London - A third of women drivers say they have been 'ripped off' by a garage because of their gender, a new report conducted in the UK revealed.

Some 29 percent believe they have been overcharged for servicing and repair work purely because they are female.

And they warn they are prepared to take their business elsewhere if they feel they are being taken advantage of, according to research by car maintenance service Motoreasy.

Men are even more suspicious about their bill from mechanics, with almost half (47 percent) believing they paid over the odds. However, they do not believe it was "necessarily because of their gender".

The problem is felt most acutely among younger women drivers, with nearly 34 percent of those aged 20 to 25 believing they were overcharged. Some 27 percent of women aged 36-55 and 26 percent of the 56-70 age group believe they were ripped off.

In 2015, a study found women are charged £45 (R756) more than men for the same garage repairs.

A survey last year showed that among women, brunettes and redheads were quoted up to 20 percent less than blondes for the same work. Duncan McClure Fisher of Motoreasy said women are often ‘fearful’ of negotiating with garages in case they are overcharged.