New research reveals that women are more than twice as likely as men to describe the showroom environment as stressful and much less likely to report an enjoyable car-buying experience.
And the number of female car buyers using one leading online car retailer almost doubled last year, as more women looked to avoid the stresses of pushy sales staff and face-to-face negotiating.
Their number one dislike is ‘pushy’ sales people but they are also more likely than men to admit their dislike of negotiating over price. They also report feeling confusion over the range of car choices more often than men.
The figures come from a survey of almost 1,000 car buyers conducted by the online motor retail specialist BuyaCar.co.uk after noticing a surge in female customers.
For two years now BuyaCar.co.uk has seen growth in the number of women buying cars online massively outstripping the increase in male customers. In 2015 BuyaCar.co.uk’s female customers increased by 58%, compared with a 29% increase among men.
But last year the growth in female customers surged by 75%, while the increase among men was 22%.
BuyaCar.co.uk believes rapid growth in female customers is linked to a dislike among women in particular for several aspects of the traditional car buying process.
When car buyers were asked how they feel about the typical purchasing process nearly half the women reported feeling ‘stressed’ by the experience, compared with only 20% of men.
One in four women also said that confusion over the vast array of car features and even finance options made for an uncomfortable experience in the traditional showroom environment, while only 11% of men say they are confused by the range of choices on offer.
But it was sales people who pushed women’s stress buttons most of all, with 58% saying they were put off by the face-to-face sales pitch. Men weren’t far behind, with 55% describing a hard-sell approach as off-putting.
The growing consumer acceptance of buying cars online and having them delivered without ever setting foot in a traditional showroom is proving to be a big growth area for motor retailers, according to BuyaCar.co.uk Managing Director, Austin Collins.
He said: “The option of quietly researching and calculating the best choices for you, at your own pace, is proving to be the perfect solution for women in particular and it’s certainly a big driver of growth for us. It’s possible that women are simply more honest than men about the stresses of buying a car in the traditional way but our consumer interviews certainly reveal that what should be an enjoyable experience is actually a difficult one for many people.”