Tag Archives: FOXY Lady Drivers Club

The critical importance of a thorough car check

pink_lady-showing-key-holding-hand-40899761Whenever it’s to do with motoring, men and women think and act differently at car shopping time. And so it is in the recent research findings from MyCarCheck.

Despite being the gender most likely to influence the final car shopping decision (in 80% of all cases in the UK), all too often women feel they are being ignored in manufacturer advertising and then intimidated and even overlooked in showrooms, especially when she takes a man with her during the car shopping experience.

And knowing how dire the female feedback about the car shopping experience has been in recent surveys, such as the ones from Good Housekeeping and DifferentSpin.com I am always on the alert for new found knowledge that I can share with our FOXY Lady Approved car dealers.

Unsurprisingly MyCarCheck confirms that women are uncomfortable with the used car checking process (maybe that’s why she takes a man with her for support?) but it’s good to think she knows she needs to carry out these checks.

Apparently one in four vehicles that MyCarCheck check have serious failings that you might expect a car dealer to have known about and rectified. Think about it – the car could be reclaimed by a finance house and/or not owned by the person who is selling it.

Why a thorough car check matters

This is yet another worrying example of what can happen when you go car shopping for a used car in an unregulated industry where complaints are all too common.

Too many of us are too trusting having been seduced by the shiny look of a gleaming ‘new’ car that’s hiding mechanical problems. That’s mechanical problems usually borne out of neglected car care such as regular servicing and/or maintenance. If an elderly car has been neglected for a long period of its life, especially when it comes to regular oil and filter changes, it will likely have lost its reliability and, chances are, it’s waiting to prove this to you just after you’ve bought it or any warranty expires!

Again, according to MyCarCheck, men are more confident about their driving ability than women although perhaps the declared gender difference here is too slight to be significant, and would be nil if men and women were equally as honest or modest…

Certainly the research from IAM Roadsmart suggested that most motoring Mums were highly confident drivers and if accident statistics were to be the final arbiter in the REAL motoring world then women will surely edge any gender motoring ability debate, influenced mostly by the serious accident reputation that boy racers have earned.

Negotiating the price of a used car

When it comes to finalising the price of a used car, the motor industry is in a league of its own due to so many potential smoke and mirrors tactics designed to confuse the car shopper who is using dealer finance and part exchanging a car. And in many cases of used car sales it’s too confusing by intent.

MyCarCheck suggests that men are less confident shoppers than women here. That may well be because men know they should haggle whereas many women are too trusting that the advertised price is a fair one. Or they’ve picked a car that the salesman (it’s usually a salesman) is happy to discount because he knows it’s a lemon and she’s fooled into thinking this is a great deal. Whereas the man has already become suspicious, and if the discount comes too easy, perhaps he’s starting to smell a rat.

So the point of this blog is to remind all of us to get our cars checked before we buy them. Twice. Once via the likes of MyCarCheck to make sure the car in question is free of finance and hasn’t been in an accident or stolen. And again (a different sort of check) to get a trusted mechanic or a dedicated service to give it the once over. Yes, you should be able to rely on the vehicle checks carried out by a car dealer promoting a well known named ‘Approved Car’ scheme but we know of instances where unscrupulous dealers have ticked all the multiple check boxes, actively disguising a missing car servicing history and MOT advisories that hadn’t been addressed pre sale. Clearly the price you pay is critical here, as is any advertising that suggests the car is in better shape than it turns out to be…

So that’s about it from me. Men and women are different – who’d’ve believed it! And when it comes to buying a car, women shouldn’t need to take a man with them but if they feel less intimidated with than without, then why not.

That’s unless they’re members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club of course because they wouldn’t need to take a man with them then. Because they can either shop at a FOXY Lady Approved dealer that’s signed a promise to ‘never overcharge, patronise or sell women anything they don’t need’ or they can ask us for advice and support before shopping elsewhere. And should things go wrong of course.

For example, if the dealer doesn’t get it right or put it right afterwards (most do), we’d then tell the members about this. That’s the FOXY way – fair and feminine by any name!

