Tag Archives: Sussex

Brighton and Hove Motor Show | VIP Guests

This blog is mainly for readers within striking distance of Brighton.

We’re getting very excited.

We’re exhibiting at the Brighton and Hove Motor Show at the fab AmEx Stadium on Saturday 10 June (10am to 5pm) and on Sunday 11 June (11am to 4pm). Please visit us to see what we do to empower women drivers!

There hasn’t been a Motor Show in Brighton for many years but with a venue like this one, riding on the back of the AmEx being a Premiership Stadium now (!!) we’re confident it’s going to become a really memorable and growing annual event.

So we’re delighted to be supporting this, on behalf of women drivers, alongside headline sponsors Mobil1 and Rivervale Leasing as well as leading local dealerships Caffyns (VW/Audi), Tesla, Lookers (Mercedes/Smart), Yeomans (Toyota), Brighton Mitsubishi, Hendys (Renault/Dacia), Tates (Citroen/DS/Hyundai/Kia) and Porsche Centre Mid Sussex.

We’ll be asking them all, via Twitter (@FOXYTweets) which car models they’re bringing for us to see.

You’ll also find Heart Radio, the Platinum Publishing Group and Brighton and Hove Independent, all doing their bit to make sure this show is a success and becomes an annual event into Brighton’s future.

Finally it’s a free to enter event (unlike 2017’s London Motor Show that cost £17), providing you’ve registered in advance and via their website. So you can afford to come!

This is FOXY’s first Motor Show ever and we’re determined to bring a distinctly female flavour to balance out a likely male bias “because women drive as well as men… and often a lot better.”

Haha. Sorry guys. But the important thing is that we women influence between 80-90% of all car sales so it’s best to get us involved at the earliest possible stage!

A Family Day Out in Brighton

Yes, if fast (gorgeous looking and exotic) cars float your boat, driven by James Bond lookalikes of course, there’ll be lots of performance cars at the Brighton and Hove Motor Show and leading Sussex dealerships a-plenty organising test drives we’re told.

As you might expect, FOXY’s more at home in the Family Zone (that’s the Falmer side of the AmEx) relatively close to the Go Kart track and with a Bouncy Castle and Top Gear simulator as our family fun neighbours. Cool!

We look forward to meeting Brighton based Mumpreneurs and Athena business network members as well as all local motoring mums and daughters of course.

And there’s something in it for you all so DON’T PASS US BY…

OK, we’re not planning to be as physically active or demanding as they will be .

Instead, we’re offering pre-registered female drivers a number of FREE lifetime online gift subscription to FOXY Lady Drivers Club, on a first come, first served basis.

Come and activate yours at the FOXY stand, to enjoy really useful support services that put females first – like preferential car insurance, affinity car buying deals, motoring offers, VIP treatment and a whole package of stress-busting* support services.

*We know from experience that motoring can be very stressful for many females. Too many of us suffer from serious anxiety as a result of accidents, road rage, partner criticism, motorways and the total responsibility for the safety of any child passengers.

Please consider timing your visit to coincide with one of our VIP Guest visits. In this way you can find out about the likes of learning to drive, tyre safety, organising motoring events (at clubs, employee staff rooms, associations, dealerships) and driving overseas perhaps.

The following VIP Guests will be attending the FOXY Lady Drivers Club stand in the Family Zone, close to Entrance A (ie outside the Club shop in the Seagulls Fan Zone area). NB: This schedule may be updated via social media ie Twitter, on the day..

This is YOUR chance to visit the FOXY Lady Drivers Club stand to find out about the following motoring and business related topics.


Saturday 10 June – 12 noon to 1pm

VIP Guest – Sue Blinco from Sussex Driving School.

Sue is highly qualified (one of the best qualified there are) and a FOXY Lady Approved Driving Instructor as you’d expect.

If you have a rising 17 year old who is keen to drive, this is your chance to ask Sue for advice or about changes to the Driving Test. And if you’re a nervous driver, ask her (and FOXY) for recommendations.


Saturday 10 June – 2pm to 3pm

VIP Guest – Claire Jones-Hughes of Claritas Media.

Claire is an expert in all matters social media and manages the busy Mumpreneurs Network in Brighton.

She’s also a francophile with lots of experience of driving in France – and useful tips to share.

Come and talk to Claire about family motoring at home and in France. She knows how important your car is and how tricky it can be to manage its care, alongside family and work.

