Ladies driving a convertible

I’ve read somewhere that the UK is the biggest market in Europe for convertibles with women choosing to buy more and more of these very fashionable cars. So what has lead to this growing fact?
It wasn’t that long ago that to take the roof down on any modern sports car or cabriolet meant wrestling with heavy latches that invariably cause frustration and possibly lead to a fist full of broken nails and bruised knuckles. Those days, thankfully, are no more as the trend has been towards power hoods that automatically detach themselves before silently folding away behind a very grateful driver.

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Many cars, like the Porsche Boxster still demand that the driver must take the roof free from the windscreen before the roof will fold away, but at least the catch is easy to use and won’t bite your hand off!
This relatively small change to the way convertibles now work has allowed a significant number of new customers, including large numbers of women, to consider convertibles as their first choice of transport. The new generation of cabriolet offers a practical solution for modern motoring as well as being a lot of fun to own and drive. The fitting of wind deflectors has also had a huge effect on creating a much more pleasant environment when driving with the roof down. No longer do you have to exit from the car looking like you’ve spent the last ten minutes in an industrial wind tunnel. These simple devices create a calm and relaxing atmosphere in the cockpit, allowing expensive hair styling to stay at their place.

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Women are a significant force in the new car-buying sector these days. They buy over 35 per cent of all new cars – many of them soft-tops or the new folding tin tops favoured by Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Renault, Daihatsu and Lexus. These cars offer coupe styling with the added benefit of being able to convert to an open-air vehicle in seconds with only the touch of a button.

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Another important reason why women are buying so many convertibles these days is that like clothes, sunglasses and shoes, the convertible, for many, has become a fashion icon. Cars like the Ford Street Ka, Mazda MX-5 and the Peugeot 206 CC are everywhere. They are chic, stylish and they attract your eyes. That’s not to say that men don’t value the same qualities. Men as well as women like to be seen driving something that others desire. The difference with women is that they have no inhibitions about saying “Hey! Look at me!” and what is more they enjoy it as well.

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Security is always considered as an important reason why women buy certain cars. In the past, convertibles were seen as insecure because of their fabric roofs and fallible locking mechanism. It is true that the women didn’t feel as secure in a vehicle with a rag roof as they did with a steel one above them. But the statistics show that the fear of being attacked in a car is greater than the reality of what really goes on.

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Figures from the West Midlands police show that of the 28,000 motorway calls to police last year only 5 per cent were from lone women and none involved an assault. Even so, it is of great concern to most women and manufacturers have responded by making their vehicles, including convertibles and cabriolets, more secure with alarms, central locking and immobilisers.
At the end of the day, women buy sports cars and cabriolets for the same reasons as men. Today’s females know what they want and have the buying power to demand it.

Tags: cars, convertible, Porsche Boxster, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Renault, Daihatsu, Lexus, Ford Street Ka, Mazda MX-5, Peugeot 206, sports cars

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