Fleet News

Racy women opt for the fast lane

FEMALE fleet drivers are racing ahead of men by opting for vehicles at the top end of choice lists.

A new study has shown women are choosing more powerful, better-equipped and more expensive cars then men.

Almost half of the women polled (42%) said their current car had a larger engine than their previous one, with only 30% of men claiming the same.

The survey, which polled 1,300 fleet drivers, also showed that 64% of women have petrol cars and 59% said their current car cost more than their previous one, compared with 45% of men.

Sean Bingham, director of new business at Godfrey Davis Contract Hire (GDCH), the group which completed the survey, said: ‘This research shows women are placing a greater emphasis on criteria such as engine size, sport kudos, price and added extras compared to men, who appear to be more concerned with issues such as fuel and tax efficiency.’

The survey also showed that women were more likely to opt for a sports car or coupe. Almost a fifth of women (18%) drive a sports car compared to 10% of men.

Females also like to splash out on additional extras. Options including air conditioning, air bags, CD player and satellite navigation feature in 63% of women’s current cars, with only 60% of men upgrading to the same specification.

The latest findings contradict a survey completed last year by Lex FreeChoice, the personal finance division of Lex Vehicle Leasing, which claimed that women were choosing smaller, economical city cars, sporty hatchbacks and convertibles, rather than large family cars or off-roaders (Fleet NewsNet, September 23, 2003).

Motoring psychologist Conrad King, who examined the Lex FreeChoice results, said: ‘There are fundamental differences in the way women and men approach buying a new car. While men are more conscious of lots of facts and figures, women tend to gauge intuitively whether a particular car will suit their needs and lifestyle. They tend to treat cars as tools rather than toys.

‘Men can also be more insecure about the size of their car than women are, as men view it more as a status symbol.’

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