A convertible, yes or no? Are you still hesitant? Sometimes you are driving on the (highway) road and you pass such a car with an open roof. Does it tickle you then? Driving in a convertible can't be compared to anything else. It gives an enormous feeling of freedom. Still, are you afraid of the drawbacks? I will list these honestly for you. Of course I also mention the advantages!
Advantages and disadvantages in general
Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is the convertible top. I understand that. However, there are more advantages and disadvantages to mention. First of all, I think of being one with nature. The freedom. The wind in your hair. And, of course, there are also drawbacks. Read for yourself.
- Feeling of freedom
- Hood can go up
- In the sun in the car
- Gives a feeling of being one with nature
- Luxurious appearance
- No standard car
- Fairly expensive to purchase
- Rain makes quite a bit of noise on the roof
- Insurance is often more expensive
- Less practical
- Less luggage space
- Roof is sensitive and requires more maintenance
Cabriolet of open auto
Now that you are considering purchasing a convertible, you may also come across the term "open car". This name is sometimes also given to convertibles, but this is not correct. The difference between the two cars is, you guessed it, in the roof. An open car is really a car without a roof. Leave the top of the car at home. With a convertible you simply have the roof with you. This is - folded - concealed. You can use it again. A fresh breeze? An unexpected rain shower? You will soon be driving a car with a roof. This is not possible with an open car.
Convertible top advantages and disadvantages
That's what it's all about with the convertible: the hood. However, the convertible top also demands your attention. Roughly speaking, there are the so-called soft tops (fabric roofs) and hard tops (made of hard material). Pros and cons?
Advantages soft top
- Provides the real convertible feeling
- Weighs less than a steel construction
- Gives a cool look
- Really belongs to a convertible
- Lasts a long time with proper maintenance
Disadvantages soft top
- Greater risk of burglary
- Textiles are more sensitive to weather influences
- Can't go through the car wash
- Requires regular maintenance
Nowadays, the soft-top convertible tops are also well insulated and certainly weather-resistant.
- Make less wind noise
- Safer in accidents
- Luggage space is usually a lot smaller
- Looks a lot like a regular car
- Less visibility due to a further continuous window style
Convertible safety is not guaranteed?
People sometimes do not dare to opt for a convertible because of the safety aspect. And let's be honest: going over with a car without a roof is no fun. But when? In practice, however, this rarely happens. Moreover, many car brands have responded to this. Additional security measures include:
- The edge around the windscreen is often made of extra strong steel and thus acts as a kind of roll bar.
- There are additional roll bars behind the seats.
- Steering is now just as good as in a normal car.
Buying a convertible is an expensive joke
Of course, your bank balance also plays a role when you purchase a convertible. Is the purchase price really that much higher than with a normal car? So is this really a big disadvantage of a convertible? And the maintenance costs on top of that?
A convertible is certainly affordable second-hand
If you buy a new convertible, you will probably pay more than for a regular car of the same brand. Usually it is about 20%. This is mainly due to the special construction of the car. On the other hand, a convertible does retain its value for longer. If you do not like the high price, then opt for a second-hand convertible.
Convertible maintenance costs a lot of time and money
Is this really true? Of course, a fabric hood requires a special approach, but does that take so much time? It is important to impregnate the hood every year. Regular cleaning is also a must. But that's what you do with a normal car, right? In terms of maintenance, you can therefore compare a convertible with another car. Only the hood requires extra attention. This impregnation will cost you about 60 euros once a year.
Impregnate and clean convertible roof
Impregnation of a convertible roof is really a must. If you do not do this, you can replace the hood within a few years. However, if you impregnate every other year, the hood can last for years. Especially when you also take into account the normal convertible rules such as:
- Not through the car wash
- Remove dirt as soon as possible, especially bird droppings
- Never fold dirty or wet
- Preferably don't park under trees
- Do not park in the bright sun
- Keep rubbers flexible
Convertible car wash not a good idea
Quickly through the car wash. It may not save money, but it will save time. However? Unfortunately, this is not wise with a convertible. Of course nothing dramatic immediately happens when you drive through the car wash. A new hood can certainly handle this well. However, in the long run you increase the risk of leakage.
