08 Sep 5 Automotive Tips For Women Who Don’t Want To Get Swindled
Unfortunately, the automotive industry is guilty of a little thing called swindling, especially if you’re a woman. Swindling by definition means somebody’s trying to rob you blind because they think you’re an easy target, and in the context of the automotive industry, it probably means you’re a woman who just wants her wheel alignment corrected but instead gets whacked with a $5,000 invoice because ‘she probably ain’t got a clue about cars’.
Auto-swindling doesn’t just happen when you’re taking your car in for repairs, it also happens when you’re buying a car too. Fortunately, there’s a few things you can do to prevent yourself getting auto-swindled in the future.
Here are 5 tips for women who want to pay the same price as fellas when it comes to cars.
1. Always get a second opinion
No matter how many hours you’ve spent scrolling through online car classifieds and automotive pullouts in the Herald Sun, you’re not a car guru, and the sleazy used car salesman or money-hungry mechanic will be able to sniff the amatauer odour on you immediately.
The best thing you can for yourself and your wallet is to get a second opinion. Whether it’s for a car you’re looking at buying, a loan you’re looking at signing up for or some repairs you’re looking at getting for your current wheels – in almost every instance, there’ll be someone who can give it to you for a better price, or at least tip you off that you’re being swindled.
2. Do your own research
Even though you may not be a car guru per se, you don’t have to be completely in the dark.
One of the most effective methods of walking away from a deal without burning a hole in your wallet is first walking into it knowing exactly what you need and want (and vice versa).
Chances are, if you go to a car yard or a dealership, the salesman is going to try to sell you on car models or sports packages you don’t actually need or can afford, and more often or not they’ll cost you half a dozen arms and legs.
Make sure you know exactly what you’re after before you step into the market so the dealer or seller can’t bleed you dry and leave you with a secondhand sports car that doesn’t even fit in your garage.
3. Ask them to explain the repairs
One of the best ways to avoid unnecessary costs when getting your car serviced or repaired is asking the mechanic to explain what’s exactly broken and how they’re going to fix it. That way, you can go home and check yourself just how much those repairs should cost, and if a quick Google search or a second opinion tells you it should only be a fraction of the price they’d quoted you, then you’re getting swindled.
4. Ask for a separate written estimate with the total cost of parts and labour
In a lot of instances, your mechanic will quote you one price and then bill you for another due to ‘unforeseen costs’ incurred during the repair process, like wiper fluid and engine oil, or even additional labour.
By asking for a fully itemised written estimate, including the costs of parts and labour, there’s a significantly smaller chance of them stinging you with ‘surprise costs’ at the end.
5. Keep receipts
Lastly, keep every single receipt you ever receive from a car repair or sale and put it in a waterproof ziplock bag in your glovebox.
That way, if anyone ever tries to do a dodgy and charge you double the price for new brake pads, show them a receipt from the last time you had them replaced and watch the mechanic attempt to blame the exorbitant cost on ‘inflation’ or something equally ridiculous, and then take your business elsewhere. These sharks aren’t worth your time or money.
If you’d rather just buy a car that’s already the best deal in the market, and that doesn’t need a single repair because it’s only recently had a full 250 point vehicle inspection, then check out our range of quality and affordable used cars here.
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