So if you’re planning on buying a new ie used car soon I recommend you join The Club BEFORE you need us, because we may well help you buy a better car deal than you’d end up with on your own!

FOXY Steph

Lessons Louise learned from her car accident


I met Louise Budgen of Utility Warehouse at a recent Athena business meeting in Brighton. We agreed to talk to each other about our respective businesses afterwards and it was during this exchange that Louise told me about a serious car accident she’d been involved in when a friend was driving.

They were merrily travelling in lane two at the side of an overseas lorry when it pulled out just when they were nearly in front of it. The lorry clipped the rear offside of the car, sending it spinning round and round and then rolling over a couple of times before landing upside down in some bushes, just off the hard shoulder. Thankfully not onto the motorway or any barrier or wall but still a totally terrifying experience.

Whilst such instances are thankfully very rare, Louise learned several valuable lessons and we asked her to put these in writing so we could share them with others who might appreciate this advice and support.

This is Louise’s story

“My accident has taught me a lot on a personal front. Life can be taken away from us all in a second. Life is precious and can be very short so we need to enjoy everyday as if it is our last. After all, we don’t know if it is going to be…

My accident left me suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for the best part of a year. This was a very frustrating time for me as I simply couldn’t do the things I would normally be able to do. I’m talking about simple things like walking the dogs or thinking about more than one thing at a time. I simply couldn’t concentrate, relax or enjoy myself for ages.

I now make sure I take time for me and do not rush around like a headless chicken ALL the time.

To help me, I needed some coaching from different specialists to get me back on track. The enormously positive impact they had on me encouraged me to train to become a coach myself.

On reflection, many good things have come about as a result of this awful accident too.

I am much more appreciative of the small things life offers and grateful for my life as it is; no longer wishing for more. I am definitely living more in the moment which is such a lovely thing to do, enjoying each day by day. Yes I have big plans for my future but today is what matters most for me now.

From a motoring point of view, I faced my biggest fear which was of dying in a motorway accident. I have always been a nervous passenger on motorways yet, having survived this experience, my accident has taught me that there are just some things that will happen for no apparent reason and nobody can control everything in their life including what other vehicles and drivers get up to on the road. So I have at last been able to put this event behind me – why should I worry or waste my energy on being worried? Yes, I’m still a nervous passenger (more than a driver) on the motorway but I’m working on this – I am determined this accident will not hold me back in future.

In life, whilst bad things do happen, it is how we deal with them that matters.

blindspot_graphic_700From a practical point of view – always give foreign lorries a wide berth because, when you are in their blind spot, they sometimes can’t see you in the middle lanes of motorways, even though they SHOULD be sufficiently alert to know where all surrounding vehicles are likely to be.

In our case they misjudged the distance and speed they took to pull out into lane 2.

If you are there at the time they won’t see you and will hit you.”

Please see the blind spot image above which illustrates a similar event but not the one Louise experiened.

Thank you Louise for this insight.

For help re PTSD please contact their website.

We’d recommend any motorist in the same situation consider taking the IAM Roadsmart Confidence After Incident course designed to boost their confidence levels.

We all need a confidence boost and coping mechanisms when we are nervous. Knowing what to do and how means that your driving skills are more intuitive and become automatic.

The more you learn, read and practise the better, more alert and more confident a driver you become.

Coping with foreign lorries is covered within the IAM Roadsmart’s Advanced Driver Course and, having done this programme myself, I can thoroughly recommend it!

FOXY Steph

The Club provides a range of support services for females in need of encouragement and a confidence boost. If you know a female who is struggling to cope with everyday motoring matters, suggest she join the Club or buy her a subscription as a gift. We are then here for her to contact us for advice, information and support whatever the motoring situation. Not only will we save her time and money but we’ll also provide priceless reassurance during the course of a lifetime membership.

You can join the Club online HERE and NOW

More support needed for women to take the lead


I am proud to be a founder member of the Women’s Equality party known as WE.

But like the motoring Club I run, too many men and sadly women think this sort of gender based stuff is simply feminist fluff with us only wanting things all our own way.

