Women drive better cars than men
Women are not just better drivers, they also drive better cars, says a lovemoney.com readers' poll.
Men spend too much on impractical cars, while women buy small boring cars to go to the shops; are these views reality? Well more than 900 male and 500 female readers of lovemoney.com completed our recent car survey, telling us about the cars you drive today.
Here's what you told us you buy, what you spend and what you think about your cars.
Top car brands for men
1) Land Rover
Chelsea tractors? Not Land Rovers, they are most definitely men's cars. These 'go-anywhere' cars (but probably down the shops for a café latte) are seven times more likely to be owned by men.
After BMW developed a 'certain image', real men moved to Audi. The brand's understated masculine looks clearly appeal to men, as these cars are 3.5 times more likely to be driven by guys.
For guys who love to drive and still get the kids in the back, Bimmers are 3.4 times more likely to be a fella's car. I once owned a white BMW M5 with a spoiler! A fantastic car but the girlfriend would not come near it because it was such a 'boy's car', so sadly it had to go (the car, not the girlfriend).
Top car brands for women
It looks like no men at all drive Smart cars, or at least own up to it. Out of more than 1,500 responders not one male had a Smart car. Smart cars tip the scales as the most girlie cars available according to our poll takers.
The husband/boyfriend's favourite? Minis may often be driven by men, but it looks as if they are mostly owned by ladies. Mini owners are 5.6 times more likely to be women according to our voters.
The great value Hyundai range is also three times more likely to be owned by a woman.
Mini was recently voted the best value car brand in Britain by lovemoney.com readers, with Hyundai a close second. Clearly, the idea that women go for style over substance is a myth - at least when it comes to car brands.
What you spend and residual values
Men are much more likely to spend big when it comes to cars. Male responders were almost four times as likely to spend more than £25,000. Of those surveyed, 59% of women paid less than £8,000 compared to 45% of men. But although men are more likely to flash the cash, it seams they are also kings of blag, with 30 men, or 3% of male responders, paying absolutely nothing for their wheels.
When it came to residual values I found the results the most surprising. You told us:
- Cars in the £25k+ price bracket were most likely to hold their value, and
- Newer cars were more likely to hold their value.
It wasn't like the results were close either, 61% of 1 year old car owners thought that their car would hold its value very or extremely well and 60% of owners of brand new cars thought the same. When the same question was asked of 8 and 9 year old car owners, only 31% and 33% respectively thought theirs would retain their value well.
The reason this surprises me is that the opposite tends to be true. An 8 or 9 year old car has lost most of its value so it is unlikely decrease vastly. On the other hand, as soon as a new car is driven off the forecourt, great chunks of your hard earned cash evaporate.
To avoid this problem, check out the residual value data on your car before you buy . If you are not sure where to go, look at Parkers.co.uk and WhatCar.com, and get a price on your car or a prospective car. If it's a new car, or you want to compare cars, use this excellent car depreciation calculator. This graphs depreciation over time and allows you to compare cars' residual values against each other - which could save you thousands if you're buying new or nearly new.
According to our survey, 46% of women and 44% of men said their car insurance deal was ok or poor. Car insurance premiums have increased by 25% on average this year, so if you are languishing on a rubbish deal, do you self a favour and shop around. It takes minutes and can save you a lot of money - the insurance on my car increased by £117, but after shopping around, I reduced the increase to £32.
Cool and reliability
Men feel slightly cooler than women in their cars although there is not much in it. 37% of men felt cool, compared to 33% of women. Sadly 5% of men and 7% of women felt really un-cool behind the wheel.
The reliability figures were very encouragingly for the car industry. A staggering 86% of women and 88% of men said they were very, or extremely satisfied with the reliability of their car.
Are women from Venus and men from mars?
Our survey bore out the stereotype that men buy more expensive newer cars with plenty of toys, while women tend to buy smaller, cheaper, basic cars. But interestingly, it also showed that women seem to have equally as good a driving experience as men - without the same financial drain.
In other words, when it comes to value for money, women are much better at choosing cars than men are.
A controversial conclusion indeed - so what do you think? Do the results of our survey reflect your own experiences and opinions - or have the lovemoney.com readers who took part in our poll got it totally wrong? Join the debate using the comments box below!
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