If you think that convertibles are only driven by carefree types who live for the sun and the beach, you're only partially right. Convertible buyers are more educated and more affluent than the average new car buyer.
More than 50 percent of all convertible buyers had at least a bachelor's degree compared to 38.2 percent of new car buyers overall, according to a recent Experian Automotive analysis of convertible car buyers in the first quarter of 2014. In addition, nearly 19 percent of convertible buyers had an average household income of $175,000 or more compared to 10.7 percent of average new car buyers. Finally, 11.7 percent owned a home valued at more than $1 million, while only 4.4 percent of average new car buyers owned a home valued at that price.
Convertible drivers also are more likely to be older and without children in the household. Experian said that more than 72 percent of convertible buyers were over age 45 compared to 60 percent of new car buyers overall, and almost 52 percent of convertible buyers had no children in the household compared to just 42 percent of new car buyers on average.
Experian also found that most convertible drivers live in the major metropolitan areas surrounding Los Angeles (6.4 percent), New York City (5.2 percent), San Francisco (2.9 percent), Chicago (2.9 percent) and Atlanta (2.5 percent).
While there were 4.5 million convertibles on U.S. roads in the first quarter of 2014, there are still relatively few compared to other types of cars. Convertibles represent just 1.8 percent of the entire vehicle market in the U.S.
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Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.