In the UK 50% of all driving licence holders are women, recently Approved Garages conducted a survey to determine how females are treated by car mechanics and just generally in garages when they came to get their car repaired or serviced, the results where alarming.
In total out of the 1330 women surveyed half of them admitted to asking a male family member or friend to accompany them, or alternatively nearly 50% of those surveyed in attempt to not get ripped off mentioned a partner or husbands name when taking their car to a garage. These simple results show that women still feel they are being treated different than men in garages across the UK.
The Approved Garages survey was aimed at 18-60+ year old female drivers in the United Kingdom, the question where all based around whether they thought that the car industry had changed to become more female friendly in recent years. There is a glimmer of hope, a bit of good news, almost half of the women surveyed did state that they felt the industry had become less male orientated and has improved slightly.
It’s still quite shocking however that 34% of those surveyed admitted to having an unpleasant experience whilst dealing with a garage, many left feeling intimidated and like they had been over-charged.
We even got a comment off one 37 year old woman who was very out spoken about her unpleasant experience “When I dropped my car off I was told to put the kettle on! I didn’t get a proper response when I asked what work had been done on my car and was treated like an imbecile.” A further comment from another angry female driver said “One garage tried to tell me that I needed £1000 of work doing when in fact there was nothing wrong. I think they thought I wouldn’t question it or ask for a second opinion and I would just pay.” These comments confirm the fears that women are often overcharged and have an unpleasant experience.
Why don’t people complain about this more often? If people realise this is happening and are not satisfied with the work or service that they have received during their time at the garage then they should complain, however most don’t. The most likely to complain are those who are in the 50+ age group as they are more confident in doing so with 86% of those saying they would complain if they felt the need. The least likely to complain however are those aged 20-29 be outspoken.
The Approved Garages network manager, Phil Seymour had a few comments to add, he stated that Approved Garages where working hard to change the way garages treated females, which is made clear in his comments “Our wish is that female drivers should feel as confident and as comfortable visiting one of our garages as our male customer do” . He also went on to give some helpful advice “Developing more confidence and knowledge about cars is so easy these days thanks to the internet”, the Approved Garages website has several tips and hints as well as educational videos to help you gain some knowledge before taking your car to a garage and getting ripped off.
Phil also goes on to talk about the Approved Garage service, stating that when you look for a garage using Approved they do all they can to ensure that customer service is at it’s very highest ““All of our garages have been carefully selected before becoming an Approved Garage” and because of this, “This means that the standard of service and customer care is very high.”. They also take note of the overall service of the garage and each of their garages “has an RAC inspection carried out as they join and then this is repeated every 2 years” in order to ensure the best quality.”
Approved Garages is a network of independently owned garages which offer MOTs and repair services which can be booked through the Approved Garage website.