Category Archives: garage services

garage services like car servicing and accident repairs should be female friendly experiences

Smart women drivers at car repair time

Until recently I hadn’t a clue what SMART car repairs were.

I now understand that they are specialist car repairs to put right minor damage caused to car exteriors and interiors. This skill is different to major bodywork repairs after a car accident, for example.

Apparently some 70% of all cars on the road today have a requirement for at least one SMART repair costing an average of £70 per repair.

Good to know this when your insurance excess is in the £00s or where you could lose your no claims bonus for want of some knowledge here.

And reassuring to know that someone can make our cars look nearly new again without costing a fortune, adding to the reselling price we’d hope.

How many of us know that there are industry professionals who specialise in repairing the following and for relatively little money…

  • vinyl, plastic and leather upholstery
  • dashboards
  • door and trim panels
  • roof linings
  • alloy wheels
  • in-car cigarette burns
  • windscreen chips
  • unused telephone holes
  • minor bodywork scuffs and scratches
  • paintwork dents

For a gender with an appreciation for aesthetics (and an occasional tendency to suffer car park, shopping trolley and kerb bashes) I can see that women drivers would be glad to have a tried and tested local specialist in their address book.

As always, the important thing is to find a business/individual with the skills and the knowledge to do this for you. Visit  FOXY Choice for a good female friendly repairer for starters.

Otherwise, try googling for ‘smart car repairs’ (and ignore out the ones selling Smart cars).  Signs of reassurance are if the garage repairer is a member of trade associations MVRA or VBRA, tells you that their technician is Thatcham trained or if they hold the BSI Kitemark in Bodywork Repairs.

By all means add your experience or expertise to help others.


Women and UK garage services

A recent survey carried out by Experian looked at the perceived differences to do with garages and dealerships carrying out car servicing on new and used cars.

Whilst the survey didn’t say whether the sample included women drivers, the two most important concerns recorded were quality of workmanship and price/value for money which ties in with FOXY findings.

Sixty four per cent of used car owners would go to a local garage to get their car serviced, compared to just 23% of new car owners.

Meanwhile, just over half (51%) of new car owners would prefer to use the dealer they bought their car from, compared to 13% of used car owners.

Understandably the older the car the more budget conscious the motorist and perhaps some still question whether they can use an independent garage whilst their nearly new car is still under manufacturer warranty.

However a cheap price will be a false economy if corners have been cut although, at the opposite end of the perceived price scale, the new Motor Industry Service and Repair Code is actively albeit inadvertently promoting franchised dealers because so few independents have signed up to the minimum standard.

The perception is that franchised dealers are always more expensive than independents; most are but some aren’t depending on the job in hand.

On reflection the industry should do more to help motorists understand their garage choices because a recession is when women, in particular, are more likely to shop around for big ticket expenses like garage services. They are looking for a value for money formula calculating the likes of price, quality of workmanship, cleanliness, welcome and customer services.

In future years I imagine that women will factor in female friendly garages to their decision making, knowing that FOXY-listed businesses observe the female friendly FOXY Promise.


FOXY garage services in Taunton

Our Head of Sales, Claire Boundy, lives near Taunton so it seemed like a good place to start our FOXY Lady Drivers Club foray into the West Country providing female friendly garage and motoring support services for women.

We now have a really friendly BSI Kitemark licensed garage in Taunton to provide women driver members with car checks plus a range of FOXY approved local garages offering MOT, servicing and repair discounts so that’s a good start. Lots of national offers and our accident assistance and helpdesk of course!

The disappointing bit here is that despite contacting all the dealerships in the area, none have taken the plunge to sign the FOXY Promise and become a FOXY Choice subscriber.

Now clearly dealerships are in the doldrums and perhaps they are sitting on the fence for the moment but with a unique female friendly business proposition to promote themselves online to new customers and as a female friendly business ahead of others I am surprised and disappointed not to have more takers with a view to when the good times return. Very short-sighted I think.

Maybe when they pick up on our local PR and Musgrove Park hospital promotion we’ll have some new recruits – let’s hope they haven’t left it too late to compete with the independents for valuable aftersales business that can lead into the showroom.

Unless, of course, they aren’t female friendly businesses (and I’ve spoken to many UK dealership staff that clearly aren’t) and know that the FOXY Promise will out them as such.

So far I have been surprised by a couple of leading national garage organisations that have blanched at FOXY’s service and ethical commitment (see PS). Very telling but not a surprise if our Helpdesk call log is anything typical!!


PS: The FOXY Promise states “We strive to be a female friendly business and will never knowingly overcharge, patronise or sell our customers services they do not need or want.”
Sounds fairly basic to me but businesses that fail the female friendly FOXY Promise test know we spread the word in the Club…

Confused messages about new cars

I am in two minds about the recent ‘scrap an old car, buy a new car’ initiative that the industry is suggesting.

The French did this very well – they did all they could to save their car industry as you might expect…

However, as a result, it you want to buy a 2CV (cult classic car) today, and other Citroen and Renault specials, there are more of them in the UK (where they have been preserved not scrapped) as the Citroen Car Club will testify.

However the UK car industry is worth £200bn a year, 200k are employed in production and a further 580k in associated sales and maintenance roles.  Think about the economic multiplier effect here – we can’t afford to let our industry go the wall through inactivity.

But motorists, including members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club, surely shouldn’t be made to feel like second class citizens because they choose to drive older cars. As long as these are well maintained and regularly serviced  for safety and environmental reasons, why shouldn’t they be able to enjoy depreciation-free motoring providing the annual repair bills aren’t prohibitive.

Yes I do feel there can be a social stigma attached to driving older cars yet the employment and transport statistics suggest that the UK motor retail industry could still stay alive by concentrating its resources on maintaining these older vehicles at MOT, servicing and repair time.

Granted it’d be a different industry with fewer and smaller new car dealerships and with more people employed in the garage side of the business keeping older cars on the roads for longer. Why not?

This would be good for female motorists, with franchised dealerships competing head on with the independents to the advantage of the consumer.

Is that really such a bad thing?

Certainly FOXY Choice would come into its own, as the only website to promote quality garage service credentials and female friendly service levels to suit all women drivers, their cars, budget and the occasion.

Let’s hope the industry might discuss these ideas with the Government in advance of announcing them in future.

Better not to build up car manufacturer and UK dealership hopes to then have them dashed by Lord Mandelson who isn’t convinced (like me)  that a scrappage (what a dreadful word) scheme might be the right way forward in these times.