In the recent Bud Light commercial, Amy Schumer makes many claims regarding gender equality. One of these claims is that women pay more than men when buying cars. Here's a link to said video.

Is this true?

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    The gender pay gap is irrelevant to this claim. I removed it so that this question can stay focused on Schumer's quotes claim.
    – user30557
    Jun 30, 2016 at 19:43
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    There is that new study was the making the rounds a few months ago (autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/consumer-news/92105/…), but I cannot find a link to the actual study. That stated that women pay 13% less for identicle car repairs (in the UK). You would imagine that this bias would effect all salesmen. But then car buying involves the back and forth of a negotiation instead of just the salesman picking a number. If someone could find the original study, it might be enough for a tentative answer.
    – Jonathon
    Jun 30, 2016 at 21:01
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    Women and men don't really buy exactly the same cars.... Apr 22, 2022 at 0:51

3 Answers 3


While Jonathan Wisnoski's comment refers to a study about car repairs, I agree with the question and will assume the ad's sentence "And we need to pay more for the same stuff - cars, [...]" is about car purchases. (Also, in the article the comment links to, a different study from only 2015 is mentioned that found women pay more for repairs). (Furthermore, I think car repairs are even more of a credence good than purchases, and therefore - this is my assumption - car mechanics are more likely to overcharge people who they assume have less knowledge about the topic, which would likely apply to women. This would make car repairs different from purchases.)

I am inclined to say the answer is yes, at least in the US (to which the video was most likely referring to), although the information I found is a bit outdated. Or rather, studies in the past have found this to be case, and I don't see why this would have changed in the past decades, unfortunately.

Evidence supporting this: A study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs from 1992, that says:

The 1992 study found that when women bought used cars, they were twice as likely to have been quoted a higher price than men.

In 1996, a Princeton study found the same thing for new cars (if you do not want to register for jstor, the study can also be found here):

Dealer's initial offer to white females: $200 higher than those of white males. Final offer: $130 higher. Black females: Initial offer: $450 higher than those of white males. Final offer: $400 higher

Slightly more recently, a study authored by economics/marketing professors from Harvard and University of California found the that women and minorities pay more than men for cars:

We find that women pay more for cars (0.2%), as do older consumers (0.2 %for moving from 20 to 64 years old) and consumers who have a higher probability of being either black or Hispanic. A buyer with probability one of being black pays 1.5% more for the equivalent vehicle than does a buyer that has probability zero of being black[...]

Although they're a bit older, given two of that these are academic studies published in peer-reviewed journals that show their methodology, I am more inclined to put trust in them than the car repair price studies, which were carried out by private companies and whose methodology is not shown (or at least I couldn't find it).


The answer is a strong YES for single women. Women pay more than man for cars. Ashley Langer at the University of Arizona has a paper called (Dis)Incentives for Demographic Price Discrimination in the New Vehicle Market. She shows that demographics matter when it comes to the price you pay. In particular, she says

I show that after controlling for the optimal markups, single women pay a premium over single men and married men pay a premium over married women. Furthermore, single consumers pay more than married consumers.

The paper is unpublished but available here.

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    According to that quote, "single women pay a premium over single men", but "married men pay a premium over married women". In order to evaluate the claim though, wouldn't we have to compare married and unmarried women to married and unmarried men? Aug 3, 2016 at 23:12

Yet another study using test purchasers showing women and non-whites paying more for cars.

More than 300 paired audits at new-car dealerships reveal that dealers quoted significantly lower prices to white males than to black or female test buyers using identical, scripted bargaining strategies.


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