Car repair is a stressful, nerve-wracking experience for anyone. As you anxiously sit in the auto shop waiting room, you can’t help but ask yourself, “What problems will the mechanic find? How much will this cost me? Can I trust that I’m getting the best price?”
In the male-dominated auto repair industry, a common assumption is that women don’t know as much (or anything) about cars. Studies have shown that, because of this stereotype, women are more likely to be overcharged than men. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management teamed up with AutoMD to investigate. Their findings indicated that women were offered an average price of $406 for a radiator replacement, while their male counterparts were quoted at an average price of $383.
So how can women avoid falling into the trap of paying more than they should for car care?
Knowledge is power. Do your research before you agree to the quoted price. It’s important to know the market rate for parts and estimated amount of labor. Openbay does the work for you by providing fast and accurate quotes from trusted local mechanics, all available at the click of a button on your phone, tablet or desktop.
Read customer reviews. Make sure that you’re choosing an honest, transparent mechanic that values customer satisfaction. Some women feel that they are talked down to at the auto shop. Avoid a negative experience by selecting a shop with positive reviews. Google and Yelp are great places to read reviews. In addition, Openbay takes it to the next level by giving you reviews, accurate quotes and the option to book and pay securely through one platform.
Show me the money. Let’s say you bring your car in for an oil change, but the mechanic discovers a bigger issue that will cost you $500. Simply ask the mechanic to show you the problem and what it should look like when they fix it. If budget is a concern, ask them to explain why it is a necessary repair and whether it’s possible to hold off for now.
Pro tip: get well-versed in reviewing your estimate by looking out for these 5 things.
Brandy Schaffels, Chief Editor of AskPatty suggests to repair shops, “Don’t pigeonhole women, because we have the same interest in cars as men. We want safety, we want performance, we want style.”
Check out our interviews with Ruby Davis, founder of ChickDriven, and Patrice Banks, Head of Girls Auto Clinic, for more car advice by women for women.
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