4 Car Buying Tips Every Woman Should Know
Buying a car is stressful. Not only is it a major financial commitment—and who doesn’t stress about money?—but it is also a time-consuming process that can take over your life. For women, the car-buying process is even more stressful.
I’m not going to lie—I hate the fact that I have to write this post. Despite the fact that women play a leading role in 85% of car purchases, the automotive world is still a boys’ club through and through. Many women feel like they have to bring a male friend or their husband to the dealership with them if they want to drive a new car and that shouldn’t be the case.
The bold truth is that everything a woman needs to know when buying a car is the same as what a man needs to know—but what a woman also needs to know is how to play the system so that she doesn’t feel ripped off when the final paperwork goes through.
To help a sister out, I’ve come up with four car buying tips for women that are sure to help them feel more comfortable when they next step into a dealer showroom.
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1. Bring a man along.
This suggestion goes against every feminist bone in my body, but it is the sad truth. In order to let your voice be heard in a car dealership, it’s always a good idea to have a male in your corner. Whether it’s a family friend or your significant other, bringing along a guy is always a good idea. When the salesperson begins talking to the guy instead of you, though, make sure you vocalize that it is you who is buying the car, so it is you who the salesperson should be talking to.
2. Do your research right.
The internet is a haven for women car buyers, because you can easily learn everything about the car you’re looking to purchase before you even go into the car dealership. Know what the true market value—the average price that the car is selling for in your area—of the vehicle you want before you head to the dealership. Also, figure out the types of features you can get within your budget. Once you know exactly what features you want with your budget, don’t compromise. Show you’re knowledgeable by asking about certain features the salesperson hasn’t mentioned and establish that you know your stuff.
3. Negotiate the price.
When you walk into the dealership, your goal is to pay less than the stated MSRP on a vehicle. Don’t let the salesperson convince you otherwise. Keep the true market value of your car in mind and remember that everything is negotiable in a car sale. This includes the price of the car, the value of your trade-in, the package prices, and dealership fees. Heck, even the interest rate on your financing can be changed. Stay strong during negotiations, but be fair. You can’t expect the dealership to knock off $7,000 from the price tag and still give you all the features you want.
4. Be prepared to walk away.
If you are not being treated as you should be at a dealership, walk away. Don’t worry about losing a deal and never, ever buy on impulse. Walking out of a dealership because you are unhappy with the terms is likely going to get you a better offer later and, if the dealership is unable to give you a reasonable deal, then it might be time to look elsewhere anyways.
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- Lisa CopelandContributor
Lisa Copeland is a contributor to The News Wheel and the founder of Crushing Mediocrity. Lisa Copeland is a leader in the automotive industry, distinguished by Automotive News in 2015 as one of the Top 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry. Lisa was the Managing Partner of FIAT/Alfa Romeo of Austin when it was named a Best Dealership to Work For thanks to her innovative leadership strategies. She now works as Head of Automotive Retail Strategies at The Culture Works and speaks nationwide on building culture in the workplace.