Buy a convertible? Then read these 26 tips first!

16 minute reading time
Cabrio kopen? Lees dan eerst deze 26 tips!
Convertibles are available in all shapes, colors and sizes. Do you know which convertible is right for you?

You will experience the ultimate feeling of freedom in a convertible. Driving a convertible can be wonderful. Are you planning to buy or rent a convertible? Take advantage of the tips below! Enjoy the ultimate freedom that driving a convertible can give you.

Convertible, what do I mean by that?

I actually don't think I need to explain it to you. What a convertible is, I mean.

Nowadays, however, you see more and more cars with a panoramic roof. That too is wonderful. But for that real convertible feeling I'm mainly talking about cars with a soft top or hard top. So with a roof that can open completely.

Perhaps you are already the proud owner of such a great car or are considering buying one. Nevertheless, it is good to highlight a number of species.

Tip 1: The convertible model

A convertible is available in all kinds, colours, brands and models. I will tell you something about the various convertible models. In this way you may get an idea which convertible will suit you best.

Top 10 Convertible Models

The following convertibles were imported during the first four months of 2016. This does not include the number of (new and second-hand) convertibles that have been sold.

  1. Fiat 500 C.
  2. Mazda MX-5
  3. MINI Cabrio
  4. Peugeot 206 CC
  5. Saab 9-3 Convertible
  6. Porsche 911 convertible
  7. Mercedes CLK
  8. Peugeot 207CC
  9. BMW Z4 Roadster
  10. Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet
  11. Other convertibles that are popular: Volkswagen New Beetle, Audi A4, Renaul Megane Cabriolet, Citroen C3 Pluriel

MINI Cabrio

Have you ever seen him drive? This is a great car for the enthusiast. Officially it is a four-seater, but I have to tell you that it is on the tight side. It is better to use this car when you are going to drive with 2 people. Since this is a fairly popular model, you will definitely notice the price.

Volkswagen New Beetle

You will definitely stand out with this car. Especially when you choose a special color green, for example. This model is made with a nod to the past and is somewhat reminiscent of cars you see in comic strips. The convertible has a gigantic hood at the rear.

FIAT 500 C

The style icon of the last century. (1957 - 1975). But in a new jacket. The FIAT 500 is extremely popular. And the FIAT 500 C convertible is certainly very popular.

Audi A4

Not every convertible is equally pleasant in the winter. But this car is wonderful to drive in both summer and winter. It is of course up to your personal wishes whether this is necessary or not. The roof disappears into the trunk. That can be a disadvantage. When the roof is opened, the trunk space is very small. Perhaps not so convenient if you want to go on holiday by car. Very nice about this car is that there is a wide choice of engines and that it is very solidly built.

Renault Megane Cabriolet

In this French car there is certainly room for 4 people and then you really don't have to sit tight. Renault wanted to develop a convertible that can be used in all seasons. This is particularly successful due to the steel roof. Because the steel folding roof disappears in the luggage compartment, there is not much space to take extra belongings, suitcases or bags.

Peugeot 206 CC

This is a nice car, but the most convenient to purchase as an extra car. When you take a seat in this Peugeot with 2 people, it is really full. It is an ideal car to rent or borrow for a day once in a while and then get a breath of fresh air.

Citroen C3 Pluriel

The ideal thing about this model is that you can be ready for a small price. So if you would like a convertible, but you are not planning to spend a lot of money on it, consider the Pluriel. The car can easily fit 4 people, so that is also an advantage. Another nice point is that the roof pillars can be removed in their entirety. But you must have the space to store it somewhere.

Tip 2: Rent a convertible?

Would you like to rent a convertible? This is certainly possible, because there are plenty of places where you can rent a convertible. If you search in Google you will come across a lot of providers.

Rent a convertible. Here are a few ideas at a glance.

  1. Convertible for a nice sunny day
  2. A convertible for a wedding
  3. Surprise for your best friend
  4. Weekend away through the Limburg hills.
  5. A day ride in a convertible tour
  6. Long weekend from Bed & Breakfast to Bed & Breakfast
  7. A ride in that ultimate old-timer convertible

You see it. There are plenty of reasons to get away from it all in a convertible.

Cabrio huren

Tip 3: Minimum age when renting a convertible

Sometimes different requirements are set for renting a convertible than for renting a normal car.

Some rental companies rent out these roofless cars from the age of 21. It also sometimes happens that a person under the age of 20 is allowed to rent a convertible, but in that case an increased deductible is applied.

If it is an old-timer convertible, it may even happen that you are not allowed to drive the car yourself. The rental company often arranges a driver to take on this task itself.

Tip 4: A day of touring

Are you going on a day trip by car and are you renting a convertible for this reason? Please take the following aspects into account:

1. Convertibles generally have little luggage space.
2. In a number of convertibles there is only room for 2 people.
3. Ask in advance how many free kilometers are included in the rental price.
4. You can sometimes choose between a manual or automatic car.
5. Check in advance how it works if you want to open and close the roof alternately.

Tip 5: Buy a convertible?

