Six out of ten women (61%) have significant responsibility for the car purchasing decision making it vital to understand the reasoning behind the decision to buy.
According to a recent report from the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) price, appearance and brand were the most important considerations, where as safety and carbon emissions were little considered. Younger women tend to be the most savvy car buyers and are generally more concerned about emissions than their older counterparts.
On the whole women rated the car buying process as a good expeience, contray to popular belief that women may be offered a different and possibly inferor service. The importance of interior space was linked to lifestages (i.e. the need to transport children). Safety features were seen as far less important, possibly because there was a general assumption that safety comes as standard with new cars. Awareness of the new emissions labels was also low with only a quarter of women who had visited a show room in the last two years recalling seeing the labels displayed on or near the cars.
When looking at wider motoring issues women were generally more suspicious about the motives for road pricing and were unaminious in their negativity towards the London Congestion charge. They also cited the school run as a significant contributer to congestion.
It is clear that the ‘men are from mars, women are from venus’ idea can be applied to the car purchasing process and as women make-up such a large proportion of the car buying market, understanding their likely needs and priorities is a must. It is disappointing that many women are not fully considering the safety and environmental aspects of their vehicle purchases (although other research suggests that the same is also true for men) and greater publication and cross referencing of environmental and safety ratings would clearly be of use. Watch this space as the RAC Foundation will soon be launching new results in this area…