Category Archives: car shopping

Buying a car in tears…

Screenshot-4A recent Inside Out South on BBC TV featured a lady who had a nasty car shopping experience involving an unscrupulous car dealer in Hampshire.

Her husband suffers from dementia, they drove a smart and immaculate low mileage 59 plate Citroen C3 and they’d been tempted by a VIP invitation to attend a car showroom sales event. No harm in that, surely?

When they got there the wife was sufficiently impressed by the promotion to say she was interested in a new car and to pay £1000 deposit towards a new car. I didn’t catch the model concerned.

A little later on, the car in question was delivered to her door. It wasn’t new, it had higher mileage than her C3 and there were considerable signs of wear and tear. It looked much worse than her own car. Needless to say she said she wasn’t happy and didn’t want to buy this. “Can I have my money back?”

Out came the verbal thumbscrews.

“You said you wanted this.” “I got this car specially for you.” “The deposit is non refundable”… as this unscrupulous salesman digs in for his commission here.

Then we heard about the price. A car that was worth £4240 as a trade price had been valued at £2700 when used in part exchange. A £1500 rip off and that’s before they marked it up on their website to £5800. Outrageous.

Happily she had family to turn to (often they don’t) and presumably the son or daughter alerted Jon Cuthill at the BBC. Needless to say, in the face of this publicity, the dealer admitted defeat, said they would not take things further and gave the lady her money back.

She’d learned a big lesson. Don’t pay a deposit for a car you haven’t seen. Or when you’ve got a perfectly nice and fairly new one…

Stress had taken its toll of course. Nobody gets compensation for feeling daft.

“I never thought I’d buy a car in tears.”

“I wake up in the morning and wish this would go away.”

“I’m scared they’ll come and take our car away.”

“It completely ruined a special anniversary.”

But as the likes of consumer programmes know, to get the customer out of tricky situations like this often involves promising not to tell others the name of the business. That’s what irritates me most because I fervently believe in naming and shaming – especially in an industry where salesman don’t have to be licensed to sell us cars ethically. And where too many salesmen are totally unprincipled here, targeting vulnerable ladies as was the case here.

Yes, we’ve had to remove public blogs to get members a settlement too… but only after we’ve told local ladies the facts and who the offender was. This is what we do within the Club after giving a business time to put things right where possible.

If the business doesn’t budge and clearly doesn’t care, we award them Red Cards and keep poking them via blogs like this and using social media. I wish I knew the car dealer in Hampshire that used such bully-like tactics here. I’d be delighted to give them a good poke today…


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.


We’ve driven a safe Volvo deal for Club members

Club members enjoy fantastic Volvo deals
In case you need reminding, FOXY is all about saving Club members’ money when it comes to motoring bills in 2017.

So, when it comes to buying a new car, we recognise that this is a significant investment when it’s extremely important to be sure you’re getting the best possible deal, ideally without having to haggle, and from a business you know you can trust.

Thanks to Volvo’s Affinity programme, Club members have that reassurance and access to a variety of discounts and offers. That means you can get your hands on a brand-new Volvo at a very tempting price.

The Volvo UK dealership network knows that members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club are eligible for special deals – they make it easy for you to talk discounts and finance when the time is right.

If you’re a Club member simply visit your local Volvo showroom to view the range. Then, once you’ve selected the model of your choice, a member of the sales team will talk you through the options.

The three elements of Volvo’s affinity deal

Volvo cars are popular with Club members
The first element of Volvo’s affinity deal is your FOXY Partner discount, awarded as a percentage of the vehicle’s net cost.

This maximises the value of the discount, by keeping the pre-VAT price of the car as low as possible. In consequence, you get more for your money, putting Volvo ownership within closer reach.

The second is the Volvo discount itself. Volvo offers a lump-sum reduction on the net value of their cars which varies by model and means you’ll often secure a new vehicle for what feels like the cost of a second-hand car.

The third element is the option of metallic paint for free. This is usually sold at up to £700 so you have a wider selection of bodywork finishes to choose from when it comes to specifying your perfect Volvo. Without paying extra for metallic paint as so many motorists do.