Are you convinced? You are not going to rent a car without a roof, but you want to buy one yourself? Regular touring with a convertible is therefore a fantastic experience. The hair in the wind. Sun on the face. The feeling of freedom. Being one with nature and that's what I could call more. Driving in a convertible really gives an ultimate feeling of freedom.

If you are going to buy a convertible, keep in mind the pros and cons. Orient yourself well in advance and think about which model it will be. Do not only look at the car itself, but also at the roof of the car.

Tip 6: Leasing a convertible

You can lease a convertible privately, but certainly also for business. Of course it depends a bit on the industry you are in. If you opt for this, you will at least show your customers a certain appearance. Your staff will certainly thank you too. With a convertible to the customer. Who doesn't want that?

Type 7: De Cabriokap

Which convertible top is the best? To answer this question, I would like to first tell you a little more about the differences between the hoods.

The convertible soft top

First of all, we have the soft tops. These roofs are, as the name suggests, made of soft material. Made of convertible cloth. Contrary to popular belief, these hoods are very weather resistant. They are also strong and well insulated. As far as I'm concerned, the soft top gives the ultimate convertible feeling.

Cabrio soft top

The convertible hardtop

These roofs are made of hard materials and therefore the car looks more like a real car. An advantage of a convertible hardtop is that you are less bothered by wind noise. It also makes a difference whether it is a steel folding roof or a hardtop that you have to mount yourself. There are convertibles where you can mount a hardtop for the worse winter months. In the winter you mainly drive closed. In the summer you mount the summer hood.

Tip 8: Always take a test drive

Have you already listed some things for yourself? Do you really want to buy a convertible? Then definitely don't go ice cream overnight. It may seem obvious, but there are still people who buy a car without taking it for a test drive.

Alternate driving. First with the hood closed and then with the hood open.

  1. How's the view?
  2. How's the sound?
  3. Is the hood easy to fold in and out?

It is definitely recommended to take a test drive when it comes to a convertible. Only then can you really experience how the car drives. Whether it gives you that feeling you are looking for.

Tip 9: Buying a used convertible?

Isn't it the intention to buy a new open car? Would you rather look around for a second-hand convertible? This could certainly be a smart move. More second-hand convertibles are sold in the Netherlands than new ones. You will probably save on costs this way. There are a number of points that you should take into account when you choose a convertible occasion.

  1. First, determine your budget.
  2. Take test drives in different convertibles.
  3. Pay close attention to the condition of the hood. It must not be curved. It is also important that the hinge points connect properly. This is important, because otherwise you will soon be faced with a major expense if the hood needs to be replaced.
  4. Check for damage.
  5. Is the hood regularly impregnated?
  6. Check the hood for leaks. This can be done very easily with the garden hose. You will see in no time whether there is a leak.

Tip 10: Convertible marketplace

"Convertible for sale." You regularly read this sentence on marktplaats. When you are looking for a used car with an open roof, you can certainly look around on marktplaats. However, keep in mind the Tips I gave you. That way you avoid an annoying bad buy. At tip 11, a few more points in a row for you.

Cabrio Marktplaats

Tip 11: Convertible Buying Tips

  1. A convertible is and remains vulnerable. Of course, this is no reason to refrain from buying a car without a roof, but always stay alert. Pay close attention to damage.
  2. Take someone with you who understands convertibles.
  3. Check the roof extra carefully, because unfortunately the weather is not always nice in the Netherlands.
  4. Always take a test drive before purchasing.

Tip 12: Valid registration certificate

This is also one of the tips I would like to pass on to you. Believe it or not. You wouldn't be the first to set off with a stolen car. When the seller hands you a valid registration certificate (part 1, 2 and the transfer certificate), you can assume that this is OK.

Tip: Always check the identity document of any seller.

Tip 13: Check the history of the convertible

  1. Is the car well maintained?
  2. Have repairs been made?
  3. Who made these repairs?
  4. Have parts been replaced?

Tip 14: Torsional stiffness

This is really one of those things that you don't have to pay attention to when buying a normal car. When purchasing a convertible, however, I would advise you to look at the torsional stiffness. If the car is often used open, the body will bend more than with any other car. It would be a shame if the convertible vibrates and moves in an excessive way while driving. You want to enjoy yourself, don't you?

Tip 15: Buying a convertible in Germany

Some people choose to buy a convertible abroad. Germany is especially popular here. Why do people buy their convertible in Germany? I can give you a number of reasons for this.

  1. The cars are often cheaper in Germany than in the Netherlands.
  2. The quality of the occasions is usually very good.
  3. Little fraud in the area of mileage.
  4. The cars are often well maintained.

Especially the MINI convertible is very often imported from Germany. This car without a roof is very popular and unfortunately the offer is limited in the Netherlands. Looking around in Germany is therefore certainly a good idea.

Tip 16: Buy a cheap convertible

In itself, a car with an open roof is no more expensive than a "normal" car. And it is certainly possible to buy a cheap convertible. You can search for this in various places, for example on marktplaats. Are you buying an old cheap convertible? Then thank you that you may need to have a new convertible top fitted. That quickly costs around 2000 Euros. There are also always extra costs associated with a convertible. These are costs that recur regularly. By this I mean, for example, the convertible roof maintenance.

