Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Why Now Is the Best Time to Buy a Convertible


If you plan to buy a used convertible, effective bartering and negotiation tactics can often save you a sizeable chunk of cash. Making friends with your salesperson is important, but by strategically leveraging seasonality and consumer trends, bargain hunters can get an even bigger discount on their dream roadster.

With the help of this blog post, persistent penny-pinchers can hold shrewd salesmen over a barrel, slash prices and rule the used car lot. Read on to discover why right now is the best time to buy a convertible.

The Cold Weather Convertible Buying Correlation

The used convertible market is highly volatile—demand fluctuates wildly with the whims of the weather. History would suggest that there’s a positive correlation between temperature and convertible demand. When the temperature inevitably increases in the spring and summer, demand for open-air cars hits a frenzied peak.

Demand for convertibles typically reaches rock bottom when drivers are deterred by the low, frigid temperatures of winter. Understandably, convertible drivers are less likely to brave the unpleasant elements (rain, sleet & snow) that accompany the winter months. In addition, the hassle of maintaining a convertible’s condition during the winter can scare off frustrated, fickle owners.

Dealerships are well aware of this predicament as many of their convertibles sit untouched and idle from December to March. Instead of filling their lot with high-demand inventory, precious space is wasted on undesirable, unsold convertibles. In order to flip these vehicles and make room for SUVs with popular wintertime features (four-wheel drive, heated seats, etc.), dealers will often offer steep discounts to opportunistic buyers.

Fuel Prices and Car Buying Trends

In 2013, gas prices were markedly higher and small, fuel-efficient cars were selling at increased rates. Over the past several years, fuel prices have dropped to a much more reasonable level, and families have placed a higher importance on storage space. As a result, consumers have been purchasing more large vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks than they have in the past.

Many of the small, fuel-efficient vehicles (like convertibles) purchased during the oil price surge in 2013 are being swapped out as lease agreements expire and larger replacement vehicles are purchased. Consumers’ propensity to purchase SUVs combined with increased compact car supply has led to an oversaturated secondary market for vehicles like convertibles. The current imbalance in the market makes finding a luxury convertible like a Mercedes roadster more reasonable than ever before.


By being cognizant of market trends, fuel prices and time of year, you can take a big step towards buying an affordable convertible car. Take advantage of these favorable factors and purchase the car of your dreams today! If your newly purchased vehicle needs an overhaul, make sure to visit AutoTopsDirect to find replacement convertible tops and seat cover kits!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Best Convertible Soft-Tops for Winter


Cruising down the highway with the top down is appealing during spring and summer, but convertible drivers require reliable protection from the wisps of wind, sheets of sleet and flurries of flakes that are a staple of winter weather. Don’t worry—your convertible does not have to sit idle in your garage. A convertible soft-top cover is a relatively inexpensive investment that solves this icy issue and keeps warm air from escaping the car’s enclosure.

We have outlined our recommendations for selecting the best winter weather convertible soft top for your car. Read on to discover a few important factors you should take into consideration before making your purchase.

Size & Fit
Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The effectiveness of your soft-top cover will depend largely upon its compatibility with the make and model of your convertible. For instance, if you drive a 1996 Miata, you would select a 1990-2005 Miata convertible top.

If your cover fits the convertible’s cabin snuggly, it will plug gaps and reduce the chilling effect of wind as it whips by. A tight fit will also ensure that occupants are shielded from the deafening noise that accompanies wind.

If you have questions about finding the correct cover for your soft-top convertible, give us a call at (888) 254-7679 and we will provide you with expert advice.

Material
One of the most important facets of selecting a soft-top is choosing a fabric that will survive winter exposure. Thickness and durability are the two main characteristics you should look for while shopping. A soft-top roof will never be as insulated as a hard-top, but an extra inch or two of material can make all the difference on a cold winter morning. To avoid rips, make sure that you leave your fabric top up all season—the material shrinks during winter.

Windows
When buying a soft-top, plastic windows are fine as long as they are properly sewn-in & heat-sealed, like ours.  While plastic windows are durable and affordable, consider investing in a glass window. Certain brands even offer heated glass windows to take the edge off the cold. In addition to being more pleasing aesthetically, heated glass windows are great for defogging during the harsh winter months and will provide reliable protection for years to come! 

With these tips in mind, you cam purchase a long-lasting convertible top that will shield your interior from snow. Be sure to brush off snow build up, store your car indoors and keep road salt from rusting your ragtop’s hinges. Just remember to keep your top up! To find the best winter weather protection for your vehicle, visit AutoTopsDirect.com, and shop for soft-top convertible covers by make and model.


Friday, January 6, 2017

5 Things to Look for in a New Convertible Top

Choosing a new convertible soft top can be a difficult decision. The fact that the original convertible top has worn out can make anyone apprehensive about buying a new one. But, there have been amazing advancements in convertible soft top technology which makes replacement tops extremely durable and fashionable. With all the options available, we’ve put together a list of the most important things to look for when buying a replacement convertible soft top.

Fabric Types

There are two main options when it comes to convertible soft tops: canvas and vinyl. Both materials have their advantages and look great. Canvas is extremely durable and may withstand extreme temperature changes better than vinyl, while vinyl is much easier to clean and may be slightly less expensive. Both have the advantage of great insulation, but the advantage of noise reduction goes to canvas.


Stitching and Seams

It’s important to understand how your new convertible top was sewn together. The stitching on the soft top must be more than decorative. The stitching must be able to withstand years of exposure without leaking or breaking. Heat-sealed seams (rather than glued seams) reinforced with durable stitching will ensure the top does not leak after exposure to the elements.

Hardware Included

Before you purchase a new soft top, make sure it comes with everything you need for installation. This includes all straps and fasteners that are essential for the functioning of your convertible top, as well as windows and defroster wiring. These parts being new will be an essential aspect that contributes to the longevity of your new soft top.

Professional Installation

Yes, you can attempt to install your new soft top yourself, but we recommend finding a professional installer to ensure no damage is done to the soft top before you take it for a spin. Installation is relatively inexpensive and worth the peace of mind knowing you have nothing to worry about when those first storm clouds start forming overhead.

Color

Once you’ve chosen the soft top for your convertible, it’s time to choose a color. Take your time when choosing a new color and don’t think you have to go with the same color as the original. A new color can provide an unexpected pop that gives the entire car a new look and feel. This is a bold opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and choose something truly unique. So, go for it!


These are just a few of the important aspects you should consider when buying a new soft top. Make sure the product has an acceptable warrantee and all of your questions have been answered before making your final decision. What are your most important factors for choosing a new convertible soft top? Share your thoughts in our comments section!