2/22/2012 3:19 PM ET|
Are women better at buying cars?
Men could learn a little something from women looking to get a new set of wheels, consumer advocates say. Here's how the sexes shop differently.
When it comes to buying or leasing a car, men can learn a lesson or two from their female counterparts.
"Men tend to rely on what is assumed they know and what they believe they know," said Sergio Stiberman, the chief executive and founder of LeaseTrader.com.
"When women approach car shopping, they believe in the importance of asking all the necessary questions, even if they think they might know the answers," he said.
Stiberman, for one, respects the different angles his wife, Keila, takes on purchases and the depth and variety of questions. "She'll ask questions that I'm afraid to ask myself or that I have too much of an ego to ask," he said.
"We have that attitude that we should know, and if we ask, we're outing ourselves and we might not be as strong as we projected ourselves to be," he added.
Many men revel in the gamesmanship of car buying that many women just aren't interested in. "Men get all excited about going out to buy a car and talk about how they're going to one-up the salesmen and get a great deal," said Anne Fleming, the president of Women-Drivers.com, a consumer ratings site. "I've never heard or seen any comments from women like that."
Women do more research and, as a group, are considerably more pragmatic in their vehicle choices. They tend to be more concerned about safety and reliability than about horsepower and acceleration.
In the LeaseTrader analysis, 95% of women listed safety performance as their biggest concern during the shopping process, with 94% interested in the incident history of the car.
Men, on the other hand, at 83%, rated driving performance as their top issue, with engine performance at 75%.
Nearly 74% of men ranked aesthetics a major issue, at No. 3, compared with just 46% of women -- dead last among the top nine concerns -- who did.
The style differences also are evident in purchasing history. Women favor vehicles such as SUVs, small compact crossovers and four-door sedans. Men are more apt to buy a truck and certainly have more preference for sports cars than women do, according to Edmunds.com.
"Women tend to be more pragmatic and more economical in their car choices," said Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst at Edmunds.
Consider this: Last year Porsche saw a whopping 21% increase in year-over-year sales of its cars to women, albeit from a low base, Caldwell said. But of its total receipts, a commanding 71% were gleaned from sales of the four-door models Cayenne and Panamera, what some might describe as more practical cars.
Women also want confirmation of quality. Women, for example, order vehicle inspections some 67% of the time when they're buying a car compared with 55% of men, according to LeaseTrader.
The Internet has become a great equalizer for car buying, offering an abundance of information about features and pricing.
Women have long complained they were ignored or intimidated by salesmen, according to Women-Drivers.com. Nine out of 10 car sales associates are men.
Now, however, women walk into showrooms primed with scads of information about models, pricing, financing and options; most even know what the inventory position of a dealer is, according to Kelley Blue Book's market intelligence reports.
Some 76% of women consider websites a valuable asset to the car-shopping process compared with 70% of men, KBB said. What's more, 51% of women visit a dealership's site as part of the research compared with 46% of men. And 70% of women look at inventory versus 64% of men. Women are more inclined to purchase a certified pre-owned car from a dealership than men, 29% to 18%, while men are more likely, at 32%, to buy a car from a third party, than women, 22%.
Before the Internet and its hundreds, maybe even thousands, of automobile sites about buying, leasing, ratings, pricing, cost calculating, safety, insurance, mileage and any other number of car issues, women would visit from five to seven dealerships before settling on one, said Women-Drivers.com's Fleming.
"The Internet has made shopping for a car so much easier," she said. "Women are very savvy shoppers now."
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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
It never ceases to amaze me as to how insecure human beings can be. After all if some survey shows that 110 million women are better than men at something and only 100 million men are better than woman at the same thing what does that really mean on an individual basis? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. For example, we have all always heard that men are better at math but even if that’s true, all the women you know might be better at math then all the men you know. Statistics like this are based on millions of people and there is usually only a slight difference between the two. People really need to stop being so insecure and just focus on how good they are as individuals and not how good their group is as a whole.
