The UK is a Huge Market for Convertible Cars, but How Many Of Us Get Our Tops Off?
Surprisingly, given our weather, Britain is one of the world’s biggest markets for convertible cars, but most owners never drop the hood according to a new survey from German car maker Audi.
The survey took place in August which is just the time of year you would think we would all be topless if we could and revealed that almost two thirds (64%) of owners of convertible cars in Britain, rarely ever take their tops down.
The matter gets even weirder when its revealed that almost half of cabriolet or convertible owners (46%) only chose a soft top car because of the way it looked rather than the wind-in-the-hair driving experience and it seems the primary reason for choosing a soft top car is the cachet of owning an exotic open topped car rather than the fantastic practicality of choosing top up, just like a saloon, or top down, just like a sports car.
OK, so we know now not many of us get our tops off, but from those that do, the survey says that its women who prefer to drop the canvass and enjoy the fresh air, with 39% of women asked saying that they almost always drive their cars with the roof down, with only 17% saying they never removed their tops, whilst for men, just 32% said they mostly drive with the hood down whilst a not much lower 27% said they never drop the roof.
Not content, Audi decided to take this a bit further and found out who the drivers were that liked it out in the open and the research revealed that the largest group were the 25 to 34 year olds and that those living in the East Midlands were well above the national average when it came to getting the top down more frequently.
Audi say that the UK is the biggest export market in the world for the 4 cabriolets it offers and put that down to owners wanting more choice, and British drivers grabbing the chance to drop their roof, especially as the weather in the UK is so changeable. That said, everyone acknowledges that even with the hood up, a soft top car still looks out of the ordinary and highly desirable.
Fact is that it’s the “so so” weather in the UK that makes these things great. I thought I was being smart grabbing a cabriolet from a rental company whilst on holiday in Spain at the same price as a normal air-conditioned hatchback, but found myself not being able to put the hood down, because it was too damn hot and not even getting cool with the hood up as the convertible didn’t come with air-con.
So its pretty obvious why convertibles sell in the UK, as we’ve got a climate that lets you get the hood down, even if it does mean putting the heating on at the same time, and most of us love our cars and frankly, the “flasher” they are the better and of course, with such a big company car market in the UK, if your boss is going to let you have a soft top, its going to look to the whole world as if you own it, rather than it being your company car and that’s kind of cool I guess.