Tag Archives: awards

2017 Tyre Safety Recognition Awards

Thank you Tyresafe for another brilliantly well-organised Tyre Safety Conference followed by Awards ceremony held at The Belfry Resort in Wishaw.

This is always a great occasion to pay tribute to the many organisations that are raising the tyre safety standard ahead of others.

It also encourages new tyre businesses to come on board and work towards better and wider coverage of the tyre safety message during Tyre Safety Month, October 2017.

Of particular note are three award winning tyre safety entries I’d like to draw attention to.

Bridgestone Tyres

The Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by Highways England, went to Bridgestone Tyres for its pioneering Driveguard Tyre technology.

For motorists who don’t drive cars with run flat tyres (run flat tyres are likely to be on BMWs and some sporty Mercedes) but whose car has a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) – fit Bridgestone’s Driveguard Tyres and a dashboard light will warn you about any imminent tyre puncture.

The clever bit is that the damaged tyre maintains pressure for a range of 50 miles, providing you don’t exceed 50mph – that’s plenty of time to get you safely off a motorway, perhaps, and to a garage to sort it out.

The peace of mind this gives is considerable – in theory you’ll never clamber into a car and attempt to drive with a flattish tyre that’s unsafe to drive.

Please see what FOXY thought of the Driveguard tyre when I reviewed it.

Westgate Tyres

The Independent Garage Award, sponsored by Kumho Tyre UK, went to Westgate Tyres in Morecambe.

Not only was this a popular Award because it went to a FOXY Lady Approved Tyre Centre but also because it involved Jane Bailey, FOXY’s Woman of the Year (2017).

To see why we singled out Jane Bailey and Westgate Tyres earlier this year, please read our blog.


The Tyre Retailer Award, sponsored by Pirelli Tyres Ltd, went to the Protyre network of 108 fastfit garage centres across England, Scotland and Wales.

Another popular award with us because Protyre Centres are FOXY Lady Approved ie female friendly garages above others.

They demonstrate a clear commitment to customer service (proven by feedback), invest in quality standards, as in the CTSI (Chartered Trading Standards Institute) Code of Practice operated by The Motor Ombudsman, and work tirelessly (no pun intended haha) with the likes of Police and Fire services to check tyre safety standards and raise motorists’ education of this subject.

With a projected 1 in 4 vehicles likely to have illegal ie dangerous tyres, there has never been a more important time to communicate a tyre safety message to motorists.

So to all the Tyresafe Awards entrants and supporters, keep up the good work and here’s to ongoing improvements to road safety and accident statistics due to all our efforts. Otherwise these will continue to affect innocent motorists, their passengers and pedestrians more likely due to ignorance rather than wilfulness.


Feel free to publish, share or link to our tyre safety advice for women please. The more that read this, the better the female knowledge base.

If you’re a tyre centre who’d like to be FOXY Lady Approved please download details from the bottom of this website page/link.

FOXY receives special Tyresafe Award

l-r Stuart Jackson - Chairman TyreSafe, FOXY's Steph Savill, Hans Vrijsen, Marketing Director, Goodyear Dunlop Tyres
l-r Stuart Jackson – Chairman TyreSafe, FOXY’s Steph Savill, Hans Vrijsen, Marketing Director, Goodyear Dunlop Tyres
Last Thursday FOXY Lady Drivers Club MD, Steph Savill, collected the prestigious ‘Online and Social Media Award 2016’ at TyreSafe’s 10th Anniversary Awards.

Steph attended her first TyreSafe conference in 2013 when she felt the need to speak up in defence of women drivers by asking anyone in the audience to provide the evidence, if there was any, that women drivers were less diligent about tyre care than men.

Outside the meeting sufficient statistical and photographic evidence convinced her of the need for an online campaign about tyre safety that spoke directly to women drivers, including members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club.

In the last three years FOXY has continued a tough message to women drivers across the UK using online communications including blogs and ongoing messages delivered via social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to explain the vital importance of monthly tyre checks (or before setting off on a long car journey) including tread, pressure and condition.

