With the appalling British weather, it's hard to believe we're one of the biggest markets for convertible cars. And now, new research shows that despite our love of cabriolets, only a third of soft-top owners drive their motor with the wind in their hair.

Just under two thirds of Britain's convertible owners (64%) either never or rarely take the roof down, according to the research by Audi, which has four convertibles in its model line-up.

Almost half of the owners polled (46%) claimed exotic looks rather than wind-in-the-hair driving appeal as their primary reason for choosing a soft top, "suggesting that it is the cachet of owning an exotic open car that is the motivator rather than the practicality of having an open or closed choice," said the German brand.

Women are more likely to frequently drive with the top down; 39% said they almost always drives with their car open, compared to 32% of males, and only 17% of women claimed that they never drop their roof versus 27% for the male contingent.

Who is most likely to drive with the top down? By far the largest age group are 25 to 34 year olds, and those living in the East Midlands are well above the national average when it comes to frequent trips open to the elements.

Audi boss Martin Sander said: "Our owners want the choice. Drivers in Britain like to know they can drop their roof, especially as the weather here is so changeable. But they also know that even with the roof up, a soft top car still looks out of the ordinary and highly desirable."