Category Archives: buying a new car

Women don’t need to take a man with them to get a fair deal when buying a new car.

Is Orange the right car colour for Nissan?

Nissan has been having some fun here, with spare marketing money to spend, and women in mind.

Silly us – it seems we may have been buying the wrong coloured cars – what we need are ones to match our personalities.

Fortunately we can now check the right colour (of Nissan Micra) online, using a Chatbot app at Facebook. What a relief.

Apparently our choice of car colour has nothing to do with delivery times or the number of freshly painted new cars sitting in a field somewhere waiting for buyers.

It’s more to do with conservative colour choices and sensitivity on behalf of others. For example, maybe you’ve always really wanted a bright pink car to reflect your feminine side but didn’t buy one because you’re thinking about the resale value or flak from the PinkStinks brigade…

Both excellent reasons not to buy pink I’d have said (in a deep voice) but you wouldn’t be doing your personality justice on our roads says Nissan (who did have a pink Micra).

Here are the ‘facts’ from Nissan research into 5000 European car buyers.
+ 86% have chosen the wrong-coloured car for their personality type
+ Approximately two-thirds went for more traditional / conservative colours
+ 38% are currently driving a grey or black vehicle
+ 53% claimed colour had impacted their vehicle choice
+ Of those, more than half claimed to have selected their favourite colour

So we asked colour psychologist Karen Haller to interpret these for us in the light of Brexit negotiations.

She explained…

“Social factors always come into play with colour choices. For example, in times of economic uncertainty (seen by the Remainers perhaps) we’d play it safe and pick a car with a neutral palette – such as black, white or grey. So I’m not surprised that two-thirds of motorists are driving more conservative shades.”

Human response to colour goes right back to early childhood we’re told. It’s not always determined by symbolism or an association, but by in-built ‘hard wiring’ over which we have no control.

But with new and high-energy colours like orange reflecting energetic, fun and optimistic traits maybe this’d appeal more to UK Brexiteers?

And with Nissan set to bump up car production in Sunderland based on Brexit plans, we’d expect this optimism to convert into many orange car sales in 2018…

If you want to find out what colour car suits your personality, best ask a Nissan car dealer about your choices but if you’d like to know more, there’s a new Facebook Page called Nissan’s innovative Chatbot.

We hope you’ll tell us about your car colour choices at FOXY’s Facebook Page please…


FOXY Lady Drivers Club

Why does anyone buy a bad car?

Why do people buy car brands and models which seem forever at the bottom of independent car reliability charts?

In simple terms if motorists only ever bought the ‘best’ cars we’d need fewer car brands or models for sale. There’d be less scrappage, longer lasting environmentally-friendly cars but fewer franchised dealerships/car sales jobs.

There’d also be less choice at car shopping time and less competition to keep prices low – but presumably there’d be fewer complaints and more satisfied motorists?

I doubt it’s quite as simple as that but I hope you get my point…

Most women are practical car shoppers, come the time, but it’s also true we can buy with our hearts and not our heads. I hear ‘it looked so lovely on the forecourt’ many times when helping members sort out problems later.

I also know many high flying business women who need cars to ferry exhibition and promo materials around yet they buy sports cars with no onboard space. I’m thinking of one in particular with a tribe of young children who really needs a MPV or estate car but chose a pricey, high emissions, small booted Mini… But I’d never dare question or advise her otherwise!!

Whilst we women are good shoppers on the High Street we’re not always as well informed about cars and there’s something semi-irresistible about certain stylish brands or a fantastic used car deal, that we then wish we HAD resisted after we buy one.

Cars that Perform and Disappoint

Take for example the Dacia range of cars. They come in at the top of most surveys for remarkable value for money (because they are really cheap) and they top the Which? survey for reliability (but not the JD Power one). They are so basic there’s surely little that can go wrong? Yes, you won’t find them as enjoyable to drive as others in the same group but perhaps this isn’t important to you. But when you know to compare their Duster, for example, with other SUVs you’ll find it performs badly in crash tests and that there’s a lack of safety features too. This sort of thing does matter to most of us, I’d suggest.

