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Women are less impressed with brands than men when it comes to buying a car. Photo credit: pexels.com

Johannesburg – There are some stark differences in the way women and men buy vehicles in South Africa, according to a Gumtree Autos online survey.

Jeff Osborne, Head of Automotive for Gumtree SA, says the research showed women were more interested in affordability and safety when deciding which car to buy while men were more likely to be looking for brand, style and power.

Women are likely to be less interested in brand than in practical matters such as economy and safety.

“30 percent of women said they consider price to be the most important factor in the purchase, followed by fuel economy (25 percent) and safety (15 percent), Osborne said. “Men rated the brand name of the car as the most important attribute at 19 percent.”

Men are also more likely to be swayed by advertising, with 22.7 percent of men saying that a commercial directly led to their mostrecent car purchase – double the amount of women who said the same.

When it comes to making the decision in the first place to buy a new vehicle, necessity due to increased maintenance costs is the key motivator for women at 31percent followed by rising fuel costs (28 percent) and changing family needs (26 percent). For males, changing family needs (33 percent) was the most common reason given, followed by fuel cost (25 percent) and advertising (23 percent).

“Female respondents were also half as likely to refer to their “dream cars” during questioning, using words such as affordability, reliability and comfort when describing cars they would like to buy. Men were more likely to mention power, trust, class, style and engineering during the conversation.”

Different approaches

The genders also take different approaches when buying a vehicle, with women twice as likely to ask their partners which car to purchase before starting their research.

“Nearly half the male respondents said they knew enough about cars to make an independent decision about which car to buy, while 36 percent of women felt they knew nothing about cars and needed assistance in order to make a purchase decision,” Osborne explained. “But half the female respondents said they actively seek out information about cars even when they aren’t in the market to buy one while nearly three-quarters of men said they would do that, so I do think that behaviour is going to shift.”

Osborne also said the sources men and women used to seek that information were revealing.

“Fifty three percent of all respondents use classifieds, 58 percent use social media and 28 percent have subscriptions to magazines or auto-related websites.”

Empower yourself

According to Osborne, women should trust their gut and use the resources at their disposal when making a purchase decision. “Cars are definitely not the domain of men alone,” he said. “Women should empower themselves with information in order to make a decision when it comes to their cars.

“Women are very active on Gumtree when it comes to buying and selling household items or running businesses, and cars shouldn’t be any different. Do your research, take a car for a test drive and don’t be intimidated by the process. If safety is a concern, make use of a service like B3S that will handle the sale and the paperwork on your behalf. After all, a car should match your pocket – but also your lifestyle and personality!”

– Star Motoring