We’ve Got the Power: Women Are Driving Sales of SUVs

Women And Cars
Women have money to spend - on cars.

When we say A Girls Guide to Cars, we mean it.

We’ve known for a while that women influence at least 80% of all vehicle purchases in the US every year. But another trend with female car buyers is emerging.

According to MaritzCX, a customer-experience software and research company, in the last five years, small sport-utility vehicle sales to women increased 34%, compared to a 22% increase for men. And premium small SUVs saw 177% growth in sales to women. And, believe it or not, these women aren’t all soccer moms looking for a vehicle to haul around the kids’ sports equipment – they are single women.

Breaking female stereotypes

Among female car buyers overall, 40% are single women.

“There’s a group of single, professional females out there that need vehicles, and you need to be attentive to them,” James Mulcrone, director of research services for MaritzCX’s Michigan office, said. “They’re going to make money, they’re going to make their own decisions, and they can be very loyal consumers.”

No longer do women need to take a husband or dear old Dad with them to the car lot. Professional women – married and single – know what they want, know how to do their own research, and they know how to negotiate.

In fact, according to a Kelley Blue Book survey, women do more research than men when purchasing a vehicle. I find this hard to believe because my husband researches everything for years and I’m a love at first sight kind of purchaser. But we’re not the norm.


We know what we like, and we buy it. Photo: Chevrolet

Safety matters most for women

Married and single women love SUVs for many reasons. They are multi-purpose and, depending on your needs, come in varying sizes. If you have a family, an SUV is easy to drive and still provides room for the kids, the soccer balls and your groceries – and it’s so much cooler than a minivan.

For single women, the same multi-purpose features are attractive. The interior of an SUV is spacious and the elevation in the vehicle provides a better view of the road. The SUVs are also durable, reliable and most of all safe. And safety ranks higher with women than with men. Maybe it’s our nurturing nature – whether we’re nurturing our kids or our friends.

We’re here to stay, so pay attention

With the percentage of female car buyers rising, I’m betting future SUVs will come equipped with special places to keep our handbags and excellent lighting for lipstick touch-ups before we exit the vehicle and conquer the world.

She REALLY does buy cars.

LeAura Luciano is a native New Yorker and graduate of NYU and JD graduate of Hofstra Law. Her experiences... More about LeAura Luciano