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Women are overcharged for auto repairs – but here’s how to fight back

It would seem that so long as there have been vehicles, women have been overcharged when dealing with auto mechanics. The prevailing perception is that while men receive fair treatment, women are taken to the cleaners time and again. 

It seems there is always a study trying to get to the bottom of this question. Are women overcharged for car repairs? 

A 2013 study by Northwestern University shows that this does happen at least some of the time. The study’s participants phoned auto repair shops for a quote to fix a radiator in a 2003 Camry; a job estimated beforehand to be about $365.

Researchers found that repair shops quoted higher prices to women than male callers.  

Those women, and men, who appeared more informed about car repairs, received price quotes closer to the $365 original estimate.

A Nightline Prime series, in which undercover cameras were used during customer-mechanic dealings, showed that men typically get what they are looking for when visiting the repair shop. However, women were not so lucky. The women filmed were told they needed work that was unnecessary. 

One reason women lose out at the auto repair shop is their reluctance to haggle. Several experts have cited this as one of the biggest problems for women when speaking with mechanics. According to Time, men haggle four times more than women. 

How to avoid ripoffs

First, use an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) repair shop. An ASE certified shop has the stamp of approval from the organization. Which means the service quality is more assured than local garages without it.

Second, drivers should be as well-informed about their vehicle and the problem as they can be. This is one of the best ways to get an accurate quote for a repair job. 

Third, sign up for Blitzify. 

Blitzify gives you access to upfront price quotes from local area service providers. You can even save that price, and schedule your service through us. When you get your repairs done, you pay the price you expect. Not only that, Blitzify will help educate you about your car. You’ll know what you need when you need it, and don’t end up paying for services you don’t need. When you’re ready to find the repair shop you need, compare reviews and check to see if they are ASE certified. 

Just because you are a woman doesn’t mean you have to get overcharged on car repairs. Save yourself some serious cash at the auto repair shop. Inform and prepare yourself.

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