Our survey blows apart some myths and finds women choose their own cars

At ZenParent, we are always trying to understand our readers, mothers and fathers who want to make their own parenting journey worthwhile. Which is why we don’t just stick with parenting advice but everything that occupies the mind space of parents, things that influence their lives.

Last week, we asked mothers specifically about cars. Traditionally thought to be a man’s space, studies increasingly show that more and more women are influencing the purchase of the family car, as well as being the one who decides what car they’re going to be driving, instead of letting their fathers or husbands do the choosing for them.

There are few things as transformational and empowering as buying a car. The sense of achievement is quite unique and the sense of ownership and responsibility that comes with it is even more bracing for your confidence. Our respondents were mothers from Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi primarily (even though we had mothers from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore!). Most of them had chosen their own cars as opposed to their fathers or spouses choosing it for them. A resounding 42 percent of mothers responded saying they were the ones who decided what car would be bought, followed by 21 percent of the respondents who said their fathers or husbands had decided. A really tiny 12 percent said their fathers/husbands had shortlisted ideal cars and they had picked from that list. This, according to us, is pretty much choosing your own car. It’s the equivalent of your assistant doing all the ground work and you going in to make the final decision, yes? Seventeen percent of the respondents, however, were using hand-me-down cars when their husbands had upgraded to new cars. Hmmm.

Last year, UK magazine Carbuyer conducted a study on how men and women chose their cars, and the results totally pulled apart some myths. Men, the survey said, were swayed by looks, performance and beauty, whereas women chose their cars with a more pragmatic approach. And that’s exactly what we at ZenParent found too. An overwhelming 53 percent stated that price of the car and cost of ownership helped them decide what they were going to buy. Second in running was the comfort factor with 47 percent saying that was the decider. Colour and brand of the car came up with 16 percent each while space was a deciding factor for 28 percent of the respondents. This totally busts the myth that car companies and marketers alike have held dear for decades: women like pretty cars and that’s how they decide on them. Car manufacturers, are you listening?

Most of our respondents, it appears, were homemakers from the four cities that we mentioned above, the largest group being from Bangalore. These women primarily — 37 percent — used their car for daily errands, drop offs etc while an almost equally large percentage of 35.7 used the car for their daily commute to work. This blows apart yet another myth that it is only women who work outside the home buy, use and maintain cars. What an eye opener! 

If car manufacturers are finding it hard to meet targets every month, it’s probably because they’re focusing on the wrong crowd, we think!  

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Did you enjoy the results of this survey? If yes, do let us know at editor@zenparent.in. Also let us know what other kind of surveys you’d like to read about.

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