Millennial Women Changing the Car Buying Experience

Posted: October 30, 2015 by Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate

Download PDF

PITTSBURGH, PA – Millennials, the newest generation to come into buying power, has an estimated population of 80 million. According to J.D. Power and Associates, millennials accounted for 27 percent of new car sales in 2014, up from 18 percent in 2010. Of those millennial buyers, 53% are female, which is even higher than the statistics that show women of all age groups buy half the cars sold each year., a car dealer review company focused exclusively on ratings from women, conducted a study of 620 reviews of car dealerships between November 2014 and May of 2015. This study sheds light on similarities and differences between millennial and non-millennial women. Here are a few of the differences.

  1. “Excitement” is the number one emotion felt by all age groups when buying a car, but millennials ranked “relaxed” as number two, versus “apprehensive” for non-millennials. “Confident” ranked fourth for millennials and fifth for non-millennials. The difference in emotions indicates that the newest generation is more relaxed and confident. Additionally, younger women are more comfortable using technology to find the information they need to make buying decisions. While they may be less experienced than previous generations when it comes to buying a car, they now have a wealth of information at their fingertips and know how to find the answers to any questions they might have about their purchases.
  2. “Trustworthiness” and “respect” are ranked #1 and #2 for millennials when it comes to the reason for buying from a particular sales advisor. “Understanding” ranks #3 for millennials, replacing “knowledgeable” for other age groups. Many millennials are first time buyers, and combined with the confidence and knowledge outlined above, want to feel they are making a comfortable choice. However, since “understanding” is higher on the list, it points to millennials feeling they have already done their research and are looking for sales advisors who support their decision.
  3. Millennials are willing to travel significantly farther to find the deal they want, traveling 21.5 miles on average versus 15.4 miles for non-millennials. Millennial women are looking at the total deal, and being close to home isn’t as important.
  4. While price is still the number one factor in a vehicle purchase by millennial women, “Style and Design” and “Brand and Model Reputation” rank high (#2 and #3, respectively). Millennial women rank appearance higher than non-millennials, and may be less likely to “settle” for a substitute. Warranty ranks #4, making sense for an age group that may be paying off student loans and doesn’t want the worry of unexpected repair costs. For non-millennials, “Space and Functionality” ranks #4 and Technology ranks #5. The differences in form versus function may be a matter of differences in age and whether extra space is needed to accommodate families.
  5. In the service area, a courtesy/overnight vehicle ranks number one for millennials, and a wireless Internet connection and café rank second and third. Millennial women have a higher expectation of service and comfort. This will have a strong influence on which dealership they rely on for service.
  6. One-quarter of millennial women (vs. one-fifth of non-millennials) report that they read car dealer reviews to help them determine where they are going to buy. In addition, social media is used more frequently by the millennial generation than previous generations. Increased use of technology by millennials represents a challenge and opportunity for dealerships to engage new customers in a communication style that is second nature to the newest generation of buyers.

The survey shows that while many buying habits of millennial and non-millennial women are similar, the differences are significant enough for car dealerships to consider them when working to capture the loyalty of the savvy millennial generation.

About Women‐ – Women‐ is the premier car dealer review site focused on women and their families. It is a marketplace connecting women buyers and trusted Certified Women-Drivers Friendly© Dealers. The Company also provides ground breaking data and analytics through the Women’s Satisfaction Index to better understand the experience this buying segment has at car dealerships.

Connect with More Women Drivers: