So you decided to get a convertible! You might just want to look cooler behind the wheel, or perhaps you’re a free spirit who just wants to feel the wind blowing in his hair. Regardless of your motivation, you should first do a little research and know some things about convertible cars.
Here are some factors you should take into consideration before making a decision:
- Weigh the PROS and CONS before spending your money on something you might end up regretting. Convertibles are more stylish, offer more head room and visibility, because there are no roof and door frames to block your view. On the other hand, convertibles are more expensive (they usually cost from $5.000 to $9,000 more), they are noisier and less durable, because the dashboard, seats and so on will get damaged faster due to the added exposure to the sun
- Pay attention to the top you are choosing. You can opt for a hard or a soft top. Hard tops will protect you more and reduce the noise level, but they’ll be pricier. Soft tops are more affordable, but not as effective when it comes to noise or weather elements
- Convertibles are high maintenance. You will have to properly clean the top, regardless of the material, with special cleaners.
- The noise. As we’ve already mentioned, convertible cars get noisier. It is understandable, giving that you are riding in a car with no roof. Even when the top is up, you will still find your car louder, especially if you opt for the soft top
- Convertibles are more expensive, therefore they will have higher insurance rates as well. The price also varies depending on other factors. If you buy a soft top convertible, the insurance will cost you even more than if you opt for a hard top, because the first ones are considered to be more vulnerable
- Storage space. A convertible won’t have as much storage space as coupes or sedans. Their trunks will be very small and two-seat convertibles will obviously be more crowded. There are roomier choices out there, but they won’t look that sporty
- Although convertibles tend to have blind spots that are dangerous and can cause serious accidents, producers equip almost all convertibles with warning systems and safety features. Don’t ignore this aspect when you’re shopping for such a car. Look for the protection roll bar, ask about side airbags, blind spot monitoring, rearview camera and other safety measures.
- Be prepared to pay extra for various repairs and replacements. Although nowadays they are built better than ever, convertibles still need a lot of maintenance: the hard top system may break down in time, there might be repairs to be done or replacements to be made, especially with the soft tops. So, in addition to the usual costs, convertible owners will have some additional expenses to think about
- Seasonal preparations. Your car isn’t the only one that needs to be properly prepared for a ride. If you want to keep the top down to fully benefit from your convertible, you should also be equipped with sunblock, scarfs, hats and adequate outwear depending on the season. A lot of convertibles nowadays come with seat and neck warmers too, so know your options before buying.