August 28, 2018
Jeddah — Close to a quarter (24%) of women have already applied for a driving license since the Kingdom started issuing licenses to female motorists in June 2018, according to a survey.
Although the majority have not applied yet, 61% of those say they intend to apply for a driving license in the future.
Over three-quarters of women who intend to drive (78%) plan to buy a car. A majority (84%) say the decision of which car to buy rests in their hands.
For those who are not the primary decision maker, almost half (48%) indicated their husbands will be making the decision and a fourth said their father-in-laws (25%) have the final say in the matter.
While carmakers in the region are gearing up to rev up sales with the influx of additional drivers, this is a valuable insight for brands who want to target potential women purchasers and align their advertising and marketing campaigns to target the key decision makers.
Although safety remains a dominant concern for females in the region, women who are embracing the opportunity seem most comfortable starting out with small cars. When women were asked which type of car they would like to drive, the largest proportion said small sized sedans (16%), followed by medium sized sedans (13%) and then medium SUVs (11%). Small cars are not just easy to park in high traffic areas but are also low on fuel consumption.
Three in five women pointed out back cameras and reverse sensing systems are the most desired features in a car.
In terms of car features, once again the underlying fear factor is reinforced with safety topping the list of high priority features for women.
Interestingly, for those who have already applied for a license, smartphone compatibility with calls, music, etc., was the feature which came out on top, suggesting these women are most likely early adopters of technology and confident to be the first in the market.
Looking at the time period since the ban was lifted, YouGov BrandIndex data reveals Toyota is the top car brand for women in Saudi Arabia with an Index score of 27.1, followed by Mercedes (26.7) and Lexus (24.2).