New Data Reveals That Car Ownership Costs Women Up to $7,800 More Than Men

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  • New data points to women paying more to buy and maintain vehicles.
  • There are steps you can take to lower the cost of owning a car.

Talk about frustrating.

For some people, a vehicle is a must-have. If you live in a suburban or rural area, for example, you may be reliant on a car to get around town. Even if you live in a city with public transportation, a vehicle may be necessary to get to your job.

But while you may be resigned to the costs of vehicle ownership, you may also be unhappy to learn that owning a car could cost you up to $7,800 more if you're a woman. That's according to a new report from Jerry Insurance Agency. If that statistic makes your blood boil, you're no doubt in good company.

Why do women get stuck paying more?

The average woman pays anywhere from $300 to $7,800 more than the typical man to own a car over its lifespan. Now clearly, that's a big range, and there are different factors that cause women to take on higher costs.

For one thing, women are quoted around $117 more than men, on average, when buying a new car. But women are also less likely than men to think they'll be overcharged at a dealership.

What’s more, women are quoted $23 more than men, on average, for the same auto repair when they don't come in with a price expectation. And being consistently overcharged could add up over time.

Now one interesting thing to note is that women on a whole typically pay less for car insurance than men. However, women over the age of 24 are charged more than men of the same age in 36 out of 50 states.

How to spend less on vehicle ownership

Whether you're a man or a woman, it's a good idea to do what you can to lower your vehicle ownership costs. The less you spend on that one expense, the more money you'll free up for other bills or savings.

First, don't hesitate to negotiate when you visit an auto dealership. Also, don't let yourself get sold on features you really don't need.

Car salespeople can be very persuasive in convincing you that you need the highest-end options when buying a car. But if those aren't within your budget (or you just plain don't feel compelled to pay for them), speak up.

Before you bring your car in for a repair, do some research ahead of time to get a sense of what it might cost you. If you see the typical cost of a given repair is $200 and you're quoted $300, that should raise a red flag.

Similarly, if the repair in question isn't urgent, but rather, is something that needs to be done within the next few months, shop around for quotes from different mechanics. You may find that one mechanic is far more reasonable -- and honest -- than their competition.

Finally, shop around when buying auto insurance so you can compare premium rates. Insurers use a range of criteria to determine how much to charge, and you may find that one company offers you a more competitive premium rate than another.

For years, studies have pointed to the fact that women earn less money than men for doing similar work. The fact they might pay more for vehicle ownership only compounds that problem. Being an educated consumer and doing your research could help you minimize your car ownership costs -- and retain more of your hard-earned wages.

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