Women Pay $8K More Than Men During Length of Car Ownership — Let’s Change That

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A recent study conducted by the car insurance comparison app Jerry found that women pay thousands more than men over the course of eight years, the average length of time people own a car. According to the study, women pay $142 more per year than men for car ownership on average, and can pay up to $7,800 more during the length of ownership. In addition, women pay $117 more than men when buying new cars and $23 more than men for car repairs. In today’s “Financially Savvy Female” column, we’re chatting with Lakshmi Iyengar, data scientist at Jerry, about why women are paying more for auto expenses and what can be done to prevent being overcharged.

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Why are women paying more for car ownership?

The “pink tax” is defined as additional costs women pay for healthcare and beauty products. Our study asks, “Are women also paying a pink tax in other areas of their life, like car ownership?” The answer is yes, and there are several areas of car ownership that drive that pink tax up. Women pay more on average to purchase a car and they pay more for car repairs and services. It is most likely due to an inherent bias, as women are unfortunately perceived to have a lack of knowledge about car-related topics.

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What are your tips for women who want to save money when buying a new car?

One way to save money when buying a car, for anyone, is to do your research. If you’re well informed about car-buying, it won’t matter that there is a perceived lack of knowledge among women. Armed with all the important information, you may feel more comfortable negotiating and will probably be less likely to overpay in the end.

Good Question: Why Are Women Bearing the Brunt of Student Loan Debt in America?

What are your tips for women who want to save money when taking their car in for a repair?

Similar to car shopping, doing research before visiting a mechanic is in your best interest. Make sure you know how much your car repairs should cost so you are better informed when it comes time to pay for a service, no matter how big or small. Our research found that the pink tax all but disappeared when women knew the cost of service in their area and spoke up if they felt they were being overcharged.

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According to the study, one auto expense that women are actually paying less for is car insurance. What are some of the reasons behind this?

Men have proven to be more expensive to insure than women in all but four states, which may be explained by the fact that women are in fewer crashes than men overall. Specifically, younger men have the highest frequency of car accidents, so it makes sense that Gen Z male drivers may pay more than their female counterparts. But when looking more closely at our data broken down by age, millennial, Gen X and baby boomer women were actually charged more than male drivers their age. This may be due to the fact that women typically are paid less than men, and therefore aren’t extended the same lines of credit, which ultimately makes for lower credit scores and impacts their insurance rate.

Also See: How Much More Women Spend on Haircuts, Mortgage Loans, Cars and More Thanks to the ‘Pink Tax’

Even though women generally pay less than men for car insurance, what are some ways they can save when they purchase insurance?

Not unlike researching before spending on a car, saving on car insurance is all about shopping around and getting quotes from multiple providers. You should be re-shopping your insurance every six to 12 months. Using a comparison tool like Jerry automates the process.

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If you’ve already found the insurance carrier that offers you the best rate, take advantage of any discounts that your carrier might offer. Good driver, low-mileage and vehicle equipment discounts are the most common discounts that drivers qualify for.

GOBankingRates wants to empower women to take control of their finances. According to the latest stats, women hold $72 billion in private wealth — but fewer women than men consider themselves to be in “good” or “excellent” financial shape. Women are less likely to be investing and are more likely to have debt, and women are still being paid less than men overall. Our “Financially Savvy Female” column will explore the reasons behind these inequities and provide solutions to change them. We believe financial equality begins with financial literacy, so we’re providing tools and tips for women, by women to take control of their money and help them live a richer life.

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 
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