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In these days of greater gender equality, surely men and women receive the same level of service from car dealers?

Well, that would appear not to be the case. An investigation by Auto Express has found that even in these times of greater fairness between the sexes, women receive rather different service at a car showroom than men.

Reporters from the publication posed as new car buyers and visited dealerships representing 10 different franchises. Their mission was to try and buy the same car and in the same spec, but see what discount or extras they could get for their dosh.

Dealers' customer service was also put to the test in an attempt to see whether dealers addressed the undercover reporters politely, or whether they patronised them or tried and persuaded them to part with their cash on an unwanted car.

However, reporters Chris Ebbs and Claire Holden presented different findings which showed that men and women are treated differently in car dealerships.

Out of the 10 showrooms visited, Claire managed to get a better deal than colleague Chris at six showrooms. Out of the remaining four, Chris managed to get the better deal at two of them, while the twosome were evens-stevens at the other two sites.

Interestingly, while females find getter the best deal more easy than the opposite sex, in the test they were subjected to far longer deal negotiations.

"Some sales sales staff even resorted to sleaze," said the magazine. "The worst Chris had to contend with was uninterested or cocky sales staff."

What do you think? Do the findings surprise you? Let us know by posting your comment below