Contract hire is definitely gaining popularity amongst those that wouldn’t have considered it five years ago.
Forget business leasing. You won’t be able to get a business lease unless you have filed three sets of annual accounts at Companies House. Additionally, you would be hit with Company Car Tax so no point in going down that route. Yes, there are often deals that are far better on business terms for vat and regualatory issues but they aren’t available to you so I won’t bore you with them!
There is often very little difference between the monthly payments on a 2, 3 or 4 year deal. The difference is that the deposit remains the same ie either 3 or 6 months down at the start which effectively makes 2 year deals more expensive than 4 year deals assuming you take a new contract hire deal out at the end of it.
It is important to remember that you will be in that car for the duration of the term and therefore a change of circumstances (job - extra miles or child - extra seat requirement) could get expensive as to get out of the car early normally requires a minimum of six monthly payments and can often mean the remaining payments being made to hand the car back.
Optional extras can get very expensive. For example £3800 worth of options on a 3+35 deal will cost you an additional £100 per month as the lease company expect you to pay for them in full.
As carmad says, there are some bonkers deals that get released every now and then so if you are prepared to say yes there and then, you can get a very cheap car. Be warned though, these won’t often be stock cars, everything is built to order these days and lead times are silly at the moment.
Setup alerts with some brokers for deals so that you get emails and then choose your moment and pounce!!