Women beat men for best car deals

Article Chris Ebbs
Feb 7, 2013
Women get better deals at car dealerships

A battle of the sexes at UK dealerships shows women coming out on top.

The amount of money you can get off a new car can be greater if you’re a woman, an Auto Express mystery shopper investigation has revealed.

To find out which of the two sexes was likely to get a better deal on the forecourt, Auto Express sent two reporters to the same 10 manufacturer dealerships. The rules were simple: shop for a new car, in exactly the same versions, to see what deal they could get.

This wasn’t just about the amount of money they could get off the list price, however. They also judged salesmen on how long they had to browse before they were spoken to, as well as what the dealer's manner was like and what they actually said. They also looked at their helpfulness, and, finally, the overall negotiation - would the salesman be willing to give them a discount or not?

Our two reporters used similar negotiation tactics, but the final score ended up being very different, with an obvious gender divide quickly establishing itself. Women were the clear winners, getting a better deal at six out of the 10 showrooms, while the men only managed to claim bragging rights at two of the dealerships.

However, the final scores didn’t show the whole story. Women may secure better deals on the whole, but they might find – as Auto Express did – that they are subject to lengthier discussions with salesman with a more patronising manner, who even use some inappropriate comments and exhibit sexist behaviour. The main problem the men had to deal with was salesman being overly cocky or even bored.

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