Heaven for some drivers is simply sitting behind the wheel of a tasty little convertible, top-down, roaring along with an open road in front and blue skies above.
However, convertibles are often pricey new and beyond the budget of many ordinary drivers. But if you’re determined to ‘live the dream’ there are good deals to be had on the second-hand market without spending a fortune.
The insurance cover can be more expensive than for more standard cars though, so shop around doubly hard to get the right deal at the right price using online comparison sites and insurance brokers.
Here are five used top-down convertibles the experts recommend for under £10,000:
Nissan 350Z Roadster
Price: Around £8,000 for a 2010 model.
The Nissan 350Z Roadster, as chosen by used car specialists Parkers.co.uk, is a bit of a beast, with a 3.5-litre V6 engine.
Parkers says it has a quick-to-activate fabric roof, and comes with lots of additional benefits including heated seats, leather upholstery, a Bose sound system and great-looking alloy wheels.
Mercedes-Benz CLK Cabriolet
Price: Around £7,500 for a 2009 model
Another Parkers’ recommendation is a Mercedes-Benz CLK Cabriolet. But get the automatic version as the manuals are said to have a ‘slow, awkward shift’.
The car looks stunning and Parkers.co.uk says it oozes the usual Mercedes class. It also has four seats, which is a bonus for those with little ones. Try and get one with good service history as repair costs are often more expensive for Mercedes’ cars than less high-end motoring brands.
Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 2.0 TDI SE
Price: Around £8,500 for a low-mileage 2013 model
One of consumer magazine WhatCar’s motoring expert’s top recommendations for a used four-seater convertible, made in the Independent newspaper, is a Volkswagen Gold Cabriolet TDI SE, 2-litre, around 6 years old.
Although the drive of the Golf Cabriolet is described as not as ‘sharp’ as other drop-tops, the car makes up for it with ‘practicality, ease-of-use’ and family-friendly ways.’ Also, Volkswagens are renowned for reliability, which is always reassuring.
Mazda MX-5 2.0i Sport Tech
Price: Around £8,000 for a low-mileage 2011 model
The WhatCar expert’s pick over-all for a used top-down car, suggested via the Independent newspaper, whether four-seats or two, is the Mazda MX-5 with a 2-litre engine.
The MX-5 2.0i might not be the fastest, but it will still have you ‘grinning with enjoyment’. It ‘handles neatly’ and ticks all the right boxes for those looking for a good price-to-quality ratio, being ‘relatively cheap and very reliable’.
Mini Cooper 1.6 convertible
Price: Around £6,000 for a mid-mileage 2011 model
Experts writing for consumer champion website ThisisMoney.co.uk pick out a Mini Cooper convertible with a 1.6-litre engine.
The Cooper is ‘well-built’, ‘easy-to-drive’ and ‘one of the most fun’ convertibles out there. Another bonus is an efficient engine, which not many drop-tops have, that gives you almost 50mpg!
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