With my bounding enthusiasm over Driving Mamas (which has now been integrated into this site) and the subject of women and cars, I’ve been speaking to a lot of my friends about the site. When I tell guys, they think it’s interesting. When I tell women, they kind of tune out. HOWEVER, after I ask them a few questions about what they like and don’t like about cars and driving, their eyes light up and a full-on conversation ensues. It’s as if many women have a natural reflex, or have learned through experience, to be uninterested in cars and automotive talk altogether. I can relate. My dad was a car nut.
Women and Cars — Where the Problem Begins
In addition to being a car salesman, he had a steady stream of old cars that he was supposedly going to fix up, including the Chevy Nova and the Chevy El Camino. The Nova did get restored with a bright cherry red coat of paint and new interior but, after he crashed it, it sat and rusted alongside the El Camino. Days of my childhood are filled with moments of staring up at the clouds as he tried to quiz me on every car on the road. What make was it? What model? What year? I was much more interested in X-Men cards and comics than I was in his ‘fun’ car ride trivia, but he never took the time to notice that.
Fast forward to the time when I spend a good portion of my life driving in a car. Instead of knowing or liking what someone else tells me to, I have gained an interest in the automotive world in my own way.
Do I care long it takes for a car go from 0 to 60? No. Does the amount of horsepower interest me? Not really. Am I fully knowledgeable about the ins and outs of automotive history? Nope, and I have many other things that I’d rather spend time learning about.
Women and Cars — What Really Matters
Still, I do care if the car has enough trunk space to carry my groceries, if we can fit five tall Dutch family members comfortably, if there’s a good turning radius, if my dog can see out the back without sliding from side to side, if the speakers can handle a barrage of tween pop without making my ears bleed, and if the engine is strong enough to battle steep San Francisco hills when giving visiting friends a tour of the city.
I think this is the case with most other women and cars but they just don’t realize it. Us women control about 80% of new car purchasing power. That’s right – either we buy them or we influence the men that buy them. Would you let your husband buy a house without you first knowing EVERYTHING about it first and being in total agreement that that’s the right choice for your family? I doubt it.
So, come on, girls – let’s just admit that we do care about cars and that it’s okay to do so. Trust me, the sooner you accept this, the more you’ll enjoy driving and the better you’ll be at it. Girl power!