Welcome to NCM's Up to Speed Blog
Welcome to NCM's Up to Speed Blog

Is Buying a Car a Battle of the Sexes?

Written By: Jody Devere
Posted on January 13, 2015

Shopping for a new car is still a hassle for many women. Women purchase more than 50% of all new cars, or influence the purchasing of about 85% of all new cars sold in the US and 48% in Canada. Many women don't even look to a man for opinions on what to purchase because they are single or run the house.

Topping the list of gripes: Time. 21% say buying a car is not quick and effortless.

Of the women surveyed, 15% said they didn't like or trust their salesperson.

When women decide to go out to a local car dealership to buy a car, they are most often ignored, as if they are invisible. If they do bring a man (just to get noticed!) but try to dominate the sale (because it's their car, after all), they are treated like a mouthy child, or worse yet, expected to allow the man to do all the talking.

In today's competitive auto industry, I can't understand how salespeople can discriminate based on gender. If anything, they should cater to women or risk missing a sale and the opportunity to recruit a loyal customer. With so much information available to women to conduct research before they buy a new car, women are becoming much more car savvy and they deserve the respect of car dealerships.

Here are some facts about female car buyers:

  1. Women spend approximately 17 weeks on the new car buying process (3 weeks longer than men.)
  2. Women are more inclined to purchase cars that they consider fun to drive and that are well made. In contrast, men prefer vehicles that are a good value for the money, are comfortable, have nice exterior styling, good fuel economy, and display a certain image.
  3. Women, more than men, place a high value on a vehicle's reliability, durability, passenger seating capacity, safety features, and availability of four-wheel drive. Women rate safety as the most important aspect when shopping for new vehicles.
  4. Female buyers seek advice from automotive authorities (57%) before buying a new car.
  5. Female auto buyers will shop an average of 3 dealerships for best price and best treatment.
  6. 1/3 of female buyers read an average of 4 automotive magazines for 12 months before purchase.
  7. Females place the most importance on dependability, functionality, and economic factors when buying.

With these facts in mind, what is your dealership doing to attract, sell, retain and, create loyalty with women car buyers?

Being properly armed with the right tools and training your dealership can increase its share of the largest and fastest growing demographic of new vehicle buyers in the US - Women Consumers. The Ask Patty Certified Dealer program was designed specifically for car dealerships to attract, sell, retain and, keep loyal women consumers.

What is an Ask Patty Certified Female Friendly Dealer?

An Ask Patty Certified Female Friendly Dealer is a dealer that creates a safe and comfortable environment where women feel welcome, while making the experience of purchasing and maintaining her vehicle a pleasant one. Ask Patty trained and certified dealers are held to a higher level of customer satisfaction for women consumers. To find out how to become an Ask Patty.com, Inc. certified dealer, check out their website www.askpatty.com.

Data Sources: Edmunds.com, Road and Travel Magazine, Detroit News, CARMAX Survey 2013, LipSticking – Marketing to Women Online

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