Survey Says! Buying a Car Remains a Hassle for Women
What was most lacking when you bought your last car?
Criteria This Year's Response Response in 2006
-- A quick, effortless transaction 21% 21%
-- A salesperson I liked and trusted 16% 15%
-- Lowest, fair pricing 14% 14%
-- A fair trade-in value 13% 14%
-- Respect for/attention to my wants
and needs 13% 13%
-- A fair, reasonable finance rate 7% 6%
-- Understandable paperwork 4% 4%
-- Other factors 12% 12%
"We continue to see the same trends as women search for satisfaction in shopping for a vehicle," says Donna Wassel, regional vice president, CarMax. "It is essential for women to find a car retailer, such as CarMax, that focuses on excellent customer service, and a hassle free car-buying experience."
CarMax offers the following tips for women car shoppers:
1. Use the Internet to research vehicle types, makes, models, options,
features, and prices. Visit websites such as carmax.com to see actual
prices and photos of nearly every vehicle make and model, review
vehicle history reports, and read actual customer reviews.
2. Print out fact sheets or information about the vehicles you are
interested in, so you can remind yourself about what you want when you
step onto the lot.
3. Bring key paperwork items with you, including title and registration
for your current vehicle, your driver's license, and insurance card.
4. If you have been pre-approved for a car loan, bring in the approval
letter with you.
5. Find a car retailer and salesperson you like and trust by asking
friends and family for referrals.
6. Try a retailer that offers no-haggle prices and a la carte pricing on
each part of the car buying transaction -- the vehicle price, the
extended service plan, the trade-in, and the financing.
7. Get a fair offer on your trade-in separately from your car purchase.
You can bring your car to CarMax for a free appraisal. Having the
appraisal offer will help you understand the fair value of your
"trade-in" before you start shopping.
8. Have confidence in your car shopping abilities. You have done your
research and are prepared to make a smart car buying decision.
9. Do not hesitate to ask lots of questions -- as many as you need so
that you understand exactly what you are paying for.
10. Be prepared to walk away if you are unhappy with your car buying
"Being prepared to walk away can be tough to do, especially if you have spent a lot of time on one car lot," says Wassel. "But if you are not pleased with the car buying process, it's worth it -- remember, you are the one who has to drive the car and make the payments, not the salesperson."
CarMax, a FORTUNE 500 company and one of the FORTUNE 2007 "100 Best Companies to Work For," is the nation's largest retailer of used cars. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., CarMax currently operates 81 used car superstores in 38 markets. The CarMax consumer offer is structured around four core equities: low, no-haggle prices; a broad selection; high quality vehicles; and customer-friendly service. During the twelve months ended February 28, 2007, the company retailed 337,021 used vehicles and sold 208,959 wholesale vehicles at its in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at www.carmax.com.