It’s a sad fact of life that if you are going to enjoy the benefits of driving a cabriolet, you will have to pay more money in running costs. If you love the warmth, sunshine, fresh air and increased visibility of a convertible, you accept this. Why do convertibles cost more? There are two main reasons. One is the eventual need for a convertible top replacement. The other is higher insurance costs.

One way to extend the time interval before your next car roof replacement is by keeping it covered when it is not being driven. This can be achieved by keeping it in a covered car port, a fully enclosed garage, or, if you can’t avoid parking it outdoors, investing in a car cover. There are indoor covers and outdoor covers so, if you are going to park your car outside, make sure you get an outdoor car cover.

Keeping the top clean is very important. Canvas tops can accumulate algae in damp weather. These tiny, plant-like organisms secrete chemicals that can damage the fabric of the car. A clean top also looks better. All it takes is a gentle touch with a soft brush.

Do you own a cat? Whether you do or not, there may be cats lurking around your neighborhood. These furry little freaks love to sit on your car’s soft roof. They also have sharp claws that have the ability to shred your cloth top. A soft car roof provides the neighborhood cats with a perfect vantage point from which to monitor their territory. It is also more comfy than a hard top, particularly if it has been in the sun all day soaking up heat.

Another thing that causes wear and tear of a convertible car roof is the frequency the top is put up and down. This happens whether you have an electrically operated top or whether you have to manipulate it by hand. There is not a lot you can do about this. The whole reason you bought a convertible is so you can drive it with the top down as often as weather permits.

The metal frame of your soft top is also subject to becoming worn or rusted. If necessary, keep the hardware dry and clean. Finally, if you have a motor-powered electric top, this, too, can wear off.

The day will eventually come when you have to break down and get your car a new roof. This is a good time to experiment with a different color or to upgrade a plastic rear window to one made of glass. Harsh sunlight can take its toll on a plastic window. They can also tear or get ripped. Another advantage to a glass rear window is the fact that it can have window heating elements built right in.

The best time for a convertible top replacement is before it starts to look scruffy enough to affect its resale value. Following the guidance above will help to prolong the time before you need to do this.

Read more about How To Avoid Convertible Top Replacement.