We even hear excuses like ‘there aren’t enough women to take the lead’…

Well here we are and I hope you voted for the RIGHT candidates yesterday. Even if it meant taking a ‘risk’ on women for the first time? How else can we prove our mettle if we aren’t given that chance?

But perhaps the email I received from the party this morning might explain why voting for WE (women and men) and supporting FOXY Lady Drivers Club, is all about making things better for women and in turn for men too. It’s important to see the BIG picture before making gender assumptions and simply walking away…

And in the same way as FOXY Lady Drivers Club looks to the motor industry to support it, the WE party looks to men and women alike to support it. Much as the money raised by Sandy’s speaking tour goes towards WE. For us all to do a better job for everyone. Which isn’t difficult, given the state of things in politics and some areas of the motor industry today…

This is the email I received this morning (Friday 6 May 2016).


“We — Catherine and Sandi — founded the Women’s Equality party to shake up politics and push gender equality on to the agenda. We aimed not only to make change directly, but also to influence the old parties to up their game.

Because of you, that has already happened. Our brilliant campaigns in Wales, Scotland and London, each managed locally and powered by our amazing activists, forced all the other parties to focus on issues that too often are sidelined or ignored. WE turned the debate to caregiving and the gender pay gap and violence against women and WE then watched the other parties sidle up to our manifestos and scoop up our policies to repackage as their own.

Together WE have started something — a party, a movement, a realisation that things must change — and the elections were just the start.

Of course we are on the edges of our seats waiting for the results. There’s not one of our candidates who wouldn’t lift the standard of politics and bring the sorts of perspectives that are so badly lacking.

But we are also already celebrating, and what we are celebrating is YOU. You have helped WE to win in making a difference. And when WE win, everyone wins. Because equality is better for everyone.”


Hear, hear. And I support WE because it is the right thing to do.

I’m proud of WE for doing it.

And if YOU haven’t joined WE yet, can I suggest you do so NOW!

Because it’s money they need to stand up to the big budget boys in politics.

Have a look at the WE website please and JOIN US.

And I guarantee that if you are looking for a better motoring deal, women’ll struggle to find a better one than joining FOXY Lady Drivers Club too.

Calling all road smart women drivers


Women drivers come in all shapes and sizes including petrolheads, the mechanically savvy, those that are happy to delegate motoring matters to the man in their lives and those whose car is the workhorse that they couldn’t do without in their busy family lives, and which needs regular professional care and attention to keep it safe.

In all cases, the common denominator is the driver, and we’d suggest that females are generally a lot more honest than men about any concerns about motoring concentration or confidence levels.

To address these areas and more, the newly branded IAM RoadSmart (previously the Institute of Advanced Motorists/IAM) has conducted research suggesting that as many as 40% of mums and grandmothers would like to become more confident when driving to unfamiliar places.

And whilst on-road training continues to be important for occupational drivers it seems that many busy motorists, including women, would prefer online courses because they take less than two hours to complete.

IAM Roadsmart research

IAM Roadsmart research highlights a number of important common-sense findings. Not just that drivers’ biggest concern is actually other drivers but also that reducing the cost of motoring and insurance (as a result of driver training) is a highly powerful motivation for younger motorists.

So these are the key areas that IAM RoadSmart is now addressing for motorists and motorbike riders alike.

IAM RoadSmart CEO, Sarah Sillars OBE said

“The most important thing for the majority of drivers and riders is getting from A to B with as little hassle as possible. The daily commute, travelling to a business meeting, or the drive to the shops, can be made so much more enjoyable with just a bit more awareness of the challenges on the road ahead. This is where IAM RoadSmart comes in.

We’ve been around for 60 years now and in that time roads, vehicles and distractions have changed, in some cases, beyond all recognition. The advanced driving and riding tests will remain core to what we do and will continue to be seen as the ultimate achievement, but if you just want to get more confident driving in bad weather for instance, we can help with that too.

We’ve helped create nearly half a million better drivers and riders already and as we become recognised as IAM RoadSmart we hope to be able to help many more.”

