Several studies show women pay more for car services than men. Here’s how you can be sure of paying the right price when calling for mechanics in Melbourne.
“There’s an issue with the brakes. They have to be replaced and will cost you around $900.”
“Your car isn’t moving because the battery is dead. It can be fixed by jumpstarting your vehicle which I can do it at $599.”
Selena’s ten years old Toyota model has often compelled her to call a mechanic at odd hours for problems she never knew how to address. But every time she called a mechanic, her problem was temporarily solved but the service charges literally broke the bank. After three mechanics and four repair sessions, she searched Google about the service charges for brake pad replacement, jumpstarting a car, a failing alternator and an overheated engine.
And guess what she found?
She paid nearly $3000 extra to the mechanics!
Like Selena, thousands of women car owners, when reaching out to mechanics in Melbourne or visiting an auto repair shop, get tricked into paying more charges or get ripped off completely.
Do Women Get Ripped Off by Mechanics More When It Comes to Auto Repairing?
Whether you’re a woman or not, nobody is eager to pay for hefty car repair bills, unless necessary. Since auto repairing is essentially a male-dominated industry where women are deemed to be innocent preys, it’s easy to feel you’ve been scammed when asked to pay $2000 for alternator replacement!
A survey conducted by AutoMD and researchers at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University shows that women are charged significantly higher by mechanics than men when both genders are unaware of the market value of a particular auto service.
One of the participants in the study, says: “Auto shops aren’t particularly against women or they may enjoy taking advantage by ripping them off…the mechanics believe women have less knowledge about cars and car repairs. Since they do not have the right information, they are offered a higher price quote. But if you break the stereotypic chain and show them that you’re well-informed, you get the right service quote easily.”
Be it buying auto parts or requesting a car service, people are out there waiting to make a fool out of you. But you can simply stop that from happening if you follow these smart tactics!
Things Women Car Owners Should Remember When Servicing their Cars
1. Research, Research and Always Research
There’s nothing smarter than staying informed, right? Make sure you know at least the important aspects of the car service you require. If you’re requesting an auto service online, check out the store’s reputation and credibility; perform a thorough background check, like reading the customer reviews and going through the website, before requesting a mechanic.
It’s also good to know if the mechanics are certified and comply with the norms of a governing body like the Motorist Assurance Program (MAP) Code of Ethics.
2. Learn About Your Car
Do you want to ask intelligent questions when booking a mechanic in Melbourne but don’t feel too confident? That’s because you are yet to know about your car, inside out!
Learning about cars is like diving straight into the Pacific Ocean without knowing swimming! Hence, start slow, perhaps beginning with how cars function isn’t a bad idea, agree?
For your help, you can read Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide, written by Patrice Banks, the founder of Girls Auto Clinic located in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. And she’s a former engineer and mechanic herself too. This book is the perfect do-it-herself guide related to roadside emergencies, auto maintenance and how to explain car problems to a mechanic without feeling lost!
Another tip to empower yourself about your own car is reading the owner’s manual. On a holiday, devote some time to learn about the various car parts and their functions; open the hood and examine the interior; educate yourself on how to check the various car fluids and more.
3. Ask Proper Car Repair Questions
When you ask the right questions, mechanics already know “This lady is well-aware about car repair services. We can’t fool her into paying us more in any way…”
It doesn’t matter if the answer is complicated to understand or the auto repair shop doesn’t provide a satisfying explanation to your query; you can always find another auto service shop in just a few seconds. Or even a trustworthy mechanic.
For example, you can visit Swezo, a leading online automotive marketplace where you can post requests for trained mechanics and get instant quotes.
Now comes the main question, how to know if the mechanic is using high-quality auto parts? It’s simple! Enquire if the auto parts adhere to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) specifications. If in doubt, you can request to see the packaging of the parts. Don’t miss out on learning about the auto shop’s warranty policy on the service or auto parts.
4. Understand the Different Types of Repairs
Car repair is an umbrella term that covers multiple aspects. However, it’s essential to know that a car is eligible for three kinds of maintenance and repair jobs.
The first is routine maintenance work that helps in enhancing your vehicle’s performance, such as fuel economy, acceleration and mileage. This includes checking your tires monthly, changing oil and oil filter on time, inspecting other fluids and removing battery corrosion, to name a few.
The second type of auto service is preventive maintenance that focuses on the care and protection of your vehicle against potential damages and repairs. As vehicle parts usually wear down over time, scheduling a preventive maintenance service can keep your auto parts like brakes, axles, fluid filters, belts and steering, among others, in perfect condition and ensure your car functions efficiently.
Can you guess the last one? Umm…any try? Well, let’s make things easier. The last one refers to the immediate repair work, completely necessary to restore your car’s performance as safely and efficiently as possible.
What are the Key Takeaways from This Discussion?
Lack of research and industry knowledge offers an advantage to auto repair shops and mechanics in extracting more cash. And women are often considered to have zero knowledge about car, repair and service. So, what’s the solution to avoid getting ripped off by mechanics? Dear ladies, defy stereotypes! Break the chain by doing your research as much as possible. Get rid of the fear of asking questions or demanding what you want. Collect information about the current car repair service charges, select your auto repair shop carefully and to get the most reliable mechanics in Melbourne, check out Swezo. All you need to do is post your car service request and certified mechanics will send you free service quotes. Here, you can also buy car parts online within your budget.