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Buying a Car Without Driving Yourself Crazy


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GENDER GAPS

One aspect of the car market that has changed in recent years, and one with which dealers are starting to connect, is the effect of women -- who now influence 85 percent of all new car purchases and represent 52 percent of all new car buyers, said Courtney Caldwell of Road and Travel magazine.

Besides often doing more research than men, women also have different priorities for vehicles. On a list of five priorities for a car, women rank safety as their top concern. Men rank safety fifth and list performance (speed, power, and handling) as their most important feature.

"Women tend to buy more new cars because of safety," Caldwell noted. "They are more concerned about [a car] breaking down. Women are willing to invest more to get safety features in cars."

Women also tend to be more practical when car-shopping, in part because they often make less money than men, she continued. "If money were no object, women probably would choose cars with more safety features that looked cool."

The MotherProof.com team is a prime example of hands-on research. The group's goal is to provide women in general and mothers in particular with useful and entertaining new-car reviews. Test-driving mothers take a car for two weeks through "real-world experiences," including grocery shopping with children and picking up soccer teams, said "chief mother" Kristen Varela. Manufacturers provide MotherProof with cars to test.


"Women tend to buy more new cars because of safety. They are more concerned about [a car] breaking down. Women are willing to invest more to get safety features in cars."

Among the criteria the MotherProof testers look for are comfort while driving, reliability, flexibility of the cargo space -- for example, whether seats are easy to fold down and remove, and how easy it is to attach a baby seat.

"The Internet is empowering women; they are more confident in their car-buying decisions," Caldwell said.

MORE ABOUT
CAR-BUYING

Click the links below to read more on this topic.

Start With Homework
Decide what you need, and then start researching cars that fit your needs and budget.

What's Hot?
Smaller, more environmentally-friendly cars are increasingly popular. Certified pre-owned cars also are drawing more buyers.

What Teachers Are Buying -- And Ways to Pay
More teachers are opting for new cars, and many turn to credit unions for financing.

More Car-Buying Resources
Here's some information to help in buying and financing a car.

Article by Ellen R. Delisio
Education World®
Copyright © 2007 Education World

10/25/2007