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Women pay more for car repair

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

A new study suggests that women who don't appear knowledgeable about the cost of a car repair may pay more than men. The study, which was conducted by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in collaboration with, a car repair information website, used field experiments with both men and women calling car-repair shops to ask for a quote on replacing the radiator on a 2003 Toyota Camry. The callers appeared to be well-informed of the market price for the repair ($365), misinformed with a higher price expectation ($510) or uninformed, with no expectation of price.

Both men and women who said they knew the average cost was $365 were both quoted $393 initially. Both genders who said they expected to pay $510 were quoted a significantly higher, but similar, rate for the auto repair -- $426 for men and $428 for women. But when each gender expressed no knowledge of the price, women didn't fare as well. Those men were quoted $383, while women who said they had no idea of the cost were quoted $406.

Interestingly, when the men and women in the study tried to negotiate after the initial price quote, 35 percent of the women were able to get the car-repair shop to meet their price, whereas only 25 percent of men had success.

For tips on determining the cost of an auto repair, read "How much should your car repair cost?"

Do you think you get a fair price on car repairs?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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