A new study says shops often overcharge women for auto repairs.
Women are generally quoted higher prices, and they are uninformed about the costs, according to a Journal Marketing Research study “Repairing the Damage: The Effect of Price Knowledge and Gender on Auto Repair Price Quotes.”
The study investigated whether consumers were treated differently based on how well informed the consumer appeared. Authors found that repair shops quoted higher prices to callers who cited a benchmark price and that women are charged more than men when they seem uninformed about market prices.
Researchers found repair shops are more likely to offer lower prices if asked to do so by a woman than if asked by a man, according to the study.
Prashant Salla, the founder of FixMyCar, says some women don’t feel comfortable going to an auto repair shop due to unfair treatment and the possibility of being overcharged.
Salla offered five tips to help people get their vehicles fixed without paying too much.
1. Get it in writing.
Avoid a situation where you are verbally quoted one price and forced to pay another.
2. User your owner’s manual.
Common issues are found in the owner’s manual. Salla suggests if you can’t find yours, check for a PDF copy online.
3. Keep up on routine maintenance.
Routine maintenance helps to keep vehicles running smoothly. Falling behind will cause issues to arise.
4. Find a mechanic you can trust.
Salla believes finding a mechanic you can trust will ensure you are getting a fair deal.
5. Keep track of what’s been done.
Everyone should keep a file of all the work done on their vehicles.
“Keep an envelope or file where you can keep all the receipts of work that has been done,” Salla says.