your emissions, and the Toyota Yaris is an absolute classic.

It’s one of the best cars in its class, with its stylish exterior, excellent fuel economy and plenty of standard kit.

 And, because it’s only available with a single petrol-hybrid powertrain, every single Yaris model is as efficient and economical as it can be without committing to going electric, whether that be plug-in or full. 

However, in order to keep emissions under that 100g/km sweet spot, you’ll want to look at the Icon, Design, Excel or Premiere Edition trims, with the GR Sport tipping it over into 103g/km of CO2. 

Our pick: Toyota Yaris 1.5 Hybrid Design 5dr CVT

CO2 emissions: 92g/km

Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is our Content and Paid Media Specialist, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.