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Sexism in the showroom

Men get a better deal in car showrooms than women, according to new research.

On average, a male mystery shopper was able to get a car for £544 less than his female counterpart.

The research was carried out by What Car? and women’s car buying website

Undercover male and female shoppers were sent to UK car showrooms using the same story to shop for the same cars. The task was to negotiate the biggest discounts on five cars – an Audi A4, a Ford Focus, a Honda CR-V, a Renault Clio and a Vauxhall Zafira. Men got better deals in 55% of the showrooms, while women came out top in 20%.

Steve Fowler, group editor of What Car?, said: “We’re shocked that gender appears to have a bearing on the discount offered in car dealerships. It seems that car dealers see women as an easy touch and don’t feel the need to offer such keen prices as if it was a man sitting in front of them.

“Discounts can be relatively easy to come by if you’re well prepared before you go shopping. Our Target Price proves that you can save an average of £1,454 on a new car – often much more.”

Car List price Lowest price men Lowest price women Broker price
Audi A4 2.0 TDi 140 SE £23,280 £20,800 £21,240 * £20,807
Ford Focus 1.6 115 LX 5dr £14,095 £11,600 £11,600 £11,576
Ford Focus 1.6 115 Sport 5dr £14,595 £11,300 £11,875 £11,875
Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi SE £20,005 £19,100 £18,500 £18.500
Renault Clio1.4 Exp 3dr £10,325 £8,613 £8,701 £8,701
Vauxhall Zafira 1.9 CDTi Energy £18,000 ** £13,163 £14,360 £14,154

*Six months’ road tax, not one year.
**Includes discount for currently owning another make of car, plus £3,000 off for financing £2,200.

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