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Women Less Confident in Car-Buying Process, KBB Reports

October 16, 2014

IRVINE, Calif. — When it comes to car shopping, women are driven by features and engage in extensive research to find the best fit. Me, however, are revved about a particular car brand, concluded a new study issued this week by Kelley Blue Book.          

One-in-five men know the exact vehicle they want, while women are twice as likely to be undecided about what vehicle they desire, the study revealed. Additionally, 58% of men are confident in the car-buying arena, versus 38% of women. As a result, women take longer to make a purchase (a median of 75 days, compared with 63 days for men), because they are spending more time than men research in order to build confidence and knowledge.

“It’s striking that while there exist many similarities between how men and women shop for vehicles, there also are some very marked differences,” said Hwei-Lin Oetken, vice president of market intelligence for Kelley Blue Book. “What we can glean from this research is that we need to continue our focus on providing the proper tools and content to help shoppers narrow down choices, therefore bringing balance and filling gender gaps in the car shopping experience.”

The study also found that while men are more likely to view their cars as tied to their image and accomplishments, women are more likely to seek out transportation that gets them from point A to point B. Additionally, women value practical, fundamental benefits — things like durability and reliability, safety and affordability. Men, however, are more drawn to interior layout, exterior styling, technology and ruggedness.

Additionally, men tend to be more image conscious and want trucks, coupes and luxury sedans, while women tend to be more utility-minded and prefer non-luxury SUVs and sedans. Men want domestic trucks and European luxury brands because of the image they portray; women prefer non-luxury Asian brands, which they view to be more practical.

The study also determined that for men, a successful transaction depends on whether they get the best deal, while women define a successful transaction as getting the exact vehicle they want.

Results were based on Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence’s analysis of data from KBB.com traffic and survey data from BrandWatch, Combined User Profile, Recall Awareness, and Price Quote Follow-Up studies. The total sample size from all sources was approximately 40,000 U.S. adults.

 

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