Tag Archives: female motorists

FOXY is a female brand and believes that female motorists deserve better value for money and more female friendly motoring services in future.

West Sussex Women in Gear

Jacquie Davis showed us how to cope with the unexpected...
Last week I attended a garage evening for women in Goring, West Sussex, organised by Birchwood Motor Group. I went with a Club member who wanted some company!

The evening split into three parts starting with a speaker about road rage followed by a session in the garage and rounded up with a talk about self defence, just in case.

The first speaker was a former Chief Police Inspector turned behaviour expert. He explained how most of us have preconceived ideas about motorists which are all too often groundless.

Anyone who drives too fast, too slow, who tailgates us or doesn’t indicate when we think they should may be immediately said to be too old, too young, male wearing a hat (!) or female… Needless to say, these perceptions can put us in a really bad mood when driving. But women shouldn’t be intimidated by the road rage they encounter. The perpetrators are just bullies (usually male in our case) and we shouldn’t let them make us feel like victims either or be tempted to inflame a situation by our body language.

If you have made a mistake say sorry, don’t smile, stay calm throughout, drive confidently at all times and carry on regardless…

The next session took us past the latest Suzuki and Skoda models into the garage area where we were then split into groups and shown by patient technicians how to change a wheel, check our tyres and top up oils and fluid levels. I overheard one lady admitting she hadn’t realised that different cars needed different oils and we were all able to ask motoring-related questions in a fairly jargon free environment.

At this stage we were all treated to a surprise supper including fresh sandwiches, pastries and hot and cold drinks.

The highlight of the evening for me was a quite remarkable lady called Jacquie Davis who then talked to us about self protection; she had been a personal bodyguard and mentioned some really hairy assignments. My initial reaction was that I didn’t want to think about having to defend myself for real but in a group of 80 females we all had a good laugh at imagining how we might. I can still see Jackie fending off her (smaller technician) ‘attacker’ as well as her novel uses for an umbrella and any innocent pen that might come in handy if someone chose to invade her personal space…

Jackie’s advice was to trust your instincts – if you think you are in danger you probably are so get ready to run or fight. You can charge your adrenaline levels by pumping (ie opening and closing) your fists several times. This does work she says although I’ve not needed it to yet… Put handbags under seats not on passenger seats; lock all doors in cities; go round not through parks at night; don’t stop the car in a dark place even if it seems to be police doing the asking – if it’s genuine they’ll understand if you drive to a lit up forecourt or the nearest police station before getting out. In a nutshell don’t take unnecessary risks and do put as much distance between him and you as possible…

All in all a great evening and all credit to Birchwood Motor Group’s staff. Most of them were male of course but I did spot a female Service Manager which is a rare and wonderful thing. The attitude of the Dealer Principal was particularly refreshing – ‘We are here to serve you’ he said and the whole team did exactly that including offering to park our cars on arrival bringing them up to the door for us when we left (with a goody bag to remind us of the night).

Well done Birchwood Motor Group for providing evenings like this for women drivers in Sussex. And to the AVF Communications team for organising the Women In Gear programme on their behalf.


If you are looking for a female friendly garage or dealership like this one, near you, check out the FOXY Choice website. It identifies all measurable signs of quality which is oh so important because few motorists realise that UK garages don’t have to be licensed or mechanics qualified. And we’re talking about your personal safety here.

“Your Car, Your Choice” of accident repairers…

We rarely read the small print because it's so complicated...In FOXY’s experience, the OFT’s well-publicised ‘Your Car, Your Choice (of car repairer)’ advice isn’t working as it presumably was intended.

The Office of Fair Trading recently asked interested parties to comment “Whether there is work that the OFT or other parties could be doing to improve the way that the UK private motor insurance market is currently functioning.”

FOXY made four points in all including this one to do with car insurance and accident repairs; as ever seen from a female motorists’ perspective.