This kind of story has become standard on the 'net. Its the "women are better at X" or "women are better people because of X." They are cobbled together to cater to female readers. Feel-good nonsense. It's always pure speculation mixed with "several recent studies" of which we are told nothing. We don't know how the studies were set up, if a sufficient number of cases were considered, how the questionnaires were worded, how the results were interpreted or how directly relevant to the question the study is. Let me give a notorious example. Ten or so years back, a women's magazine commissioned a study about date rape. They gave a number of coeds a questionnaire in which they were asked about the situation surrounding the last time they had sex. Then the researcher for the magazine decided who had been raped and who hadn't. She called it rape if both parties were drunk or if there was "psychological pressure." She even called it rape if the male had been "talking dirty." The women who participated in this survey disagreed with the results. They swore they had not been raped. Some of them had gone on to marry the "rapist." But the researcher ignored them. She defined about anything as rape to get the numbers high enough for an attention-getting article. She gave the magazine exactly the article they wanted.
So then you got banners on college campuses declaring "One date in three ends in rape." And people believed it because it was based on a "recent study" and had been published in a magazine they liked.
These articles are faked up when the writer can't think of anything else to write, or when the writer feels that swaying public opinion is more important than telling the truth. Shame on MSN for not double-checking such obvious nonsense.
Doesn't matter if you're buying a car or a pair of shoes...you buy what you like and (hopefully) can afford based on personal preference. And no matter what you men think, a lot of women DO actually research the cars they are planning to buy. I know I did!! I wasn't going to put my kids into a car that's been recalled for any type of safety reasons. Nor did I want one that is known to nickle and dime me to death. Gas mileage is also important with the current and projected gas prices.
I'm not saying men don't do their homework, I'm sure you do. But there's no reason for anyone to sit here bashing members of the opposite sex by saying they don't know anything about the subject. Oh, and I NEVER pay sticker price. I'll wear the salesperson down first. If they want that commission from selling that car, then they are going to get it on my terms with no compromise. And yes, I can change my own oil, my own tires, brakes, ect.
Well you may well be an exception to the rule, but I am correct. A man is just as likely or even more so to walk out of a dealership if he doesn't get the deal he thinks he should, our job was to make them (man or woman) think they have gotten a great deal. Oddly enough, most people who get a screamin' deal leave feeling like they got ripped off and will be less satisfied, while the person who spent more money will leave happier and is more likely to return to the same dealer/salesman. And you would be surprised how often the man, who 'makes all his own decisions', will come to the signing, turn to his wife, and say, "Honey, waddaya think?". Better have sold the woman.
I guess the media is not content with dividing this nation on the basis of politics and race. Now we've got to take sides on buying a car and what gender we are. I'm a woman and I refuse to look and see if it's a woman who wrote the article. I know it without bothering.
I have been driving the same modest car for 6 years. It's now 9 years old and I got a really good deal on ebay. I did my homework on the make and model and VIN number first. I made sure I bid well below the kelly blue book value and I had financing in line before I made my purchase. I've got a great little car and in six years have had NO major expenses. A new battery, two new tires, a repaired chip in the windshield and that's it. I'm not smart, I just recognized my need, my budget, and did some common sense homework AND checked my ego at the door. I bought American and I bought second hand. It was fun buying on line. I jumped on a plane and the seller met me at the airport and we drove straight to the bank to pick it up.
It was my first time making a car purchase without a mans help, and I gota say, I did good on my own.
Women tend to be sure to get the best deals and do ask more because IF they are married they don't want to listen to the man LATER.....
I apologize. I just read an article on MSN. "Danica Patrick found her street car isn’t so practical." Maybe you should interview her....LOL See if Danica agrees with your theory.
Then I looked to see who wrote it.
I rest my case.
I bet women are better fireMEN and better policeMEN too. And exceed at basketball and football. Jennifer, your credibility light is flashing and about to go out. Research before telling bedtime stories.
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Your No. 1 priority needs to be keeping safe. But after that, you can save yourself some grief by making careful records -- and keeping all your receipts.