Buying a used convertible is something a lot of people do every single year, and most typically, in the summer months when it’s time to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. Just like any used car, however, buying a used convertible should still be taken with caution. Any car can have issues but adding a wholly unique system of working parts on top of the usual facilities of a car only means even more that can go wrong. This is where thinking about what you’re doing and what to look out for really does help you out.
General Car Considerations
The first place to think when you’re buying a used car is what you actually want from the car itself. There’s more to cars than just the type of roof that it has after all. Each of these can really make or break the car that you choose to buy.
Boot space is one of the quickest things to be impacted by a convertible. Having that folding roof system means that there has to be space in the car to be able to store it, after all. That means in almost every case, there’s less boot. If you want to get that space back to a practical level, it may be time to start looking at bigger models of convertibles, and maybe something less sporty.
Engine size is a huge part of any car buying decision. Convertibles tend to be small, speedy sports-based cars since these are the most fun to drive for a lot of people. Convertibles cater for that, too. You can get anything in a convertible, from a ford KA to a range rover sport, and the difference in engine size can really make your head spin. Make sure you don’t get too caught up in the excitement and that you buy a car that’s actually suited to you and your driving needs, as well as what it will cost to run.
In just the same way as boot and engine sizes, it’s pivotal to remember that you need to think about the number of seats that you want as well. Is it going to be used just for fun during Sunday driving between you and your partner? Taking the kids on a road trip? Just you, cruising the motorways? There are different sized convertibles to cater to all of it.
Type of convertible
Lastly, it’s essential, maybe above all else, to think about the type of convertible that you are going to buy. More specifically, if you are going to buy a used convertible, do you want a hard or soft top? They have pros and cons after all. Hardtops may take up more boot space, but be much safer to park. Soft tops may be much easier to break into if you’re leaving them on a street, but may be much easier to convert, and may not need the complicated electronics a hard top does.
Things to Inspect on the Convertible
Once you have actually picked the kind of car that you want to get, it’s time to dig a little bit deeper. When you’re buying a used convertible, you still need to check everything you normally would when buying another car, and even more.
Electric functionality (speed, sound, button functionality)
If a convertible uses an electrical conversion system, i.e., a button or switch that changes the roof placement, you need to make sure it works. Properly, at that. Test it more than anything else. Make sure that it’s relatively seamless. Any juddering, loud noises or sticking means that there could well be a big problem with the roof, and that can be a deal-breaker. Electrics is rarely an easy thing to fix, and could cost you more than the car is worth if it’s an especially complicated process.
Converted Roof Health
On top of the electrical systems that go behind checking a convertible before buying it, checking the condition of the roof itself is also essential. If it’s a soft top, check for things like marks or holes in the material, or where it might have perished over time. If it’s a hardtop, perhaps check for scraping or where things aren’t fitting together as they should. It might not be watertight. Either way, also make sure you check from proper latching and unlatching. This can make the whole thing a real pain if it doesn’t fit right.
Since you’re buying a car without a constant roof with a convertible, many cars have a similar problem in having a lack of sturdiness when in motion. The lack of a fixed roof means the chassis may isn’t as supported as it should be. If it’s been exposed to years of wear and tear, then it can amplify. The result can be a very uncomfortable and shaky ride at best or a dangerous vehicle at the worst.
The car as a whole
Finally, as with all cars, don’t forget to check the rest of the vehicle too. Experts like CarExamer do this for you, but if you do want to do it yourself, don’t forget all of the usual suspects, like:
The list goes on, but any used car can be an accident waiting to happen, and for the small price of an inspection, it could be worth having it checked out since they are such a low price.