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Gender price gap closes on car servicing

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Updated 9 Oct 2019Rita Bonivento
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It’s no secret that in the retail world women are often charged more than men for almost identical products.

Depending on the aisle and shelf, you’ll find staggering price disparities between gender-targeted items.

From clothing and haircuts to moisturiser and drycleaning, the gender price gap has been around for as long as we can remember and is rather baffling.

It’s hard, for instance, to imagine why a disposable razor should cost more to produce in pink than blue?

Bic disposable razors for women cost a whopping 47% more than the equivalent product for men.

Girl Power on the rise

On the flip side, in recent decades Australian women have come a long way towards achieving gender equality.

Many women have taken on leadership roles across varying industries, not to mention the growing number of mumpreneurs who have mastered the [often precarious] balance between parenting and running a successful business.

Why then do women still feel that they’re being stung when it comes to vehicle maintenance?

In a survey conducted by AutoGuru, of 2000 Australian women and men, one in three women are in charge of car servicing for their household, and almost 70% believe they are more likely to be overcharged by mechanics than men.

70% of women surveyed believe they are more likely to be overcharged by mechanics than men.

Women are clear household champions when it comes to researching products and services online.

They diligently search, investigate and consider the myriad options available on the net and, in addition to shopping, are largely responsible for travel, accommodation, restaurant and entertainment decisions, for both themselves and their families.

Not surprisingly, women are also increasingly becoming key decision makers when purchasing products and services from industries that have traditionally been male dominated.

No longer do they rely on men to help choose a car, buy tools and fishing gear, or find the most suitable tradesperson for their home repairs, thanks to online marketplaces like Airtasker and Hipages.

However, most women are not confident in negotiating with mechanical workshops, as automotive services present a minefield of uncertainties to the non-mechanically minded customer.

Who are the true vehicle maintenance champions?

CEO and Founder of AutoGuru, Eden Shirley, says regular car servicing is crucially important when it comes to the safety of your vehicle, and women are much more diligent at maintaining the health of their car.

Additionally, in the automotive services world there are often inconsistencies in pricing quoted by mechanical workshops, as well as confusion over exactly what’s included in a service.

Why book a major service over a minor service? Which parts and fluids need to be replaced and when?

‘The site removes the confusion and guess work and delivers a convenient and transparent solution when booking auto services, which appeals to women who often do not feel comfortable negotiating face to face with mechanics’, he states.

How can I tell if the workshop is trustworthy?

Mr Shirley adds that women are twice as likely to book a mechanic online and make their choice based on trustworthiness, over pricing and convenience.

He says the site’s 14,000 (and rising), genuine customer reviews play the role of word-of-mouth recommendations in today’s digital society.

Customer reviews make service providers accountable and ensure a fairer, more pleasant experience for everybody.

In a traditionally gender biased, male dominated industry, this is a great step forward.

It would be nice to see retailers treat pricing with the same egalitarian attitude.

AutoGuru lets you search, compare and book from 1,600 qualified mechanics across Australia. Happy days!

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Written ByRita Bonivento

Rita’s a Gold Coast dweller who’s been wordsmithing for ages. She started out at Michelin Melbourne 22 years ago, & an avid traveller, has written in the marketing arena all over the world since then.

Her first car was a 1970 VW wagon she inherited from her dad. She’s had a few vehicles since then with an overall Toyota theme coz she reckons they do the best air con for the Aussie heat.