Sad, but true: women still feel taken advantage of by salespeople at car dealerships. That’s why many are looking to online buying options. In turn, online retailers like Clutch are empowering women to make informed decisions about their vehicle purchases with no more fears of judgment, sexism or advantageous upselling. We chatted with Lauren Howcroft, who recently purchased a vehicle entirely online from Clutch, to find out more. —Noa Nichol
Let’s start at the beginning of your car-buying journey; when and why did you decide to purchase a new vehicle? Why did you decide to make the purchase online, rather than in person?
I decided to purchase a vehicle because I love driving, and I’ve been living in Toronto for 6 years and haven’t really needed one until now. I find myself visiting friends in different cities a lot and have had to take the Go Train, ask for rides, so I wanted the freedom to leave the city whenever I wanted. I wanted to make the purchase online because I love online shopping, and I really didn’t want to go around to multiple dealerships and talk to salespeople.
How did you discover online car retailer, Clutch, and what about the platform/service attracted you to it?
I discovered it through a friend who had heard good things, and I was attracted to the fact that it was really easy to use and took out the salesperson aspect of buying a car.
What was your experience like using Clutch? Please describe the process you went through.
The experience was great! Very smooth and easy to navigate. I started by searching by price range, but then I realized I wanted a Honda Civic specifically so I switched to that sort of search. Once I found a car I really liked I called customer service because I had some clarifying questions, as it was my first car purchase and needed to think about warranty, testing the car, and wanted to make sure it all wasn’t too good to be true. Once I spoke to customer service I felt confident enough to make the purchase of that car.
How do you feel that your experience purchasing a vehicle online, via Clutch, was different/better than doing so in person?
I think buying online through Clutch was easier than in person because I was able to see all the information I needed in one place, I didn’t need to deal with sales tactics and I could just browse in peace, without leaving the comfort of my home.
What would you say to other women/people who may not be sure if buying a car online is a good idea?
I would say to try it! Especially for women who are worried about how they will be treated if they went to a dealership without a man present, it’s 2022 but the sexism still exists for sure. And the process was so easy that I would highly recommend it. If you’re worried or unsure there is a 10-day window to return and get your money back.
Final question: how are you liking your new ride?!
Love the new car! I finally have the freedom to go wherever I want, whenever, and the car itself has had no issues!