It’s 2023, and there’s been a lot of social progress in the last few years when it comes to gender equality – but is the war really over?
Probably not. Way back in 2009, Edmunds did some pretty interesting comparisons between the way that women and men are treated by car dealerships, and it was clearly illustrative of the fact that women were often ignored, dismissed or outright lied to when they went to dealerships without a man in tow.
More than a decade later, evidence suggests that things really haven’t changed for the better – or at all.
Why are women treated so shabbily at dealerships?
Given that women make up more of the U.S. population than men, it seems like poor sense and bad business to treat them so badly when they come into a dealership to look for a vehicle – but industry insiders say that dealerships are basically “boys’ clubs.” There are very few women salespersons on the lots, with the vast majority of women employees being secretarial or support staff.
But that’s only part of the problem. Misogynistic attitudes about the ability of women to tell a good car from a bad one (or even know much about cars at all, really) hold strong. In some cases, the disrespect or condescending attitude may just be an annoyance. In other cases, it can cause women to end up with a vehicle that’s arguably nothing more than a lemon – especially if the dealership is a little disreputable.
There’s very little recourse for women in this situation. Some try to offset the problem by taking a male friend, relative or partner with them to the dealership when they go to look or buy, but the best possible thing you can do is to educate yourself before you step on the lot – and don’t be afraid to yank your smartphone out right in front of the salesperson to do some research.
If you do get a lemon off the car lot, don’t assume that you’re stuck. There are laws in place to protect you.