CarShop Swindon finds two thirds of women are still uncomfortable about shopping for a car alone

By Jamie Hill - 30 April 2021


Company pledges to make more changes to tackle concerns head-on
A recent survey of over 1,500 people about car buying habits from the UK’s leading used car retailer CarShop has revealed that many women feel apprehensive about the used car buying experience and still don’t feel comfortable shopping for a used car alone.

  • CarShop's Laura Fisher with customers

    CarShop's Laura Fisher with customers

When asked about their preferred way of buying a car, 24% of male respondents said they would usually go in-store by themselves – and only 11% of women said the same. In fact, the survey reveals that women are six times more likely to shop in-store with another person, than to shop alone.

Furthermore, when asked how comfortable they would feel shopping in-store for a used car alone, less than one third (32%) of women opted for ‘very’, compared to a much larger 57% of men. At the other end of the spectrum, nearly four times as many female respondents said they would feel ‘not at all comfortable’ shopping in-store alone, compared to men.

When asked what they would be most apprehensive about when buying a used car, nearly 10% more men than women chose ‘paying more than the car is worth’. But a higher percentage of women answered that they would feel most apprehensive about ‘being talked into buying a car or extras I didn’t want’ and ‘nervousness around going into an unfamiliar environment’.

Shockingly, six times as many women than men answered that they would feel most apprehensive about ‘the assumption that they did not know’ about cars.

CarShop’s survey also asked respondents what the best thing about the car buying experience is. For both men and women, the most popular option was ‘having a car that better suits my needs’, but a higher proportion of women chose the experience ‘being easy, comfortable, and enjoyable’, compared to men. This could imply that women place more value on the feeling of the experience than men, who – as the following findings will reveal – place more value the outcome of the sale.

Natasha Holland, CarShop Swindon’s head of marketing, said: “As a brand, we’ve always tried to make the car buying experience as enjoyable as possible for all our customers and we understand that for some people, buying a used car can be daunting.

“What the survey findings show us – and to other car dealerships listening – is that there is a real need to change even further. Adding a buy online offering, as CarShop has already done, is a brilliant way of servicing customers that simply prefer to buy online but this is not a ‘clap your hands, job done’ moment.

‘We’re giving car sales a much-overdue makeover, with a more approachable, comfortable and inclusive feel to it. And, as a woman who has been working in the industry for eight years, I – for one – couldn’t be happier to see it.’

“Intimidating showrooms, barky salesmen and awkward haggling over prices are a thing of the past – our prices are fixed so there’s definitely no hard sell.

“We’re also making a huge effort to bring in specific training schemes and opportunities on the subject as well as recruit more female colleagues across a range of different departments and levels – from our on-the-ground sales and technical teams, to our Head of Business roles and leadership board.”

CarShop Swindon is located on Penny Lane, Swindon. The leading used car retailer spent much of 2020 bringing in a raft of new innovations and services to rival new online car retail offerings.

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