French Female Mechanics Want to Get Under Women’s Hoods

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French Female Mechanics Want to Get Under Women's Hoods

Men suck. Girls are awesome. That’s the cardinal rule, apparently, in France’s first “girls-only” car garage. Before you get too excited, fellas, this isn’t a garage where girls in skimpy bikinis drenched in soapy lather give your Porsche a good scrub down. It’s a service station run by women, with predominantly female clientele.

The Only Girls automotive garage, located in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Ouen-l’Aumone, caters to women who feel like they’ve been cheated by male mechanics in the past simply because they happen to be women and might seem less knowledgeable about cars than the average Joe — or Jean-Pierre or whatever name they use in France.

Apparently female mechanics really take the time to talk to their customers and put them at ease. Sure, manicures, massages and childcare are on offer as well, but that isn’t the main selling point here. Educating the client and making her (or him) feel like a fair exchange has taken place is what drives (pun intended) this business model.

While women consistently receive higher repair quotes than men, they’re not alone in their fear of getting shafted when it comes to their wheels.

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I once bullshitted my way through a talk with a mechanic (I’m sure he knew it) after my water pump gave out on a high mountain pass. I had to order a new pump and have it delivered to an isolated garage that was literally two steps away from a dense wilderness. The fear of being gouged on price contributed to my strategically placed bullshit, as did my concern that this would all turn into some kind of “Deliverance”-style fight-for-my-life backwoods scenario.

Luckily, I made it through unscathed. I’ve met some men who study hard — like cramming for a college exam — before heading off to the garage for a possible repair. The fear of being cheated by mechanics affects us all, regardless of our gender — unless you happen to be an ace mechanice yourself.

Online services like RepairPal can help level the playing field by taking up the slack where consumers suffer from an “informational disadvantage.” Online comparative pricing and recommendation tools will let you know if your mechanic’s estimates are on or off the mark, or bordering on criminal.

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One survey found that a majority of women would rather visit the dentist for some literal drilling rather than go in for an auto repair. With well more than 80 percent of people (boys and girls) reporting that sinking feeling of being overcharged at their local garage, is it any wonder that a garage with female mechanics and female customers is such a hit?

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Perhaps a garage staffed with mechanics and psychologists is the next step. That way, customers could be nursed through their fear of getting swindled. Heck, let’s add a dentist’s office while we’re at it! Get all of your pain over in one go and replace your timing belt while you get that filling fixed. Several hits of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and you won’t even care how much you’re being charged.

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