Ongoing surveys confirm that few females enjoy visiting garages. And yet women are increasingly the influencing gender when it comes to shopping for cars and garage services like MOTs, car servicing, mechanical and accident repairs.
To address this perception gap FOXY Lady Drivers Club has developed a unique female friendly approved garage standard, designed to raise quality levels for female and male motorists alike. This makes it easier for women to identify and support their local ‘female choice’ at garage time.
In an unregulated industry where car safety can be compromised, I couldn’t sleep at night if I had introduced any motorist to a business that hadn’t invested in being better than the rest, for fear of them being ripped off or worse.
FOXY standards require all approved garages to sign the FOXY Lady Promise to ‘never overcharge, patronise or sell women services they don’t need’.
They also 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 discipline.
Finally they need to demonstrate female feedback to confirm that they are getting service levels right for women in terms of value for money, cleanliness and customer service. When this feedback is supplied online, their female customers can claim a free membership of FOXY Lady Drivers Club, otherwise sold at £24, as a gift from the approved business.
Female Friendly Garage Choices
Regardless of the size or type of the garage, from plush dealerships to backstreet one man bands, women deserve a safe and female friendly local choice depending on their car, budget and expectations.
We all know that MOTs are regulated by the government and take a snapshot of our car’s safety on the day of the test. But few of us realise that car servicing or repair standards aren’t regulated. Or that regular car maintenance and servicing mean a more reliable and environmentally-friendly car. By postponing car servicing, as so many motorists do for fear of being ripped off, we can end up losing out in terms of breakdown time, poor car resale values and high remedial repair bills.
Certainly if you prefer to go to a car dealership you’ll pay more for labour but you should expect to for superior facilities, manufacturer approved technicians and the knowledge that there’s a process for car servicing and repair complaints.
Whereas if you choose a cheaper garage you should still be able to rely on a mechanic who is licensed to do their job. using the latest diagnostic equipment. Sadly this isn’t the case in instances where the garage owner took his City & Guilds exam in his teens/early 20s, hasn’t been trained or accredited since and makes do with familiar diagnostic equipment that might be out of date.
As I see it, knowing that today’s cars are interconnected centres of technology, with batteries playing an ever increasing and specialist role here, you need to know that the person working on your car is fully licensed to do the job correctly.
Sadly the garage industry isn’t always as good at cleanliness as it needs to be but some are showing the rest how this can be achieved and influencing standards elsewhere. I remember complaining because a mechanic’s overalls were more than grubby when I visited, to be told “what did I expect, it’s a garage.” I’m delighted to say that this attitude is changing and where it hasn’t, it’s unlikely to be a FOXY Lady Approved garage.
I also sense a different environment when a woman is in charge, front of house. We definitely need more of them taking this on in this industry. Whilst men are in the majority in workshop roles, let that environment be designed ergonomically by them but front of house customer services, facilities and websites should be designed by and for women because we are the majority gender buying garage services and influencing where our family cars go.”
Clearly there’s still a long way to go in an industry better known for tales of woe than quality but if women choose a FOXY Lady Approved ie female friendly garage in 2019 they can at least be sure that FOXY has vetted and approved that business with fussy females in mind.