Apr 242008

toplessDespite our notoriously unpredictable summers, it seems British drivers just cannot get enough of open top driving, according to the latest figures from Carcraft, one of the UK’s largest used car hypermarket chains.

The company’s sales figures reveal a 33 percent increase in the volume of convertibles sold between 2006 and 2007, meaning that they now account for almost 5 percent of its total used car sales.

Barry Nightingale, managing director at Carcraft said: “The number of people opting for convertible driving is growing year on year, which is less surprising than it may seem. Used car prices show that coupe and cabriolet models tend to retain more value than their more practical hatchback or saloon counterparts, making them a worthwhile investment.

“The sportier appearance of convertible models helps to give them a wide appeal, meaning their residual value consistently outperforms other models.”

Most popular choices according to Carcraft’s figures continue to be classic models such as the, the MGF and Peugeot 206 but newer prestige models such as the BMW 3-Series and Z4 are also popular sellers.

Nightingale added: “As their appeal continues to grow, we are also seeing more manufacturers competing to tap into the trend by introducing their own convertible models – with 16 new launches in 2007 alone.”

This record number of launches combined with increasing numbers of new convertible sales over the last three years means that the used car market is currently offering its widest selection ever.

Nightingale added: “Savvy buyers know that now is the time to snap up a soft-top bargain as sales rooms are offering greater choice than ever before when it comes to second-hand convertibles.

“Since the start of April we have already seen a significant rise in buyers searching for the best summer sellers at Carcraft and we expect 2008 to be our biggest year for convertibles to date.”

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