When it comes to gender in auto sales, does the old adage 'men are from mars and women are from venus' still apply? What attracts each gender?

Did you know that there are now more licensed female drivers in the U.S. than men?

You read that right. Of the 222 million licensed drivers in the U.S., 51% are women. At face value, that represents about 113.22 million females, which is 4.44 million more than men.

That's not the only difference between men vs women in the world of driving though. Gender in auto sales and buying decisions also have a lot to do with the make, model, year, and of course, color.

So, which gender prefers which and what exactly do they look for and prefer? We’ve rounded up some of the common gender-based car buying differences in this post, so be sure to keep reading!

Gender in Auto Sales: Factors that Affect Men and Women’s Buying Decisions

Several studies found that men tend to "go with their gut" when it comes to buying decisions. Whereas women had a more analytical way of making purchases.

This is likely why men make a more emotional decision when shopping for a new car. Think "fun to drive", "horsepower", or "powerful engine". These are some of the emotional factors that mold their car buying decision.

Women, on the other hand, gravitate more towards factors like reliability and safety. Comfort is likely more important for them than great looks or fast performance.

Who Fancies the Fancy

Speaking of emotions, did you know that men show more interest in fancy rides? A 2015 study by Experian found that aside from pickups, men also liked foreign luxury cars. That year, male car shoppers geared for Subaru WRX sports car purchases.

Whereas vehicles that came with more utilitarian features tended to draw more women. The same study found that the top choice for women that year was the Infiniti QX70. That said, it appears that when it comes to women vs men, the former are more practical car buyers.

One likely reason behind this is (brace yourself) how women older than 25 pay more for car insurance. That's right. They pay more than men, especially female drivers between the ages of 40 and 60.

It's not a secret that driving a "safer" car often results in lower auto insurance premiums. As utilitarian cars are safer than sports cars, it's not surprising that women prefer them.

Who Sees Red, Who Sees Silver

At one point (in 2013, to be more specific), men preferred red vehicles more than women, with a 12.3% bias. Female drivers were more into silver cars during the same year.

Fast forward a few years later, and a study (from the same research team) found that men still like bright colors. In 2016, male drivers showed a preference for cars painted in yellow or orange. The top choice for women that year was quite a change from silver to teal and gold.

Women Like Big, Bad Trucks Too

From 2008 to 2016, the number of full-sized pickup registrations by women went up a whopping 67%. That represents more than 470,000 truck registrations in 2016 alone.

Granted, men still take the lead when it comes to pick-up ownership. But these vehicles have gone a long way and many of them now come with more family-friendly features.

Crew-cab trucks, for instance, have greater seating capacity than traditional pickups. Some of these vehicles, especially those with extended seating, can seat up to six souls. That makes it a great choice for families, especially those who like to go camping or road tripping.

More seating is only part of the appeal though. There's also the simple reason that trucks, at their core, offer more functionalities. Aside from hauling the family, their truck bed is great for all that cargo too.

Plus, trucks are exceptionally hardy machines, and it doesn't hurt that they're great-looking. Also, there are plenty of products available to make them look and perform even better. You can read more here about what you can do to make a pickup last longer (in case you're in the market for one!).

Decisions, Decisions

You’ve probably heard of the phrase, “men buy, women shop”. Often, this also applies to the habits displayed by men vs women shopping for new wheels.

Again, men tend to go with their hunches or intuition when deciding which car to invest in. Women take more time because they like to do more research before shelling out money. They also tend to consult family and friends first before making a shopping decision.

Who’s Got the Final Say?

Sorry guys, but it's often the women who have the leading roles in car buying purchases. This is true for as much as 85% of all auto purchases.

This is even likelier in cases of auto purchases that involve families. Many mommies, after all, drive their kids to and from school, as well as bring the little ones to their games. They do all these, so they want to make sure the family ride is safe, secure, and spacious enough for everyone.

Fun Fact: More Women Name their Cars

Here’s a final tidbit when it comes to car buying demographics: Women are more likely to name their cars! A study found that female drivers are 7% more likely than men to christen their new wheels. In total though, four in 10 drivers have a name for their trusty steeds.

The Bottom Line: Buy a Car You Like, But Don’t Compromise on Safety

As you can see, there’s a lot of factors based on gender in auto sales and car shopping decisions. More men like it fast, while more women like it safe.

At the end of the day though, it’s all about investing in a quality, safe, and secure ride. Don't let others' preferences sway your decision. Buy what you want, but make sure it will take you from point A to point B in one piece.

Liked this post? Then be sure to check out our other lifestyle blog posts for more nifty tips and tricks!

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