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buying advice

Hello summer! How to buy a convertible for a song - and 4 of the best used models

Delightful drop-tops await.

WITH SUMMER FINALLY here there’s a higher chance of having consecutive days of sunshine.

So we’re going to hopefully not jinx it all by looking at just some of the choice of used convertibles up to a budget of €20,000.

1. Mazda MX-5

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Let’s start with the obvious and perhaps one of the most iconic convertibles around – the Mazda MX-5. This compact two-seater has been around for almost three decades, and more than one million have found homes.

With four generations to choose from, including the latter two offering the choice of a folding hardtop, there’s an MX-5 to suit almost everyone.

2. Mercedes-Benz SLK

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The first-generation SLK, which sold up until 2004, has aged remarkably well, and if you can find one that has been well cared for and isn’t suffering from electrical, Kompressor or rust issues, then you’ll have a nice two-seater that is fine for cruising around in.

The fact that it has a folding hard top does make it more usable year-round; just ensure that it’s working correctly before you buy.

Second-gen versions from 2005 onwards didn’t have a great track record, with a firm ride on larger wheels detracting from what was otherwise a fun drive.

3. BMW Z4

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Of the choice of two-seater convertibles on the used market, the BMW Z4 offers one of the broadest variety of engines and the most interesting exterior colour choices.

It did also come as a coupe, but we’ll stick to the rag-top version for now. Of the motors available, the 2.2-litre is the one to avoid. If your budget can stretch to, and you can find one, the 3.0-litre six-cylinder is a lovely engine to drive.

Rarer still is the Z4M. Now that IS a fun car. However, the more commonly found version in Ireland is the 2.0-litre four-cylinder, which produces 150hp.

4. Honda S2000

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If there is one convertible on the used market that is guaranteed to have future classic status in a few years, it’s the Honda S2000. This beautifully proportioned two-seater rear-wheel-drive sports car still turns heads today, and it features one of Honda’s best engines.

It might not be the most economical of cars to run, but we do not doubt that you’ll love driving it. It’s worth trying to seek out a clean and standard example if you can.

More: How to buy a serious premium SUV on a €30k budget – and 5 models to see first>

More: Want a car that will make your driveway stand out? 4 real head-turners for under €15k>

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