In a previous blog I shared a recent experience I had with a rental car in Hawaii. I am not a car expert. In fact, I have never attempted to purchase a car without a male companion (either a boyfriend or brother) at my side. Perhaps, I am dealing with the irrational fear of being “taken for a ride” by a male salesperson, regardless I make a general rule never to walk on a car lot without a guy present.
The ironic part about this practice is I am more informed about the car I am interested in purchasing than my male companions. Granted, I may not know whether one car’s alternator idler pulley will last longer than another’s, but before I test drive a vehicle I am very well versed about its safety features, including the anti-lock brakes, air bags and traction control. In fact, I read numerous consumer reviews, scour the Internet for owner reviews, and thoroughly research a car’s safety record before I even consider adding it to my list of cars to test drive.
Apparently, I’m not alone. According to a recent survey done by a leading automotive magazine, women influence 80% of buying decisions, purchase 50% of new cars and 48% of used cars. The survey also found that in addition to safety features, women tend to be concerned with purchasing a car that is environmentally friendly and performs well.
Interestingly (well, at least to me), the survey also found that a growing number of women are not only purchasing cars for every day use, but they are also forking over a ton of money for display cars. What’s a display car? Think museum quality vehicles, like those featured in major motion films like the Ferrari used in “Miami Vice” and the beetle from Disney’s “Herbie” movies. Female buyers are forking over hundred of thousands of dollars for the privilege to own these one-of-a-kind four-wheeled creations.
My question: Were the women buying the cars for themselves or as a gift for a husband, son, boyfriend, or father?
My other question: How many of you ladies have ever bought a vehicle without the assistance of a male friend or relative?