Garage technician Vicky Kempton was in the right place at the right time when it came to the IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry) looking for a female mechanic to star in their series of car maintenance films, alongside BBC Formula 1 presenter Suzi Perry.
Not only is Vicky listed on the IMI Professional Register as a qualified technician who keeps her skills up to date but her employer, Roy Chapman in Berkhamsted, is also a FOXY Lady Approved garage and runs Ladies Evenings to help local women learn about the importance of DIY car maintenance in between MOT’s and regular car servicing visits.
This confirmed their ideal candidate choice, so the IMI asked Vicky to help create some video tips to show women how to look after their cars and give them more confidence when dealing with garages.
The IMI did this following research revealing that nearly half of women drivers do not get their cars serviced because they are not comfortable dealing with mechanics.
This is a genuine concern because, even if a car is nearly new, female motorists might fail to spot the safety implications of excessive tyre wear or an empty screen washer bottle as well as the looming bills to do with any oil neglect.
The ‘on set’ filming experience
Vicky spent a day on set being interviewed by Suzi Perry and demonstrating the best ways to care for a car and how to save money into the bargain.
Vicky explains “I’m helping to spread the word to more women that doing basic checks yourself and getting your car serviced regularly saves you money in the long run, your car is worth more when they sell it and it helps avoid stressful breakdowns.”
Mum of one Vicky was nervous at first, but once filming was underway she had a great time. “It was brilliant being interviewed by Suzi, she was very down to earth and generous. The following week she was in the USA chatting to Lewis Hamilton on TV ahead of the race, so she was probably glad to practise on me” said Vicky.
The impact of the IMI campaign and video tips
Roy Chapman’s were delighted to see Vicky take part in IMI’s campaign to encourage more women drivers to care for their cars.
Jeremy Chapman said “It’s a very important campaign. Many women drivers are put off by the macho image of the typical garage so we’ve been working for years to break this barrier down with our Ladies Nights as well as employing women in technical and customer service roles. When you think about it, it’s just basic customer service, half our customers are ladies and if they don’t like our service they won’t come back, so we make it our business to make sure they’re happy.”
Well done Vicki and thank you Suzy for adding your considerable celebrity reach to get this important message out to the many women drivers who worry so much about their garage dealings. This is all grist to the FOXY mill and needs to be a part of the female toolkit, empowering us all to take better control of the safety, cost and environmental implications when our car is well maintained and regularly serviced.