Cabriolet every day, not just when it’s warm and sunny!
Here’s an interesting fact for you – we’re a nation of cabriolet lovers. Yes, it’s true, despite us having pretty rubbish weather in the UK in the summer, we’re still tempted by the idea of driving along country lanes with the wind whistling through our hair. So much so, in fact, that the UK one of the largest markets for soft-tops in the world.
Why? We’ll let two of our lovely cabriolet-owning Zutonites, Jo and Hayley, answer that one.
“The best bit is being able to get the top down in the summer and going out in the countryside, in the dark, with the roof down and let the kids do some star gazing and really take in their surroundings – it is amazing how different everything looks with the roof down!”
And Hayley told us,
“Country drives and roadtrips just feel so much nicer when you have a breeze and decent view of your surroundings.” Sounds fantastic, don’t you think?
And while it’s easy to see how lovely a drive in the warm evening sunshine would be, driving with the top down when the weather turns colder, is a little trickier.
This lack of warm sunny weather can make buying a cabriolet seem like a poor investment. But with these simple fixes to resolve the two main gripes we found on cabriolet forums: too much noise and wind, we hope you can see that soft-top diving can be comfortable at any time of the year.
Noise reduction in a Cabriolet:
One of the main problems cabriolet driver come across is noise. That’s engine noise, road noise and general people and life noise. Mix that in with the increased volume needed to enjoy your favourite song as you drive and it can get very loud.
And very loud can become a bigger problem than it just being inconvenient for a chat. For example, a study carried out by the St Louis University of School of medicine showed that drivers of cabriolets exposed themselves to damaging levels of noise when travelling at just 55mph, which is not very fast. That’s not something we want from our lazy Sunday afternoon ride out.
But there is an easy solution. Alpine Hearing Protection have created MotoSafe ear plugs. These allow you to protect your hearing from the noise you’ll experience while driving with the top down. They have special filters on them that block out the unwanted noise, but still allow you to hear conversation and the other important road noise, like emergency sirens.
The Alpine MotorSafe ear plugs cost £19.95, so a bargain really for all that extra comfort.
They can also stop the wind rushing into your ears, helping to avoid earache. But if it’s wind you’re worried about, our next suggestion is even better, and helps when the weather is cooler too.
Wind reduction in a Cabriolet:
According to JustRoadster, many cabriolet drivers don’t anticipate that the wind will be a problem, until they get on the road and realise it is. In fact, without the proper protection, ‘driving over 55mph can be very unpleasant.’ This creates a number of issues, the main ones being: it makes you feel cold, it dries your skin out and it can fling things in your face as you’re driving along – none of which make for a particularly pleasant experience.
The solution is wind deflectors, and JustRoadster have created a range of mesh and perspex wind deflectors for pretty much every make of cabriolet available in the UK.
They fit easily between the headrests of your seats without any drilling or gluing involved. And they keep the wind, and everything else that comes with it, off you, helping you stay warmer and bug and dust free. This allows you to get the best experience from your soft-top driving in the cool weather, meaning you can use it for much more than a summer Sunday afternoon drive.
Prices start at £145 upwards depending on the make and model of car.
Just these two bits of kit will make your soft-top driving much, much more enjoyable. And, if you can enjoy soft-top driving for much longer, it makes it a better investment. So go on, now there’s no excuse.
Three top tips
And to finish, here are three top tips from the cabriolet owners at Zuto:
Tip 1 – be careful where you park – Hayley told us:
“Parking, particularly with a mechanised hard top, make sure there’s enough space for the folding mechanism and nothing is going to get trapped or scratched.”
Tip 2 – keep flying things at bay – Zutonite Stephanie says:
“Make sure there’s nothing in the car that can fly out while you’re driving… a fair few random receipts or crisp wrappers have flown out from time to time!”
Tip 3 – And a final tip from Zutonite, Ian:
“Get the roof down, find the open road to get your foot down and have fun, that’s what it’s about!
If you’re thinking of getting a convertible, you should speak to us. Zuto can find you the right finance and, if you don’t already have a car in mind, our team of car buying experts can help. We also have a team of trusted dealers throughout the UK, who can help make your car buying experience safe and seamless.
Thanks to Zutonites Jo Wiseman, Hayley Milward and Ian Whitham.