Category Archives: motoring

women enjoy motoring as much as men but we have different needs

Hello…tomorrow’s customers are female

Today’s research confirms that women are outperforming men in Higher Education, university places and heading into top professions in Law and Medicine.

Good luck to them and I hope they manage to fit in a love life and find time for a family whilst flying so high. We all need to be proficient jugglers too!

If nothing more, this is surely another wake up call for those industries, like the UK’s motor industry, where women are not as welcome as they should be made to feel.

Now that we know what cars they buy and (some of us know) what they want but what is the industry doing to make sure that women drivers of all ages get the services and quality standards they expect from female friendly garages and car dealerships, to reflect their changing profile, needs and budget.

Not just cash rich business executives buying the likes of new prestige cars such as Mercedes, Porsches or BMWs but budget conscious Mums and older single female motorists when it comes to women buying a new or used car or choosing the best garage for the likes of an MOT, car servicing or repairs.

Which motor businesses are marketing to women effectively in the UK?

I can’t think of one I’d give four let alone five stars yet but I’d be delighted to be put straight here.

FOXY

“If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman. ”
Margaret Thatcher

By all means find out more about better motoring services for women at FOXY Lady Drivers Club and how to find female friendly UK garages, dealers and new car dealerships at FOXY Choice

What is a Car Club?

According to CarPlus.org.uk there are 42 UK car clubs, running in 37 towns and cities representing over 64,177 members using around 1,402 cars. This from a start of just 250 car club members in 2000.

I find the use of the term ‘car club’ very confusing because in my book, ‘car club’ has been stolen from the many classic and owners car clubs that have been in existence for 50+ years.

Now we have a situation where a ‘club’ that wants us to sell our cars and use theirs also wants to call themselves a car club!

I’d have imagined that these timeshare cum car rental businesses would have wanted their own generic name more in keeping with their green and ‘as and when’ credentials.

I run a car club for women drivers, FOXY Lady Drivers Club, and our members are entitled to a unique package of membership services that is worth considerably more than our annual subscription of £20 – these help them run safer, greener and more reliable cars for less money. Our female friendly club benefits are available across the UK, not just in 37 locations by the way.

Whilst I accept that there may be a good following for the timeshare cum rental principle within green-minded communities with a good public transport system, this simply doesn’t fit the bill in rural economies for example or for many other considerations I can relate to do with female drivers lifestyle, safety, mobility and/or driving confidence.

Which is presumably why, when asked ‘In the current economic climate, would you consider giving up your car and joining a car club instead to save money?’ in a recent survey, an overwhelming 68 per cent majority voted ‘No’.

Even so, I’d like to read more about this alleged moneysaving deal for Mums to use these timeshare cum rental schemes on a regular business commute, with multiple children in tow for school collections, caring for elderly relatives in the community and wanting to feel safe visiting friends at nights.

FOXY

The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them’
– Queen Victoria

Confused women drivers? Me too.

I am not surprised that comparison websites are struggling in today’s economy. Apparently there are some 130 me-too websites, like Confused.com and Moneysupermarket.com, all competing to earn commission from services including insurance (motor, home and travel) and finance deals.

Just think about it. Car insurance comparison websites depend on commissions from insurers to pay to market their service (think big TV ads at peak viewing hours…) and the insurers are now haggling over how much they’ll pay for their listings –  such is their buying power in this competitive arena.

But it’s a strategic mess in my opinion and no good can come from the constant and relentless consumer drive towards cheaper and cheaper service.  Buy motor and we’ll discount household; buy this year and we won’t charge more next year; buy buildings and we’ll give you free contents – my head is dizzy and I’m still suspicious.

Moneysupermarket.com now needs to pare its costs to stay competitive and ahead of the rest… Then the rest tighten their belts and they’re all off again – it isn’t a sustainable model without a significant differentiator.

It used to be the case that a woman driver checking out a couple of comparison websites would get a great deal to reward her being the better gender risk.  This is no longer the case as a recent Which? report revealed. Just one example quoted was of a specifically named policy which could be bought for £204 via one search website but only £170 from another (presumably to do with the commission ingredient?). Bad luck foxy lady driver if you chose the wrong comparison site.

Then, with the emphasis on finding the cheapest policy out there, many consumers are risking travelling without holiday insurance or driving without motor insurance cover. More than ever I imagine in today’s economy.  If there was a proper deterrent there wouldn’t be so many getting away with it (10% admitted to driving uninsured at some stage in one survey I read) and the rest of us wouldn’t find ourselves out of pocket when we meet one of these idiots head on.

I find the insurance industry very confusing. Insurers get away with making preposterous claims stating ‘x percentage  of motorists will save more than c£100 by transferring to us’ when this can’t possibly be true of them all.

And those of us that buy cheap, cheap, cheap then find out what we bought when we need it most, when we come to claim. Inconsiderate customer service, policy terms that change (but the motorist can’t see what they are without re-reading the policy), inflexible garage options, poor pay outs and excesses that mean the customer underwrites the lionshare of the claim, not the insurer (who has had the premium up front).

Yes, insurance is a form of gambling whether you are a motorist or an insurer but to see who can win the most business and spend the least on it is undoubtedly what is  happening today with so many insurers in the red.

Why doesn’t the industry measure the quality of the services provided and make this information available? Ask Which? or FOXY to do it for them.  Not just the policy wording but customer satisfaction levels at all stages of their dealings.

And why don’t insurers work harder to keep their customers in the first place? The foxy ones should surely reward their customers to stay with them, before the renewal notice arrives, rather than having to spend more money attracting new business to replace the customers they allowed to jump ship…

I am sure there is a better way to deliver better customer value for money, even in a recession.

FOXY