Maybe you think that luxury brands are likely to perform better, at the opposite end of the budget scale, but there are winners and losers there too. For example, Land Rover scores badly for reliability and the new Discovery Sport (2015-) seems to have more than its fair share of electrical faults according to the new Which? Car Guide 2017/18.

See below for 2017 JD Power survey results, just released.

Tesla sits at the bottom of the Which? brand reliability chart for battery and electrical issues but for those that can afford their £61000 Model S, the car’s performance is rated at 5 star probably because it’s such an impressive trailblazer, we all admire Elon Musk and hopefully Teslas will become more affordable for the rest of us in due course.

Sticking with new technology, after big success with its ground breaking hybrid Prius, Toyota is trailblazing again with its hydrogen car, the Mirai. Whilst there are too few hydrogen filling stations as yet, this will surely change soon because these cars can recharge in minutes which will give hydrogen-fuelled cars the edge re range and emissions compared to yesterday’s hybrids and electric car competitors?

Consistently Reliable Brands

As you might expect, some brands and models are consistently reliable performers. Mazda’s MX5 is probably the most reliable sports car there is and the Mercedes-Benz SLK (2011-2016 models) does well in a different price bracket – but if there’s a problem it’ll be expensive to fix. And whilst Audi’s A3 Saloon is top of the Medium size car group it’s a Dieselgate VW Group offender together with excessive emission levels that would fail the old Euro 1 standard.

We particularly like Volvo and Suzuki Cars (and have special affinity deals to make sure women do too) so we weren’t at all surprised to see these brands perform (2nd and 4th respectively) in the 2017 JD Power’s UK Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) with Kia at the top, Skoda in 3rd place and Hyundai in 5th.

We like this survey because it comes from owners and not from a PR company.

Whereas, at the bottom of the VDS you’ll find Dacia, Fiat, Land Rover, Audi and BMW listed (from 5th bottom to bottom) which might come as a shock to many of these owner drivers.

Disappointing Car Brands

Whereas after Dieselgate, it’s unsurprising to see VW near the bottom of a UK brand reliability chart alongside Vauxhall with so many Zafiras and Corsas bursting into fire.

There are many brands and models in between all survey extremes but the purpose of this blog is to remind you to do your car buying homework before you buy any new car that isn’t at the top of your chart. You’ll soon know why if you do AND you could end up wasting time, money and stress sorting out problems that could have been avoided.

Of course, after you’ve decided on the car, you then need to decide if you buy the car online or at a local dealer. Just remember that if things go wrong after you buy, you may be expected to return it to the selling dealer to put right. And do you really want to travel hundreds of miles each way to get this sorted?

If you buy a car and it develops a fault within six months, make sure you know your rights within the Consumer Rights Act. You have rights within six months of purchase even if your dealer doesn’t acquaint you of these and how to claim them.

If things go wrong and you’d like commonsense 1:1 advice from me, you’ll need to be a Classic Member of first. You’ll hear me start by saying things like ‘Be reasonable at all times and don’t lose your rag’ because cars do go wrong, it’s always stressful, these things are never simple/sorted overnight and ‘nice’ people get the most help, even if they have to resort to law afterwards. Whereas those that lose their cool and start threatening businesses usually get no help at all which makes it hard for me to intervene, reasonably, on any member’s behalf, at any time.


PS: The basis of this blog has been informed by the Which? Car Guide 2017-18, the 2017 JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) plus a wealth of anecdotal experience.

The demise and deceit of diesel cars

We’re told that by 2040 there won’t be diesel (or petrol) cars on UK (or French) roads.

But with progress running at the pace it does, perhaps this will happen sooner.

So what’s the problem now, you might ask?

The problem is to do with pollution, when we buy diesel cars with high levels of NOx.

This matters most where pollution levels are high, in cities in particular, because our health and that of pedestrians can be affected.

