Tag Archives: buying a 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

Like Jimmy, we want to trust people

lemon_car_little_girlIt’s a sobering thought when you read that Citizens Advice handled some 45,000 complaints about secondhand cars last year from motorists who clearly bought a lemon. Sobering in that this is probably the tip of the iceberg because not everybody knows to go to them when things go wrong. This may well explain why many garages and dealers make a selling point of trade associations’ complaints handling schemes – they think that dealing with complaints is normal practice.

The problem is, as ever, that the motor industry isn’t regulated which is why the likes of the rogue trader car dealers we see on an increasing number of TV programmes about them carry on trading.

Which is why we should also watch the Citizens Advice video about Jimmy buying a secondhand car. Please watch it all, even if you can sense what’s coming, because the most useful bit of advice is at the end.

Sadly if Jimmy won’t listen to the good advice of his friend, chances are few motorists will listen to advice from a company they don’t normally have any dealings with.

That doesn’t make Jimmy an idiot in any way. In fact most of us are like Jimmy in that we don’t realise the risks we run buying a cheap car from a private car seller or an Arthur Daley-like character on a garage forecourt. If we don’t know them but the car’s a gleaming steal, it’s human nature to want to trust the individuals here.

Used car checks

Fortunately buyers do have rights as stated in the Sale Of Goods Act when we buy a car from a trader. It must be ‘of satisfactory quality’ be ‘fit for purpose’ and ‘as described’. If it isn’t and you find this out within a reasonable period of time, you can take it back to be repaired, replaced or for a refund. Fingers crossed.

Bear in mind however that all this is subject to the grey area of reasonableness ie the older/cheaper the car, if faults were pointed out to you (always difficult to prove they weren’t), if the service history was non-existent then you stand a lesser chance of proving liability.

And that you don’t have the right to get a substandard car fixed to your satisfaction elsewhere and then expect the original dealer to foot the bill. That’s not usually seen as reasonable although I would beg to differ in some situations

My advice is always to do a used car check before buying, to make sure it is ‘as described’ ie that it hasn’t been stolen, written off, had its mileage clocked or be the subject of outstanding finance, which you’d pick up the tab for by the way. Just google for ‘used car check’; they’re really cheap and easy to do online. Many dealers include one for all used cars they sell – it’s often called an HPI car check so you can ask to see theirs before you buy.

Other than that, our advice is ‘if it seems too cheap, the salesman will know why, and so will you in due course.’ I recommend you always google to see what the car in question is worth, via a valuation service online. If the car in question is much cheaper, only you can decide whether to risk it but I’d always pay for a mechanical car check from the professionals here. Especially if the car doesn’t have a regular servicing history.

Most garages will look this over for you for a fee. Experts like the AA, RAC and DEKRA (FOXY’s partner) will do a thorough mechanical check for you costing c£100. I recommend this so you don’t end up like Jimmy, facing a bill of a lot more than £100 simply because he didn’t do his homework in advance.

Getting the deal in writing

Sadly you have little comeback in law if you bought the car from a private seller.

Whereas if you buy a nearly new car from a franchised dealer or a big used car showroom you should expect the car to have been thoroughly checked before you buy. But these impressive sounding checks vary quite a lot so you’d be best to ask what precisely is included and to ask to see what the mechanical checklist revealed.

I’d also look for a minimum 6 month MOT and a 12 month used car warranty for your reasonable peace of mind.

From a financial point of view, where part exchange and car finance can turn the transaction into a smoke and mirrors game of moving numbers, we recommend that you always get the final financial facts spelled out in writing before you go ahead. Their paperwork should spell out, separately, the amount you will pay for the ‘new’ car, the precise amount you will get for your ‘old’ car (where applicable) and the final car finance terms (where applicable).

Then take a reflective break of 24 hours to check online and be happy with the deal. Where in doubt, pull out…

I know it shouldn’t have to be like this but it is. Sadly those that know how to play the car buying game are likely to end up with a better deal than those who don’t. Which is why FOXY Lady Drivers Club offers a hand-holding service for Club members and encourages all women drivers to post feedback about their recent car buying experiences via our sister FOXY Choice website.


A motoring club for women – what’s that about?

Members-OnlyWe are often asked why women need a motoring club of their own. Usually by men who don’t get the point that women are equal but different and don’t necessarily share their appreciation of blokey garages with grubby loos and smarmy car salesmen. What’s not to understand?

If anyone thinks these things don’t happen in today’s motor industry they should have heard the tales I did on our stand at the Sussex Woman’s Show in Brighton last weekend…

These things certainly happen in the female mind.

When it’s a woman who’s asking the question we then explain that UK garages aren’t licensed and their mechanics don’t have to be qualified to service or repair our cars. Most women are as shocked as I was when I first learned this some 10 years ago…

Can motoring services get any worse?

If that isn’t reason enough for most women to want to know who the really good garages are in their area we then add that things are even worse when it comes to buying used cars!

That’s because there isn’t a minimum ethical standard in the UK motor industry to stop the customer from buying gleaming used cars with major mechanical faults you can’t see. Not only that but many dodgy dealers also try to restrict customer rights by imposing their shorter warranty to protect them when things inevitably go wrong very soon after money has changed hands.

