Just in time for Mother’s Day, a new study by C+R Research shows that nearly three of four (73%) moms consider themselves to be the “sole decision-maker” in the vehicle shopping process.  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.

Related: Moms Are Decision Makers – Tough News for Midsize Cars (via Media Post)

“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 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 percent 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 percent 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.

Key Findings:

  • 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 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

The study, conducted by C+R Research, surveyed more than 1,000 shoppers, including 367 moms, who were planning to purchase a vehicle within the next six months or had done so within the previous six months.