Survey after survey tells us that few females enjoy car shopping because they expect to be ripped off or ignored. Even Citroen CEO Linda Jackson has experienced sexism in car showrooms she tells us. As a result many women think they have to take a man with them to negotiate a price. When all that happens is that the men talk together, over her head, despite this being her car and her money…
Women are known to buy 50% of new cars in their own right and are also the gender influencing 90% of all car sales when family cars are taken into account. So they deserve better and the industry needs to realise that treating men and women the same, when women aren’t happy as is, doesn’t make business sense.
To address this gap FOXY Lady Drivers Club has developed a unique female friendly approved (new and used) car dealer standard, designed to raise the bar for female and male motorists in the process. This makes it easier for women to see their local ‘female choice’ at car shopping time.
FOXY Lady Drivers Club Founder Steph Savill explains “New car buyers have The Motor Ombudsman service to go to when things go wrong but it’s the unregulated used car industry I worry about more. I couldn’t sleep at night if I introduced women to car dealers that aren’t measurably better than the rest, for fear of them being ripped off or worse.”
FOXY Lady Approved standards require all listed car dealers to sign the FOXY Lady Promise to ‘never overcharge, patronise or sell women services they don’t need.’
These dealers then need to operate to one of the highest measurable automotive standards in the trade, including a Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) approved code of practice or the IMI Professional Register in a relevant car sales category.
Finally they need to provide regular feedback to confirm that they are getting service levels right for women. When this feedback is supplied online, their female customers can claim a free membership of FOXY Lady Drivers Club, worth £24, as a gift from the approved business.
Most importantly, as a result of this feedback the dealer can remain on the female friendly approved network, meaning that women know they don’t need to take a man with them to buy a car.
Female friendly car dealer choices
Car dealers come in all shapes and sizes from the plush franchised car dealerships, vast car supermarkets, large & independent used car showrooms and smaller ones, displaying cars on fuel station forecourts perhaps.
Whatever the budget or car requirements, all motorists should be able to buy a car knowing where it’s been, that it is free of financial commitment, how well it’s been well looked after and what their comeback is in law should things go wrong after sale.
An indictment of the used car industry is that too many used car dealers, even ones sporting affiliations with well known motoring brand names, fob motorists off with worthless warranties that are less than their rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
“It’s all too easy to polish up a car that’s mysteriously lost its servicing history; especially when the car dealer knows full well there never was one. No wonder so many cars disappoint so predictably on reliability grounds. Fortunately we can at least see the car’s MOT history online which can shine some light on previous car care levels.
“FOXY identifies and approves car dealers that sell cars transparently – carrying out the equivalent of a HPI finance check, including a minimum 6 month MOT and a minimum 6 month warranty from a Chartered Trading Standards Industry (CTSI) approved provider.
“Too many women are too trusting when it comes to buying a car and too many car salesmen try to exploit naivete here. On the other hand, more and more females are mechanically minded and often highly knowledgeable about engines – they don’t take kindly to being patronised here.
“I want to see more women selling cars in dealerships, understanding what other women need and knowing that 100% honesty will always be the best sales policy. I want to see more dealers commit to haggle free prices so we all know what’s really on offer within our budget. And I want more women drivers to feel comfortable taking a test drive – either from their home and on familiar roads or in the company of a sociable female member of staffdesigned to put them at ease.
“No woman should ever feel the need to take a man with her when she goes car shopping and this is why female feedback is so important to us in these areas.”
Clearly there’s still a long way to go in an industry that’s more famous for complaints than customer service but if women choose a FOXY Lady Approved ie female friendly dealer they can at least be sure that FOXY will help them sort out any problems. Which is a rare occurrence when a dealer carries our logo stresses Steph.