Browse through the classifieds for used cars these days and you’re bound to find a post which says that the vehicle for sale is either owned or driven by a lady. It seems like sellers still commonly include it in order to show that a car has had a pampered past, therefore hopefully making it more attractive to buyers. But is being lady-owned or lady-driven truly indicative of a good buy?
As far as I can remember, the practice of indicating if a pre-loved vehicle is lady-owned/driven goes back long before the days of online platforms like Carousell and Facebook Marketplace. When I was young, I used to browse magazines selling secondhand cars, and I would come across ads with such a description every now and then. I’m no expert in demography or psychology, but I think this is related to the ratio of male and female drivers, and the perception of the latter being the more cautious or careful.
Men still outnumber women when it comes to driving. But there are more cars on the road now so consequently, more female drivers are thrown into the mix. However, it’s fair to say that all vehicles generally share the same piece of tarmac, and are subjected to the same kind of wear and tear. In that sense, a car that has been under the care of a female will not necessarily fair any better than one that’s owned or driven by a male.
The subject of gender equality has gotten so much attention in the past few years, and we’re seeing more women take on jobs normally dominated by men (such as pilots and heavy-equipment operators). In the same way, an automobile’s condition should never be based on sexual bias. Sure, female owners might be perceived as more caring and less abusive on their cars. But really, anyone can be responsible (or lax) when it comes to vehicle maintenance.
Two years ago, I sold my personal vehicle. And I recently purchased a secondhand one (from a male owner). The common denominator from both these experiences is that the cars came with complete service records. When I let go of my Subaru Impreza, I remember handing over to the buyer a folder that contained sales and maintenance receipts, previous registrations, and insurance policies arranged chronologically.
Also, instinct should play a big part when purchasing pre-loved cars. Insist on a test drive, and pay attention to any strange noises or unusual handling characteristics. If you’re not confident in your inspection skills, ask a trusted mechanic to assess the vehicle for you.