What a spring we are having! Royal Weddings, garden weeding and a big orange thing in the sky, that seems on almost permanent show. Suddenly, the roads are filled with very smug drivers of convertibles who have found themselves not only in the enviable position of being able to take down their car roofs, but even feeling confident about staying that way.
These are those all too precious days on our island when we want to take life… outside, whether that be a drink with friends, a back-garden family BBQ, primary classroom or, indeed, the driving experience. And the best news of all is that we are still weeks away from the summer equinox and the seasonal shift that puts smiles on all our faces. And (whisper it) there are rumours of a long, hot summer. The glorious British beer garden is calling us all.
So all that being said it’s perhaps not surprising that drivers are starting to think that a convertible is the way to go. If that’s you, then good for you. But there are a few things you need to consider, that are perhaps above and beyond the usual considerations when buying a used car.
What to consider when buying a cabriolet
The main thing is to figure out what your budget extends to. That will immediately (one imagines) rule out a Corniche convertible, and open your wallet to a range of cars in your price bracket. Then check that against what’s available on the market – we might even have something for you at Duffy, so drop us a line. What’s the car for? A full-on family car or for occasional frills and spills? How many people will need to sit in it, bearing in mind there is usually less room in a convertible model? Then decide your budget and stick to the cars in that range. You can pay anything north of a grand for a convertible, and rather like a car with no roof, beyond that… the sky is indeed the limit.
Of course under the (fabric) hood, much of the skill in car purchasing remains the same, whether convertible or not. Does the car start first time? Does the engine sound OK? Take the car for a drive, preferably with someone who knows their way around an engine. And what about the paintwork… is that all in good shape, or has it been weather-beaten?
Beyond those usual contingencies, there are also other extra things to think about when buying a convertible. You’ll need to give it a good inspection for its condition, and that’s when you’ll need to consider some of the following typical problems: do the latches securing the roof lock down properly, and whether a hard or soft top, has the material perhaps changed over time? Is there any damage or wear-and-tear to the convertible roof? And if it’s an automatic roof, check that it opens and closes smoothly – not once, but on a number of occasions. How about the interior… has been affected by exposure to the elements? And is that motor nice and quiet, or will it wake up the neighbourhood if you want a top-down drive to the local newsagent?
So, bear all these things in mind and then go for it. Many pleasures await. Remember this is driving… plus added fun! Imagine boosting down your local high street, good music coming from the stereo and the wind blowing through your hair. Don’t let that be an ideal day dream as you sit at your desk, idly talking to Brenda from accounts. Come see us at Duffy Motors and let us help you make it a roof-down reality!