Friday, June 9, 2017

5 Tips for Buying a Convertible Car


It’s just about any red-blooded American’s dream to own a convertible car. Almost nothing compares to top-down driving—it’s sheer freedom! With warmer weather upon us, you might be experiencing a slight itch. No, it’s not heat rash (we hope); instead, it’s a gnawing urge for owning your very own convertible. If this sounds just like your symptoms, we don’t blame you! Driving a convertible car is definitely a unique, must-have experience. So we’ve compiled five crucial convertible buying guide tips to make shopping and eventually buying a convertible car that much easier!

Compare Prices
Before you even start looking, really evaluate what you’re looking for in a convertible – whether it’s new or used. Prices for convertibles can range anywhere from the lower end in the $20,000s for smaller convertibles up to $100,000 for more luxury or high-performance vehicles. Of course, you’re able to find plenty of vehicles in between depending on luxury, sportiness & performance. Ask yourself how often you’re planning to drive your convertible. Weekends? Road trips with your significant other? Everyday vehicle? Fuel economy might be more important to you versus motor capabilities.

Did you have a specific model or year in mind? While the online market has made it that much easier to locate exactly what you’re looking for, specialized or vintage vehicles are going to add some serious zeros to the final price. As with any major purchase, you have to set a budget and compare prices once you narrow down your main motivators. This also really helps you focus on what works best for your particular lifestyle, making it easier to compare to other convertibles instead of being hypnotized by a particular manufacturer (we know it’s tempting!).

Compare Storage Space and Seating Room
Other than the ease between top-down and top-up, there are two main factors to consider—
storage space and seating room. Convertibles can range in size, but they mostly include roadsters, which are two-seaters, and larger four-seat models. While larger convertibles can fit up to four adults, most probably won’t. Who’s going with you on your long drives? Let that guide your seating room decision!

Once the convertible’s top is down, it will actually take up most of the trunk space. If you’re not planning on having passengers or storing anything of significant size in your trunk, then this shouldn’t really factor into your decision. However, if you are transporting larger sized items, opt for a convertible with a larger cargo capacity.

Research Maintenance Repair Costs
Whether new or vintage, all vehicles break down. It’s a matter of time and an unfortunate fact of life, however, it’s actually a misconception that convertibles cost more to maintain. Convertibles don’t cost any more in maintenance repairs than sedan or coupe counterparts do. If this is a concern, banish it! That being said, more vintage models (like most classic cars) could run you a pretty penny with motor or cosmetic repairs because of their specialty nature.

The top of the car is also something to keep in mind. If properly maintained, a top can last for a decade or more! When it is time to replace a convertible’s top, you can do so without breaking the bank. We’re partial to soft tops for a variety of reasons. You can choose the replacement type of materials and colors that best fit your budget. They are insulated with multiple layers for noise and reduction. They’re less cumbersome than hardtops, weigh less, and are easier to replace in terms of time and money. Soft tops are also more durable than they seem!

Compare Safety Features
Every manufacturer is different and because of the difference in classic and more modern convertibles, the safety features on each car is going to be quite different. Here are some key safety features to look for in your purchase:
  • fixed or pop-up roll bars
  • special airbags such as side airbags
  • blind spot warning sensors

Drive Them All
No research in the world is going to compare to being in the driver’s seat. You have to drive different convertibles with the top up and down to get the best feel for each vehicle. Go fast and go slow. Listen to the way the top moves positions to ensure the mechanics are properly working. If it’s a manual top, test removing it to see if you’re able to do this on your own. If the mechanics on moving the top’s position work but you can see that the top is a little raggedy, don’t let it scare you away. Top replacement is easy! Lastly, remember to simply enjoy the drive. It’s the main reason why you’re shopping in the first place!


Have a tip for those embarking on a convertible car hunt? Let us know in the comments below!

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