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Shopping for a Car? Bring Your Wife


Women sometimes get a bad rap when it comes to shopping, but they appear to be more thorough than men when it comes to wrangling with car salesmen.

Men looking for a new car would be well advised to bring their wives, a new study suggests. Some 67% of women order a vehicle inspection during a lease transfer versus just over 54% of men, according to the research by LeaseTrader.com, a car leasing website. Women buyers also ask different and more probing questions than men. They inquire about safety performance, incident history and a general sense of a vehicle’s overall functionality given certain circumstances, the study says.

Younger women appear to be far less cavalier than young men when it comes to choosing their wheels. Over 78% of women aged 21 to 30 requested a vehicle inspection compared with 42% of men in that age group, according to LeaseTrader.com. What’s more, men are more concerned with performance rather than reliability: The majority of questions from male buyers primarily covered a vehicle’s overall driving and engine performance, aesthetics, high-tech features “and some minor safety features,” the study says.

One explanation: Car dealers tend to be men and women know they’re not in Nordstrom’s anymore. Over 90% of sales people in the car industry are men, while two-thirds of the buyers are women, according to Women-Drivers.com. “Women are less comfortable when buying a car and, as a result, they are more careful and do more research online before they visit the dealership,” says Anne Fleming, president of Women-Drivers.com. “At a dealership, they know they’re less likely to be dealing with another woman.”

Read here for more on “How to Buy a Used Car.”


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Comments (5 of 9)

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    • I took my wife car shopping once. BIG mistake. She started crying to the salesman because I wouldn’t buy her a $40,000 Honda that had a payment of almost $900 a month. I’ve bought 2 cars since then, ALONE!

    • Generally, bring your wife because most dealers are me, and men are…men! They want to please the hot lady:-)

    • It is not the gender that makes a wise auto buyer, rather it is the person that knows a vehicle is nothing but expense from depreciation to repairs to insurance. I never buy vehicle with enough value to put collision on it and my combined depreciation plus repairs has been less than a thousand dollars a year for the last 20 years and 5 vehicles. Hint when buying used only get a manual transmission.

    • Read, Moving Iron, before even thinking about buying a car.

    • you need your pink slip and checkbook too

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.