back to articles | November 28, 2020 | Greg Thibodeau

Categories: Tips & Insights For Car Buying Buying & Selling Cars Vehicle & Buying Research

What Women Want When Shopping For & Buying a Car

Does your gender impact how you buy a car? Learn what women tend to prefer when shopping for and buying a car, and how it can differ from what men want.


The same car buying tips hold true regardless of your gender. You can get the best deal on a new car when you do your research, secure financing ahead of time, and take the time to negotiate. While these tips are pretty universal, the actual approach, vehicles, and experience that women prefer during the car-buying process differ from men quite a bit. Why, and what’s so different? Take a look!

Women Want...

More Information and Recommendations

Women are twice as likely as men to be undecided about what vehicle they want, according to CJ Pony Parts, and they’re also more likely to do in-depth research before beginning their car buying journey.

“Women tend to be more astute consumers than men,” explains Money Crashers, “simply because they are willing to invest the time and energy necessary to research and compare products.” Women will do more research before visiting the dealer, while men will start researching after they’ve left, adds the automotive blog, Driving.

For initial recommendations, many women are turning to their social networks first. This trend was noted by and presented at Heels & Wheels, a conference for female automotive journalists and automaker representatives.

Women aren’t too loyal to one car brand or another, and instead look for a vehicle that fits their lifestyle. Because “they have a serious distrust in the salesperson,” women tend to look to their personal networks, consumer reviews, and online information before turning to anyone at the dealership for help.

Women are also aware that unfortunately, “many car salespeople believe that women don’t know much about cars or the car buying process, and then take advantage of that,” reports NOLO. To counter this experience, the best boss-lady car shoppers do their research and walk on the dealership lot prepared.

More Practicality and Safety

If a woman’s car search doesn’t necessarily start with an automotive brand, where does it start? It starts with a vehicle’s utility. Women tend to be more “utility-minded” when car shopping, prioritizing durability, reliability, safety, and affordability, according to CJ Pony Parts. Performance and styling are also important, but not more than practicality.

Research by CJ Pony adds that women lean toward Asian, non-luxury brands, and if you’re going to break out the top ten car models women prefer, you’d see the following:

  1. Honda Civic
  2. Honda Accord
  3. Chevrolet Equinox
  4. Ford Escape
  5. Nissan Altima
  6. Jeep Grand Cherokee
  7. Ford Focus
  8. Toyota Camry
  9. Honda CR-V
  10. Chevrolet Malibu

What do we mean by practicality and utility? It all comes down to the details. “There is a significant amount of overlap between what women and men want in car design,” says Tim Greig, interior design manager for General Motors Global Design. “What I've noticed in our market research, however, is that women tend to not only see the big picture but pay close attention to the details as well."

For example, women might check to see if the center console is big enough to fit their purse. They check to see if the rear seats fold down and how much cargo space there is. They look for cup holders in all the right places, easy-to-clean fabrics, and expansive mirrors on either side of the car.

Beyond a vehicle’s comfort and ease (i.e. practicality), “safety is still the primary determinant of women's satisfaction across almost all vehicle categories,” reports Edmunds. The top safety attributes they look for are rear visibility, front visibility, remote outside mirrors, and side air bags.

More Options

While there may be car buying trends based on gender, it’s important to remember that everyone is unique. Trends don’t necessarily apply to every person in a group. No two people will have the same car-buying experience or journey. Everyone deserves options. At myAutoloan, we help make sure you have choices from the very beginning of the car shopping experience. Compare and save with up to four financing (or refinancing) offers in minutes.