Ever thought about getting yourself a convertible? I did, too. I had convinced myself this was not a mid-life crisis and willingly took the plunge, even though I was told to expect severe depreciation, misery and freezing winters. The reality of owning a convertible, however, was actually not half bad. No, really.
Your ears will bleed above a certain speed
The cockpit of a convertible is said to be an incredibly noisy place to be. While a fabric roof will never offer the same sound and vibration insulation as a ‘proper’ roof, it’s really only at motorway speeds you will notice much of a difference. Plus a number of hard-top convertibles such as the latest BMW Z4 offer the best of both worlds.
Tip: Having the windows open can in some cases use more fuel than air-conditioning.
You are flushing money down the toilet
You will lose money on virtually every car if you buy new. Everyone knows that. Buy second hand, however, and much of the depreciation will have happened already. Cars of a certain age will actually bottom out in terms of value, which means you can make most – if not all – of your money back if you buy a sought-after convertible with all the trimmings.
Tip: Research prior to purchase so you buy a car that’s easier to sell later on.
They are only usable five days a year
Throw on a hat, turn on the heated seats and you can enjoy the roof down in just about any temperature – so long as it’s not raining, of course. Fabric soft-tops are surprisingly good at keeping you warm so the winter months should be anything but hardship. Folding hard tops, meanwhile, are nigh-on as good as a solid roof, giving you the best of both worlds. A button press is all it takes to save you from a random bout of precipitation.
Tip: Invest in a hat.
You need to be exceptionally wealthy
Convertibles look expensive, but very often they are cheaper than you think. A used Z4, for instance, can go for as little as £4,500 if you are happy with a smaller engine and higher mileage. The mighty Mazda MX-5, which is considered one of the best convertibles around, can cost even less. Insurance will be higher in most cases but not so much it will mean selling your kidney and stealing from your grandparents.
Tip: Use an owner’s forum to pick up a car that has been lovingly cared for.
People will think you’re a [censored]
Technically this is true. But any petrolhead worth his salt should give open-top motoring a go as there’s nothing quite like it. You may get the odd glance, a “nice car mate” or a whiff of jealously in the form of an expletive. That all comes with owning what is deemed a ‘flash’ motor. But all is forgotten as you cruise along a winding B-road through glorious British countryside. Just remember to glue your wig on.
Tip: Develop thick skin.