Study: Women Negotiate Better Than Men for Car Repair Costs


The next time you need to get your car fixed, be prepared to do some work for the best rate.

Knowing your stuff and having the courage to negotiate can lead to more favorable outcomes in car repair costs, according a new study done by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. The study also found that being a woman has adverse and positive effects when shopping around. Specifically, women are more likely to be able to negotiate prices down to a more reasonable market rate, but found when sounding uninformed, women were more likely to get overcharged than men.

The study broke participants up into three categories of customers, those who were well-informed, misinformed, or completely uninformed.

Meghan Busse, an associate professor of management at Northwestern, said in a press release: “Our findings suggest that auto shops may assume men know the market price for a given repair, so they automatically grant it. However, they may not expect women to be knowledgeable in this area, so the perception is they can charge them more.”

Another professor on the project, Florian Zettelmeyer, said, “The same kind of cultural expectations that cause repair shops to overcharge women are probably also responsible for showing preference toward women in negotiations.”