California - Convertible car
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jun 30, 2013 8:33 PM Last Post By: marlajfish
Jun 26, 2013 2:49 AM
California - Convertible carHi - i'm planning a two week driving trip through California in August and always fancied driving a convertible car over there. They are nearly twice the cost of a similar car (i'm not looking for a cheapie compact) but I was wondering whether the reality is that you spend most of the time with the roof down as the heat/wind etc means the fun wears off after a while and its wasted money? I'm not on a budget, just wondered whether its wasted money?
Also any other tips on car hire are welcome, e.g. do most people get insurance?
Jun 26, 2013 3:47 AM
1We once rented a convertible in Hawaii. We drove from the airport to our friend's condo, and when we got there, she laughed and said, "oh, they talked you into the tourist package, huh?"
It wasn't that much more expensive (I think it was only an extra $10 or $20 per day). Also, we had always thought we wanted to buy a convertible someday, so it seemed like a good idea to rent one.
I must say, it cured me of the desire to own a convertible. I didn't like the feel of my hair flying around in the wind. So, sometimes we didn't take the top down and, when we did, I put a bunch of bobby pins in my hair to keep it in place.
Yes, in a sense it was wasted money for the duration of the trip. On the other hand, it made me reconsider what kind of car to buy the next time we were in the market. I guess that was worth it.
Jun 26, 2013 5:17 AM
2California is a great atmosphere for a rag top, the problem is, when are you going and where? Its a big state and a lot of climates, can be very foggy around the SF Bay area, cool on the mountains, and hot as heck in LA/San Diego...
I always get a regular car/suv
Alamo lets you choose a car in any class, so you can sometimes get one with a sunroof in Full size...
Jun 26, 2013 6:43 AM
3I've ridden in a convertible maybe twice in my entire life and didn't really like it for the reasons you identified. However, if all my life I'd dreamed of driving along the Pacific coast in a convertible, then unless the extra money was exorbitant -- and you say it's within your budget -- I would at least get the convertible so I could experience it for a little bit. Then you can always put the top up and drive it as a regular car the rest of the time. The question for you is whether your desire to have that (to you) once-in-a-lifetime experience is worth the extra money. It's not as if choosing the convertible and not liking it means you've screwed yourself out of a car.
Also, yes, you should get insurance to cover the rental car. The rental car agency will offer this when you pick it up, but you can also get it (usually more cheaply) through other means, such as your credit card, your usual insurance company, or a third party that helped arrange the rental. But you should definitely get it.
Jun 26, 2013 7:12 AM
Jun 26, 2013 7:29 AM
5It could be fun to rent one while driving around LA.
Do the Southern California sun and palm trees fantasy.
Remember that a convertible has much less storage for luggage to leave room in the back for the top down, and a soft top is easier to cut into to steal your luggage.
A convertible to drive up Hwy 1 through Big Sur is fun but often in summer very cold and windy with fog. You end up wearing a jacket and hat. Good view of the mountains though.
I owned a convertible sports car for a few years on the Monterey Peninsula where a driver can go from sun to fog within a few miles. I could reach back and put up the top while at a stop light. Most are not that easy to put up.
I am over owning a convertible.
Jun 26, 2013 11:46 AM
6I own a convertible roadster and it is the most fun car I have ever owned. I've driven cross country with the top down and as long as I can keep the speed up (interstate highways) it doesn't really matter if it is raining. It also has a good heater and heated seats so I can drive comfortably down to 40 F (4 C). In California in summer in the desert, all I need is a broad brimmed hat, sun block and plenty of water.
Jun 26, 2013 1:37 PM
Jun 26, 2013 5:43 PM
8I owned an MGB convertible roadster for 6 years when I lived in the San Francisco Bay area. I enjoyed driving it; however, I was very careful about finding safe locations to park my car because of the theft factor -- slicing through the fabric roof to steal anything inside. The roadster that I owned did have a good size trunk for carrying luggage, but that depends on how much luggage you yourself plan to carry. I drove the MGB in all weather, including to the Sierra Nevada snow during the winter. It had a good heater. For the fog, just wear a warm hat and scarf and jacket and mittens when you have the top down.
Jun 26, 2013 10:46 PM
9Thanks all - good stuff, although its made the decision harder as the responses are 50/50! We will be driving from LA up to San Francisco then inland for a few days, then round to Las Vegas and Palm Springs before heading back into LA. Two weeks in all so i suppose we will experience a variety of weather. But...you can always put the roof down so i reckon i'll give it a bash. Although I have always wanted to drive a Dodge Charger.....!!
Jun 27, 2013 5:45 AM
Jun 27, 2013 8:55 AM
Jun 30, 2013 8:33 PM
12If you decide to spend the extra money to rent a convertible, you can always put the top up when it's hot. I bought a convertible when I first moved here and enjoyed it at first, then got tired of baking in the sun while I sat stuck in traffic. Still, it's an experience. Be aware of you have long hair it can really be a pain.
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