Moms Consider Themselves Decision-​Makers on Auto Purchases

Nearly three of four (73%) moms consider themselves to be the "sole decision-​maker" in the vehicle shopping process, according to a new study by Cars​.com.  As a growing number of consumers turn to online resources for information and transparency when making major purchases, women with children have emerged as a highly engaged group of shoppers.

"There's a lot for moms to consider when purchasing a new family vehicle, because their car is often tasked with hauling not only the entire family or carpool, but also all of the gear that goes along with them," said Jennifer Newman, Cars​.com Expert Mom. "There's no such thing as the perfect family car because every family's needs are different. As a result, it's essential that shoppers do their research on sites like Cars​.com/​f​a​m​ily to determine which features are a must and narrow down vehicle options. From there, visiting your local dealership for an in-​person look and a test drive with the entire family is vital."

The study found that 71% of moms agree that shopping online for a new or used vehicle makes the process much easier, but more than half (68%) still prefer to conduct negotiations in person. Women with children desire long-​term relationships with dealers, as the research shows that the majority (59%) prefers to purchase multiple vehicles from the same lot.

"It's important for dealers to remember that moms have done the same amount of research, if not more, than any other customer before stepping onto the lot,  and they're confident in their ability to navigate the car buying process," said Jack Simmons, Manager of Dealer Training at Cars​.com.  "More than 60% of moms surveyed said they trust the information they find online more than what they're told from dealers, which means dealers need to go above and beyond to prove their authenticity and value. The good news is that moms are very loyal customers, and a great first impression can make a fan for life."

Although more than half (56%) of moms describe their overall feelings about auto dealerships as positive or somewhat positive, the majority (75%) still feel dealers are pushy and aggressive.


  • 73% of moms consider themselves the sole decision-​maker in the vehicle shopping process
  • 59% of moms like to purchase from the same dealer for each vehicle they need so they can develop a relationship and 72% of moms like to talk to someone face-​to-​face when they're shopping for a vehicle
  • 90% of moms want the negotiation of the price to be as simple and easy as possible
  • 71% of moms agree that shopping online for a new or used vehicle makes the process so much easier and 66% of moms trust the information they find online more than information they receive from the auto dealer
  • 62% of moms feel that most dealerships treat them like a valued customer, but the majority (75%) feel they are pushy and aggressive

Ad-​ology Research has discovered that 19% of US adults said "New Car/​Truck" when asked: "When it comes to transportation, I intend to purchase these items in the next 12 months."  When shopping for a new car/​truck, 18% of consumers said newspaper was the most beneficial local media source, followed by 15% who said TV, and 7.3 who said magazine.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-​ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall​.com.