Men vs. Women: The Gender Divide of Car Buying

Men vs. Women: The Gender Divide of Car Buying

Last Updated December 22, 2021 | Andrew Boyle

Buying a car is often considered a rite of passage, but once the shiny newness wears off, how men and women find a new car differs quite a bit. What affects how men and women choose a car?

Sources: CBS News | Edmunds

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Men Vs Women Car Buying

What Are Men Looking For?

1 out of every 5 men will know exactly what they’re looking for in a new vehicle. This often includes details like engine size, transmission type, drive train, and suspension specifications. More than half of male drivers are confident when buying a new car, and most take 63 days or less to make their final decision and purchase a new vehicle.

With the massive variety of cars available, men tend to lean toward purchasing European luxury brands like Jaguar, Ferrari, Porsche, and BMW, and prefer cars with high-end technology and stylish looks for both interior and exterior.

What Are Women Looking For?

Although women typically have a good idea of the characteristics they’re looking for in a new vehicle, they’re still twice as likely to be undecided about their vehicle choices. Only 38% of women report feeling confident when buying a car.

Women are thoughtful when purchasing a new car and the buying cycle takes a bit longer than men, usually averaging around 75 days to complete a purchase.

Unlike men, women tend to prefer non-luxury brands and are motivated to find vehicles that are affordable and known for their durability, reliability, and safety. Kia, Honda, and Nissan are just some of the brands that are preferred by women. One explanation for this is that women tend to be more utility-minded.


Confidence in the car you’re looking for can lead to you getting a better price. Car dealers generally know when they’re dealing with an unconfident person, and might try to leverage that unease when negotiating price. On average, men get lower prices than women, with salespeople offering $200 higher list prices to women.

Who’s Driving?

There aren’t as many men on the road as women. There are 1.4 million more women who are licensed to drive than men. Women also tend to purchase more new cars than used ones, with 62% of new cars in the country being purchased by women.

On top of that, more than 80% of the car purchasing decisions are made by women.


Men end up paying more to insure their new vehicles than women do — one site estimates that men might end up paying upwards of $15,000 more throughout their life than their female counterparts. While these premiums do drop as men get older, they still continue to be much higher until male drivers reach 35. Middle-age drivers, both male and female, pay similar premiums.

This is because statistically, men are likely to take more risks behind the wheel. Another factor impacting skewed insurance rates is that those luxury cars that men prefer cost quite a bit more to ensure than the non-luxury alternatives.

Those Millennials…

These statistics apply to most age groups, save one — millennials.  Millennial women, for example, feel as self-assured when purchasing a car as men, and men in this age group are actually more confident in their female counterparts than men of older generations.

Millennial men believe that their female counterparts are stronger negotiators than themselves, and also believe that women are more logical when it comes to purchasing cars.

While car buying might not be a walk in the park for either men or women, it’s safe to say that each group approaches the process very differently.

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About the Author

Andrew is a Jeep TJ owner and car industry aficionado with over 150 articles under his belt. Read full bio →

Sources: Millenials Are Busting Car-Shopping Gender Stereotypes, According to Study, Edmunds | How Men Can beat Gender Bias in Car Insurance, CBS News | New Cars: What Men Want, CBS News |

Men vs. Women: The Gender Divide of Car Buying

Men and women tend to approach buying a car differently. Men prefer luxury and style and will make a quicker purchase. They also get the added perk of a lower starting price, simply due to being male. Women prefer reliability and safety, and get the benefit of cheaper insurance throughout their lives, but they might find themselves paying more if they’re not careful.