A Man And A Woman Went Car Shopping Together…


As a couple, you’ve finally agreed on one thing: it’s time to go car shopping together. You need to reach a consensus on what vehicle to buy. What follows can be a harrowing process that causes even the most level-headed and chill couple to spring a few gray hairs.

The truth is that very few guys and gals have the same buying criteria. If you’re married or in a relationship where the car-buying decision is a joint effort, there’s a 99.8 percent chance you know this to be true. What you want and what she wants are worlds apart, yet somehow the end result is going to be a new car, truck, SUV, motorcycle (unlikely) or, God forbid, a minivan in the driveway.

So what makes the process so different for men and women? Who wins in the end?

It’s A Prehistoric Problem

At its core, car buying for a man is much like every other decision a Neanderthal male makes. If it catches his attention, he wants it. It’s probably from the same instinct as the role of meat-providing hunter in prehistoric times, where it’s all about conquering a target. And not just any target, but the biggest and best of the herd.

Women have a more down-to-earth approach when purchasing transportation. It stems from the inherent skill set of providing everything else for the family since the dawn of time. It’s from gathering local food supplies and providing shelter to caring for and protecting the children. A woman’s role is steeped in practicality.

The Driving Factor

If you send a guy out alone to buy a car, there’s one overriding factor that will pull his wallet from his pocket – he’s emotion-driven. If you let him loose to choose what he wants, it’s going to be a car that stirs him deep in his soul. It’s the mean-looking sports car, the lifted pickup truck, or the decked-out luxury car. He’s going car shopping to fall in love.

Not so for the women. If you send a woman out car shopping on her own, the result will be eminently practical. She’ll consider how many child car seats can fit, how easy the fabric is to clean, and the effort required to load parcels and bags into the trunk, hatch, or liftgate. Performance and pretty things are last. It clearly makes more sense, doesn’t it?

The Purpose Of A New Car

What a man hopes to accomplish is totally different from the car-buying goals of a woman. Speaking in sweeping generalizations, a guy wants a new car so he can puff out his chest and beat it like a gorilla. It’s a demonstration of success. It’s a status symbol to show the world just how well he’s done, even if it doesn’t come close to meeting the family’s needs.

Women shop for practicality. That’s why minivans and sport utes are here to stay. It matters how many cup holders there are, if the seats are configurable, and how much cargo space is available. Men are driven because of how a new car makes them look. Women consider a vehicle a tool. It may hurt the delicate heart of a man, yet it’s clearly the rational decision.

The Gender-Specific Priorities

According to CDK Global, men look for three things above all: aesthetics, power and speed, and in that order. You’ll notice that they’re all emotionally driven. Guys want a car that is stunning and sparks a flutter in their soul. The car gives a kick in the pants when you press on the gas pedal, sparking a Tim Allen-like grunt of approval.

Yet for women, the top priorities are totally different: durability, reliability, and safety. It’s more sensible, especially noting their vehicles are typically utilitarian. They’re looking to the future, considering costs and concerns that could crop up. Is the new car an IIHS Top Safety Pick? Five-star crash ratings? Is it costly to repair? It’s the items most guys don’t consider when they’ve been seduced by a new car.

Comfort In The Car Shopping Process

More than half of guys feel comfortable with the process of buying a car, while only a quarter of women are at ease with it. That’s not a shocking statistic. However, what is surprising is that 65 percent of vehicle purchases are made by women. The tables turn at this stage…

Guys love to shop for cars. It’s like dating all over again. You’re heading out into the world to conquer the prettiest, most appealing vehicle. You get to play the field, test driving a few and laying your eyes on some real beauties. That’s even though you know they’re out of your league.

But because most women aren’t comfortable with buying a car – it’s a necessity, remember? – they’re inclined to make the process as quick and targeted as possible. Get in, make a deal, and get out.

Men may not want to admit it, but it’s a helpful part of the car shopping process. Women keep men on task at the dealership, so that the guys don’t find themselves committed to a seven-year relationship with a two-seater sports car that doesn’t hold a suitcase, let alone the three kids. The woman’s unease in the showroom drives her to research potential vehicles in advance, so that the in-store part can be brief.

What Successful Car Shopping Looks Like

Guys are prideful beings. They want to look like they’re dominant, especially when it comes to major purchases like homes and cars. It’s not so much a need for control but the appearance of it. Only one thing supersedes this need: not being in the doghouse.


For that reason, men will defer to the better half when buying a car. Yes, men love the shiniest, most attractive cars on the market. They yearn for the thrill of the performance and the invigorating feeling of status. But happy wife, happy life is the mantra for any smart and successful man, which is why they happily cede control of the vehicle purchase to the women in their life.

A full 85 percent of men are influenced by women when buying a car. Being married is more important for most guys than driving the sports car or pickup truck of their dreams. They’d rather park a minivan in their driveway than see their precious belongings all tossed into the yard when they pull up with a new Corvette.

Guys consider car buying successful when they’ve satisfied the woman in their life and achieved the best deal possible. Women, on the other hand, think successful car shopping culminates when they buy a vehicle that ticks all the little boxes on their list.

Looking for a compromise? There are a handful of vehicles that could satisfy the fun-to-drive male persona and the practical female point of view. Consider a high-performance SUV for the family fleet. Maybe the upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk would suit your fancy with its Hellcat powertrain. If a premium brand is your style, a BMW X5M or X6M, or Audi SQ5 could fit the bill. You shouldn’t rule out the Porsche Macan GTS or Turbo, nor the Mercedes AMG GLE63.  All are profoundly performance-based for him with the space and function for her. Maybe it is possible to satisfy everyone!