A recent survey by Capital One of 800 car buyers shows that 75% of women plan to bring a man along to their next car purchase. This is mainly to ensure they’re getting a better deal. About 40% of women felt that their gender was a negative influence on their car buying experience.
But whilst approaching buyers differently on the basis of their sex is “absolutely unacceptable” (Christopher Macgowan, Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) isn’t the onus also on female buyers to ensure that they are armed with the knowledge they need rather than relying on men to do so?
Diana Don Colby, director of financial services at Capital One, said, "The messages in this survey tell us that today's women still do not feel as empowered as they should in the car-buying process. While these findings are troubling, it's important for women to realize that showroom purchasing power begins and ends with education. Instead of relying on male companions for support, women should instead turn to the host of educational resources available for free -- both online and off-line."
One such resource is GalsCarGuide, which provides independent information for women car buyers and covers all aspects of the car buying process from ensuring the car is right for you, to how to avoid fraud. It encourages women car buyers to take control, be informed and remember that they have power over their buying experience. There is detailed information on how to ensure that a used car hasn’t had a shady past you’d rather didn’t catch up with you.
Lee-Anne Bass, of ladies' motor insurance firm CoverGirl Car Insurance Services, said: "This site sounds like a great place for female drivers to find out about all things motoring. I think it is well worth dropping in if you don't know how to go about buying a new car."
GalsGarGuide also emphasises the advantages of buying online. Not only can it be cheaper but, if inequality on the forecourt prevails, it can also be the final “equaliser” for car buyers, as the sex of the customer is unable to affect the price. (According the recent research by the Yale School of Management in the United States and the analyst JD Power and Associates.)
"Everything you need to know about car-buying is available online today”, said Kelley Blue Book Consumer Advice Editor Joni Gray. If this is a case then why do women continue to undermine years of fighting in the name of equality as soon as the words “car buying” are mentioned? If a woman has the correct information and determination she should be just as able to get a good deal as a man. Girl power and all that.
The site also boasts a blog where car buyers can share their experiences or any information that the buying community may find to be of interest. The hope is that as more and more information is posted on the blog women will find themselves with a greater amount of information and awareness. It is also a fun place to share your thoughts on the subject with the like-minded.
The overriding message is to do your research before buying. This way you’ll stay one step ahead and get a better deal. GalsCarGuide makes this easy with advice from both experts and regular women sharing real life experiences.
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