‘Women’s Car DIY Manual’ author speaks out against sexist treatment

A female mechanic has spoken out against the “patronising and intimidating” treatment of women in garages and hopes that her new book, the Haynes Women’s Car DIY Manual will help more women to develop an understanding of car maintenance.

Caroline Lake runs Caroline’s Cars in Norfolk and delivers regular workshops for men and women. She says: “Women shouldn’t be scared to take their car for a service, but the patronising and intimidating environment of many garages makes them an uncomfortable place for women to be.

“Men make up around 99 per cent of staff and will often use jargon that can make women feel uncomfortable, so they are understandably keen to get out as quickly as possible and don’t feel in control of the decisions they make, which can prove costly.

“We’ve all heard stories of garages pouncing on this vulnerability and charging women more because they know they can get away with it and those sorts of practices have to stop.

“I want this book to not only give women the power to make educated and informed decisions about their cars, but to also get their hands dirty and get under the bonnet.

“Cars aren’t rocket science and it is about time that women realised that they have all the necessary skills to do it well, but they are discouraged from entering the profession.

“I had to work for four years as an unpaid tea girl before I was given the chance to work  under the bonnet, and I was only the sixth woman to qualify as an MoT tester in the UK back in 2003, so I’m hoping my book can start a revolution and change attitudes in the industry.”

The Haynes Women’s Car DIY Manual provides advice on all areas of owning, maintaining and caring for your car, with colour step-by-step photos showing how to carry out general procedures. It also explains what goes on with servicing and MoTs, showing you how to save money and learn more about your car by tackling some of the jobs yourself, and providing you with the knowledge and confidence to deal with your local garage.

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