Tag Archives: cars

Why blogging matters to small businesses

We’ll soon be merging this blog with the News and Information section of our website. Our various blog topics have all grown like Topsy but from 2018 FOXY Lady Blogs will be posted HERE, to make it easier for our readers.

FOXY Lady blog is critical to getting our message across. In our new Blog Section you’ll find a blog post explaining why we write what we do and how our blog reflects our strategic business plans. It’s all part of our ‘drive’ (pardon the pun) to get what we do to a wider audience as part of an affordable and measurable PR plan.

To raise awareness about the Club, I started the FOXY Lady blog in March 2008, writing for and about women drivers.

It’s not a sexy read and I doubt it’ll make it to the top of a busy female’s ‘must read’ blog list but if women want to know about motoring they stand a chance of finding useful insider information here, with their best interests at heart, when they need it most. Or decide to join the Club for 1:1 support of course.

Writing about motoring for women is certainly a perilous path to tread (some prefer simple and lightweight content whereas others find that approach patronising…) but I do this to amplify the Club’s key messages and for a whole raft of good business reasons.


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Why women find Vauxhall Astra drivers appealing

astra_award_womenWe were interested to see which cars random females would like to see potential partners drive and what that tells us about them. So when we heard about a new survey carried out by VoucherCodesPro involving 2,787 single female respondents over 18, we wanted to know more…

… but would never have believed that the Vauxhall Astra would be the female choice of an attractive set of wheels (when driven by a good looking male we presume) with the majority stating that the car a prospective partner drives is likely to dictate whether their relationship has a future.

Why does the car he drives matter to women?

When asked why the car a potential partner drives matters, the top 5 results were as follows:

1.      A nice car is a sign of wealth/financial security – 56%
2.      Men with nice cars respect themselves, and women, more – 27%
3.      I can tell a man’s personality type by the kind of car he drives – 22%
4.      The kind of car a man drives reflects his maturity levels– 18%
5.      I love cars and like to be with a man who shares my passion – 11%

The same respondents were then asked to list the car they found the most attractive (for potential male partners to drive) as follows.

24% of respondents voted for the Vauxhall Astra
19% the BMW 1 Series
14% the Audi A3
11% the Land Rover Discover 4.

Finally, respondents were asked to reveal whether or not they had ever finished with a former partner because of their relationship with a car or their driving behaviour, with more than one in ten (12%) admitting that they had done so.

Clearly VoucherCodesPro George Charles was as surprised by the Vauxhall choice as stated.

“I would have expected the sports cars to come out on top of this study, but it shows that you don’t always have to splash out to get a car that could attract a future partner! The Vauxhall Astra may not be the most glamorous of cars, but may be more attractive than you think. Perhaps it shows to a woman that a man is stable and looking to settle down into a mature relationship?”

I wonder what his verdict would be about the 40% car-less Millennials today?

My personal opinion is that these results will depend on the sample of women as much as the choice of cars they were given to make these decisions.

And finally, the indisputable fact for me is that if Daniel Craig pulled up outside my house in a Renault Grand Scenic alongside Donald Trump in a Lambo I know which car I’d get in.

Hurrah – the thought of this happening has really lightened my mood on an otherwise dreary Budget day.


Surprising celebrity cars


Celebrity culture influences us all it seems.

A guilty pleasure for many (says she), as in reading the likes of OK and Hello magazines in hairdressers, marvelling at the extravagance of celebrity homes, weddings and seemingly designer babies.

And whilst Top Gear stars might put reasonably priced cars through their paces on TV, surely they’d have Aston Martins or Ferraris in their centrally-heated garages not the likes of the Suzuki Liana, Chevrolet Lacetti or Kia Cee’d they’d pretended to enjoy driving under the spotlight?

But maybe we’re wrong to think this?

Certainly findings from Vertu Lease Cars suggest we are and that many celebrities choose surprisingly modest motors – for image reasons or environmental concerns perhaps.

Female celebrity car choices

Most of us know the Queen enjoys driving her highly practical Range Rover Sport across her Scottish estate.

jennifer_lawrenceBut did you know that Jennifer Lawrence drives a VW Eos?

Which is a very stylish and lesser known VW convertible which is also highly affordable for others to drive, even without a paparazzi in tow…

Or that pop icon Madonna drives a Mini Cooper? Just imagine her pulling up alongside you in the local Tesco car park without you noticing who it was! Unlikely but remotely possible of course.

Male celebrity car choices

Whereas some of the male ‘celebrities’ we’re told about have made less predictable choices in our opinion.

leo_carFor example, Justin Bieber drives a Smart for Two which he badges as Swag Car for fun.

And Wayne Rooney in an unremarkable Ford Ka which we imagine was probably bought by his foxy car shopping wife?

And bear-fighting Leonardo di Caprio keeping his coveted Oscar in the glovebox of his environmentally-friendly Toyota Prius, perhaps?

But it was the thought of latter day macho film icon Clint Eastwood squeezing into a Fiat 500 that really made our day!

Thank you Vertu Cars for sharing this automotive insight (and that of other celebrity cars) whilst reminding us that all these cars are affordable and available to us all to buy or lease.

Even if so-called celebrity status isn’t part of that deal!


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.


Rumer has it for women

Rumer_accentuateOne of the songs I can’t get out of my head for days after hearing it is Rumer’s version of “You’ve got to Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative and Latch On to the Affirmative…”

It really should be FOXY’s signature tune in this unregulated motor industry.

