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Stereotypically, buying a new family car was the work of the man of the house. However, new research by Gumtree Motors suggests that it's the ladies that are now firmly in control of the family's car buying decisions.

A survey of 2,000 respondents found that 40 per cent of women have the final say at the showroom, with four in ten men saying they abdicate responsibility "because it's not worth the hassle of arguing".

The survey also revealed that couples' buying habits are changing, with 62 per cent now going online to find their ideal wheels.

And when it comes to the perfect family car, both sexes are in agreement that a 4x4 is the best choice, closely followed by the trusty Ford Mondeo.

However, harmony isn't guaranteed – 40 per cent of couples admitted to arguing when searching for a new car, with the choice of colour the main cause of strife. For some couples, the discord simply becomes too much, and over half of these couples end up buying two separate vehicles.

Andrew Hooks, Director of Gumtree Motors, commented: "'It's great to see gender stereotypes being challenged with these results and that women play such an important role in choosing a family car.

"There's a strong stereotype that only men get to be in charge of buying decisions when it comes to cars so it's refreshing to see that this isn't necessarily the case. Finding that almost two thirds of couples will browse look for a car together, this reaffirms that buying a vehicle isn't just a man's domain."