These are two unregulated areas in the motor industry where motorists need to be genuinely foxy. A ridiculously cheap MOT can be a come on for expensive (& occasionally unnecessary) remedial work and a good looking secondhand car can quickly turn into a mechanical nightmare.

Ways to identify the good guys in the motor industry

To do something about all this we started with garages by introducing a network of genuinely female friendly ones which we identify by their measurable quality, then promote to women and monitor through member feedback. Next we added a network of FOXY Lady Approved repairers at the request of Ageas Insurance for their accident repairers called Solutions Centres.

Later this year we’ll be launching a new FOXY Lady Approved ie female friendly network for car dealers, to help women (and their husbands/partners of course) do their car buying homework and, hopefully, spot the dodgy cars and dealers before it’s too late.

Those that break all the rules and clearly don’t give a monkeys about the customer can expect to feel the impact of our criticism when we spread the word within the Club, behind Club doors, so local women know not to use their services in future. We want to make sure that other females don’t suffer the same fate.

These are but a few reasons why women need a club of their own and one they can trust.

This is also why it makes sense to remind your family and friends to join FOXY Lady Drivers Club. And before we put our rates up in 2014.


Seven things the dealership should include with your next car

This GUEST BLOG is written by Steph Colinswood, the Marketing Manager of ‘Safe and Sound.’

If you’re in the process of changing your car, you want to be sure you’re buying from a dealer you can trust. One that isn’t going to patronise you just because you’re a female, right?

Females often draw the short straw when it comes to customer service at dealerships. Possibly because some staff think we don’t know what we’re talking about when it comes to buying cars. Sadly some dealerships still try to hoodwink us or sell us a vehicle that may not be what it seems.

The truth is that if you are buying a car, you need to make sure that the dealer includes the Significant Seven – seven extremely important elements that will help you pick the bangers from the bargains AND provide the ultimate peace of mind to you as a motorist.

So without further ado, here they are:

1 A full background check
This is perhaps one of the most important aspects. Without the background check being done, you won’t know whether the vehicle has an outstanding finance arrangement, has been stolen previously, was written off and then given a new identity, or whether there are discrepancies with the number plates or VIN/chassis number. The background check (often referred to as a provenance check) is the ONLY way to guarantee that the vehicle is exactly what you would expect it to be and if anything is flagged as unusual, DON’T BUY IT no matter how good a deal it is.

2 A safety inspection
A safety inspection is the only way to rule out any accident causing defects, which could put you and other road users in serious danger. Typically, dealers carrying out safety inspections will check all the items covered during an MOT, including but not limited to whether there is sufficient tread on the tyres, the operation of the headlights, oil levels, seatbelt operation and checks for windscreen damage and worn brakes. It is the only way to make sure your new car is actually safe to drive in the first place.

3 A comprehensive warranty
Sudden mechanical and electrical failures cause financial difficulty for many people as it’s often hard to have a contingency motoring budget in place when the cost of living is so high. If you purchase a vehicle that doesn’t come with a warranty, then you will be at risk of facing repair bills which could run into thousands of pounds – a typical engine replacement will set you back over £2,000 alone! Remember to ask the dealer what level of warranty cover is included, the duration and claim limit, and make sure that it covers as a bare minimum the engine, gearbox, timing belts and ECU (electronic control unit) as these are the most costly to repair.

4 Recovery breakdown
A comprehensive level of breakdown cover should at minimum cover you for home and roadside repairs and assistance, and an onward destination service. If you have a warranty in place then you could claim for the tow-in charges and car hire as part of your claim liability, but always ensure that you get this authorised first of all by the warranty company. If you are planning to take the vehicle abroad, remember to check how many days of EU cover are included, and whether you will need to pay an excess if you make a callout.

5 A mileage verification
A mileage verification goes hand-in-hand with the background check and many dealers will automatically include it so remember to clarify this with them once they’ve completed said background check. If the mileage on the odometer doesn’t match that in the V5 document, then it may have been ‘clocked’ (mileage reset or wound back) to give the appearance that the vehicle has travelled less than it actually has, cloned or it could have a hidden past.

6 An independent price
Unless you happen to carry around a car valuation retail price guide, then you are unlikely to know what is determined a ‘fair’ price for the vehicle you are about to buy. To make sure that you are not paying over the top, don’t be afraid to negotiate with the dealer and use a valuation website such as www.usedcarexpert.co.uk before you visit the dealership who will provide three independent valuations based on the make, model, age, mileage and even geographical location of the vehicle you are intending to buy.

7 A dealer buy-back promise
Most dealers will take your vehicle as part-exchange when you come to change it again as they want you to come back, but there are some that won’t. Make sure you get a written guarantee that the dealer will purchase the vehicle back from you regardless of its age, mileage and condition which can be used as part-payment for your next vehicle.

If you buy your next vehicle from a ‘Safe and Sound’ dealership then you’ll automatically receive these seven elements (worth £500) FREE OF CHARGE for your ultimate peace of mind.

For more information please visit www.safeandsound.co.uk.

‘Safe and Sound’ is endorsed by motor racing legend Sir Stirling Moss OBE, who says “If you buy a Safe car, you’re going to make a Sound investment. I am pleased to have my name associated with ‘Safe and Sound’; it is a winning product for motorists in the UK.”