During its reign (it closed in April 2014) the Office of Fair of Trading told us ‘it’s your choice’ when it comes to choosing an accident repairer for your car. But it never was, really, because at least two of the big insurers charge motorists a supplement of £200 to use one outside their ‘approved’ network.
And because the cost of insurance, the speed of a repair and access to courtesy cars are of the essence, it’s fair to say that the welcome a customer gets, should they ever need to go to an accident repairer, is not at the top of any insurer’s list.
It’s Your Female Choice
So how should a lady driver set about finding one of the best and most female friendly bodyshop repairers for herself when she wants to sort out a small car repair?
One where she feels welcome, sees a female face perhaps, finds clean and comfortable reception facilities and not in some highly off-putting industrial estates…
She wants to sort out the likes of small bodywork, alloy and interior car damage without troubling her insurer, for fear of losing any no claims bonus or seeing her premium rise even when she’s paid her excess.
Our advice is for her to do her homework re quality standards first. To look for the Kitemark in vehicle repairs, staff listed on the IMI’s Professional Register, membership of VBRA perhaps (the only scheme operated by Trading Standards Institute) or a manufacturer approved repairer.
Or join FOXY Lady Drivers Club to tell you where best to go…
Then I’d look for one that is actively courting female business by making women feel welcome (many women are highly sensitive here, wary of being criticised by men). These repairers will likely be listed at the FOXY Lady Approved female friendly bodyshop network.
Finally I’d look for businesses that have won recent accolades in Bodyshop Awards, showing that they are proud of their work and at the top of their game.
2015 British Bodyshop Award winners
Aldershot, Carl Batt – UKAARC Aldershot
Ayrshire, Bridgend Accident Repair Centre, Ayrshire
Bath, Emily Monk, Platinum Accident Repair Centre
Bishop’s Stortford, Rye Street Group
Bristol, ARC Group
Bury St Edmunds, Premier Bodyworks
Crawley, Mick Pini, UKAARC
Dagenham, Victor Silva, Fix Auto Dagenham
Dover, Jenkins & Pain*
Grantham, Emma Wilson, Just Car Clinics*
Hartlepool, K & P Anderson Brothers
Heathrow, ARC Coachworks
High Wycombe, Motorbelle,
Hull, Taylors Vehicle Repair Centre
Manchester, Scott Howarth, UKAARC Manchester
Newbury, Adrian Brown – NCR Bodyshops*
Newbury, Woodlands Bodyshop
North of England/Scotland, Pamela McIntyre/Peter Foy, L&I Eaton Group
Northern Ireland, Wrights Accident Repair Centres
South West, Paul Lousteau, Westover Group
Sunderland, Lancaster Wearside Body Repair Centre
Swindon, Just Car Clinic*
Tyne, C&C Coachworks (Tyne Tees Vehicle Repair Group)
UK – Fix Auto
Wakefield, Brian Kendrew – UKAARC Wakefield
West Lothian, AJM Spraying Services
Weybridge, DWS Bodyworks Group
*members of the FOXY Lady Approved female friendly network
Club members can always ask us for specific advice about the best accident repairer to use in their area. It’s what we’re good at remember.