Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Sep 14, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Women usually pay more for car insurance than their male counterparts
  • Research shows that 45 percent of women feel apprehensive and 34 percent are intimidated when shopping at new car dealerships
  • Always work with a salesperson who is pleasant, friendly, and not pushy

Guest Post by Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate and President of Women-Drivers.com

Everyone loves to get a new car. But for many women (and men) the process to procure that new vehicle can be an uncomfortable one.

Women pay up to $1,353 more than men when buying a new car.

Research shows that 45 percent of women feel apprehensive and 34 percent are intimidated when shopping at new car dealerships. Women account for 54 percent of new car purchasers, yet almost 64 percent visit the dealership with another person, and, 78 percent of the time it’s a man — even when the car is exclusively hers.

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Buying a New Car

Many women still feel as if they need a male chaperone when the purchase a new car.

The top reasons include:

  • Women feel that they do not know as much about cars as men
  • Women have a fear of looking cheap or of being too aggressive, and frequently want to defer those tasks to a man
  • Women are not always as straightforward as men in a public conversation nor do they ask for what they want as directly
  • Women feel that they will not get the best deal on their own and suggest that ‘two are better than one’  – believing that this will neutralize or mitigate overpaying or being taken advantage of
  • Women generally do not feel comfortable with salesmen (9 out of 10 car sales associates are men)

Further studies show that when a woman has a “must get this car today” or “let’s get this over with” mindset and doesn’t negotiate, she pays $1,353 more than their male counterpart.

That amount can balloon to an estimated $3,000 over the life of an auto loan.  And, three thousand dollars is the equivalent to:

  • A hefty deposit for an IRA, 529 education fund, or a dream vacation
  • An emergency fund
  • 50 pair of shoes, or, 20 designer handbags
  • 3 months of grocery trips for a family of four (4), or nine months for a single person
  • 120 $25.00 gift cards to your favorite store

If you are currently in the market to buy or will soon be, follow these 11 Car Buying Tips to ensure you are getting the best pricing as well as a satisfactory sales experience:

# 1. Research the Cars.

Know what type of car you want to buy – make, model, features. Edmunds.com and Consumer Reports offer great objective insight, feedback, and reviews.

You will want to narrow your search down to 2 or 3 models; this will save you time running between dealerships.

# 2. Research the Dealerships.

If you are converting to a new brand, or you’ve been a Pontiac, Mercury or Saturn driver, where do you begin to find a trusted dealership? Visit consumer rating sites like Women-Drivers to read reviews on women’s actual experiences while Browsing, Buying or servicing a vehicle.

Take the Negotiating Test to find out what type of negotiator you are and to receive customized negotiation tips – know your strengths and weaknesses.

# 3. Exclusively Deal Electronically™

Another way to buy a car is to Exclusively Deal Electronically (EDE™). For those that know precisely what they want to buy, options included, are only interested in getting the lowest price, locate 4-5 dealerships in the area and contact the Internet Sales Manager via their website.

You will get back 4- 5 different prices and simply work with the lowest priced dealer. EDE™ saves time and energy while fast-tracking the entire process.

#4. Make sure it all works for you.

Be sure you are buying a car that works for you – functionally, technologically, and financially. Do not fall in love with a car that you cannot afford.

Remember that you will typically make payments for 3-5 years; be sure that it is a payment you can manage for that period of time. Check with your insurance agent on the costs (and possible savings) of the vehicle and its safety features – be sure to have the Vehicle Identification Number. Also, know your credit score.

The lower your score the higher you will pay in interest rates.

#5. Know when to shop.

Go to the dealership during the day, in nice weather. Shop towards the end of the month or the end of the year.

Late summer and fall are when new year’s models are unveiled, and dealerships are ready and willing to work out premium deals on ‘last year’s’ models. Some dealerships impose quotas on their salespeople to hit monthly numbers, so going to the dealerships the last week of the month can make a difference.

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#6. Be clear that about your expectations.

Let the dealership know exactly what you are willing to pay and how much time you have to finalize the deal. Bring in other written offers and let them know “the lowest price wins.”

Know what you are willing to trade your current car for, or, better yet, sell it yourself. In any event, back up what you say with actions.

# 7. A Good Deal is ‘Negotiated”

Going to the car dealership is no different than going to Target or Tiffany’s—except the ticket price is negotiable. Remember, in the dance of negotiating, the other person needs to make money, too.

# 8. Take it for a good, long test drive.

Once the car selection is narrowed down, have your partner, husband or friend drive with you and ask for their feedback. Drive the car on a road that mimics real road driving for you. If you drive on the highways, take it there.

If you drive in bumper to bumper traffic, do the same for the test drive.

Have your children come along and get in the second or third row so you have their input. This is an expensive purchase—take your time with the test drive. Dealers want you to be happy with this purchase; many will allow you to take it for the weekend.

# 9. Get a Vehicle History Report.

When buying a Certified Pre Owned or Used Car, make sure to receive a vehicle history report from a reputable source, like CARFAX. You will need the Vehicle Identification Number found on the windshield.

This comprehensive report can uncover any hidden problems that the dealership did not make you aware of. It also includes mileage history, who has owned the car, how many people have owned the car and where it’s from.

# 10. Don’t do business with a salesperson that is pushy, disrespectful or intimidating.

You do have a choice of where to buy and you do have the power at the dealership. If the negotiation process is not working for you – or, if you don’t like the way the salesperson is talking to you, let them know what is not working.

To further level the playing field, Women-Drivers.com is a free and invaluable resource where women can Write and Read Car Dealer reviews at dealerships coast to coast, and easily locate and do business with ones that are already recognized as Certified Women-Friendly.

Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate and President of Women-Drivers.com once hesitated to engage at the dealership when buying a new car or having her car serviced.

With the growing vehicle purchasing power of women, this one-stop site is filled with helpful articles, a Her & His Car Review section, and tips to demystify the buying experience.

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