20 Sexist Things Women Will Hear When They Go Car Shopping

this car salesman looks like a dick to me

If you had told me a month ago that buying a used car was going to be an exhausting experience fraught with sexism, I would have believed you… but I never would have imagined just how bad it could be. After losing seven hours and a good chunk of my dignity, I’m now the proud owner of a vaguely shitty Ford and the not-so-proud curator of this list. Here are twenty of the stupidest, most misogynistic things women will hear when they go car shopping.

  1. We don’t have any cars in pretty colors, unfortunately.
  2. But we have a lot of really cute ones!
  3. You probably don’t know this, but–
  4. You’ve probably never heard of this one, but–
  5. Are you up for doing the test drive, or should I do it?
  6. It’s okay if you’re too scared.
  7. I can back it out for you!
  8. Don’t be nervous. My teenage daughter is probably a worse driver than you are.
  9. So to put it in drive, you need to put your foot on the brake first…
  10. This thing is called a “parking brake.”
  11. But I bet you care more about the stereo.
  12. There’s a really good mirror on the visor!
  13. Don’t try to put makeup on while you’re driving, though. Hahaha.
  14. This one has bluetooth technology, so you can talk to your boyfriend without holding the phone.
  15. You can fit a ton of shopping bags in here!
  16. You can get a GPS if you’re really bad with directions.
  17. Don’t get too cocky, though– it’s important to watch the road.
  18. You studied what in college? That’s sweet. Good luck.
  19. Do you want me to give the insurance company your number, or your dad’s?
  20. Will this check go through? Do we need to wait for your parents to transfer money to you?

Photo via Shutterstock

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    • Jenni

      I went car shopping with my single mom in middle school and I still remember how horribly all the dealers treated her. My favorite comment was “why don’t you come back with your husband ma’am so he can help you.”

    • Lindsey Conklin

      My dad always says to let him do it because he knows they’ll give him a better deal

      • Charmless

        So true. I’m a grown-ass woman and my dad will purchase my next car on my behalf. I worked at a dealership for a few years and my grandfather, father, uncle, and now cousin all own or owned dealerships. I know cars, but I still know my dad’s gonna have more clout with the sales dude than I am.

        On the flip side, female sales associates are treated like shit by male customers. There was one woman working in sales at my dealership (I worked in the service department) and she had the lowest numbers every month. She knew her shit. She wasn’t just selling a $100,000 logo; she LOVED the brand, and I think customers who actually gave her a chance would realize pretty quickly that she could bro down as well as any of the dudes. She was young and gorgeous, but she’d get going about her favorite model and it would be all *grunt* *grunt* deactivate the e-brake and take her down to the track *ball scratch*. But customers would walk right past her. Those who didn’t thought she was the receptionist and would ask her to get a sales person for them.

    • Eileen

      To be fair, the last two sound like “young person” comments more than “women.”

      • Naomi

        Wish that was true, but I heard it when buying my last car. When I was 30.

      • rose maryawn

        my Aunty Sienna recently got a stunning red
        Nissan Maxima by working part time online… find out here now B­u­z­z­3­2­.­ℂ­o­m

    • Laura

      My mom’s friend, a full grown woman in her 50s, went to buy a new car knowing exactly what she wanted and the salesman literally REFUSED to sell it to her until her husband would come and look at it. Needless to say, he lost that sale.

      • LynnKell

        How infuriating!!!

    • Veronica

      I was once told, “That number there, is the price.” You’re kidding! You mean that’s why there’s a dollar sign in front of it?! Needless to say I walked out, and bought my car elsewhere.

    • LynnKell

      I also find infuriating that man asume we can’t drive standard. Only automatic vehicles. It’s not fucking rocket science, it just takes practice!!
      (I’m currently perfecting my standard driving skills after spending a decade without driving standard, so that makes my anger escalate)

      Also, when going to a mechanic, they look at you like “oh, you silly thing” when you name what’s wrong. If you drive the thing daily and you know the generals of vehicle parts, why the fuck wouldn’t you know what’s not working?

      • Streets Ahead

        I taught my husband how to drive standard
        in my car. At the time he was 21 and I was 19.

    • NYCNanny

      Walked into Home Depot last week to get started on my kitchen renovation. The guy would not take me seriously… finally came out and asked “Are you sure you don’t want to check with your father or husband before making these big decisions?” I told him my father is dead and I am very single and I probably know more about kitchen renovations than him. (Truth.) Walked out. F them.

    • SuzanOberle

      At a Toyota dealership, I was shown the lighted make-up mirror, but not given an answer when I asked about the tank size and horsepower. I walked.

      On the flip side, I’ve been told female salespersons often have the highest sales volume at car dealerships, since many women prefer a female salesperson to (hopefully) avoid the comments above.