RAC Cars News


Convertible Cars On a Budget

By raccars Published

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Recent research, showing cabriolets are far more popular with the well heeled, didn't exactly come as a surprise, as convertible cars have never been considered a budget option. However in the interests of democracy, here are a few convertibles that will allow even buyers on the tightest of budgets to make the most of the British summer. All can be found for under £1,000.

Peugeot's Pinifarina treated 306 Cabriolet from the 1990s was well enough designed in the first place to still look stylish today. There are plenty of these on the market in the sub-£1,000 range, but you'll have to pay attention to avoid untidy interiors.

The following decade's Peugeot 206 Coupe Cabriolet once made quite a splash but is now beginning to look old fashioned. On the plus side, this means budget customers can now afford to pick up one of these funky little roadsters with the smart folding metal roof at under £1,000.

Classic Saab 900 Convertibles at under £1,000 are thin on the ground and those available tend to be so because they require a lot of work. However, the later generation NG900 is a classy alternative, that's surprisingly cheap and can easily be found within the limits of the budget.

The VW Golf Cabriolet is a classic summer soft top and £1,000 will buy you a Mk3 version in good condition or a slightly less tidy Mk4. For that price, the mileage is likely to be high but as long as the car has a full service history, that's rarely a problem in a Golf.

The Audi Cabriolet was good enough for Princess Diana in the 1990s and still looks good today. Audi's legendary build quality means you can expect to find plenty of good examples within the budget, even if the handling is a little vague.

The BMW Z3 only just makes it onto the list, but if your haggling skills are good, you might be able to make James Bond's car of choice in 1996's Goldeneye fit the bill.

If something a little more retro takes your fancy, have a look at a Mk3 Ford Escort Cabriolet. You'll have to search hard to find a tidy example and you may have to put up with a bit of blue smoke upon ignition, but you'll be displaying some serious Dempsey and Makepeace cool.

However, the stunning Alfa Romeo Spider is a car that would look good in any decade. Grab one now before classic status puts up the prices of this delicious slice of Italian design. It's a nice little performer too.

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