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Women take the road in droves

June 18, 2014

There's a change in guard for the nation's automobile drivers. According to an analysis report from Frost & Sullivan, women drivers are now outnumbering their male counterparts for the very first time. Women that own a driving license tipped the scales to 51 percent of all license holders. And that's not just for younger age demographics. The report states that women drivers consistently outnumber men on the road across all ages 25 and older.

The report claims the United States isn't alone in this manner. Canada and the UK are both expected to exhibit similar patterns by 2016. Canada is very close to reaching that number, as 49.95 percent of license holders are female.

Women are now outnumbering men on the road in the U.S.
Meanwhile in the UK, driving license applications have declined for men and increased 2.5 percent for women during the last three years. The Frost & Sullivan report states that women are already driving more miles and making more trips than their male counterparts. Thes trends are likely to continue over the next two to three years.

“Although it is hard to make predictions on trends related to car ownership, it is clear that 80 percent of car buying decisions are now influenced by women,” said Sarwant Singh, Frost & Sullivan's partner and global director.

Singh said that auto manufacturers and insurers should take note, because women tend to have different purchasing patterns than men. There are also more women with jobs, even in developing markets like India, according to Singh. He also pointed out that the number of women millionaires continues to grow.

“Women prefer small and more maneuverable vehicles, but they also give importance to design, spaciousness, safety, quality of materials, color and sustainability,” Singh said. “They like options like park assist, clear lighting for petrol, easy access, integrated systems for mobile devices and entertainment. We are convinced that in a few years women will favor cars with advanced systems such as autonomous driving, digital assistants and other health, wellness and well-being features.”

Singh believes that means all car categories will start becoming more personalized. He expects cars—much like what Toyota's Scion brand offers—will go the route of customization for individual consumers. He also mentioned that there are still trends growing despite being typically dominated by men, such as the luxury and SUV sectors.{rework—luxury and SUV sectors aren't technically trends—second part is unclear}

“When buying a new car, women are practical, but they also tend to associate the purchase with aspirations of freedom and independence,” Singh said.

Women gearing up to make a new-car purchase or who are interested in finding a cheaper insurance alternative should consider checking out the affordable auto insurance choices offered by SelectQuote Auto & Home. SelectQuote provides comparison shopping from 12 of the nation's top insurance providers, allowing a driver to secure the best possible premium rate?

What women want?

According to the Frost & Sullivan report, women tend to make buying decisions based on the status of the car itself or features such as comfort and color. But women are less likely to purchase variants of a particular model. For example, if a popular sedan also comes in a coupe or hatchback, women appear poised to stick with the sedan.

The report also states that women revealed they are much more likely—compared to men—to make a car purchase if the product is endorsed by a celebrity.

These buying trends will be interesting to follow as the pay disparity between men and women continues to decrease.