Just what is it about cars that divides the sexes? Is it just me or does the very thought of buying a new car make you want to bang your head on the table and moan “I don’t care which one we get, as long as it’s the right colour and has a coffee holder.”
I have no idea what engine, registration number or model our car is – because I don’t really care. As long as it gets me to where I’m going in relative comfort, I’m happy. Having said that, if I ever drive a really fast car – the kind I usually scorn for being crass and distasteful – I’m like “wow this is nice to drive” and immediatly start racing people (men) at traffic lights.
Buying a car would be way beyond me and I have sexistly always left that side of things to MAD. Mainly because I find the kind of people who sell cars have the same effect on me as financial advisors and estate agents (apologies to my brother who’s an estate agent)!
It seems I am not the only one, as a recent Good Housekeepingsurvey found 66 per cent of 2,600 women thought car dealers should be more female-friendly.
Due to hard times in the auto industry and increased female spending power, it seems things might be changing however, as car manufacturers are waking up to the fact we may not want to be sold to by Rodney Trotter.
Rockar in Bluewater are challenging the stereotypes around selling cars. Set up by Simon Dixon, who owned online leasing company jamjar.co.uk and Dixon Motors, Rockar is more like shopping in an Apple store than a car showroom.
The staff – called Angels, men and women who mostly don’t have a background in car sales – will take you through the whole process. They are not on commission and will help you spec up your car (a Hyundai) on iPads, talk you through part-exchange and finance options and explain everything as they would if you’d walked into COS and were looking for a new coat.
Not patronising or intimidating and it works – 37,250 people have visited the shop to date, of which the average age is 37, and 60 per cent are female.
Of course I’m still interested in getting the right colour and whether it will hold my coffee – but the difference is, I don’t have to pretend otherwise.