Convertible car sales are set to fall as Brits shun open-top vehicles for affordable alternatives amid growing cost of living pressures.
Enquiries for new and used cabriolets and convertibles have fallen 59% compared to the same period in 2021, data from online car marketplace carwow suggests, bucking the trend of surging interest for the vehicles during the summer months.
Recent hot weather has done little to rouse consumer interest in open-top vehicles, with enquiries in the first two weeks of July down 14% compared to the last two weeks in June.
The UK is typically one of the largest markets in Europe for sales of convertible cars.
Carwow consumer editor Hugo Griffiths said: “In a typical year we might see demand rise further due to a sustained period of good weather, yet this year the trend is clearly very different.
“Convertibles are often seen as luxury purchases, and that might be out of step with the current economic climate where ongoing rises in household bills dominate the headlines.”
It comes after data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders showed car registrations fell 24% in June to 140,948 cars, while Diesel registrations for the first six months of 2022 fell by more than half compared to the same period in 2021.
It comes after vehicle refinancing business Car Credible reported a surge in sales as customers seek to part-exchange pricey cars bought on finance in a bid to cut down on expenses.
Car Credible founder Jae Chalfin told the Standard in May: “In the last 6-8 weeks we have seen customers really engage a lot more and the platform today is that more relevant to two months ago.”
“People have bought these cars on finance…and clearly people are seeing the headlines and feeling the cost of living crisis.”
“A lot of people will be very much under pressure and looking to save money on their household bills…we are saving customers in the region of £100 a month.”