You could also ask her about The Mumpreneurs Networking Club in Brighton.



Saturday 10 June – 3pm to 4pm

VIP Guest – Steph Savill – FOXY Lady Drivers Club Founder

Whether you are a female friendly employer, organise a club or an association of sorts it makes good sense to organise a motoring event designed to appeal to men and women alike, to raise their awareness of the important safety-related issues they need to know.

So why not discuss this with me on the day and see how I can help?


Sunday 11 June – 12 noon to 1pm

VIP Guest – Kicki Smith – ITE Travel Expert in Sussex.

Kicki is a member of the Athena Brighton South Downs Group and a veritable travel expert so she can help you organise your motoring holiday of course.

But today she’s on hand to tell you what you need to know about about driving in France. More rules bien sur… so we all need to know the latest savvy motoring hacks.



Sunday 11 June – 2.30pm to 3.30pm

VIP Guest – Steph Savill – FOXY

A subject dear to my heart – to keep you, your family, other motorists and pedestrians as safe as possible.

If nothing more, at least I can show you how to do the 20p tyre tread safety check and give you some simple tyre safety advice face to face.

But if none of these topics hit the spot for you, come say hello and leave us any questions/messages in our Brighton and Hove Motor Show Visitors Book and we’ll get back to you during the following week.

Here’s how to find out what FOXY Lady Drivers Club does to empower women drivers in their motoring lives.

I hope to see many of our Club members at the AmEx on 10-11 June! Be sure to say hello.


Car leasing versus outright purchase

couple_convertible_pinkWhen we get such favourable feedback from females about a local car leasing business, we have to find out more.

For example, this is what Club member Jen in Chichester has to say about Pinksauce Leasing.

Fantastic service! I can’t recommend Chris and Lyndsay enough. I went to them needing a new car for a new job which involved a long commute. Not having any idea what make or model I wanted. They did all the research for me on MPG, showed me a lot of pictures and advised on several suitable cars. They were friendly and approachable and didn’t make me feel silly for knowing next to zero about cars! Talking independently about the best car for me rather than pushing certain makes due to commission. Simply fantastic!

And this is what Club member Shelley in Basingstoke tells us about them.

I couldn’t recommend Pinksauce Leasing enough! Lyndsay was extremely helpful, offering great advice and service, backed up with sound knowledge, expertise and experience. The deal I was offered was of fantastic value and through every step she was honest, fair and informative with great communication. Top lady!

Why Car Leasing is so popular

Car leasing has boomed over the last few years and for good financial reason.

Of course you can still buy a new car using finance and/or cash but when you come to sell it, you will take a seriously heavy depreciation hit which is hard to calculate and therefore too often ignored at the car shopping stage.

Just to give you a clue about the figures, according to research by CAP Automotive, depreciation will cost the typical motorist three times as much as they spend at the petrol pump. That brings it home, a potential loss of some 15-35% in the first year and up to 50% or more over three years. Or, in hard cash terms, buy a medium sized family car and three years later it’s worth c£12k less.

Whereas leasing of sorts means you pay a fixed monthly amount over an agreed term then either walk away at the end of the contract, buy the car off, or choose another car and sign a new contract. It’s certainly more transparent and easier to budget for! No wonder so many younger drivers are opting for this method.

Either way, it’s important to choose the best car for the job in hand which is where FOXY can help Club members, of course, with their car shopping choices.

For example, Personal Contract Hire (or Business Contract Hire) is based on a fixed annual mileage agreed when you take out the contract. You need to decide how many miles you are likely to drive each year before quotations can be obtained. Once you say how many miles you drive in a year and the car you’d like, the leasing business can prepare a quotation for you and advise where necessary.

About Pink Sauce

Pink Sauce Leasing is based in Chichester and run by Mr and Mrs Pink. No it’s not just a case of colouring their website pink to give it girl appeal – the name is for real! That’s Chris (Dad) and Lyndsay (Mum), covering new car leasing requests for motorists across Sussex and Hampshire.

Chris worked for several manufacturers and leading car dealership groups for some 20 years before deciding to do something about the treadmill approach of many businesses to selling cars. This is why he and Lyndsay decided to go solo, explains Chris.

“Some customers mentioned their purchase experience felt like being on a corporate conveyor belt which upset me because any new car purchase, bearing in mind these are always high ticket ones, should make a customer feel very special and yet few do. Whereas we look after all the boring stuff which the car dealers and finance partners need to allow our customers to enjoy a stress free car shopping experience.”