We said…

The OFT’s well-publicised ‘Your Car, Your Choice (of car repairer)’ promise isn’t working as intended. For example, the largest insurer in the UK is charging a supplement to deter motorists from making this choice at http://www.aviva.co.uk/car/summary-of-cover.html stating

“If following a claim your car needs to be repaired and you decide not to use our approved repairer then an additional excess of £200 applies. This excess will apply in addition to any other excesses under your policy. Using your own repairer may also cause delays in your claim and Aviva cannot guarantee quality of repair from your chosen repairer.”

Esure is even more specific and restrictive in their terms at http://www.esure.com/car_insurance/claims_faqs stating

“Please note that if you choose to use your own repairer:

  • You will not receive a courtesy car unless this is agreed directly between you and your repairer
  • An excess of £200 will be applied in addition to any other excesses shown on your schedule 
  • The repairs, unlike those carried out by one of our recommended repairers, will not be guaranteed for 5 years – unless your own repairer offers this 
  • The repairer, unlike our recommended repairers, is not contractually obliged to provide a specific level of service to you 
  • We will not be able to assist you with any aftercare issues.” 

In addition, many customers who drive big family cars are expected to cope with a Class A courtesy car after an accident, such as a Ford Ka or Nissan Micra which are often poor alternatives. 

We are also told about some insurers working with unqualified bodyshops. Assuming that others will provide this evidence, we worry that these insurers might be putting cost considerations ahead of vehicle safety and customer service after an accident.

Finally, few motorists realise that their insurer isn’t necessarily their best first contact after a stressful accident or when someone is reeling from the shock. For example, we have heard about insurers increasing renewal terms for motorists simply because they have reported a no fault accident; this seems very unfair. 

Yet there is little written about this subject to help motorists understand their choices of accident repair centre or to encourage them to report their feedback about the quality of work done, to an independent body and for the benefit of others.

* FOXY Choice has made a start here with an independent good garage guide for women and a good garage feedback area.

As a result, few motorists know how to find a measurably competent accident repair centre and, because competing quality schemes (OFT, BSI and car manufacturers) are all batting to sell their own as the best, there is scope for considerable confusion in motorists’ minds instead of the independent help and appropriate advice that is needed instead, following the stress of an accident.

What can be done here? We’d like to see

  • A minimum standard for all ‘approved repairers’ appointed by insurers; based on stated quality and monitored annually.
  • A transparent replacement/courtesy car policy so that motorists who need larger cars are not required to make do with a small car whilst theirs is being repaired.
  • Clarification of the OFT’s ‘Your Car, Your Choice’ promise in the light of current insurer practices.
  • Revised OFT advice to reflect reality
  •  An independent online resource where motorists can choose measurably qualified* accident repair centres (ARCs) and bodyshops in their area. *ie those that are either BSI Kitemark (car bodyshop) licensees, operate to an OFT approved code (a member of VBRA) or are approved by car manufacturers.

The moral of this story is to get the magnifying glass out and always read the small print before buying car insurance. But the reality is that we rarely do because there’s too much of it to read and we were shopping for the cheapest quote anyway.


Find out about FOXY’s female friendly accident assistance service and about qualified accident repair bodyshops near you that have joined the FOXY Choice approved female friendly UK garage network.

Women drivers will like Tesco Cars

Female buyers accounted for almost a third of all sales in Tesco Cars’ first month of operation and will surely influence many more new car sales in future.

Tesco now sells cars and garage services to women

Tesco has untold experience of marketing to millions of women and in this instance they are promising a ‘no hassle, no pressure’ experience so that female motorists don’t have to visit a local car showroom.

But surely a local contact and dealership staff SHOULD be the better service option?

I am surprised if/that Tesco Cars only seems to be including a one month RAC warranty although the Sale of Goods Act gives women added protection for six months (but they mightn’t know) and buyers will of course be sold an added longer warranty.

Of course no buyer would expect to be unhappy with their car after such stringent checks have been made but some will be because this is the motor industry and cars that were previously neglected, even if still ‘young’, will quickly demonstrate that neglect in terms of unreliability and expensive repair bills. That’s automotive life and you can’t odds it.

