DRIVING will be expensive – unless fuel prices escalate, the cars themselves will become more expensive due to supply chain issues.
But cheap driving is still possible and cheap thrills don’t come easier than in a cheap drop-top motor.
We love open tops here in the UK and buy more for our size than any other nation in Europe. Must be our cracking weather.
The good news is that if you’re on a budget, the used market is awash with bargains ready to be enjoyed this summer.
You don’t need to spend a lot either – we’ve found four brilliant bargains that can be found for under £2,000 and don’t burn much fuel.
Even better, by the time you’ve had your fun and winter rolls in, they’re all desirable enough to easily resell.
These days, MG focuses on electric cars, but has been known for decades for making beautiful two-seat roadsters with racing pedigree.
The MG F wasn’t universally loved new in 1995, but you can now snag decent low-mileage examples for around £1500, making it a solid choice.
It drives well, and its small petrol engines mean you don’t have to race on fuel.
As with all open tops, look inside for damp patches to avoid leaking roofs, but some MG Fs tend to have tired suspension, so watch out for knocks on the test drive.
Saab is no longer with us after being reversed in 2011, but there are plenty on the used market.
The 9-3 was a smart looking, quality car that drove well and looks like a real bargain today.
Inside, there’s room for four adults, many come with leather seats, and fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines are offered.
Try to spend close to £2000 on a good one, check the roof for leaks and the front tires for wear.
BMW’s reinvention of the Mini may seem like yesterday, but it was actually more than 20 years ago.
That means prices for early Cooper Convertible models look very attractive, with plenty of decent examples around the £2000 mark.
Like all Minis, the Cabrio feels agile and its small engines guzzle fuel.
Check that the power roof is healthy and working properly, and watch out for any suspension banging and dashboard clatter during the road test.
For around £1700 you can have a Mercedes drop-top in your lifetime – and not an old snot either.
The press didn’t rave about the SLK at launch, but at this money it has to be on your list of cheap summer engines.
It corners well, is comfortable over the long haul and none of its engines for the money are going to cost you much fuel.
The SLK has a reputation for reliability, so just make sure the roof is working properly and try to buy a car with as much service history as possible.