A convertible car can be a fun way to travel, especially in sunny weather. However, like with all cars there are things to look out for as well as pros and cons to the different types of convertible. In this article we'll explore what to consider when buying a convertible.
1) Boot Space
Many convertibles will compromise on boot space to store the roof when it is down, so ensure there is enough space for you and your belongings. For example, a Jaguar F Type’s boot is 196 litres but the gap to load and unload is very small, while the Porsche 911 has 145 liters of space but has a wide opening so is easily accessible. Furthermore, the 2+2 configuration of the 911 offers extra storage space on the rear seats when only the front seats are occupied - perfect for those extra few bags of shopping!
2) Hard Top vs Soft Top
Hard tops are electrically operated and generally wear better over time. They also don't suffer from mould and discoloration, which can affect soft top roofs if exposed to water, sunlight and tree sap for prolonged amounts of time. Also, cloth soft tops can be easily vandalised with a knife, especially on older cars. On the flip side, softs tops are often easier to repair and replace should they go wrong compared to hard tops, which could cost tens of thousands to repair.
3) Test Drive
Some cars may come with wind deflectors which reduce buffeting better than others, so if you are going to be doing long journeys with the roof down this could become a major factor in your decision, and not something you want to discover once you've made the purchase. Take the car for a test drive for as long as you can to see if the wind noise is bearable over long distances.
4) When To Buy
Somewhat suprisingly, winter is actually the best time to buy a convertible. As we see more rain and lower temperatures, people are often keen to get rid of their summer toys due to lack of use. There is also less demand from buyers, often forcing dealers to offer favourable discounts on their summer stock.
5) Extra Options
Consider interior options you may otherwise leave out. Heated seats and a heated steering wheel could be a welcome option if you are keen to leave the roof down at every opportunity. If you are looking to buy a new car consider these options when you are completing the specification of the car. You may even with to add these if you don't see yourself using them much, as chances are they will improve the car's resale value. If you are buying used, make sure to ask the seller for the list of options the car had factory fitted.
Tip: Make sure to check that all the optional equipment works when you see a car - heated seats, air scarfs and retracting wind deflectors can go wrong and are expensive to replace!
6) Tips When Viewing A Car
- Sun visors: The sun visor mirros on convertibles are prone to damage when the front seats are pushed forward to allow access to the rear seats. Make sure to check them when you are looking over your potential next car to avoid a dissapointing surprise!
- Mould: Soft tops made from fabric or vinyl can suffer from mould, which is easily disguised on a damp/wet day. Make sure to view the car in the dry otherwise the signs of mould may be impossible to spot!
- Roof System: It seems obvious but is often forgotten - check the roof system works without any strange noises or warning lights coming on. All the way down and all the way up.
- Leaks: While they are hard to check for and uncommon on newer cars, check the interior for any water stains. These could be a sign of a leak and lead to an expensive repair bill.
If you've decided that a convertible car is right for you and need to sell your current car first, contact Wisely SOLD to eliminate the hassle of private selling and get the best price possible!