Are Female Drivers Getting a Raw Deal at the Garage?

A recent survey reported that up to one-third of female motorists feel they’re being taken advantage of, when they deal with their local garages. It’s not a new statement, but the level of unhappiness amongst female drivers is still surprising, in a time when the gap between gender differences has been narrowed in terms of rights, working conditions and expectations in most other areas.

Gone are the days of articles in womens’ magazines with titles like ‘Driving. Is It Wise for Wives?’. Women make up over half the driving population in the UK – so why are they still seen as easy targets when it comes to vehicle maintenance?

Here are our top tips for finding a reliable and trustworthy mechanic, and avoiding un-necessary shocks when it comes to paying the bill.

  1. Recommendation will always be the no.1 method of avoiding any doubt. If you have a female friend or relative who is happy with her garage, then trust that you will be too.
  2. Do your research before you book in your car. Once it’s booked in, it may be harder to rearrange elsewhere.
  3. Look online for reviews of your chosen garage. Facebook, Trustpilot, and Google Business are all good sources.
  4. Bear in mind that body shops and big-name car brands tend to be more expensive than man-in-van alternatives. If you can find a local specialist that’s reliable, he’ll be worth his weight in gold!
  5. Always ask for a quote and request that it’s broken down into labour costs, and parts, and if it includes VAT. Some operators may give you a price, and then load these extras on afterwards.
  6. Ever thought of leaving a workshop or car manual on display? They may think you know more than you do.
  7. If a part is due to be replaced, put a small scratch on it in a hidden place – that way, you can check that the work has been completed.
  8. On the subject of replacement parts – check with the garage whether the plan to use new or reconditioned parts to do the job. It’s better you know this information up front in case you have an issue with the part further down the line.
  9. Before you take your car in, check your mileage and make a note. Or set the counter to zero. That way you will have grounds to complain should your petrol tank end up lower than expected!
  10. If you don’t understand what you are paying for – then ask, or get a second opinion.

Finally, always ensure that the specialist you use complies with the Trading Standards Institute regulations.

More recently, female mechanic Louise Baker has launched her Womanic campaign, to educate women and help them feel more confident in garages.

ChipsAway is a TSI approved network of SMART repair technicians who operate from both Car Care Centres and a Mobile basis. Complete our online form for your free estimate.

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