We’re pleased to meet you on our patch, Chris and Lyndsay.

For More Information

You can find out more about Pink Sauce Leasing here.
Website: http://www.pinksauceleasing.co.uk
Tel: 01243 767121
Email: info@pinksauceleasing.co.uk

For advice and hand holding support throughout the car shopping experience you would do well to join FOXY Lady Drivers Club in advance.

FOXY wins Online Business Award

Much to my surprise and pride I picked up the Online Business Woman of the Year Award last Friday in Arundel on behalf of FOXY Lady Drivers Club.


Being an online business I’ve been more used to online Award competitions nominating occasional accolades by email.

On this occasion it felt so much more special and rewarding as it involved talking to local hero and Awards compere Sally Gunnell whilst giving me the opportunity to explain FOXY’s philosophy, on behalf of women drivers, on the night.

I remember being asked at a Mumpreneurs Networking meeting in Lewes earlier that day if I had a speech ready, should FOXY win. ‘Not a chance’ was my honest verdict and fairly obviously, to all there on the night, I didn’t have a speech rehearsed!

As it happened, the Online Business Award category was sponsored by CapGemini, a huge company that specialises in business consultancy, technology and outsourcing services and their Senior Manager, Kevin Reed, handed over the impressive certificate on the night.

I have since read up about Capgemini’s ambitions to recruit more women into IT, echoing FOXY’s efforts to do the same to attract women into the motor industry. With young women outperforming young men at GCSE level in STEM subjects the potential for female talent is obvious but clearly few STEM-related industries are managing to get a female friendly career message across to young women.

As I see it, the message that careers in IT and the motor industry are equally challenging and rewarding for either gender is one that needs making early on in education. Both sexes need to understand the benefits of working together – a business partnership as in marriage, each have complementary strengths and talents to bring to the table. And this message must include students’ parents who are key influencers but often seem to hold old-fashioned and stereotypical views about masculine industries being forbidden zones for females to enter. Far from the truth!

Let’s hope there is something that FOXY and Capgemini might do together to challenge this gender thinking in future…


A motoring Skill For Life – the FOXY verdict

I am delighted to say I passed my Advanced Driving Test at the end of September. I am now a fully fledged member of the IAM, am to be presented with my certificate saying this at a later date (!) and expect my insurance premium to plummet. I’m not so sure about this last bit yet but I’ll keep you posted…

I have previously written about the reasons why I wanted to do this and what I learned in the early stages. This blog is simply to sum up the entire experience and how I feel about it now.

Just to recap, I started the Skill For Life programme in June and whilst I could have taken the full year to prepare myself for the test I wanted to do this in a shorter period. You can’t gauge when you’re ready to take it of course, that’s up to your IAM Observer aka driving instructor.

sue-drivingMy driving instructor was key to my progress and ultimate success.

Sue Haynes Blinco is a driving instructor with the Sussex Driving School and we would meet at Hickstead’s service station off the A23, heading off into the wilds of Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath for observed drives, manouevres and such like. I had asked for a female driving instructor simply because I felt it would be more fun and less like being ‘told’ what to do…

I was right in terms of Sue’s style. Instead of saying ‘do this’ or ‘do that’ which may be more appropriate for new drivers, Sue would ask me why I did something and how I felt about my latest drive or manouevre. We could then discuss the whys and wherefores of any areas I wasn’t confident about or getting right.

All this was happening whilst I was gradually reading through the excellent handbook that comes with the Skill For life pack, so I was starting to learn what was expected of me there.

Driving lessons I have learned

To begin with I must say that the test was a lot less daunting than I expected. My examiner was a retired Police Inspector turned actor who had recently moved to the South Coast. He instantly put me at ease, it was a beautifully sunny day and we chatted whilst I drove. Much more relaxing that way. Yes he thought I could be more decisive at roundabouts (I agree -I was driving ultra carefully as you’d expect) and apparently I missed two 40 speed signs so stayed at 30 until I could be sure. You can’t afford to risk this because driving faster than the speed limit is an instant fail and I had only just heard about a young driver who had failed her driving test for doing 38mph in a 30 zone…

I now enjoy my driving a lot more than I used to. There’s too much to be done to lose concentration although I imagine that’s the challenge to stop me from lapsing into my sloppy old ways. Much more use of mirrors, much more awareness of blindspots, a much better understanding about the need to be in gear or with the handbrake on at all times and a better appreciation of the two second rule in heavy traffic.

