RAC Cars News


Boom in women convertible drivers

By raccars Published

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Research into 3.5 million policies by insurance company, Diamond, has shown that soft top cars are most popular with female motorists in their fifties. Nearly 7% of drivers in this demographic own convertibles, contributing to a 25% rise in sales of soft top vehicles.

While convertible ownership has increased across the board over the last 15 years, the number of female soft top buyers has quadrupled compared to a threefold rise in male owners. Industry analysis suggests that older women are profiting from their new found freedom after years of owning sensible family cars.

Four per cent of all cars on UK roads, or 1.3 million vehicles, are convertibles, and the typical owner is aged between 51 and 60, female and an investment manager. Her convertible of choice is a Mercedes and costs at least £33,000. Male buyers of convertibles are also usually in their fifties, while those in their forties, male and female, are the second largest demographic of convertible owners. This again follows the theory that convertible ownership comes after the constraints of transporting a family are released. Soft tops seem to be beyond the financial reach of younger women and are impractical for mothers of young children, compared to SUVs or estates.

As a result, only 1.31% of convertible owners are women under 20, going up to only 2.76% for women in their early twenties, 3.35% for mid twenties and 3.24% are in their late twenties. The figures remain fairly stable for women in their thirties but rise dramatically for women over 40.

Apart from the Mercedes SK at the top of the list, smaller, more affordable convertibles, such as the Mini, Peugeot 206 and 307, VW Beetle and Ford StreetKa, are most popular, while female soft top owners tend to have fairly high powered jobs in the corporate sector, such as company director, merchant banker, management consultant, marketing chief, lawyer or sales manager.

The Mercedes SLK is also the most popular soft top among male buyers, but is largely followed by higher end, sportier options than those chosen by women, including the BMW Z4, Porsche Boxster, Mercedes CLK and BMW 330. The Mazda MX-5, Audi A4 and Renault Megane feature in the top ten convertible buys of both sexes.

Convertible sales in the UK dipped for a few years as a result of the financial crisis and bad wet weather but have been booming since last year.

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