It might not seem like a good idea, but buying a convertible during the winter makes a great deal of sense. Car price guide Glass’s says that the seasonal dip in demand as the weather worsens means that you can chop up to £1700 from the asking price of some used premium convertibles. And with modern roof designs making cabins more weatherproof, a convertible can be used all year round. ‘A Mercedes SLK 320 on an 03 plate will depreciate by £3825 during 2004,’ said Glass’s valuation expert Richard Crosthwaite, ‘but 65 per cent of this depreciation occurs from August onwards.’ We found an 18-month old SLK 320 for sale at Mercedes-Benz of Gloucester for £23,850 – at least £2000 lower than its book price two months ago – and a similar ’03 car with only 6000 miles at Mercedes-Benz Brighton for just £150 more.
Moving upmarket, a BMW 645Ci convertible on an 04 plate was up for £49,995 at Rydale BMW in Birmingham, £8000 below October’s valuation. Trawling the internet uncovered two Audi 3.0-litre V6-powered A4 convertibles, both on 03 plates, and both available for under £24,000 – a tidy £3000 less than the summer’s prices. And although it’s too early for the latest Mercedes-Benz CLK cabriolet to attract such discounts, it is possible to find similar savings on the ever-popular BMW 3-series convertible.