Convertible roof cleaning
I do not recommend the car wash. But how do you clean the convertible roof? Follow the step-by-step plan below and you will definitely extend the life of the hood.
- Use lukewarm water
- Preferably a soft (but firm) brush
- Always remove bird droppings immediately
- Take a special shampoo for the hood
- Rinse out cleaning products with plenty of water
- Impregnate the hood after cleaning for good convertible roof protection
A whole row of benefits of a convertible
You may read some of these benefits with a smile. I came across them on the internet. I like them too much not to share them with you.
- The weather in the Netherlands is increasingly nice, so all the more reason to purchase a convertible.
- With an open roof there is no risk of losing the keys.
- Driving a convertible is good for your relationships.
- Being one with nature is beneficial for body and mind.
- Convertible drivers are generally happier than people who drive a regular car.
- Convertibles are less likely to be involved in traffic accidents.
Buy a convertible anyway!
Have you weighed the pros and cons? Will it be a convertible? A new one or rather a second-hand one? Which roof do you think is ideal? A number of tips to keep in mind when you are looking for your own convertible.
Buy a convertible? Tips!
- Set your budget. How much do you want to spend on the convertible? Also take into account the maintenance costs that can be expected.
- Orient yourself well on the convertible top. Which roof do you like best?
- Is it new or second-hand?
Used convertible tips
Is it financially better to buy a used convertible? This is no problem. The offer is large. However, if you have little or no experience with convertibles yourself, take an expert with you. Points to watch out for are:
- Buying through an authorized dealer is always safer than through a private seller.
- You must receive a valid registration certificate with the purchase.
- Check the roof extra carefully for any damage.
- Take a test drive. With the roof down and with the hood up. Do you see bright spots in the hood during the ride? Then this leak!
- Note the torsional stiffness. If the hood is raised frequently while driving, the body will sag more. This may cause the car to vibrate and move a bit more while driving. Not really a problem in itself, but some people find it disturbing.
- Compare the prices that are reasonable via the internet.
- No rust on the hood frame?
- Note the rubbers of windows, doors, hood and front and tailgate.
Check the rear window
If the rear window is in poor condition, you are taking a big risk. There is a chance that the entire hood will have to be replaced. Re-cladding the roof costs many hundreds of euros. Can you still see through the window well? Are there no scratches? Then it will be alright.
Take a close look at the hood of a used convertible. A bad hood, with a bit of bad luck, will otherwise quickly cost you a lot. What do you pay particular attention to?
- Is the hood not bent and do the hinges still fit well?
- What about maintenance and cleaning of the hood? Talk about algae? Weathered spots?
- Is the hood impregnated?
- Also check out the inside. Do you see holes? Are there any damages?
- No leakage? This is easy to check with a garden hose. Put it on the hood and check inside to see if water is seeping in. Let the water flow especially along the crucial points.
Buy a convertible in the middle of winter
You may blink once. What tip are you presented with now? A convertible is a car for the summer through and through. Nevertheless, it is advisable to purchase these types of cars in the winter months. The selling price is a lot lower than in the months of April to July. There are fewer privateers on the coast.
Ask experienced convertible drivers for convertible purchase tips
Convertibles are specific cars. If you chat about a normal Renault or Mercedes during a meeting or during the lunch break, almost everyone can join in the conversation. Convertible owners are usually less likely to encounter. If you really want to get to know the ins and outs of these cars, take a look around on a convertible forum. Here you will find a lot of interesting information. Also about buying a convertible.
General convertible tips
- If you are not driving, always close the hood.
- Make sure the hood is always clean.
- Do not open your hood if the temperature is below 5° Celsius.
- If the hood is wet in the morning, first drive with the hood down. Never drive with a wet hood open.
- Do not clean the hood with too hot water.
- The last tip: enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!