This makes me a safer and more confident driver but it also affects my confidence as a passenger. Not mentioning any names, I wish other drivers I travel with were as careful as me. My husband for example thinks I drive too slowly although the last time he said so I was driving at 30mph (correctly) approaching a dual carriageway – it did seem slow but it was the correct speed. I then felt the need to remind him that I was driving so he could drink a couple of beers after seeing the motoring film Rush…

I enjoy driving on country roads more than ever and the simple fact that if you approach a bend at the right speed, positioned for maximum visibility and in the right gear you are not risking taking your hands off the steering wheel to change gear or vehicle stability by braking mid turn and can make a suitably smooth and powered exit afterwards. That’s the sort of commonsense driving intelligence that I never thought about previously.

I am totally comfortable shuffling (ie pushing pulling) the steering wheel now whereas before I happily crossed my hands on the wheel, especially during manouevres. It makes sense that you need to be in control of your steering as much as you can be and the ten to two wheel position gives you that capability.

Of course there are many other things that I’ve learned (such as the more I practised parallel parking by the book the more rubbish I became) but perhaps one of the most practical lesson was how to use my 6 speed gearbox to better effect to save money on fuel. Just look at the revs…

On a less favourable note I don’t find my BMW I Series the ideal car for me. At 5 ft 4” and to reach the pedals I need to sit too close to the steering wheel, have to turn my head too far to see the passenger side mirror and my visibility is severely limited. Having test driven other cars recently I feel a lot more comfortable and have better visibility in other car makes and models. Having said that, a BMW may well have saved my life when I was a passenger in a bad car accident two years ago.

But when I go car shopping the next time I know that my driving comfort and all round visibility are considerations that will rate more highly in my eventual decision making then they might have done in the past. Alongside affordability, economy, practicality, safety, reliability, looks and colour of course!

About the IAM’s Skill For Life package

The IAM’s Skill For Life package costs £149 (2015) and Club members get a 10% discount. In addition to the observed driving lessons (I had about 10 x 2 hour sessions) you get a highly readable and easy to dip into handbook plus a free RAC subscription for a year. This makes it remarkable value for money.

Recently I have spotted other versions of driving courses using the phrase Skill for Life or similar. As worthy as any safety programme is, to become a better, safer and more confident driver takes more than a day so be sure to choose the IAM course. You need to commit to this and invest time to become an Advanced Driver which is why I thoroughly recommend the IAM’s Skill For Life programme.


Dacia for frugal, functional and foxy cars

IMG_0005-1To convert a savvy FOXY Lady Driver into a customer, a new car must either be better than the rest in her mind, come highly recommended by her friends or represent a really good deal. The Dacia Sandero scores particularly well on the last count as there isn’t another new supermini out there for as little as £5999 on the road.

I first saw a Dacia at Goodwood’s Moving Motors Exhibition last summer. It was a 5 seater SUV, called the oddly named Duster, for just £8995. It was going down a storm.

For those who don’t know this already, Dacia (said to rhyme with Thatcher I’m told) builds the cars in Romania, is owned by Renault and comes with the latest skills, technology and market insight you’d expect as a result of this parentage.

The car I drove was supplied by award-winning dealership Lifestyle Europe with Dacia dealerships in Brighton, Eastbourne and Tunbridge Wells. As you can see from the photograph the car already has a 2013 Best Car Award from What Car! That’s an excellent start…

And with such low prices the Dacia philosophy is clearly ‘functionality over frivolity’ with the invitation ‘You Do The Maths.’ The point they are making is that you get a lot of car for your money for starters but if you’d like to pay more for further options and accessories, you still can.

Good looks and model choices

IMG_0004-1The entry level £5995 Sandero version is called the Access and it comes in Glacier White with 15 inch steel wheels and a 1.2 16v 75 engine.

The Laureate is Dacia’s top of the range (prices from £7995 to £9795) and the Ambiance is the in-betweener (prices from £6595 to £8395) each with their own trim levels, a choice of petrol and diesel engines and accessory options.

The Sandero competes with supermini big sellers the Ford Fiesta and the VW Polo when you’d be paying nearer to £10,000.

That’s a big difference to any motoring budget even after you compare like for like in terms of options.

When it comes to looks, it’s probably fair to say that the Sandero wouldn’t stand out in a crowded car park but it’s still a perfectly good looking car as you can see.