FOXY Founder Steph Savill added her congratulations and appreciation of the philosophy behind the new IAM Roadsmart brand.

“I learned a huge amount taking my IAM advanced driving test. As a result, we promote this programme to FOXY Lady Drivers Club members who receive a discount on their Skill For Life programme. We now look forward to promoting their new online and confidence courses to women.

Whilst it’s not just women who have had road accidents that have shaken their confidence, we do know of many who choose to drive the long way round on A and B roads to avoid motorway travel, regardless of the statistical evidence that more accidents occur on country roads. So anything IAM RoadSmart can do to help women regain their lost confidence and become better drivers into the bargain has our support.”

For More Information:


To find out more about the new IAM Roadsmart website.

Why not join FOXY Lady Drivers Club to enjoy motoring savings, FOXY Lady Approved businesses and support services that complement IAM RoadSmart driver training options.

Treating men and women differently

genderWhen you touch on or even mention any gender related subject, such as running a motoring club for women as I do, I accept I won’t please everyone.

Maybe it’s the competitive or tribal nature of our society or inadequacies in our education system but we seem to be increasingly ruled by a politically correct agenda. One that makes judgements for us, regardless of our freedom of choice, based on often emotional and limiting views to do with equality and feminism.

I am not sure why this lobby should trump our freedom of choice as genders but anecdotal research tells me that many think equality means treating boys and girls/men and women the same.

It also seems that the word feminism has a very bad (and unfair) reputation in some male and female minds.

I now detect a new undercurrent, thought by men and women alike it seems, that women should ‘man’ up and stop (being portrayed in the media perhaps) whining and be exposed to the same criticism as men. My context here is motoring of course, where the irony of this is profound after women drivers have been the source of criticism for years…

But fair or not, it’s simply wrong to lump an entire gender into one for convenience, as age, marital status and many other factors affect our lives. To label us all as bad drivers when patently some are and most aren’t is clearly wrong. And, needless to say, despite the PC wish to treat us us all the same, women are not the same as men so this will NEVER work.

Women, families and careers

Just over 20 years ago I was a Director in a corporate world who knew she needed to be better than most men to get on in her career. So she did what it took to get to the Board and it cost her a marriage. Then came the family years, when she tried to balance a full time job, a new relationship, studying for an Executive MBA whilst looking after a step-teenager and toddler. Unsurprisingly she couldn’t do it all, her health finally suffered and one way or another this led her ie me to working for myself.

The story is much more complicated than that of course but my abiding memory is of a man who I wanted to impress at work in the early days. When he finally complimented me on some work I’d done he concluded by saying I could consider myself ‘an honorary male’. That’s when loud warning bells started to ring. Was this what I really wanted to hear? It wasn’t of course but many females seem to think they need to outbloke the guys to scale the corporate ladder.

Equal rights, equality and feminism

I never wanted to be a Queen Bee in any boardroom, I just wanted to demonstrate and flex my ability to good effect and have this recognised. But it isn’t easy being female in a male world where men set the agenda and we’re expected to follow it. This is more evident than ever in the masculine motor industry and if you don’t work in it or have experience of this, trust me, it’s different from any other environment I have known. Question the male status quo and you can be seen as tricky…

One thing my ‘honorary male’ experience instilled in me from that day onwards was a love of equal rights, equality and feminism – each of them relevant and supportive in different situations.

Let’s start with the easiest one of these. I imagine that most reasonable individuals, regardless of gender, believe in equal rights when it comes to pay, jobs, education, training, opportunities and parenting responsibilities. Now, reread this previous sentence using the word ‘feminism’ instead of ‘equal rights.’ and you have my definition of feminism. And if you think about this, it benefits men as much as women, particularly in the area of parental responsibilities. So why is feminism so maligned?

And whilst it is tempting to venture down the route that suggests equality is good for all this ignores the fact that boys and girls are as different as men and women remain in later life. Thank goodness for that! And because girls, boys, men and women aren’t the same as each other either we mustn’t try to pigeon-hole each other into ‘pink and frilly’ or ‘distinguished and mechanical’ stereotypes either.

