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The “pink tax” is the phenomenon where women pay higher prices for goods than men. It’s been well-documented that prices for items like deodorant, fragrances, and other personal care goods cost more for women than they do for men. But does the pink tax carry over to automotive necessities like cars and car insurance?

Research shows that women pay more for car insurance under certain circumstances

A James Bond girl drives a Ferrari
A James Bond girl drives a Ferrari | Getty Images

Research conducted by Jerry, a car insurance comparison site, shows that men pay more for car insurance regardless of age or any factor. Men even pay 7.8% more for basic liability insurance ($1,314 vs. $1,218). Additionally, men pay 7.5% more with clean driving records ($1,218 vs. $1,133).  

However, the research also found that women pay more under certain circumstances. It turns out that “women aged 25-64 pay more than men in the same age groups if they are homeowners or live in an urban or suburban area,” Jerry noted. The difference was as high as $74 per year, or 8.2% more.

Additionally, women that hold bachelor’s degrees, live in metropolitan areas, are not homeowners, and have a credit rating between 550-659 pay about $43 to $244 more per year than men. Jerry says that the biggest difference is the women’s group aged 25-34.

Ultimately, the data showed that women only paid more in a certain age group, so the insurance website was unconvinced that a pink tax exists when it comes to car insurance.

Do women pay more at auto repair shops?

A person potentially performing a recall repair on a white car.
Mechanical repair | Getty Images

It’s a common thought that women pay more when having their cars repaired, so Jerry put it to the test. They conducted an experiment by calling 50 different auto repair shops around the country to ask about the labor cost for a brake job on a 2014 Toyota RAV4. Each shop was called by a man and a woman.

The results were interesting, as only 40 of the calls were usable. Eleven of the shops quoted the woman a price that was $10 more than what the man was quoted. Also, nine shops quoted the man a higher price. Ultimately, this experiment didn’t equate to a pink tax on auto repairs considering the difference was minimal.

What about vehicle prices?

A woman and her baby are surrounded by salesmen when shopping for a car.
A woman shops for a car. | Getty Images

According to Jerry, “another study around that women over the age of 70 pay the highest prices for new cars, about $240 more” than other consumers. It’s worth noting that the data was from 2017, so the results could be different in today’s market. The study also noted that there was a reluctance to negotiate with that age demographic, which could further explain the results.

It also showed that younger women are more likely, and more successful, when negotiating the vehicle price than men of the same age.

Ultimately, although the pink tax exists for other consumer goods, the evidence in the automotive sector is underwhelming.


Does Car Insurance Actually Cost More For Women?