Female car shoppers have sometimes been getting the short end of a sexist stick, as salesmen have gotten a reputation for not treating them the best. That may be changing, as some research suggests female car shoppers might be driving harder bargains and getting the better deals.
English study finds female car shoppers get more discounts
According to the Daily Mail, car magazine Auto Express recently conducted a field study to see just how much better or worse female car shoppers were dealt with by salesmen compared to men. The magazine sent one female and one male to the same ten showrooms – obviously separately – to gauge the difference.
What the magazine found was that women are able to secure more discounts, though at least car salesman lasciviously tried to chat up the female mystery shopper. Five of the dealership’s staff were more polite to the male secret shopper.
Overall, two dealerships offered no extra discounts, deals or incentives to either. However, six out of 10 offered the female shopper more discounts than to the male shopper. He, however, got more discounts from two of the dealers.
Meanwhile, across the pond and elsewhere
It isn’t so much a given; plenty of studies have found female car shopper get a less fair shake than male shoppers. However, a few are cropping up finding the opposite, besides the one by Auto Express. LeaseTrader.com, according to NPR, a website that lets people find car leases to take over, found in a 2012 survey that female car shoppers were generally asking more, different and more thorough questions than male car buyers while car shopping. They also generally have a specific price point in mind, leading to spending less, ergo a better deal.
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LeaseTrader found the 500 female respondents, according to BusinessInsider, put far more importance on aspects like drivability, safety and engine performance over aesthetics. They were also far more likely to order an inspection before agreeing to a lease.
Don’t trust it will happen
That being said, most of the evidence indicates car sales sexism is a force to be reckoned with. According to CBS, economists Ian Ayres and Peter Siegelman found in a survey of 200 dealerships in the Chicago area that female car shoppers were more likely to be quoted a higher price. Edmunds.com found in a 2010 secret shopper piece that their female mystery shopper was treated unequally to their male shopper at two out of three Hyundai dealerships.
This doesn’t necessarily mean all car salesmen are sexist pigs and dealerships are starting to hire more female sales personnel. It does mean, though, that female car shoppers should at least keep an eye out and don’t be afraid to take your business elsewhere. After all, you don’t the commission for the sale and loan on your car to go to a jackass.