I am always surprised that so many motorists turn a blind eye to this sort of thing when CO2 emission details are available in the public domain. Maybe it shows the power of a trusted brand. Or a more Clarkson-esque attitude in favour of a car’s driving performance and looks? But were so many of us wise to trust car manufacturers to take care of this for us?


An added concern is the Dieselgate scandal that is unfolding in the UK as I write this.

Amazingly motorists are still buying cars from manufacturers that have defrauded others here. Were VW a bank or a politician, for example, we’d be spitting abuse at them using social media. And yet we seem to buy VW Group cars with abandon – letting fleet sales shore up stakeholder profits…

As I see it, VW should be held to account for
+ fraudulent behaviour
+ addressing car performance problems after the dieselgate ‘fix’ – UK law firm Harcus Sinclair reports that out of 9,500 VW Group owners, 5,052 have reported problems with their car after their emissions fix.

We’ll have to wait for the Government’s Transport Select Committee to report on this matter to know what our options are in the light of the US lawsuit and partial settlement of $15.3 billion (£12.3 billion) for affected US motorists.

Car Models with Diesel Concerns

So, which are the stated ‘best cars’ with unacceptably high emissions and which are the models involved in the Dieselgate scandal?

I have been reading the Which? Car Guide 2017/18. They’ve clearly struggled with the ethical debate of listing offenders as ‘Best Buys’ (the Audi A3 Saloon is a good example here with emissions so high they wouldn’t pass the ancient Euro 1 standard) so instead they’ve listed their ‘best’ car choices by category and flagged them up with either Emissions Warning (EW) or Dieselgate (DG) so we know what we are buying, in future.

The following manufacturers and models are listed by Which? as a best car in their category despite an ‘Emissions Warning (EW)’ or Dieselgate (DG) flag.

Audi A1 (2010-) DG
Audi A3 (2012-) DG
Audi A3 Cabriolet (2014-) DG
Audi A3 Saloon (2013-) DG & EW

BMW 2 Series convertible (2015-) EW
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe (2014-) EW
BMW 6 Series Coupe (2011-) EW
BMW X3 (2010-) EW

Citroen Berlingo Multispace (2008-) EW

Ford Focus (2011-) EW
Ford Galaxy (2015-) EW
Ford S-Max (2015-) EW

Honda Civic (2012-2017) EW

Hyundai i10 (2014-) EW
Hyundai i40 (2012-) EW
Hyundai IX35 (2010-2015) EW

Kia Sportage (2016-) EW

Lexus IS (2013-) EW

Mercedes-Benz SL (2012-) EW

Mini (2014-) EW

Nissan Pulsar (2014-) EW

Porsche 911 Carrera (2012-) EW
Porsche Cayenne (2010-) EW

Seat Alhambra (2010-) DG
Seat Ateca (2016-) EW

Skoda Octavia Estate (2013-) DG & EW
Skoda Superb Estate (2010-2015) DG

Toyota Aygo (2014) EW
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (2016-) EW

Subaru Outback (2015-) EW

Toyota Yaris (2011-) EW

Volkswagen Polo (2009-) DG
Volkswagen Sharan (2010-) DG
Volkswagen Tiguan (2016-) EW
Volkswagen Up (2012-) EW

What Should You Do?

1) If you have a choice, don’t buy a car with an emissions warning. Not just because you will likely struggle to sell it afterwards but because it is harming the planet and another human being could suffer by your action. If that doesn’t matter to you, you won’t be reading my blog.

2) If you own a car with an emissions warning you might want to sell it/trade it in for a newer car sooner rather than later. It doesn’t solve anything but it becomes someone else’s problem when values drop.

3) If you own a Dieselgate (DG) car that’s either been fixed or awaiting its fix – be sure to document the outcome*. You will likely have to have this ‘fix’ done because VW is threatening to de-register any car that isn’t fixed within a given period. Please see Honest John’s comment in the above image – we read of many cars suffering this ‘limp mode’ experience which could be scary on the likes of motorways, for example.

*Despite VW’s efforts to be (seen as) squeaky clean here, there may come a time when motorists are required to prove any detriment to claim fair compensation.