Tip 17: Impregnate convertible

It is best to impregnate the convertible every year. In this way you keep the hood in the most optimal condition. You should count on an amount of approximately 65 Euro. In addition to impregnating, it is also important to keep the hood clean.

You can read more about impregnating your convertible roof here: Improving a convertible roof? 9 Best Tips.

Tip 18: Convertible head

If you are going to drive a convertible, you will stand out even more. People often turn their heads when a car without a roof drives by. Therefore, make sure that not only the car itself is nice and clean. But also the convertible top. Of course, this also benefits the life of the convertible top.

Cleaning the convertible top? Note these points:

  1. Cleaning is best done with lukewarm water.
  2. Use a firm but soft brush.
  3. Clean the hood at least every 4 weeks.
  4. The car wash is not a good option for a convertible. See Cleaning the convertible top? Not through the car wash
  5. Do not use green soap or standard detergents. They are difficult to rinse off the cloth.
  6. Remove grout droppings immediately. This can burn in differently.
  7. Use a special shampoo for convertible tops.
  8. Rinse all cleaning agents very well.
  9. Always protect the hood after cleaning with a good impregnating agent.
  10. Clean the plastic rear window only with water and the special shampoo.
  11. Windows with heated rear window should be treated with extra care. In that case, always wipe in the direction of the copper lanes.
  12. Never use a pressure washer.
  13. Never use an ice scraper.

It is best to clean the convertible top in a number of steps.

Tip 19: Convertible in winter

I just mentioned you the ice scraper and then we automatically end up with the convertible in the winter. Does the car stand still during the winter months?

That is absolutely not necessary. You can also use the convertible on the road in winter. The cars are generally well insulated and the heating manages to make the temperature pleasant within a short time. It is even possible to drive in winter with an open roof. Of course you do this on a dry winter day and there is a good chance that you will set the heating quite high. But in this way it is quite possible to continue driving with the convertible in the winter.

A few tips here are:

  1. Leave the hood closed if the temperature drops below 10 degrees. This is better for the rubbers and the tension straps.
  2. If the hood is damp, drive it dry before opening it. When it gets too sweltering, shrinkage can occur.
  3. You should really stay away from frozen hoods.
  4. Never scrape plastic windows with an ice scraper.

Tip 20: Convertible maintenance

Most people who buy a convertible also see it as a hobby of sorts. For that reason, convertible maintenance is often no problem at all. Once again I emphasize that it is better to save the convertible a turn in the car wash. Wash the car yourself with water and car shampoo. You can only clean the convertible top with water and a special convertible top cleaner.

Also pay attention to the following things during convertible maintenance:

  1. What about the hydraulic fluid?
  2. How are the stitching on the convertible top?
  3. Is there mold on the inside of the hood?
  4. Does the rear window connection still look good?
  5. Are the printers still good?
  6. Is the impregnation still good?

When things are really broken, you will have to opt for a convertible repair. The better you maintain the convertible, the longer it will take before you need a convertible repair.

How do you keep the car in good condition for as long as possible?

  1. Do not park under trees.
  2. Not along the car wash.
  3. Do not leave a convertible top with bird droppings in the sun for a long time.
  4. Never open or close the roof while driving.
  5. Do not open the roof if the temperature is too low.

Type 21: Cabriodak repair

Sooner or later, there will come a time when a convertible roof has to be repaired. Or you opt for a new roof. Sometimes a repair can postpone a complete replacement for a while. If you are looking for a repair of the convertible roof, always work with a real specialist. Real craftsmanship is required for a perfect result.

Tip 22: Vandalism or burglary

A repair of your convertible or convertible roof is sometimes necessary if the car is not that old at all. Unfortunately, vandals make no exception for the convertibles in their annoying practices. A collision can also cause damage, so you have to look for a good repair of the convertible. In all these cases it is best to contact a convertible specialist.

Tip 23: Beautiful convertible routes

And then it's time. The convertible has been bought or rented. The sun is shining and now you want to go. Of course you can use the car for daily or weekly shopping. Or to go to work. But also look for beautiful convertible routes. There is certainly no shortage of this. A tip is also to look for motorcycle routes. These are usually also well suited for driving a convertible.

Here are some more beautiful routes:

  1. Through and along the forest. On the Veluwe you will find many beautiful routes that are suitable for a ride with the convertible. Take one of these routes at a time when the heather blooms.
  2. Along the coast. In North Holland or Belgium you will find beautiful routes that take you along dikes, villages and the coast.
  3. Along the fruit trees. There are fantastic routes that lead you over the dikes along the rivers Maas and Waal. A beautiful area to drive through.

There are also companies where you can rent a convertible for a special route. For example, take a look at: Convertible enthusiasts also like to share their most beautiful routes with each other. For this you can visit, for example, a convertible forum.

Type 24: Convertible forum

The advantage of participating in a forum is that you connect with people who have the same hobby as you. When you have a question, you often get a good answer on such a forum. The participants of a forum also share experiences with each other. Sometimes a nice group of friends arises from a forum. Special convertible clubs have been created in this way.