The buyer of an upmarket soft top is most likely to be a 50-something woman - in this case supermodel Elle Macpherson, better known as The Body, who turned 50 on 29 March.

London, England - Soft-top cars are most likely to be bought by women in their 50s.

Nearly seven percent of females in that age group drive convertibles, say insurers Diamond.

While there are three times as many men buying soft-tops as there were 15 years ago, the number of women owners has quadrupled.

Motor industry analysts say the boom is being driven by older women freed from the constraints of family car ownership.

Convertibles account for around four percent - 1.3 million - of the cars on Britain’s roads and the most likely owner is a female investment manager aged 51 to 60 driving a Mercedes costing more than £33 000 (R595 000).

AA president Edmund King said: “Many women who have put family behind them can at last afford the car they want, rather than the car they need.”

Male buyers are also most likely in their 50s, according to figures based on 3.5 million insurance policies. For both sexes, the next most common age group for owners is 41 to 50.