A quarter of women drivers admit to never having their car serviced by a professional mechanic. The IMI survey, carried out by Vital Research & Statistics, found that women are reluctant to go to a professional technician because of worries about spiralling costs and being uncomfortable in the atmosphere of the garage. Thirty-six percent admitted to knowing nothing about cars and being totally reliant on a garage for guidance.
They also said they don’t know what they were being charged for at a garage and wouldn’t know how to challenge a bill if they felt it was wrong. Worrying for the trade, 17 percent of women said they felt they had been overcharged in the past.
Twenty-two percent of women drivers said they were reluctant to deal with garages because they were not comfortable with the atmosphere. Twenty-eight percent also said they were nervous about asking technical questions, and 31 percent said they were confused by the jargon used by the trade.
When it came to choosing a garage in an emergency, most said that without knowing the difference between a professional and a rogue trader, they simply went for the closest available.
IMI CEO Steve Nash said, “Women drivers clearly feel they are in a precarious position as consumers in the motor industry and it’s all about trust. There is a massive knowledge gap between the professional and the customer in this industry.”
Steph Savill, Founder of Foxy Lady Drivers Club, the UK's only motoring association for women, said, “We recommend that women get their cars serviced once a year at least, choosing the most suitable regime based on annual mileage. This makes financial sense because regularly serviced vehicles are less likely to let them down and often sell at a premium."
“But I worry that 60 percent of women drivers aren't members of an emergency recovery service, putting themselves and often children at risk in case of a breakdown, especially if they are scrimping on garage servicing.”