Car Shopping Made Female Friendly

New resources empower women to take the driver's seat at the car dealer.

ByABC News
April 17, 2009, 3:26 PM

April 21, 2009— -- For many female shoppers, buying a car can be a terrifying experience.

They might be savvy businesswomen, great negotiators and smart with their money, but for some reason when they walk through those showroom doors a chill runs down their spines.

Duane Overholt, who worked for more than two decades at car dealerships in Pennsylvania and Florida, can attest to the travails that many women face when buying a car.

"Women are preyed upon. They are easy targets," said Overholt, who now works as an automobile fraud consultant.

Overholt said predatory dealers use all sorts of scare tactics to squeeze more money out of female customers. The message generally is: you don't know anything about cars, trust us.

Women are less likely to be ripped off on price than in the past because of Internet and other resources available to learn the true cost of veheicles, he said.

But too often, he said, women get suckered into buying extras, like an extended warranty or gap insurance, which is meant to pay the difference between the actual cash value your car and the outstanding balance on your loan or lease. He said dealers will also play games with the value of trade-in vehicles.