Top Down Motoring Can Be Cheaper Than You Thought

If you thought the idea of driving a convertible was out of your price range, think again. There are some great cars out there for as little as £1,000.

Last winter took its toll on all of us, but even more so on our cars. The heavily salted roads and the freezing conditions were enough to push many vehicles that were nearing the end of their useful lives over the edge.

Still more are now receiving that dreaded fail sheet from the MOT test centre, having fallen victim to the corrosive power of the grit that filled the roads for so many months.

If you find yourself looking for a scrap car quote for your old car, you can cheer yourself up with the thought that now is the perfect time to replace it with a convertible. It doesn’t have to cost the earth. In fact, why not treat yourself to some top-down fun with one of these cheap and cheerful ideas for around the £1,000 mark?

1) Mazda MX-5

It’s the car that put convertibles back on the map, using the tried and tested format of front engine and rear wheel drive. The first generation MX-5s are now more than 20 years old, and are recognised as classics, while the Mark 2s, (1998 onwards) are more powerful and have less to go wrong. Best of all, you can pick one up in sound condition for less than £1,000.

2) Saab 9-3

Of course, if you need to throw the kids into the back and get the weekly shopping, the MX-5 is not the car for you. But the Saab 9-3 convertible shows you can have big, beautiful (in its own way), fun and affordable, all in one package. The Swedish classic also has great build quality and reliability on its side. For £1,000, you can pick up a late 90s / early 00s model. The Vector 1.8 delivers perfectly adequate performance, but for added excitement, look out for a 2.8 V6 Aero. If you though Saabs were boring, prepare to be surprised!

3)  Renault Megane

For style and fun on a budget, the Megane is hard to beat. The 2006-2009 versions can be bought with a full MOT and service history for as little as £800. With prices that low and plenty on the market, you can afford to be choosy, so look for a 2.0 litre Privilege edition with a manual gearbox for the best driving experience.

4) BMW 3-series

A BMW convertible for £1,000? Is that really possible? The Bavarian bruisers are popular, reliable and go on forever as long as they are serviced regularly, meaning there are plenty around from the late 90s and early 00s in the sub £1,500 bracket. The 318 benefits from better fuel economy and lower insurance prices due to the smaller engine, but whichever one you opt for, just check there are no warning lights on and make sure the hood motor works as it should. This was one of the few areas of weakness, and most pre-2003 cars that are still around today will have already had a new one fitted.

Published by will Ent