FOXY's Good Garage Guide for women drivers
Copyright ©2008 by Stephanie Savill, Founder of FOXY Lady Drivers Club
In the UK's unregulated garage industry where mechanics don't have to be qualified to repair our cars, busy women want to know who are the best UK garages, fastfits and dealerships based on the measurable quality of their work, their value for money and female friendly customer service.
By combining the information in this Good Garage Guide and the FOXY Choice website women drivers can now choose one of the best garages, fastfits or dealerships in their area based on their qualifications, customer services, amenities and commitment to female friendly standards.
Read FOXY's Good Garage Guide to find out about ...
- Franchised/main dealers
- Independent garages
- Fastfit garages
- Mobile Mechanics
- Accident repair bodyshops
- Plan ahead
- Car maintenance
- Vehicle health checks
- Car servicing
- Mechanical car repairs
- Accident and bodywork repairs
Returning home for Christmas in 2001, Steph Savill's stepdaughter proudly presented her father with her first garage bill. Within minutes he showed them both that much of the work she'd paid for hadn't been done and, more worryingly, that her car wasn't roadworthy. Steph called the garage owner the next day - he denied all responsibility, refused to discuss a solution and has yet to reply to her letter.
Speaking to Trading Standards afterwards, Steph asked where the good and not so good garages were, known from their regular mystery shopping exercises. They couldn't tell her 'for legal reasons'.
Digging deeper, Steph discovered that...
- UK garages don't have to be licensed;
- Mechanics don't have to be qualified...unlike gas fitters or electrical engineers;
- Women were more likely than men to be overcharged and to feel patronised;
- The government's own mystery shopping exercises consistently found that nearly half of all UK garages failed to do a good enough job, leaving some cars in a dangerous state;
- Known problems (with servicing and repairs) cost motorists an estimated £4 billion each year; the equivalent of some £150 for each and every UK driver.
Discussing this with family, friends and work colleagues she soon realised that it wasn't just women who felt uncomfortable in many garages - men shared the same concerns about the quality of the garage work and the value for money. Garages were not seen to be welcoming places for either gender.
The combination of so many poor garages and typically 'spasmodic' DIY car maintenance meant that many cars on British roads were probably less safe, less reliable and less green than they should be. They would also end up costing the motorist more to run and repair...
In addition, many motorists were postponing buying new cars or getting their car serviced to save money. Some were shopping around for the cheapest MOT, car servicing or essential repair offers regardless of where they ended up.
These are some of the reasons why Steph Savill decided to set up FOXY Lady Drivers Club in 2004 and has recently written this independent Garage Guide and developed the new FOXY Choice www.foxychoice.com website in 2008.
She wants all motorists - male and female, young and old, disinterested DIYers and the mechanically gormless alike - to know what the main signs of quality are and how they can find one of the many professional and value-for-money garages and dealerships across the UK to suit their motoring needs.
If you choose a business listed by FOXY Choice www.foxychoice.com in future they will have signed the FOXY Promise stating "We strive to be a female friendly business and will never knowingly overcharge, patronise or sell our customers services they do not need or want."
If any listed business subsequently disappoints, FOXY will record and monitor the resolution of a complaint, reserving the ultimate right to suspend or de-list a business, depending on the severity of an allegation or a 'couldn't care less' attitude towards customer concerns. You can also choose a business with a named Female Business Ambassador© to talk to if need be.