Convertibles avoiding summer price rise

While fuel-efficient cars such as diesels and hybrids have become increasingly popular in recent months, the convertible has dropped in price.

Any buyers willing to ignore the fact that most convertibles don’t represent great value for money with today’s fuel prices could be in luck.

New research suggests that the convertible market is fraught with bargains as prices failed to increase over spring.

EurotaxGlass’s figures show that the UK’s economic climate and the large numbers of models on the used car market are contributing to weaker prices.

Prices of drop-tops tend to rise about ten per cent between March and June, according to EurotaxGlass, but this year prices have grown “by half their normal level during spring” and are a now “starting to slide”.

Jeff Paterson, chief car editor at the firm, said: “The credit crunch is inevitably playing a part, and convertibles are particularly vulnerable to consumer belt-tightening as they are seen as a luxury purchase.

“While some models are available with more economical diesel engines, these examples remain scarce on the second-hand market,” he added.

Additional research suggests that some buyers won’t be put off by rising petrol prices and may well look for a bargain in the convertibles market.

New research from RIAS, which specialises in insurance for the over 50s, revealed that 76 per cent of drivers aged 50 or over would not stop driving because of high costs.

But while prices for open-tops remain low they are likely to attract buyers from all age groups hoping to catch a bargain in the summer months.

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