It’s True! Women Really Do Shop More … for Cars

Jenni-Mothersday-1.1 Photo by @discoratz via Twenty20; illustration by Paul Dolan

Who runs the world? Girls. Who buys the cars? Women. Yes, women. In fact, women buy 62 percent of all new cars sold in the U.S. and influence more than 85 percent of all car purchases.

Related: Ready to Fall in Love? Meet Your Match With’s Shopping Tools

Shop the 2019 Honda Civic near you

2019 Honda Civic Sport
52,513 mi.
2019 Honda Civic Sport
76,132 mi.

So, what are women searching for besides inner peace, a bra with straps that don’t slip and how to successfully juggle a career and a personal life? When it comes to cars, here are the specific models female car shoppers are looking at on

1. Honda Civic

2. Honda Accord

3. Chevrolet Equinox

4. Ford Escape

5. Nissan Altima

6. Jeep Grand Cherokee

7. Ford Focus

8. Toyota Camry

9. Honda CR-V

10. Chevrolet Malibu

How Women Shop

But this wish list isn’t where the car-shopping journey starts for most women. It takes a while to get to this point. In today’s world of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat (this last one I’ve given up trying to figure out), many women are turning to their social networks — both online and offline — for vehicle recommendations, according to research. This research was presented at Heels & Wheels, a conference for female automotive journalists and automaker representatives, on May 30 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Having witnessed this in real life, it’s clear that you’ll get as many recommendations as you have friends — and it may just add too many cars to research to your never-ending to-do list.

Women turn to their friends and family for recommendations because they don’t have a specific car in mind when they start car shopping, according to research. Instead, they’re looking for a vehicle that will fit their life: They need something for hauling their big dogs or something for traveling safely on snow-packed roads or something that’ll make the carpool lane a little less stressful.’s Matchmaker search tool allows you to search for cars by your lifestyle needs.

What Women Want

When car shopping, women embrace their practical side and focus on safety, reliability and comfort. They’re also less brand loyal than male car shoppers, according to J.D. Power research. Take a look at that list of the top shopped models for women — there isn’t a luxury car in the bunch. Female car shoppers want to know “how many grocery bags can I fit in the trunk” and “how easily can I install car seats into the cars I’m considering.” Men have performance and style on their car want list, and panoramic moonroofs, technology and multimedia systems tend to catch their eye, too.

When it comes time to visit a dealership, women continue to rely on personal recommendations from friends and family as to who they should work with on this important purchase, according to research. They also use tools such as consumer reviews to help guide them through the car-buying process.

Shopping for Salespeople has taken consumer reviews to a new level with Salesperson Connect. This tool allows shoppers to learn more about the salespeople at a dealership by reading their profiles, and checking their ratings and reviews from other car shoppers. This allows a shopper — whether male or female — to find a salesperson who’s an expert on performance cars or the latest in towing tech, or the fine details of whatever kind of car that you’re considering.

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Men and women differ in what they’re looking for in their salesperson. Men, who are less likely to trust a salesperson, are more interested in their personal attributes as a way of building a bond with them. Women tend to be less skeptical of salespeople and instead value a salesperson’s experience and expertise.

While women and men approach car shopping differently, the end result is the same: driving off the dealership lot with a car that meets all their needs.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Jennifer Newman
Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Newman is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience, including 15 years as an automotive journalist at Jennifer leads the Editorial team in its mission of helping car shoppers find the vehicle that best fits their life. A mom of two, she’s graduated from kids in car seats to teens behind the steering wheel. She’s also a certified car-seat technician with more than 12 years of experience, as well as member of the World Car Jury, Automotive Press Association and Midwest Automotive Media Association. LinkedIn: Instagram: @jennilnewman Email Jennifer Newman

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