ABC's new show 'The Lookout' turned their hidden cameras on shady mechanics and found overcharging women customers, lying about problems and even causing problems at both local and national chain repair shops.
Women were often charged much more for repairs and told that fixes were needed when nothing was wrong. ABC's cameras weren't the only ones to catch this problem. A recent study by Northwest University's Kellogg School of Management and AutoMD looked at why consumers were often quoted different prices for the same auto repairs. They found that women who admitted they had no idea what an expensive repair would cost were overcharged when compared to their equally clueless male counterparts. For both men and women the more knowledge they displayed when dealing with mechanics, the less they were charged.
The takeaway? The best way to get a great price on a repair is to arm yourself with information. The more you know about the relative cost of a repair, as well as how your car works, could save you hundreds of dollars. It's also worth asking for recommendations from friends and checking a repair shop's online reviews before bringing your car in to a shop.