4) Finally if you are considering buying a car with either warning, I suggest you think again. There are other cars in your category that are as good and that don’t come with a health or fraud warning. Unless of course you’re considering buying a car that isn’t in the latest Which? Car Guide? In which case PLEASE do your homework thoroughly to find out why it isn’t a best buy and whether you’d do better buying one that is.

Club members can ask us for advice of course. Here’s where to join us.


Are you a tough motoring mother?

I grew up in an era where it was more a case of ‘who is the fairest of us all.’

But now ŠKODA is looking for ‘the toughest mum of all’ to add to the stresses of childcare, partnerships, home and work responsibilities…

Their 2017 Tough Mother competition is to promote the new Octavia Scout.

The winner is Ania Czerminska from Milton Keynes who took up powerlifting following her daughter’s diagnosis with a neuro-muscular condition. Ania’s hobby gives her the strength to lift her daughter and also inspired her career change to become a firefighter.

According to ŠKODA just over a third of mums in the UK take up new hobbies after giving birth in order to retain some independence including wakeboarding, rock climbing, BMX-ing and powerlifting.

Mums in Norwich are the most active apparently with more than half (52%) claiming they take part in one or more hobbies. This is closely followed by mums in Cardiff (48%), Manchester (42%) and Southampton (41%).

Ania, from Olney, Milton Keynes told us about a typical day in her life…

“I get up each morning at 5am so that I can be in the gym for 5.30am. I then head home to look after Maya and get her ready for school. I head off to the fire station for 9.30am where I work until 6pm. It’s important to have a good support system in place and Marcin and I work well as a team.”

Ania’s progress in powerlifting has seen her qualify for a number of upcoming competitions.

Other tough mums

Ania was short-listed alongside other tough mums Anita Wong, a BMX champion from Ealing in London and Shirin Shabestari, a mountaineer and rock climber from Lewisham in South East London.

All three were then filmed in the new ŠKODA Octavia Scout, said to be suited to the demands of family life and extreme sports because of its ability to transport large amounts of kit and reach remote locations.

It costs from £26,685 on-the-road.

To see all of the ‘Tough Mother’ finalists’ stories visit www.Š

To find out more about the new ŠKODA Octavia Scout visit www.Š

Brighton and Hove Motor Show | VIP Guests

This blog is mainly for readers within striking distance of Brighton.

We’re getting very excited.

We’re exhibiting at the Brighton and Hove Motor Show at the fab AmEx Stadium on Saturday 10 June (10am to 5pm) and on Sunday 11 June (11am to 4pm). Please visit us to see what we do to empower women drivers!

There hasn’t been a Motor Show in Brighton for many years but with a venue like this one, riding on the back of the AmEx being a Premiership Stadium now (!!) we’re confident it’s going to become a really memorable and growing annual event.

So we’re delighted to be supporting this, on behalf of women drivers, alongside headline sponsors Mobil1 and Rivervale Leasing as well as leading local dealerships Caffyns (VW/Audi), Tesla, Lookers (Mercedes/Smart), Yeomans (Toyota), Brighton Mitsubishi, Hendys (Renault/Dacia), Tates (Citroen/DS/Hyundai/Kia) and Porsche Centre Mid Sussex.

We’ll be asking them all, via Twitter (@FOXYTweets) which car models they’re bringing for us to see.

You’ll also find Heart Radio, the Platinum Publishing Group and Brighton and Hove Independent, all doing their bit to make sure this show is a success and becomes an annual event into Brighton’s future.

Finally it’s a free to enter event (unlike 2017’s London Motor Show that cost £17), providing you’ve registered in advance and via their website. So you can afford to come!

This is FOXY’s first Motor Show ever and we’re determined to bring a distinctly female flavour to balance out a likely male bias “because women drive as well as men… and often a lot better.”

Haha. Sorry guys. But the important thing is that we women influence between 80-90% of all car sales so it’s best to get us involved at the earliest possible stage!