Steph’s early tyre safety lesson

Steph’s personal tyre epiphany traces back to when she was invited to test car tyres at the Continental Tyres Contidron test facility in Germany. She was required to drive a range of MINI, BMW, Audi and Porsche models around this track, at speed, fitted with a combination of budget and premium tyres with 8mm, 3mm and the UK legal limit 1.6mm tread.

In Steph’s words…

‘I quickly learned the simple difference between premium and budget tyres – the better the tyre the better its road holding and braking ability. And when I drove any car with any tyres at 1.6mm tread (that’s the legal limit in the UK remember) at speed into the waterlogged section of the track, the car would aquaplane and skid, out of control. I felt much more in control with 3mm tread tyres and this is when I buy my new car tyres now.”

“Since seeing the evidence that too few females know this, I wanted to make sure that busy women drivers know that 1.6mm is the absolute bare minimum tread for tyres and that 3mm is the right time to go tyre shopping. I make sure they know that the driver, not her husband or partner, is responsible for tyre safety and just how easy it is for her to check her car tyres regularly. The end result is that she can drive with the peace of mind that comes from knowing her tyres won’t let her or her family down in an emergency.”

FOXY Lady Drivers Club now operates a Register of FOXY Lady Approved tyre centres that have all promised to ‘never overcharge, patronise or sell women anything they don’t need’. Most of these centres offer free tyre safety checks giving wary women the reassurance that if their tyres are already safe and legal they won’t be sold new ones or new services.

Tyresafe 10th Anniversary Awards

Since its inception in 2006 Tyresafe activities and campaigns have made a significant contribution to improving road safety and reducing tyre related casualties on UK roads by an impressive 31%.

The 2016 Online and Social Media Award is part of the TyreSafe 10th Anniversary Awards and was sponsored by Goodyear Dunlop Tyres and presented to FOXY Lady Drivers Club by their Marketing Director Consumer EMEA Hans Vrijsen who introduced the award, saying:

“As a long standing member of TyreSafe, and as a manufacturer with innovation at our heart, Goodyear Dunlop Tyres is proud to sponsor the award for ‘Online Campaigning’. The role of online channels is growing in importance every year and provides a unique means of engaging audiences with the tyre safety message.”

“As with many of the categories, this was an extremely close call with some truly outstanding submissions with huge reach. However, this entrant’s focus and ongoing consistent support of the tyre safety message here in the UK just edged the decision so TyreSafe’s Award for online campaigning goes to FOXY Lady Drivers Club.”


We are very proud to receive this prestigious TyreSafe award in recognition of our ongoing campaigning work and female tyre safety voice. We look forward to carrying on this critical safety message at the ladies garage evenings we promote across the UK and at the increasing number of ladies business meetings we attend and speak at.

What is the safest car in 2016?

With car safety at the top of so many car shopping lists we were eagerly awaiting the What Car? Safety Awards of 2016. We rate these awards highly because:

1/ They are the only ones to be independently selected by the experts at Thatcham Research, in conjunction with a hand-picked panel of safety authorities.

2/ Their safety shortlist is underpinned by a 5 star Euro NCAP rating indicating good performance in crash protection and well equipped with robust crash avoidance technology.

3/ Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) is a must for award winners and the judges give further credit for additional, innovative and unique safety equipment.

NB: AEB is a system to monitor the traffic conditions ahead and automatically brake the car in an emergency situation if the driver fails to respond. Rather than protecting the occupant in the event of a crash like the seatbelt and the airbag, AEB aims to prevent the crash happening in the first place avoiding all the associated misery and cost. It is also the sign of things to come – 37% of all new cars launched in 2015 have AEB available as standard (compared to a previous 17%) and another 36% as optional (compared to 24%).

4/ The price is a factor too whereby those manufacturers that make safety accessible to many not just a few are marked higher.

About Thatcham Research

In case you don’t know what they do, Thatcham Research is the motor insurers’ automotive research centre, researching, testing and providing insurers with a wealth of data on all new vehicles. The insurers can then rate risk more accurately. As the UK’s only accredited Euro NCAP crash test centre and one of the key overall contributors to the Euro NCAP consumer safety testing programme, Thatcham is ideally positioned to select Britain’s safest car.

