Women are being charged hundreds more for car repairs than men, a nationwide study has found.
London garages are among the worst offenders, as females are being charged on average 18 per cent more than men – which translates into hundreds of pounds extra.
Mystery shoppers went into 180 garages around the country asking for a clutch replacement on a 2011 Ford Focus.
The women were quoted £793 on average at London garages, while men were charged around £673 for the same job – a difference of £120. Only six per cent of garages gave men and women the same quote.
But in some places this “female premium” was even more stark. In Birmingham, women were charged 31 per cent more, and in Manchester it was an average of 28 per cent.
The research highlights how some garages are willing to take advantage of people who do not know how much they should expect to pay for repairs.
“There is a desperate need across the industry for transparency and consistency in price, in order to establish trust with consumers of both sexes,” says Andrew Jervis of ClickMechanic, which carried out the research.
There are a number of websites set up to address this problem, allowing people to compare quotes from different garages for repairs and MOTs. These include ClickMechanic, WhoCanFixMyCar and Dipstix. It is also worth checking handyman websites which may also list local mechanics, such as MyHammer.