6 Tips for Women When Buying a Used Car

Buying Tips & Tricks March 26, 2021

By Kyla Clarke

While it’s probably not quite Mars versus Venus, the car-buying experience can often be completely different for women and men. 

Despite the fact that women are responsible for 62% of all new cars sold in the United States, for many, car shopping can feel stressful and overwhelming. Plus, women often experience sexism and unwanted attention — or no attention at all! — at the dealership.

“The first salesperson I encountered acted very arrogant and basically told me that I didn’t know what I wanted,” said one female car-buyer. “Another time, I brought along my husband to a dealership, and the salesperson completely disregarded me. Eventually, my husband told the salesperson that he should be talking to me about my wants and needs, not his, since it would be my car."

Understandably, 43% of women do not trust the auto industry. 

While our society has a long way to go before women are treated equally to men and respected in all spaces, in the meantime, we can change the way cars are sold. 

Did you know that about 40% of Curbie buyers are women? We can’t speak to exactly why this occurs, but perhaps it’s because Curbie offers an alternative to the traditional car-buying experience. 

As we move into a post-COVID era, more and more companies are leveraging digital options to serve customers. And when it comes to car shopping, more and more consumers are seeking digital-first service. In fact, 18% of auto shoppers would purchase a vehicle sooner if there was an online purchase option.

So for women who are uncomfortable with shopping at traditional dealerships, looking for a COVID-safe alternative, or simply want to try something new, here are our tips for women car shopping in 2021: 

Do Your Research

Thanks to the internet, there is an endless vault of information available out there. Pay attention to the names of cars you like on the road, get clear on the different makes and models you are interested in, and do some research online. 

Look for things like low mileage, whether or not the vehicle has been in a collision, fuel mileage, safety features, and engine performance. Then start to think about seating and storage, the infotainment features you’re dying for, and any other options that are important to you. (Heated seats anyone?!) 

Read Reviews

Now that you’ve figured out what kind of vehicle you want, it’s time to see what others are saying about it. Read some customer reviews to see if the models you’re looking at are right for you and resonating with other shoppers. Reviews also help you get insight into certain flaws or unexpected quirks so there will be no surprises when you eventually bring your new vehicle home. You can read customer reviews at sites like Driving.ca, Autos.ca, and Globe Drive.

Talk to Friends and Family

Nobody knows you better than your friends and family! Talk to the ones you trust about car-shopping just as you would ask them for their opinion on skinny jeans or a new couch. Especially if your loved ones have purchased vehicles before, they’ll be able to share their experiences and maybe even help you to learn from their mistakes. 

There is no shame in asking for help, especially if you are feeling lost or overwhelmed! Plus, most women rely on advice from friends and family when shopping for a vehicle, so you certainly wouldn’t be the first.  

Find a Dealer You Trust

Maybe it’s the dealership your best friend used, or an online dealer you discovered by chance, but trust is everything. If your first interaction with a sales rep wasn’t ideal, call around to a few different places to get a feel for different styles and find someone you connect with. And if working with a specific salesperson or traditional dealership isn’t for you, try an online-only alternative and skip the dealer altogether.