• 71% of women say they don’t choose a car to impress anyone but themselves and only two in ten take their partner’s opinion into account
• 69% of women aren’t afraid to haggle when buying a car
• 31% of women are happy to rent-to-own a car
• Over a third of women would like to be able to change cars or trade up more regularly

Women drivers are leading the pack when it comes to taking the time to make big decisions about their car.  In an area where men historically dominate the discussion, its women who are now taking charge in choosing the car they want.  Nearly three quarters of women say they don’t choose a car to impress anyone but themselves and only two in ten take their partner’s opinion into account. Many women also report that the car buying decision-making process takes them just over one month, with over two thirds saying they aren’t afraid to haggle on the forecourt.  It’s not just deciding on a car, women also prove themselves to be savviest when it comes to selecting the payment method too; unlike their male counterparts, many of whom admit to rushing into an ill-judged car finance decision within just two hours, a third of women take at least two days to make the choice.

A quarter of women say they are cutting back on all spending and changing their lifestyle considerably, and as these attitudes to the concept of car ownership evolve, finance will become the norm in the not too distant future

This purchase in haste, repent in leisure approach to car finance adopted by men, has been uncovered in a new survey of 1,000 UK car owners by BMW Financial Services. Of even more concern however, is that some consumers were found to be giving about as much thought to purchasing a sofa, as they are a car finance package.  The survey also found that women are more open to making joint decisions for both cars (50%) and car finance (53%), while men in particular, like to choose entirely independently. This is in contrast to other big ticket items such as a new kitchen (63%), holidays (64%) and sofa (64%) which are all more likely to be joint decisions. 

Attitudes to car ownership have changed, astute consumers and women in particular, have realised that buying a new or used car on finance now carries a number of advantages. Four in ten drivers, now see finance as a ‘perfectly acceptable’ way to own and drive the car of their dreams.  The survey also reveals that a third of British women drivers are happy to rent-to-own their car, which mirrors the recent uptake in car finance sales seen by BMW Financial Services. 

Joe Pattinson, General Manager Sales and Marketing at BMW Financial Services commented, “Finance is the car purchasing model for the future. As women adopt the rent-to-own approach as the more sensible decision, this is less of an indication of the economic climate and more a long term purchasing trend that is here to stay.  A quarter of women say they are cutting back on all spending and changing their lifestyle considerably, and as these attitudes to the concept of car ownership evolve, finance will become the norm in the not too distant future.”

In deciding on the make and model of a car, British drivers are looking for:
• Affordability / within budget (93%)
• Functional features (size, number of doors, boot space 90%)
• Fuel economy (89%)
• Driving performance (83%)
• Resale value (54%)
• Brand image and status (38%)

Joe continues: “Many drivers though are making greater compromises on the make, model and spec of their vehicle than they need to. A third of women say they will dismiss certain makes and models of car because they do not reflect the right image for them.  Buyers have also realised that extras can pay for themselves when buying with finance – and as they enhance and protect the residual value of a vehicle even further.  And it’s not just the extras; over a third of women would like to be able to change cars or trade up more regularly, which of course suits the finance model perfectly.”