A Family Day Out in Brighton

Yes, if fast (gorgeous looking and exotic) cars float your boat, driven by James Bond lookalikes of course, there’ll be lots of performance cars at the Brighton and Hove Motor Show and leading Sussex dealerships a-plenty organising test drives we’re told.

As you might expect, FOXY’s more at home in the Family Zone (that’s the Falmer side of the AmEx) relatively close to the Go Kart track and with a Bouncy Castle and Top Gear simulator as our family fun neighbours. Cool!

We look forward to meeting Brighton based Mumpreneurs and Athena business network members as well as all local motoring mums and daughters of course.

And there’s something in it for you all so DON’T PASS US BY…

OK, we’re not planning to be as physically active or demanding as they will be .

Instead, we’re offering pre-registered female drivers a number of FREE lifetime online gift subscription to FOXY Lady Drivers Club, on a first come, first served basis.

Come and activate yours at the FOXY stand, to enjoy really useful support services that put females first – like preferential car insurance, affinity car buying deals, motoring offers, VIP treatment and a whole package of stress-busting* support services.

*We know from experience that motoring can be very stressful for many females. Too many of us suffer from serious anxiety as a result of accidents, road rage, partner criticism, motorways and the total responsibility for the safety of any child passengers.

Please consider timing your visit to coincide with one of our VIP Guest visits. In this way you can find out about the likes of learning to drive, tyre safety, organising motoring events (at clubs, employee staff rooms, associations, dealerships) and driving overseas perhaps.

The following VIP Guests will be attending the FOXY Lady Drivers Club stand in the Family Zone, close to Entrance A (ie outside the Club shop in the Seagulls Fan Zone area). NB: This schedule may be updated via social media ie Twitter, on the day..

This is YOUR chance to visit the FOXY Lady Drivers Club stand to find out about the following motoring and business related topics.


Saturday 10 June – 12 noon to 1pm

VIP Guest – Sue Blinco from Sussex Driving School.

Sue is highly qualified (one of the best qualified there are) and a FOXY Lady Approved Driving Instructor as you’d expect.

If you have a rising 17 year old who is keen to drive, this is your chance to ask Sue for advice or about changes to the Driving Test. And if you’re a nervous driver, ask her (and FOXY) for recommendations.


Saturday 10 June – 2pm to 3pm

VIP Guest – Claire Jones-Hughes of Claritas Media.

Claire is an expert in all matters social media and manages the busy Mumpreneurs Network in Brighton.

She’s also a francophile with lots of experience of driving in France – and useful tips to share.

Come and talk to Claire about family motoring at home and in France. She knows how important your car is and how tricky it can be to manage its care, alongside family and work.

You could also ask her about The Mumpreneurs Networking Club in Brighton.



Saturday 10 June – 3pm to 4pm

VIP Guest – Steph Savill – FOXY Lady Drivers Club Founder

Whether you are a female friendly employer, organise a club or an association of sorts it makes good sense to organise a motoring event designed to appeal to men and women alike, to raise their awareness of the important safety-related issues they need to know.

So why not discuss this with me on the day and see how I can help?


Sunday 11 June – 12 noon to 1pm

VIP Guest – Kicki Smith – ITE Travel Expert in Sussex.

Kicki is a member of the Athena Brighton South Downs Group and a veritable travel expert so she can help you organise your motoring holiday of course.

But today she’s on hand to tell you what you need to know about about driving in France. More rules bien sur… so we all need to know the latest savvy motoring hacks.



Sunday 11 June – 2.30pm to 3.30pm

VIP Guest – Steph Savill – FOXY

A subject dear to my heart – to keep you, your family, other motorists and pedestrians as safe as possible.

If nothing more, at least I can show you how to do the 20p tyre tread safety check and give you some simple tyre safety advice face to face.

But if none of these topics hit the spot for you, come say hello and leave us any questions/messages in our Brighton and Hove Motor Show Visitors Book and we’ll get back to you during the following week.

Here’s how to find out what FOXY Lady Drivers Club does to empower women drivers in their motoring lives.

I hope to see many of our Club members at the AmEx on 10-11 June! Be sure to say hello.