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72867984.jpg Ladies, imagine yourself getting ready to go out and purchase your first car on your own. Not only are you excited, you have dreamed of this day for a few years and now that it is here, you have prepared yourself to be a new car owner with all of the elaborate trimmings that accompanies this title. The weeks have been filled with searching through magazines or browsing sites online for the perfect vehicle for you. You have researched the make, model, year, color, and prices for each automobile on your “wish list.” You have gathered material from various sites that you feel will help you with the buying process. After you have obtained all of the information needed, you begin to make plans to visit a small number of car dealerships in your area. This experience does not go quite like anything you have imagined.

Flashing back to when I began searching for my current vehicle, I remember the strain that was put on my mind, body, and fingertips. I did as much research as possible prepping for the big day. I made myself familiar with sites such as Kelly Blue Book and online websites for various dealerships that were located in my city. I did all of this because I remembered a segment from my Psychology of Gender class in which we were informed just how tough it was for women to purchase automobiles. After watching various videos on the subject matter, I consulted with my father (who is a mechanic) on where to search for the best and most efficient vehicles that would also be within my budget. If I was not made aware of this information, I sincerely believe I would have gone into purchasing my first vehicle blindly. This is exactly what you do not want to do. Women are already viewed as the lesser of the two genders and to not know at least half of the needed information when purchasing a vehicle will make you doubly vulnerable.

The very first dealership I ventured out to put me in a place of discomfort. I was bombarded by overzealous salesmen eager to get me to test drive several vehicles that did not meet my requirements. The fact that I went in prepared with prices for the cars of my interest, trade-in prices for my vehicle at the time, and asked questions about each car presented to me irritated the salesmen. I felt out of place and wanted to give up on my search. After touring a couple more dealerships, I found the place for me. The service was excellent, the salespeople were relaxed and answered each of my questions, I received the trade-in quoted dollar amount for my trade-in vehicle, and I was even able to haggle a bit with the salesman to drop their marked price for my current automobile. Even after all of this, I am 65% sure that a man could have gotten the same car a few thousand dollars cheaper.

A recent poll taken by CarMax indicates that 12,000 women were surveyed on the things they felt were lacking within their automobile buying experiences. The poll reveals that in each criteria being researched beginning with “A quick, effortless transaction” all responses that were tallied are fewer than 30%. These numbers are not much different from the same poll conducted the previous year. This further notates that women still have a harder time car shopping than men. If you are contemplating purchasing your first vehicle or trading in your current one, CarMax has a list of tips that are proven helpful for women, here are a few:

Remember that you and your interests should come first. This buying experience should be one you would want to look back on and remember as a positive experience, not one you wish had ever taken place. Happy car hunting.

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  • Vanessa

    I know that uncomfortable feeling going to a dealership, not knowing if you’re being taken advantage of. Thankfully buying a car has gotten easier for women along with everyone else because of the internet. You can finally get around the dealer bias. I used kbb.com and http://www.truecar.com to buy my last car and got a really good deal.