As would be expected, popular models from Britain’s ‘Big Three’ saw Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen dominating the Top 10 with enquirers using Tesco Cars’ Lifestyle tool to compare and contrast features, price and the all important running costs.

Popular models with women did particularly well such as the Ford Focus, the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall’s Corsa with VW’s Golf and Polo in the top ten too.

1. Ford Focus
2. BMW 3-Series
3. Volkswagen Golf
4. Vauxhall Astra
5. Ford Fiesta
6. Vauxhall Corsa
7. Ford Mondeo
8. Vauxhall Zafira
9. Volkswagen Polo
10. Audi A4

Tesco Cars’ vehicles are typically one previous owner, independently checked by RAC (167-point inspection) and given an HPI history check. Multiple images and a video test drive conducted by RAC complete the online buying services. Cars will be sold as ‘Buy It Now’ or ‘Pre-order’ and they reserve the car they want with a £99 handling fee which can be refunded if they choose not to go ahead. All buyers have a named adviser to contact in the event of any follow up need.

Tesco Cars deliver cars to the buyer’s front door for a small extra, offer a seven-day no-quibble money back guarantee and a one-month’s RAC Platinum warranty which seems to suggest buyers are on their own after that. Needless to say, Tesco Financial services including car insurance and finance will be offered at the point of sale and buyers will receive 2,000 Clubcard points for each car purchase.

I feel sure Tesco Cars will soon want to offer women some peace of mind during the first year of car ownership…

That would be the right thing to do. And to forge better links with the industry because we all need friends, even Tesco Cars.


Are floating voters foxy Focus females?

Forget ‘Essex Girl’, ‘Worcester Women’ and ‘Asda Mums’ the latest election target is ‘Focus Female’ because, allegedly, she drives a Ford Focus, according to recent research by the AA.

With 3 out of 4 female motorists (who are AA members) saying that motoring issues are very or quite important re who they will vote for in the election, this large group of ‘undecideds’ offer a powerful lure for the party that sets out to woo them.

An AA/Populus survey of c15k AA members found that women drivers were more concerned than men about the cost of motoring, drink and drug-driving, and road safety. These were sentiments largely echoed by younger drivers.

According to the AA this is what a Focus Female looks like…

  • Juggles work / life – uses car to go to work, gym, take kids to school, visit mum and to go to Waitrose
  • Has more concern for road safety – more willing to support tough driver sanctions such as lower drink drive limit
  • Listens to BBC Radio 2 and would ring Chris Evans show to say what wheels she is driving
  • She will have numerous store loyalty cards in her handbag / glove box
  • Ambitious and career minded – keen to progress up the company ladder
  • She keeps her car clean and tidy and won’t tolerate smoking inside it
  • She drives a Ford Focus and aspires towards a premium sector cabriolet car
  • Enjoys an Italian meal with girl friends and will split the bill

Sounds a lot like members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club.


Women face driving challenge in Gloucestershire

Female motorists can prove their versatility and have a great time during a Ladies Driving Challenge at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh later this month.

Women drivers in Gloucestershire are challenged to drive a wacky range of vehicles including fire engines, police cars, ambulances, JCBs, articulated lorries, buses, coaches and maybe even a tank, all donated by local organisations.

In support of a good cause, this is to support the Fire Fighters Charity and Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue and is the second fundraising Ladies Driving Challenge of its kind.

The sessions start on Sunday, April 25 at 8am and registration costs £10. Entrants must be over 17, hold a full driving licence and have raised a minimum of £90 in sponsorship in advance.

To take part in the challenge, women drivers near the Fire Service College at Moreton-in-Marsh should contact Mike Perraton on 07717 895424 or register online at www.ladiesdrivingchallenge.co.uk

We look forward to seeing the photos afterwards…


Find out more about how UK women drivers get a better motoring deal with FOXY Lady Drivers Club.