FEMALE motorists can now get free advice and guidance which may help prevent them form getting ripped off - thanks to a woman who works in the industry.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that women can get charged up to twice as much as men for repairs, largely because of the perception that they are less informed.

To mark International Women’s Day last Friday, Caroline Clennell of ChipsAway Stroud is giving women free advice to improve their knowledge of cars.

Caroline is a franchisee of ChipsAway International, which has joined forces with the UK’s first all-women run garage repair service, Womanic.

The aim is to encourage more women to not only have the confidence to deal with the automotive trade but also to work in the motoring sector, which has a staggering gender imbalance.

“Simply knowing how to describe where the damage is on a car and using the right terminology will make any technician think you know a bit more,” said Caroline, who also runs The Promotion of Women in the Automotive Sector group.

For example, she added, the passenger’s side is the ‘nearside’ while the driver’s side is the ‘offside’.

Anyone wanting to feel more confident about cars or who has any specific questions can either visit the ChipsAway Stroud & Cirencester Facebook page and leave a message, call Caroline on 0753 552 1198 or visit ChipsAway on the Ryeford Industrial Estate near Stonehouse (GL10 2LA).

If enough people are interested, Caroline might invite Womanic to run a short informative course in the area.