But sometimes it's worth it and in many ways I feel the same about our long-term Peugeot 206cc. It may not offer the most comfortable seating position, smoothest ride or roomiest interior, but in my eyes it looks good and I'm prepared to sacrifice comfort as a result.
Our long-termer has now come to the end of its time at Fleet Towers and after being lucky enough to have a double stint in it – one summer, one winter – I'll be sad to see it go.
Both summer and winter provided totally different driving experiences. For a month in July, I spent the time tootling around, roof down almost continuously, enjoying the open-air pleasure that cabriolets provide.
A couple of minor hitches occurred with the electric roof – one through switching off the ignition while the roof was mid flow and the other for not reattaching the correct parts after the resulting manual roof procedure. After unsuccessfully spending an hour trying to re-attach the roof, the car ended up at the local dealership.
The rear suspension also received attention after a rubber bush came loose. Service from Hindmarch Peugeot in Stamford was superb – fast, expert and courteous on both occasions.
I've managed to notch up more than 1,000 miles during my winter stint and have few complaints. The solid electric roof ensures sub-zero temperatures are kept outside, noise is minimal and the problems sometimes encountered with soft-top convertibles in the winter are non-existent.
The only grumble I can think of centres around those cold leather seats. There is nothing worse than getting into a car at 7am on a frosty morning in a micro mini skirt – believe me!
Unfortunately heated seats are not available even as an option. Perhaps the standard cloth trim would be a better choice.
The car's 2.0-litre engine also gives it enough 'go' to leave many boy racers standing at traffic lights. The 206cc has proved to be an ideal companion for a modern girl on the go throughout the year in all weather.
Company car tax bill 2003/04 (22% tax-payer): £69 per month