Decision-Making Roles in the Family Car Purchase

The individual roles within the household are information gatherer, influencer, decision-maker, purchaser, and consumer. Purchasing a family car is a major financial decision, which is likely to involve the participation of the whole family unit to an extent in the decision-making process. Information gatherers are parents or heads of the household, as they usually have the most experience as well as a greater awareness of what the family car may need and what budget should be targeted. Based on socio-cultural factors, males are more likely to be involved in the selection and evaluation process, but it is a joint (syncretic decision). Influencers, in this case, can be both the parents (spouse) or dependents (children) influenced by advertisement and their own innate perceptions of brands or desired features in a family car.

The information gatherers and influencers ultimately influence the decision-makers. In a traditional family household, it will be up to the parents to make the final decision. If there are conflicts, the decision-makers will likely rely on the use of authority to justify the choice. Then the role of the purchasers is once again up to the parents. It is their financial assets or credit lines that are affected by the purchase of such an expensive good. Their decision to purchase is based on the consideration of the financial aspects and the ability to purchase the car. Finally, the consumers are all members of the family. The parents are primary consumers as they are driving the car on a daily basis, while children, extended family, and pets are all secondary consumers who may not directly utilize the car but enjoy its comforts as passengers.

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