Buying an open-topped car in the depths of winter may seem as strange as shopping for your summer shorts and sunglasses. But there is a simple logic to it.
Most convertible buyers get a rush of blood to the head when the sun is shining. With strong demand, dealers aren’t as willing to negotiate on price. January and February is the car dealer’s quietest time of the year. It means drivers in the market for a new car are in a strong position to haggle hard and secure a competitive deal.
So if you can picture lowering the roof to top up your tan, this could be a good time to drive a hard bargain on the convertible car of your dreams. Here are three of the best, and alternatives to consider.
Best for: cheap Italian chic
Fiat 500C (from £13,010)
The impossibly cute Fiat 500C has instant wow factor. The neat detail with the 500C is that the roof opens like a sardine tin, rolling back in the middle and helping to keep the body of the car stiffer than a fully-opening cabriolet. The 1.2-litre petrol engine is a better bet than the more expensive 0.9 TwinAir.
Mini Cooper Convertible (from £16,165)
Cheeky, fun to drive and affordable to buy and run. A new version will be launched at the end of this year so drive a hard bargain on current models.
Mazda MX-5 (from £18,495)
This two-seat roadster serves up a whole heap of fun on the road but doesn’t cost the earth to run.
Best for: touring the French Riviera
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet (from £38,465)
The Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet is a grown-up car, more about comfort, refinement and long distance touring than tearing around corners. That’s why Mercedes has fitted it with nice touches, such as heaters in the headrests of the front seats to keep the chill off your neck, and a wind deflector in the top of the windscreen frame to limit buffeting.
Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet (from £21,630)
A Golf Cabriolet looks at home anywhere. It is classy yet classless, a car that feels satisfyingly expensive but is reassuringly affordable.
BMW 4-Series Convertible (from £36,675)
The new-comer follows in the wheeltracks of the highly rated 3-Series and is the ideal four-seater convertible for year-round use.
Best for: the drive of a lifetime
Porsche Boxster (from £38,237)
Arguably the best Porsche on sale, the Boxster has an outstanding blend of performance, driver appeal and value for money. With its flat-six cylinder engine just behind the two seats, a perfectly balanced chassis and a quick-acting fabric hood, the Boxster will thrill drivers the moment they turn onto a deserted B-road.
Jaguar F-type (from £58,520)
It’s expensive, but it’s worth it. The Jaguar F-type is the best sports car Jaguar has made in decades.
Ferrari 458 Spider (from £198,971)
Sold the company? This is what you reward yourself with: the finest Ferrari money can buy.