The Volkswagen Golf 2.0 S convertible tops CAP's tables, with a forecasted running cost of 26 pence per mile over three years and 60,000 miles, thanks to its strong residual value. CAP predicts that the Golf will retain 43% of its value at the end of the period.
The Renault Megane secures three places in the top 10, with the 1.6 Expression securing second place thanks to its competitive list price and the best fuel economy in the convertible top 10.
Sarah Nellis, running costs editor of CAP Monitor, said: 'It is a low purchase price that underpins the winning soft tops' modest running costs. In fact, the top three are the cheapest three convertibles to buy. The very cheapest at £13,635, the Fiat Barchetta 1.8 left-hand-drive, is at number three however. This is because the Golf's outstanding used values and the Megane's frugal use of fuel offset their slightly higher purchase prices.'
Meanwhile, companies that avoid convertible company cars because of fears of high insurance costs should think again, according to People's Choice, a telephone and internet insurance broker.
It compared quotes for 32 different risks comprising eight motorists, and found that premiums for convertible cars were very similar to their hard-top equivalents. The average premium increase for motorists who like driving with the roof down is £77.38 per year, or only £1.49 per week.
Philip da Silva, Peoples Choice managing director, said: 'A cabriolet is the ultimate in summer cars and can be more expensive to insure because of the higher risk of damage and the security aspect of having a soft roof; but it's not as expensive as people believe.'
Convertibles rarely make it on to fleets as firms often will not accept perceived higher insurance premiums, seasonal fluctuations in resale value and security weaknesses.
The CAP Network's Top 10 convertibles
- Volkswagen Golf 2.0 S 2dr 26.0 ppm (pence per mile)
- Renault Megane 1.6 16V Expression 2dr 26.3 ppm
- Fiat Barchetta 1.8 16V 2dr (Lhd) 26.7 ppm
- Toyota MR2 1.8 WTi 2dr 28.0 ppm
- MGF 1.8i 2dr 28.2 ppm
- Renault Megane 1.6 16V Dynamique + 2dr auto 29.4 ppm
- Renault Megane 2.0 16V IDE Dynamique + 2dr 30.2 ppm
- Volkswagen Golf 2.0 SE 2dr auto 30.7 ppm
- MGF 1.8i Steptronic 2dr auto 30.9 ppm
- Alfa Romeo Spider 2.0 TS 16V 2dr 34.7 ppm