The safest car award selection process

All seventeen award candidates were assessed as follows.

i/ They must have 5 star Euro NCAP star rating and standard fit Autonomous Emergency Braking on at least one trim level within the model range.

ii/ The Thatcham-assembled panel of experts all analyse each car’s adult, child and pedestrian protection scores from NCAP, assessing where and how effectively the AEB system worked and giving further credit for additional and unique safety equipment and innovation.

iii/ Cars are then marked down if safety kit was available on cars outside the UK but not in the UK.

iv/ Finally, a weighting was applied to do with the price of the vehicle in that competitively priced cars were rewarded (more than expensive ones) for bringing safety to more buyers.

Who are the What Car? Safety Award Winners?

XC90The Overall Winner was the Volvo XC90. With Volvo’s long standing reputation you’d expect them to be a contender for any safety award, however the XC90 in particular has proved to be head and shoulders above the rest with its high levels of active and passive safety making it Euro NCAP’s highest scoring car ever.

Evidently Volvo has raised the bar with this car, going beyond what is currently part of the standard safety evaluation to offer a unique package of safety features including pedestrian and cyclist recognition auto braking, run-off road protection and rear collision alert.

There were two runners up

Honda JazzThe Honda Jazz is a great example of how good levels of safety can be offered, regardless of vehicle size and budget.

For under £14,000 the Jazz gets you standard fit Autonomous Emergency Braking across the full range whilst ‘one touch’ speed limiting, also standard, is unique in this ‘Supermini’ class of vehicle. With other safety technologies like Lane Departure Warning and traffic sign recognition also available the Jazz offers a high level of safety at an attractive price.

Toyota AvensisPlus the Toyota Avensis which is highly commended and provides fleet buyers and families alike with a very high level of protection at a reasonable price.

Toyota is another manufacturer who has gone beyond what is currently tested by safety bodies to provide many standard fit crash prevention features, as well as accommodating the very latest I-Size child seats. Meanwhile advanced technologies like Lane Departure Warning and low and high speed Autonomous Emergency Braking are available across the majority of the range.


Double award winning female friendly Holders of Congresbury, SEAT dealership

holders_winners“Two is always better than one…” explained lucky Rex Jeffrey, Holders of Congresbury’s Managing Director, after hearing that the FOXY Lady Approved business had TWO not just ONE National Winners on the team.

Back in February SEAT UK announced a list of 25 finalists as they set out to identify the ‘Best of the Best’ in their National Dealer Network of 115 SEAT Dealerships across Great Britain.

Holders Service Manager Anthony Harris and Service Advisor Diane Gibbens made the grade as finalists and were then invited by SEAT to attend a day of tough tasks at the VW Group National Learning Centre in Milton Keynes.

Despite strong competition from around the country Anthony and Diane held their nerve and went on to demonstrate to the judges the integral principles of customer service that form the very DNA of Holders of Congresbury.

Anthony and Diane Get Gold

Both took Gold in their respective categories and at a Gala Dinner celebration they were presented with commemorative plaques detailing their achievements.

Diane and Anthony will now go on to represent the United Kingdom in the International Finals held in Barcelona, the home of SEAT Cars and the factory where most of them are made. They will be pitched against the very best in the world for Customer Service within the Volkswagen Group franchise, and as the best in the UK, they will be sure to give their all…

Anthony said “Having participated and won in this competition before, I thought I knew what to expect but this year’s standards were higher and the challenges tougher then ever!”

One of FOXY’s Female Business Ambassadors for Holders, Diane added, “I had been warned by my twin sister Jenny who had made the final back in 2013 what to expect! I am thrilled to have won this prestigious award and am confident this is down to my thorough preparation and because Customer Service at Holders is a very genuine daily focus for me.”

Mr Jeffrey commented “We are very proud of our winners, they are vital links within a strong chain of people who work exceedingly hard to maintain and improve Holders’ commitment to customer care. Recognition at this level from a company the size of the VW Group certainly puts Holders of Congresbury, and our worthy award winning team members, on the international map for all the right reasons!”

Good luck for Barcelona Anthony and Diane – we’d love to see you both pull off the global SEAT Awards in your respective categories.


Always choose the best accident repairer


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
Croydon, Jemca
Cwmbran Ford
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.