The UK has a long-standing love affair with convertible cars and remains the second-largest market in Europe for soft-tops. This is despite the fact that the British summertime is often incredibly short and disappointing when it finally does arrive.Regardless, thousands of Brits are happy to wait for those rare sunny weekends when the sun finally makes an appearance to pop the top down on their sporty convertible.
And it seems that it is by no means only British men who are happy to risk a drenching in a bid to experience the feeling of whizzing down country lanes in the open air, taking in the scenery from all angles. An increasing number of women are looking to convertibles to get their motoring thrills. According to a report by the Daily Mail, the number of females in their 50s, who are investing in soft-tops, is soaring. In fact, figures show that seven per cent of women in this age bracket are driving convertibles,and have helped to quadruple sales over the last 15 years.
Many owners point to the invigorating feeling they get by lowering the roof and being exposed to the elements, even when the weather turns and it starts to drizzle. Many will have experienced wrapping-up in thick coats and turning their car’s heater on full blastin the middle of winter, before lowering the roof and taking their convertible for a night-time spin and some rear-wheel drive fun.
The ever-popular Mazda MX-5 has performed incredibly well in the British market since its release in the late 80s. And thanks to its rugged Japanese build, many fantastic-quality pre-owned models regularly make it onto the forecourt at Used Cars of Bristol. However, it is the Mercedes SLK convertible that is the most popular option in the UK. Other makes and models in demand include the Aston Martin Vantage, the Jaguar XK, Porsche 911, Audi TT, Toyota MR2 and Lotus Elise.
Of course, there are the usual downsides to driving a convertible, such as having limited space when it comes to fitting in the weekly shop or squeezing people into the rear seats – if there are any in the first place. Most convertible owners know these problems all too well however, and are more than willing to give up a bit of boot space in order to enjoy the feeling of the wind in their hair and the sun on their face. It would seem that British love affair with top-down motoring is by no means coming to an end.