A GARAGE in Overton is doing its part to redress the gender perceptions in the auto repair industry.

Industry figures show that women are severely underrepresented in the motor industry, but that is not the case at the Overton Garage, in Quidhampton Business Park.

Owner Claire O’Keeffe runs a family-friendly auto repair shop with the aim to provide a service that everyone will feel comfortable using.

Research has found that women pay an average of £45 more for car repairs than men. Claire remembers how daunting it used to be to enter a male-dominated garage when she lacked the knowledge she has since acquired.

She said: “I would always ask my dad to take the car in for servicing as I was worried of saying the wrong thing.”

Now, as the face of her company, Claire and her team say they can deliver a fairer service that ensures anyone in need of car repairs is made to feel at ease.

She added: “I run the garage, which has been going for about a year now,

“Our main ethos is to run a family business that’s inclusive to all. It’s about not being ripped off and not being patronised.

“Because we come from the other side of the desk, we know what it’s like being on that side of things.

“We explain what’s wrong with the car rather than just fixing it. And we itemise every item so that people know exactly what they are paying for each thing.

“We take the time to talk it through.”

Claire’s husband, Danny, owns a classic car shop next door. Many of his customers are male, but they also use Claire’s garage for vehicle maintenance.

She said: “I think we have a healthy split [of male and female customers].

“We do tend to get a lot of young mums, or usually the ones at home on maternity leave.”

Danny adds: “Looking after the car is almost a household task. A lot of guys in Overton commute to London for work so their partners are often left at home alone.

“So going somewhere local and being able to just walk home can be helpful.”

For those who cannot walk to and from the garage, the team offers a free pick up and drop off service within a 10-mile radius.

Claire also provides advice to the garage’s social media followers to help them better understand their vehicles.

“I also do educational Facebook posts on things like how brakes work.

“I like to put it in layman’s terms.”

Claire’s approach has already resonated with many customers, and she hopes her garage will continue to change perceptions of the motor industry.

“It’s not just for women but for everyone. It’s about raising the standards of what to expect when you come into a garage.”