By Ruby Davis
Within the last decade, the percentage of female drivers has been increasing both within the United States and globally. These women are actively seeking education on the subject of buying a car, obtaining financing and insurance, as well as eventually selling their automobile. However, as it happens with lots of spheres previously dominated by men, female drivers face lots of instances of being discriminated based on their gender and assumed lower level of knowledge of more complex technical issues.
This uncertainty as a woman in the car world led me to launch a car site called ChickDriven, to be the online woman’s guide to car buying and making the right car decisions. My own experience as a first-time car buyer left me feeling like I was taken for a ride. Even though I have an understanding of cars, I was caught up in the buying process and jumped into the purchase without doing proper research. I purchased a car with all the glitz and glamour, thought I had an amazing deal package but was delivered a car with the basic package and paid premium price. I think that car salespeople see a woman and they assume it’ll be easy to take advantage of her.
If you’re in the market for a new or used car, follow these 5 simple steps to ensure you don’t get taken for a ride:
1. Be prepared
Before you walk into a dealership, know exactly what you want. Do you want a convertible, an SUV or are you a mom looking for something that will fit a stroller in the back? Knowledge is power. Do you want to buy the car outright or lease the car or maybe even finance the car?
Make this decision before you go car shopping and know your budget. If you walk into a car dealership umming and ahhing you might fall into the very well known trap where the salesperson thinks they can take advantage of you.
2. Get 3 quotes
Yes. It might take more time, but it gives you the power to know what price you should be paying and avoids you paying more than you should.
Even though there isn’t much room for negotiation on a lot of cars, if you don’t ask you don’t receive. Never be scared to ask for a better deal.
4. Don’t rush
Walk away and sleep on it. The salesperson may tell you if you don’t buy the car right then and there the price will go up or they might tell you someone else might purchase the car. While this may be true, it is better to consider all aspects of the car instead of rushing into something you didn’t really want or can’t afford.
5. Avoid the up-sell trap
Just because the salesperson tells you to get a more expensive car doesn’t mean you should. Salespeople are trained to get as much out of a sale as possible. If you don’t want extras, don’t be scared to say no.
Buying a new car can be a difficult process, but you can do it! Just remember to take a deep breath and take your time. It is never a good idea to buy a car the day you start looking, so take your time and don’t be afraid to walk away.
Ruby Davis is the founder of ChickDriven.com, a website dedicated to helping women navigate the often confusing and overwhelming experience of car buying. ChickDriven is leading the way with honest, informative car reviews, advice about auto financing and insurance, and other helpful tools to choose the right car.