Car Buying for Women Continues to Be Time-Consuming and Complicated, According to Survey

Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:32pm EDT

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Car Buying for Women Continues to Be Time-Consuming and Complicated, According to Survey

CarMax Offers Tips to Help Make the Process Smooth

“Quick” and “effortless” are not words being used by many women when discussing their last car purchase, according to a recent poll conducted for CarMax, Inc. (NYSE: KMX), the nation’s largest retailer of used cars. Nearly a quarter of the women surveyed said their last car purchase was a hassle, and many others felt they lacked a fair and reasonable trade-in value, financing, and purchase price. These results are similar to responses from women over the past few years.

“Women often commit a lot of time, research and thought into a vehicle purchase, and want to feel confident in their decision,” says Donna Wassel, Southwest regional vice president of CarMax. “With research tools, transparency and no-haggle prices offered by CarMax, shoppers can have a smooth, straightforward purchase they can feel good about.”

The following are the results of the recent poll that asked women: Thinking about the last time that you bought a car, which of the following was most missing?




Percentage in 2012


Percentage in 2011


Percentage in 2009

A quick, effortless transaction   24   26   25
A fair trade-in value   18   15   19
A reasonable finance rate   17   13   13
Low, fair pricing   15   15   13
A trustworthy salesperson   12   15   15
Respect   2   3   2

All of the surveys were conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of CarMax. Each national sample consisted of more than 500 U.S. women, aged 18 and older who were interviewed online in September 2012, October 2011, and August 2009. In this year’s survey, 11 percent of respondents had not purchased a vehicle, while 13 percent had not purchased a vehicle in the 2009 and 2011 surveys.

CarMax offers the following tips for women car shoppers:

  1. Do research on websites such as to search thousands of vehicles, see actual prices, view multiple photos, obtain vehicle history reports, read customer reviews and more.
  2. Print out information about the vehicles you are interested in, and have them ready when you step onto the lot.
  3. If you plan on selling your car, 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 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 like CarMax, 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. Consider selling your car separately from your car purchase. CarMax offers free appraisals.
  8. Have confidence. You have done your research and are prepared to make a smart car buying decision.
  9. Ask as many questions as you need so you understand exactly what you are paying for.
  10. Be prepared to walk away if you are unhappy with your car buying experience.

About CarMax

CarMax, a member of the FORTUNE 500 and the S&P 500, and one of the FORTUNE 2012 “100 Best Companies to Work For,” is the nation’s largest retailer of used cars. Headquartered in Richmond, Va., CarMax currently operates 113 used car superstores in 56 markets. The CarMax consumer offer is structured around four customer benefits: low, no-haggle prices; a broad selection; high quality vehicles; and customer-friendly service. During the twelve months ended February 29, 2012, the company retailed 408,080 used cars and sold 316,649 wholesale vehicles at our in-store auctions. For more information, access the CarMax website at

Media Contacts
Michelle Ellwood, CarMax Public Affairs, 804-747-0422, ext. 4139, Twitter: @CarMaxCares
Elia Imler, CarMax Public Relations, 804-747-0422, ext. 4029, Twitter: @CarMax