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'Pink pricing prejudice': Undercover investigation reveals female motorists charged a 5% premium at car garages

By Mathilda Bartholomew | March 8, 2024

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Research by Caura has revealed that regardless of the same car and garage, women are charged 5% more than men for vehicle servicing

'Pink pricing prejudice': Undercover investigation reveals female motorists charged a 5% premium at car garages

International Women’s Day has brought to light a surprising revelation from Caura, the car management app. Their recent research indicates that women are, on average, charged five percent more than men for vehicle maintenance, revealing what the company has dubbed "pink pricing prejudice."

In a comprehensive study examining the dynamics of customer treatment in garages, Caura employed a mix of methods, from mystery shopping to a YouGov survey with 4,000 UK respondents. The survey unveiled that 59 percent of women feel that garages are more tailored towards men, with an even more shocking statistic among the younger generation – 65 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds believe garages are traditionally male-oriented spaces.

When it comes to the process of booking and approving vehicle work, the study found that almost half of the women surveyed (46 percent) felt rushed to approve additional services, and 45 percent expressed confusion during the process. However, 83 percent of women claimed to understand the language used to describe necessary maintenance, suggesting that the confusion stems from a perception that garages may intentionally obscure information, pressuring them into hasty decisions.

To further investigate these findings, the Caura team conducted a blind survey by contacting 100 garages for quotes under the aliases 'Emma' and 'Edward.' The results were revealing – 'Emma' was consistently quoted five percent more for a service and two percent more for an annual MOT compared to 'Edward.' The most alarming quote featured a staggering 265 percent premium for 'Emma,' emphasising the pervasive gender-based pricing issue.

Janice Pang, Head of Vehicle Maintenance at Caura, emphasised the urgent need to address this systemic problem in the automotive sector. She commented, "Cars don’t judge their drivers, so why should garages? A five percent increase [on average] in like-for-like pricing is shocking, and it highlights a concerning prejudice in pricing for women."

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