APR 14, 2022
Buying a car is stressful enough without having to worry about being treated unfairly because of your gender. Yet nearly half of Gen Z women – 48% – say they feel discouraged about visiting the dealership for exactly that reason.
Those findings, from a survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of Caribou, reinforce just how much work the auto industry has in front of it as it tries to build trust among women and put customers first.
Overall, more than 1 in 4 women - 27% - said they felt discouraged from buying or leasing a car in the future because of concern of gender-based discrimination at the dealership, the survey found. That equates to a staggering 35+ million women.
At Caribou, we believe in putting people in control of their auto finances. We use great technology to unlock low refinance and insurance rates and an expert team of people to make the process easy.
And every step of the way, we see people as people. It’s not only one of our values – it’s our very first value. It’s that central to our mission to putting consumers in control of their experience as a car owner.
We asked our VP of Lending Operations, Kristen Saito, and Lending Officer, Jessika Garcia, to share their tips to put you in control of your car-buying experience.
Remember that you are the one in control
I always like to remind people that when you walk into a dealership, you have the final say. No matter what is happening, you determine whether or not you sign on the dotted line. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, you can walk out. There are a lot of other dealerships out there that want to earn your business the right way.
Research the sales team and support other women
If you feel more comfortable working with a female salesperson, check out the dealer’s website. A lot of dealerships post a staff page online. This is a great opportunity to do some research and support other women. If you see female salespeople and finance managers listed, consider reaching out to them directly to see if they can do your deal. You can use this moment to support other women who oftentimes aren’t getting the same opportunities as their male colleagues to make the sale. And, in turn, they can support you.
Negotiate online beforehand
Before walking into a dealership, negotiate online with multiple dealers until you feel you have the best offer in-hand. When you’re ready to move forward with that offer, be sure to bring a paper trail with you that details your communications with the particular sales manager and what they offered.
Do your research
If you’re trading in a car, sometimes that’s the only place you have negotiation power. It’s a good idea to have a printout or screenshot of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) or Kelly Blue Book (KBB) value of the vehicle you want to trade before beginning negotiations.
Get pre-approved with a credit union
To get the best rate on your loan, try to get pre-approved with a credit union that you know works with the dealerships you’re considering. You’ll get the best rate for you and because the dealer still gets their cut, they’ll likely be more cooperative to work with.
Work in partnership with the salesperson
The sales and lending teams at the dealership are working hard to earn their livelihood and they make most of their income on additional products and to which bank they sell the deal. Be up front with what you want and let the salesperson know you want to work with them to help them get the sale. Act in partnership and they’ll likely be more willing to work with you.
We hope these tips help you out the next time you head to the dealership.
If you’re not happy with the car loan you got from the dealer, refinancing can help you save on your monthly payment. Caribou makes it quick and easy to refinance your car. Learn more here.
This poll was conducted by Morning Consult March 24-25, 2022 among a sample of 2,200 U.S. adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race and region.