It can equally apply to a lot of gender-based news this month.

1/ Sports

The good news is that the men won The Ashes this year, even if it was a close call. Hurrah. Whilst we surely would have wanted the women to win their Ashes, they get less attention here yet the likes of Olympian Jessica Hill-Ennis and other winning female athletes in Beijing seem to command similar admiration compared to Mo and Greg in their respective disciplines.

That’s the positive nature of sporting success of course, regardless of gender.

I wonder if the gender Ashes tables will be turned in Australia after their women won the summer trophy in Hove?

2/ Music

There’s no positive news about music if you’re a teenage fan of One Direction this week. It’s all negative, unless you’re a member of the band of course, wanting a more normal life at just 22.

Any female who’s had male crushes (mine was Rod Stewart) knows how all consuming this adulation can be although I don’t feel the need to either accentuate or eliminate this far lesser emotion nearly thirty years on. I don’t think males feel the same, unless it’s about sporting role models perhaps?

3/ Education

If you’re female or looking to recruit graduates in future, you might want to big up the gender statistics that more young female students than male ones are off to university this year. This makes women the future gender target for many graduate recruitment agencies and will surely add to her shopping profile as the independent and wealthy gender responsible for some 80% of household shopping.

In the USA they say that women buy or influence up to 90% of all car sales and that is where we’re headed it seems. That’s serious gender buying power and yet so many females don’t think that motor manufacturers are accentuating the positives of cars with women in mind. That’s a mistake and the ones that get their cars and dealership service levels right (not just the promotions and advertising) will surely get her custom ahead of the rest.

4/ Radicalisation

Yet another Muslim Mum is thought to have taken her four young children to Syria this week. Clearly she doesn’t see the positive of life in Great Britain and has been misled by those doing a better job about Syria? With such negative consequences for her innocent children.

5/ Train safety

In big cities like Tokyo and Osaka there are women only carriages on trains.
In big cities like Tokyo and Osaka there are women only carriages on trains.
How wonderful that the positive actions of such a brave quartet prevented a train massacre in Belgium last week.

Maybe this event encouraged Jeremy Corbyn to suggest a way to keep solo women travellers safer in a women’s only railway carriage at night?

This has caused the usual gender divide between those who see the positive of this and those who think this is a patronising and a negative step backwards.

As readers of my blog know, I run a motoring club for women so I have a feminist business agenda here, operating in what is perceived to be a mainly masculine world, even today.

As a result of putting my head above the parapet here, I am occasionally accused of discriminating against men or patronising women, simply by helping women enjoy a better motoring deal wisely whilst steering clear of the bad ones.

Yet these comments are often from a woman who’d buy cheap car insurance from us, but can’t see that many females like her worry about being ripped off/intimidated in car showrooms and garages.

The positive impact of information…

The fact is, we’re all different and we surely deserve informed choices, especially when these influence our personal and family safety. I use the word ‘informed’ with care. Surely no ‘informed’ Muslim Mum would take her children to Syria if she knew the facts? Were she to be better informed she’d be less likely to be brainwashed or radicalised as it’s called today. As would be the case were she informed about tyre safety rather than the high numbers of us found driving on illegal and unsafe tyres when caught in a roadside check.

Which is what FOXY does of course. We exist to inform and empower women drivers of all ages, across the UK, to do with their car safety. Having explained the risk of buying cheap in an unregulated industry, time and time again, we help Club members save money wisely without cutting safety corners. It’s this very information and female oriented message that enables us to cut the cost of car insurance for 9 out of 10 members. Because the women who join the Club are either (or soon become) safer motorists – they aren’t boy racers but they are more interested and better informed about safe motoring choices than others…

… versus gender negatives we’d rather eliminate

Sadly there are some females that we wouldn’t want in the Club and our Club Rules are designed to reflect this if need be.

For example, I don’t want to travel with females like the foul-mouthed pair of drunks who were in the same train carriage as me from London to Lancing late one night recently. Not only were they unsteady on their high heels, their language was offensive, they left a most unpleasant toilet for others and after changing trains at Hove, one was sick all over the seat and floor behind me.

So Jeremy, whilst in principle I support any objective to provide a safer and more pleasant train travelling choice for women at night, please make this a female choice and consider ways to hold ‘women behaving badly’ to account.

How sad we need to do address this negative consequence of gender equality – presumably these women didn’t learn about the Suffragettes at school?

Much as FOXY ‘outs’ the bad garages and car dealerships who treat women badly– it’s increasingly the case that some women are letting the rest of their gender down in their motoring dealings and/or car neglect.

I’m thinking about those women who think it’s clever to tell me they simply put fuel in their cars and sell them on before their first MoT. Which might explain why so many cars fail their first MoT and so many female motorists don’t know how to check their tyres for themselves…

automation-communicationAnother group FOXY needs to be talking to, but I’m not sure how, are those women who say ‘My husband takes care of this for me’.

These are the same ladies that are totally lost and vulnerable to do with their car when he isn’t there to do this for them or the car safety penny finally drops at accident time; that he didn’t check her tyres properly or regularly.

At which stage she realises that she, the driver, has to accept full responsibility for the consequences of any accident that the condition of her car might have contributed towards. And which might never have happened had she known…

In short, there is no excuse for ignorance when there’s a service dedicated to helping women drivers become more aware re car safety and so they might save money wisely. The ‘doing something about car care ignorance’ needs to be the positive outcome here.

Now, how do we get that message out to more women drivers, Rumer?