Let us be who we are, not what others think we should be…

The PC lobby

I was reminded about all this when I posted some Government stats about women being the safer motoring gender (ratio of young men:women drivers causing death or serious accidents 2:1 in 2013) in this comments section. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/11317822/Government-drink-driving-ads-must-show-women-behind-the-wheel.html

It appears to some that if you stick up for your gender, you are to be dismissed as suffering from misandry or misogyny. And that if you don’t stick up for your gender, this is being called balanced? What utter nonsense.

What a shame it is that some men and women earnestly believe that we should all be treated the same regardless of our differences. Especially knowing the educational outcomes of teaching boys and girls separately – where the boys blossom as a result. Or where girls might choose to play with dolls not fire engines? Or boys with cars not dolls?

In short, why not let girls be girls and boys be boys or vice versa if that’s what THEY want? I don’t see the fuss here.

Gender and motoring

I was interested to read an article about this that Erin Baker wrote this weekend in The Telegraph’s Cars supplement. She acknowledges having taken an overly harsh view of ‘weak’ women drivers in a previous Womens Hour interview but now admits to having some off days herself in this respect.

Welcome to the female motoring world Erin where honesty is what women usually do best. I’m not saying that women have weaknesses thrust upon them that men don’t but it’s my experience that being a new mum, bereaved, divorced, or involved in an accident or road rage incident undoubtedly affects confidence levels when driving. And if this isn’t a gender issue, then women seem more likely to admit to this than men.

Wasn’t it just recently that a women was killed in a car park in this country because a male motorist literally fought her for a car park space?

I’d much prefer us to take the heat out of gender-based debates to do with motoring and have a truce based on facts and some degree of mutual compassion even.

Let’s start by admitting that some women are better drivers than men and vice versa… That’s fair and balanced isn’t it?

Then let’s get this in proportion. Yes an increasing number of women are committing offences, causing accidents and drinking and driving but there are still more men than women doing this (and the numbers/mileage covered is getting ever closer…).

Why not name and shame the bad motorists in future? Our local police told our local newspaper about a lady that was prosecuted for drink driving, for example?

But let’s remember that the motor industry is one of the last male bastions in many female minds, deterring women from being the regular customers and employees our garages and car dealers need.

It’s simply wrong that so many females still feel the need to take a man with them to haggle a deal for a new car. Or that so many of us still feel the need to ask a man to test drive a car for us or take it to the garage instead of us?

Yes you could tell women to ‘man’ up but the industry as as much to blame for not being more female friendly here..

And with the number of women drivers about to exceed the number of men on UK roads (in 2-3 years they say), this is surely a wake up call for this industry to respond to the female business case?

After all, we’re increasingly wealthy, independent and demanding ie it isn’t just me that expects higher standards in terms of quality, value, cleanliness and customer services (than many garages and car dealers offer).

Making a female motoring choice

“By walking the female [business] path you end up making things better for women AND men.” Paco Underhill, author of ‘What Women Want’ 2010

If some women want to save money, be better informed about their motoring choices and enjoy access to cheaper car insurance and cars as well as friendly support services (which FOXY Lady Drivers Club offer in terms of driver training, ongoing practical advice and women’s garage evenings) surely they should be able to enjoy this without being made to feel weak or inferior in any way?

But if this approach doesn’t appeal to you (maybe you think that better rates and a helping hand for women drivers are patronising gestures in some way) rest assured you don’t have to join FOXY Lady Drivers Club! Although if you did, you could help me do a better job for other females by sharing/contributing your know how to mutual female benefit*.

In short, please have a heart when it comes to women drivers in the year ahead. We’re doing our best to make things better in motoring circles for females – as I see it, male motorists will then benefit from our raising the quality and services bar for all!

FOXY Steph

*Providing you NEVER take a stance that rubbishes women drivers un-specifically (yes some deserve reprimanding as do some men but let’s be specific not emotional) or unfairly. That is my unspoken rule – to encourage women towards being better drivers by using the carrot not the stick approach.