- We pick our favourite low-cost convertibles
- All three of our cars emit under 120g/km
- Could one from our list convince your fleet manager?
There’s nothing that quite beats open-top motoring during the summer months but unfortunatly for company car drivers, they're pretty hard to come by on user chooser lists.
'Why?' I hear you ask. Well, the convertibles of old usually carried expensive price tags, minimal practicality levels and crucially for company car drivers, high running costs.
Today’s generation of drop-tops offer impressive all-round packages which combine practicality, kit and low-tax costs.
Could now be the right time to convince your fleet manager that they are worth a look? Here we’ve picked our top three which tick all the boxes.
BMW 2 Series convertible
Launched earlier in the year, the German firm's latest soft-top is the third model in the company‘s 2 Series line-up and a direct replacement for the 1 Series Convertible.
There are four engines to choose from including one diesel option, a 2-litre EU6 diesel engine which boasts 187bhp and 400Nm of torque for a 0-62mph sprint in 7.5 seconds, or 7.4 seconds when fitted with the optional eight-speed automatic.
Opt for the automatic gearbox and fuel economy is an impressive 64mpg while CO2 emissions are just 113g/km meaning a 20 percent BIK tax band for the 2015/16 tax year.
From launch there are three trims to choose from, Sport, Luxury and M Sport and standard kit is generous with Bluetooth connectivity, air-con, DAB radio and keyless start among the highlights, plus from July sat-nav will also be available as standard.
Luggage space is 335 litres making it, according to BMW, the largest boot in its class and the folding soft top lowers or raises in 19 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 30mph.
At a glance
Trim and engine: 220d Sport auto
P11D price: £31,995
Fuel economy: 64mpg
CO2 emissions: 113g/km
2015/16 monthly tax costs*: £106.65
2016/17 monthly tax costs*: £101.32
Audi A3 Cabriolet
The latest generation A3 Cabriolet went on sale in the summer 2014 and has already proved a big hit with retail customers.
Although petrol is not the conventional choice for company car drivers, when equipped with the firms ‘Cylinder on Demand’ (or CoD) technology, the petrol options in the A3 Cabriolet offer tax costs and fuel economy which rival even the most efficient diesel choices.
Entry-level SE trim bags you plenty of toys for your money too including 16-inch alloy wheels, air-con, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and automatic headlights and wipers.
As you would expect, quality of cabin materials is impressive and the A3 Cabriolet doesn’t do too bad in the practicality stakes either with 320 litres of boot space on offer, plus the roof can be opened in 18 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph.
At a glance
Trim and engine: 1.4 TFSI CoD SE
P11D price: £26,070
Fuel economy: 57mpg
CO2 emissions: 114g/km
2015/16 monthly tax costs*: £73.87
2016/17 monthly tax costs*: £82.55
Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet
Despite being one of the biggest selling company cars here in the UK, many people are not actually aware that you can buy a Volkswagen Golf with a folding roof.
Like the popular hatchback and estate models there’s a wide choice of diesel and petrol engines on offer, the 1.6-litre 103bhp diesel is likely to appeal most when it comes to running costs though with an official combined figure of 64.2mpg and CO2 emissions at 117g/km meaning a 21 percent BIK band for the current tax year.
Available in four trims including a hot GTI version, as standard you get 16-inch alloys, air-con, Bluetooth connectivity and leather-trimmed steering wheel, we’d opt for mid-level SE trim though to gain more kit like cruise control, parking sensors and climate control.
The roof opens in 9.5 seconds - the best of our list here - and can be operated at speeds up to 18mph.
At a glance
Trim and engine: 1.6 TDI BlueMotion Technology SE
P11D price: £24,685
Fuel economy: 64mpg
CO2 emissions: 117g/km
2015/16 monthly tax costs*: £86.40
2016/17 monthly tax costs*: £82.28
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*Monthly tax costs are based on a 20 percent tax payer