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Driving Today

Advice for Female Car-buyers

Survey on women’s attitudes and emotions points to their favorite info sources.

Women are both more excited and more nervous about purchasing a car than men are. That might be intuitive, but it is also a key finding of a new survey commissioned by BlogHer, a media network and publisher for women. The survey, called “Put Her in the Driver’s Seat,” was designed to explore how women feel -- and where they turn for advice -- when shopping for cars. It revealed a preference for blogs and official product information sources versus traditional media and social networks.

Looking at percentages, 74 percent of women described themselves as being excited about buying a new car, and 53 percent described themselves as being nervous. Some 71 percent of men said they feel excited when they’re on the hunt for a car, but only 42 percent admitted to being nervous.

Women who sought advice from blogs and social networks during the car-buying process had an excitement rating that was 13 points higher than that of women who did not, and women who consulted social networks were more had an excitement rating that was 12 points higher than that of women who did not. Confidence among women who used blogs for auto advice was eight points higher than that of women who did not, and social network use also increased women’s confidence. The stress levels of women who used blogs for advice were four points lower than the total sample, but stress levels remained the same for women who used social networks.

Women’s top five information sources used for research prior to a car purchase were car dealership visits (65 percent), word of mouth (56 percent), car review websites (53 percent), auto manufacturer websites (43 percent) and blogs (31 percent). Other sources, such as auto magazines (21 percent), Facebook (17 percent) and TV advertising (16 percent), lagged significantly behind. Of the top five information sources, the four were also ranked among the most influential on a woman’s car-buying decision. However, one information source that women ranked as a top-five information source -- auto manufacturer websites -- ranked dead last in influence on their ultimate decision.