Added Value Volvo Services

It is also possible to purchase an up-front servicing deal to plan your running costs for the first years of ownership. We offer three years of servicing at a Volvo main dealer for £300 with five years for £500. What’s more, packages like these are sometimes available at no cost to customers taking up a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) offer. Just ask your local dealer.

If you’d like to spread your purchasing costs and keep interest payments to a minimum, Volvo’s finance deals change over time, but Affinity partners will often benefit from preferential interest rates – including occasional 0% deals that aren’t available to customers outside affinity car buying schemes like FOXY’s.

Finally, if you’d like to personalise your car, a selection of accessories can be added at discounted prices. These could include lifestyle accessories like roof bars, cycling racks, interior mats and dog guards. By clustering these items together in packages, Volvo is able to offer Club members’ significant discounts here as well.

Thanks to Volvo’s Affinity programme discounts, Club members can own their dream Volvo, equipped with their personalised specification, for a surprisingly modest outlay. Of course Volvo Cars are best known for their leading safety features and record but you can also enjoy the elegance, economy and poise that are also characteristics of the brand.

As a Club member you’ll be saving money whilst making a sound investment with a view to a safer motoring future.

NB: Terms apply re membership eligibility and family ownership. For example, you need to have been a Club member for a minimum of six months.

If you plan to buy a brand new Volvo later in 2017, and you’re not a Club member yet, it will make financial sense to join FOXY Lady Drivers Club at least six months ahead.

Suzuki discounts for Club members


The best thing about Suzuki Cars is their reliability record which has remained too much of a secret for too many women drivers till now.

And now these cars are available at very special rates to Club members.

As a dealer in Scotland explained to me recently…

“I find it easy to recommend Suzuki because these cars simply don’t break.”

Valid until 31 December 2016, Club members are entitled to these fabulous affinity discounts on brand new Suzuki cars after three months membership.

If not for the member herself she can share this benefit with a member of the family living at the same address, subject to a maximum of one affinity car sale per 12 month period.

FOXY affinity discounts on Suzuki models

Discounts vary by model as you can see in the poster.

To whet your appetite, the top 30% discount applies to the SX4 S-Cross 1.6 SZ-T MT model reducing the RRP of £19499 by £5652.94, making this a truly impressive and affordable car for just £13846.42.

We recommend you put Suzuki on your shopping list for a small and compact OR rugged and 4×4 vehicle that’s fun to drive at the same time as being environmentally friendly, economic to run and great value to buy.

New models include the face-lifted S-Cross, the Celerio and the Baleno in addition to the better known Suzuki Vitara and Suzuki Swift models.

The best way to see if a new Suzuki is for you is to call in to a Suzuki dealership, identify the model that’s right for you, arrange a test drive and discuss the best FOXY affinity Club deal. This will depend on the offer in place that sales period.

How to find out more…

We suggest you browse the range of Suzuki models at the website.

Then visit your nearest Suzuki dealer to discuss this and arrange a test drive.

And if any females need a new insurance quote it’s got to be FOXY Lady Insurance of course.

To qualify for this Suzuki offer, members will need to show their membership card which will then be checked and verified by Club HQ.

These are great cars and foxy offers. We recommend that members check them out and catch them when they can!


Is this a female friendly car dealership record?


Bassetts Nissan in Bridgend is laying down a female gauntlet claiming to be the most female friendly car dealership in Wales because of the number of female staff they employ.

Here are the six women in their team – Jo Thomas, Sales Controller, Mags Button, Sales Executive, Abby Pedersen, Sales Admin, Amy Crothers, Service Manager, Natalie Edwards, Service Advisor and Sarah Parsons, Receptionist.

Now we are great fans of Nissan in Japan with their concierge and creche services to enhance the car shopping experience for women but we think this MIGHT well be the first instance of a female takeover in a UK showroom anywhere…

Unless of course, you know different?


PS: As a FOXY Lady Approved dealership within the same Bassetts family, Bassetts of Swansea might have something to say here. And they’re offering members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club an extra 10% affinity car shopping discount off brand new Citroens, just to make us females feel more at home in a dealership than ever before.

PPS: To find a female friendly garage or car dealer near you, search the website for your local quality choices.