The Laureate model I drove had the frugal TCe 90 petrol engine and came with front and rear electric windows, electric mirrors, cruise control, satellite navigation and air conditioning.

Value for money

This is where the Sandero performs best. It’s such good value. I suggest you drive the basic model for starters and see what you get… then decide what you REALLY need in terms of extras. The basic comes in a fashionable white, you get a comprehensive package of safety features and, if you like, you can save money by fitting your own car radio and audio system instead of buying more expensive branded options.

Both diesel engines are VED/tax exempt, you’ll enjoy combined fuel consumption of 74.3mpg and business drivers are taxed at 13% for Benefit In Kind (BIK).

All Dacias come with a 3 year or 60,000 mile warranty and you can pay to extend this to 7 years/100k mileage for £850. Clearly terms apply but they wouldn’t offer this unless they knew the car to be reliable (see FOXY Facts below for more detail).

Driving performance

IMG_0008I test drove the Sandero on a combination of city, rural and motorway roads in Sussex.

Yes the gear change was a tad sluggish I thought but it coped well in Brighton’s stop start city traffic and flew on the motorway when given its chance.

For the size of the car and engine, the 0-62mph time of 11 seconds is quite quick and at lower speeds, it feels even quicker.

It’s a quiet engine, the steering is light and the suspension made this a more comfortable ride than my everyday car in what I call ‘Pothole Country’ ie where I live in West Sussex.


Once you’re in it, the car seems bigger than it looks. The dashboard is smart (it had the MediaNav fitted) and there were two cupholders and handy storage trays. Ideal for five adults, it’d be a great family car with two ISOFIX child seat fittings in the back. The rear seat splits so you have even more storage space than just the ‘best in class’ 320 litre boot. Good for visits to IKEA, it’ll easily cope with the typical family supermarket shopping run and all the gear you’d need for a camping holiday. The Media Nav was easy for me to use (this is an option costing £225) including Bluetooth connectivity and having got used to parking sensors, I’d probably want these as part of the Protection Pack option adding £225 here.

Sadly, another car with poor handbag space in our quest for safe and accessible storage here. Under the seat again after I’ve dug out the money I need for the Dartford Tunnel…


When it came to test driving this car I had expected to ‘feel’ its cheapness. I quickly realised I couldn’t and neither will anyone else. I enjoyed the drive, appreciated the frugal and functional role that Dacia is filling in these tough economic times and I thoroughly recommend the Sandero as fabulous value for money for a family car.

Providing you do the maths first, pick only essential options and do without ‘nice to have’ bells and whistles, you’ll be buying a reliable new car with a Renault pedigree at a bargain price.

Steph Savill


IMG_0012Model tested: Dacia Sandero Laureate TCe 90

RRP: The entry model, the Dacia Sandero Access 1.2 16v 75 costs from £5995. The Laureate range starts from £7995 and the car I drove included a range of options including metallic paint (£495), 15 inch alloys (£425), a Protection Pack with parking sensors, carpet mats and a boot liner (£225) plus the 7 inch Media Nav touchscreen multimedia system with Bluetooth, USB and AUX connections (£250).

Buying discounts: You don’t get discounts when a car is as cheap as this one but you should expect a good trade-in if you have a low mileage car in good condition to deal over…

Fuel economy: The TCe 90 engine does 44.1mpg (Urban cycle), 65.7mpg (Extra urban cycle) and 56.5mpg (Combined cycle). The Laureate’s diesel dCi90 engine manages a combined cycle of 74.3mpg which is even more impressive.

Insurance group: The cars range from a very low insurance group 2E to a not much higher group 10E depending on the engine and spec.

Road tax/VED: The standard tax rate for the TCe 90 is £30 after a free first 12 months. The two diesel engines are both tax exempt.

Safety: Euro NCAP always tests the basic model and rates the Sandero as 3 stars overall. This overlooks the fact that this car gets 5 stars in the child protection and 4 stars for adult protection categories. Nor does it say that all models in the Sandero range come with ESC stability control, anti-lock brakes and four front airbags as standard.

Reliability: All Dacia models are thoroughly tested so they can cope in different environments and weather extremes. Not just that but Dacia has access to skills and technology from within the Renault-Nissan Alliance. So perhaps I shouldn’t have been so surprised to see that Dacia came in second in Germany’s 2010 JD Power Customer Satisfaction survey – behind Audi and ahead of BMW my goodness.

Environmental C02 rating: 116gsm.