Mike Waters' blog: 20 August - Don't cut corners
20 August 2015
Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company
You may have thought this is the sort of thing that only happened in the past, but a study has shown that women are quoted an average of £45 more than men when it comes to the same garage repairs.
Researchers looked at the prices at independent garages across the UK and found some interesting results. A standard repair would cost a man £571, compared to an average of £616 for women.
In this study for ClickMechanic, male and female mystery shoppers requested quotes to replace the clutch of a 2011 Ford Focus from 182 garages in ten different cities across the UK. Only six percent of the garages observed charged the same prices for both men and women and that the "female premium" was applied in eight out of 10 British cities.
Based on these results, if you're a female driver it's clearly worth being vigilant. However anyone can pay over the odds for repairs. It is one of those technical areas where a lack of knowledge makes it hard to challenge.
We have built an expert team in Birmingham which checks and validates repairs on our customer's vehicles before they are made but many drivers don't have this luxury. It's also unrealistic to expect drivers to have enough technical knowledge to second-guess garages.
As a result, the best recommendation that I can give is to use reputable repairers. Some drivers will shop around for what appears to be a cheap garage but it can be a false economy. It's also worth remembering that how often and where a vehicle has been services and repaired can affect its value when you come to sell it.
The way that a vehicle is maintained will have an impact on how efficient it is, how reliable it is, and how much it depreciates - this really isn't an area to cut corners.