October 6, 2004

Women feel their gender negatively affects their treatment at car dealerships – survey

McLean, Virginia – A national survey of automotive buying habits shows that a significant number of women feel disadvantaged in the car-buying process. The survey of more than 800 female car buyers commissioned by Capital One finds that 75 percent of women plan to bring a man along for their next vehicle purchase, mostly to feel that they’re getting a fair deal. About 40 percent of women felt their gender negatively influenced the way they were treated during their last visit to a dealership.

According to the survey, 74 percent of the women surveyed report that the most difficult aspects of the car-buying process relate to the financial elements of the transaction. When asked, women listed the ability to obtain a good deal on price (31 percent); pressures from a sales person to buy more of a car than they can afford (16 percent); the ability to understand all of the purchase fees and costs (16 percent); and obtaining a good deal on a loan (11 percent) as the most difficult parts of the process.

“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,” said Diana Don Colby, director of financial education at leading financial services company Capital One. “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.”

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