You are a person who likes to have fun. Practicality aside, you want the wind in your hair, the sounds of the open road, and the assurance that you drive the coolest car on the street. Every kid dreams of growing up to own a convertible, and while it’s not always the choice that makes the most sense, it’s a choice that always results in a good time.

You will quickly discover that a convertible will cost you more than a standard car, but before you get discouraged, you can get your hands on the convertible of your dreams by working through a reputable dealer to find a used or rebuilt title car, elevating your purchasing power far beyond what it would be with a brand new car.

If you are ready to fill the space in your garage with a new ride, it’s now a matter of narrowing your search to find the convertible that is right for you. Here are some basic questions you can ask yourself to prepare for the journey of convertible ownership.

Tips for Buying a Used Convertible


What Are The Most Common Convertible Types?

Convertibles come in various styles, and while there are a few niche convertible markets, like SUVs and off-road convertibles, most car buyers will choose between two seats or four.

A roadster (two-seater convertible) is a surefire way to take your favorite person on a driving adventure they will never forget. These convertibles are small, agile, and fun to drive. With no back seat and limited storage space, a roadster won’t accommodate kids or excess luggage but is the perfect vehicle for a scenic drive or a quick weekend getaway.

A cabriolet (four-seater convertible) allows you to bring more friends along for the ride. A four-seater is more versatile, with more space for passengers or cargo. While nearly as sporty as a roadster, you will sacrifice performance for usability.

What Types of Convertible Tops Are Available?

Car manufacturers have made huge strides in creating user-friendly convertible tops. They fall into two distinct categories, each having pros and cons.

Soft-top convertibles are the classic choice. When you think of a convertible, this comes to mind first. Made of fabric or vinyl, this top retracts quickly and efficiently when the sun peeks out on a perfect spring day. The perks of the soft top are that they are lightweight and can be opened or closed quickly as the weather changes. The downside is that you will hear more road noise, and they are easier for thieves to access when unattended.

Hard-top convertibles are a more modern innovation. A steel top seamlessly integrates into the car’s frame when closed but can be stowed away in the cargo space when desired. A hard top is more durable, provides extra security, and reduces road noise. But they tend to be more expensive, and the stowage compartment for the top reduces the car’s cargo space.

What Should I Know About Owning a Convertible Before I Buy?

As you begin to narrow down your search and zone in on the perfect convertible for you, there are a few things that you should know.

  • Convertibles are more expensive than their counterparts. Manufactured in smaller numbers, with a complex system to operate the top, the price of these cars is higher than a sedan or coupe.
  • Convertibles will also be more expensive to maintain. The components that work the top require additional maintenance, and your interior will be exposed to the elements, causing wear. If you buy a soft top, you must also factor in replacing it every 5-7 years.
  • A convertible has less cargo space. The top tucks away when retracted, typically stealing some space from the rear cargo area.
  • Convertibles are more prone to leaks. If these leaks go undetected, they can cause damage to the interior, your dash in particular. Leaks can be mitigated with proper storage and maintenance.
  • Convertibles have higher Insurance premiums. Damages to convertibles can often be more costly to repair, and your insurance company will pass that risk on to you.
  • Convertibles will cost you more at the pump. Manufacturers have beefed up support systems for performance and safety, making convertibles heavier than regular sedans. The open top also creates more drag, driving up your fuel costs.
  • Convertibles aren’t a low-maintenance option. Soft tops, in particular, need regular cleanings to keep them in tip-top shape, especially in hot weather. Minor tears, rips, or leaks must be addressed immediately before becoming something worse.
  • Convertibles have come a long way in terms of safety. While they were once considered a more dangerous option, manufacturers use innovative systems of roll bars and safety headers to keep you safe in the event of a rollover accident.
  • Convertibles give you a 360° view of the world. When the top is down, it eliminates most blind spots, providing a unique and uninhibited view of the scenery.

Now that you’ve researched and decided to make a move, all that stands between you and the wind in your hair is a visit to TJ Chapman. Our Utah auto dealership will work to get you into the car you want and ship it anywhere in the country. We have been selling rebuilt cars (sometimes called reconstructed title cars) since 2009, passing on a deep discount to his customers. Every car sold undergoes a 150-point inspection by a third party and a personally backed peace of mind warranty.