Car shopping from dealers SHOULD be fun yet few females enjoy this. Certainly many of us can be more assertive during the process.
Don’t imagine men always know more about cars than women – it’s simply a case of our doing our car buying homework in advance rather than being led by men who often have very different motoring needs and expectations.
Remember it’s women who influence 80% of car sales and very soon there will be more women drivers than men on UK roads. So it’s what WE want that matters most, it’s up to US to make sure we get it and there is no good reason why ANY woman should feel ANY need to take ANY man with her to get a fair new car deal. Especially if she is a member of FOXY Lady Drivers Club with our helpdesk to support her!
Top Ten Car Buying Tips (with women in mind)
Here is some advice for women who are car shopping from a dealer. Always start the process a couple of months before you need a new car; it takes that long to identify the right/best car and negotiate a great deal without been seen as desperate.
1. If you buy a new or secondhand car online and things go wrong afterwards, your contract is with the internet supplier who may not have a relationship with a local garage/showroom. Be prepared to travel back to where you collected the car to get this rectified (sometimes more than once if they can’t sort it out immediately…).
2. If a used car comes with an impressive 60+,70+ or 90+ check list, make sure you see precisely what this includes. Few dealers make this clear enough and it’s always good to know what should have been checked when we get our ‘new’ car home and things don’t work. If this checklist is as good as it looks, make sure they aren’t fobbing you off with an inferior warranty as per 4 below.
3. If a shiny used car seems very cheap, chances are it’s because the salesman knows more about it than you do. Until you buy it of course… Never imagine it’s because he’s doing you a favour.
4. Have a look at the warranty that comes with a used car. Ask if their warranty is covered by the Motor Ombudsman’s Chartered Trading Standards Approved (CTSI) Code of Practice scheme – at least if a warranty doesn’t pay out when you think they should, you’d have somewhere official to go for a second opinion. We like to see a minimum 6 month warranty but we understand this is unlikely for a car costing low £00s rather than high £000s. The industry norm is a three month warranty (warranties vary a lot) but remember that you have rights for SIX MONTHS after purchase under the Consumer Rights Act. If a car dealer can only offer a one month warranty, be very afraid. We would always expect a dealer to provide a nearly full ie 12 month MOT and sight of the last certificate to see any warnings about imminent failings. Always best are cars with a complete and regular servicing history of course… If a car hasn’t been serviced regularly (with oil and filter changes as a minimum) chances are the car will be storing its expensive engine problems especially for you.
5. If you are unhappy with a franchised dealership showroom experience always ask to speak to/deal with the Dealer Principal which is car showroom speak for their Managing Director. Alternatively take your business elsewhere.
6. If you’d prefer to deal with a female salesperson ask for one. If you’d prefer a test drive with a female, ask for one. If you’d like a test drive from your home ask for one overnight. Don’t feel guilty about asking. Why wouldn’t a good car dealer want to please you, knowing that a favourable test drive experience usually results in a sale and/or a loyal customer?
7. Sadly you may have to haggle which can be very distasteful. Do your car buying homework online before you start. Choose a shortlist based on the best brands and models tailored to your personal motoring needs. Find out how much the ‘new’ cars on your shortlist are selling for. Find out how much your ‘old’ car is worth via a valuation website. Know what your cheapest finance options are. Check any used car registration to see if it has an MOT and for how long… Then add them together and see if the car dealer can improve on the end result.
8. Most women want practicality, affordability, safety, reliability, economy and good looks when we go car shopping. Car performance matters too but this is more a male thing we’re told. But there has to be a trade off because we all prioritise different features. Some good looking cars are unreliable and many reliable cars are quite frankly boring to drive. Know what you want and don’t settle for less.
9. Too often we forget about driving visibility yet this is a critical safety consideration. Spend a long time getting your driving position right. Too many cars are designed with taller not shorter drivers in mind. You need a seat position that’s close enough to the pedals, away from the steering wheel and high enough to give you a clear view of the road ahead. Check the position of the wing mirrors and see whether your interior vision is obstructed by significant pillars. You always have a choice.
10. Please tell us about your recent car shopping experiences, good and bad, via the top righthand menu link ie ‘Female Feedback’ at this website. _In time we hope you’ll be telling us how wonderful our FOXY Lady Approved dealers are but this network is still small and relatively new.
NB: Members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club enjoy preferential car insurance, car discounts, shared female feedback, advice about the best car models and support services throughout the car shopping process as well as its aftercare. Join the Club to save money wisely, to enjoy the best motoring services and for your peace of mind and essential support if things go wrong with your new car.
There’s absolutely no need for any woman to feel vulnerable IN ANY WAY when she’s shopping for a new car.