Women and the car buying process

Women are the primary decision maker in the car buying process now more than EVER before.

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Women buy 54% of the cars in the United States, and influence 84% of all vehicle purchase decisions. Yet most women dread the car buying experience, with good reason. Women often get ignored, patronized, or just plain ripped off at car dealerships. And lack of knowledge about cars and the car buying process isnt always the culprit. In a study conducted by two economists in Chicago, car dealers quoted higher prices to a test group of women than to a similar group of men, even when those women came to the dealership armed with the same information as the men, and followed the same “script” as the men.

Why does this happen? Many car salespeople believe that women dont know much about cars or the car buying process, and then take advantage of that. Yet even when women are informed and savvy, they often encounter different treatment from men and have a harder time getting what they want.

So, as a woman, how do you combat this unfair treatment? First, get informed. Second, let the salesperson know you are knowledgeable and want solid information. Third, learn how to negotiate effectively. And last, if the salesperson isnt giving you the service you deserve, find another salesperson or even another dealership.

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Do Your Homework

The cardinal rule for any car buyer is to do research before walking into a dealership. The importance of this rule is doubled for women.

Decide what you want. Before you enter any dealership, get online or read auto magazines and decide what car you want. Think about your lifestyle, driving habits, and financial situation, and narrow your search to cars that fit your needs. Then, do some comparison shopping. There are many private and government websites that provide useful information about vehicle reliability, gas efficiency, and many other aspects of cars. (For a list of some of those resources, read Nolo’s article Buying a New Car.)

Learn about your chosen cars. Once you have narrowed your search down to one or a few cars, read as much as you can about them. Learn about the pros and cons of the vehicle, compare the model year you are looking at to other model years, and read reviews of the car. Make a list of all the features that you like and dont like and write down questions to ask the dealer.

Decide on trim line and extra features. Be sure to research the differences between the trim lines and find out what “extras” are available. Decide ahead of time what you want and dont want. Sales personnel love to persuade buyers (especially women) that they really need the extra fabric guard for $200, the added security system for $350, and the extended warranty for $1,200.
Let the Salesperson Know You Mean Business

Once you are armed with research, its time to hit the dealerships. Walk in confidently, ask for a salesperson, and tell them what car or cars you would like to see. Follow these tips to get good service and good information.

Smile, it looks good on you!

Smile, it looks good on you!

If you are in Richmond Va. and are looking to purchase a Mercedes Benz be sure to stop by 8225 W. Broad St. and ask for “the Mercedes lady
Cheryl Bowman

Mercedes Benz of Richmond
8225 W. Broad St
Richmond Va 23294


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