What Women Want — When Buying a Car


"What Women Want" was a great movie about an ad executive starring Mel Gibson who, after an injury, had the ability to read women’s minds. He could do wondrous things in the advertising world marketing and selling to women with that unusual ability.

But that was the magic of movies. Knowing what women car buyers want is not that simple and has become crucial for auto dealerships today, because the industry that has historically been male focused has gradually been shifting towards more female-centric.

Today, women customers have become not just prominent buyers, but also the fastest growing auto buying segment in the US.  

6 Things Women Want When Buying a Car

What do women customers really want from dealerships to close successful car purchases? While each woman has her own unique set of circumstances, needs and wants in buying a car and in purchasing from the dealership she does business with, there are some generalities and commonalities that we have unveiled. They are:

  1. Dealer’s Market Reputation

Women research and want to learn about the dealers’ reputation and market credibility before they visit the store. Thanks to the smart phones and tablets, learning this is easy. There are plenty of review sites where customers share their dealership experiences with others. From customer experiences it becomes easy to form opinions, learn about different dealers’ market reputation and select dealerships accordingly.  Women especially appreciate reading the reviews and experiences from other women — it means more to them.

Distinguish your dealership on more than price — trust is the No. 1 reason women buy from a dealership! In fact, our latest big data reports that despite the fact that there is a brand dealership closer to her home, 65 percent of women report they are travelling farther to another dealership to buy.

  1. Sales Adviser

Women want an empowering dealership experience so that are fully satisfied with the decision they make without any regrets. They want to be greeted pleasantly and with respect the moment they walk into the dealership; not overlooked by the sales advisor even when "browsing." This gives them the confidence to proceed with this same dealership when they purchase.

If they are welcomed by a friendly sales advisor, this can instantly develops a rapport and a sense of likeability. Rapport transforms into trust in a moment or two when the salesperson greets them and lends an ear by listening to what they want. Women feel empowered when their voice is heard. This tends to win their loyalty and they reward the dealership with a purchase.

  1. The Right Price

They prefer dealerships that are upfront about the cost and price estimates and don’t over quote the price and play the "cat and mouse" game. If the price of the car is within their budget and the dealership also facilitates a flexible payment plans, women customers are most likely to make the car buying decision in the dealers’ favor.

  1. Best Model and Color

To make an informed car buying decision women want to learn about the latest car models and the color selection of this dealership. When sales advisers provide this information to women buyers they feel that the sales adviser is not just knowledgeable but also wants them to make an informed buying decision.

      5. Car Financing Options

More women want to learn about car financing options like leasing. This gives them the financial power to purchase their desired vehicle which may be expensive otherwise but easy to purchase through a suitable car financing plan. Having information on your website that informs and educates certainly helps attract and market your dealership when women are in the research mode.

      6.   Best Trade

Women also want to know about trade in offers. Sometimes they may want to sell off their old car to finance their new car. They want to know if the dealership they are visiting offers best trade in value offers.

Editor's Note: Anne Fleming is president and car-buying advocate of Women-Drivers.com and a guest contributor to Auto Remarketing. She was also recognized as one of AR's 2013 Women in Remarketing.

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