As a motor trader, it takes time to build a reputation and customer base who trust in your work and will recommend you to others. It is an extremely competitive field, and there are many bad traders who spoil it for the rest by trading unscrupulously and dishonestly; in turn, making it even harder for the genuine, upstanding and reputable traders.
For women, the industry is sometimes even more of a minefield due to the male-dominated nature of it and the fact that there are traders who will try and take advantage of them for that very reason.
Education and support online to empower women
However, more and more websites aimed at supporting women drivers within the motor trade are popping up to counteract this; providing informative articles and reviews on the motoring industry, and aimed at empowering women with knowledge based on their chosen subject – be it anything from insurance or car parts.
To share and skill up
My Car Gossip was created by Charlotte Leuw after realising there were no websites out there where women could swap driving experiences, ask questions and build on their motoring knowledge; and so was born out of Charlotte’s own personal bad experience.
Made to pay for 2 new extra tyres and extra work as well, Charlotte asked her local garage why they hadn’t picked up on this during a recent MOT and found that she had been scammed into paying for unnecessary work. This prompted her to question why she knew so little about the car she drove day in, and day out – and the My Car Gossip website was born.
To find out the latest effecting women
Foxy Lady Drivers, meanwhile, contains news articles centred around issues effecting women, in a range of areas to do with motoring. On top of this, however, there is also a blog featuring light-hearted posts about the daily experiences of driving as a woman, as well as a more detailed breakdown in lay man’s (or lay woman’s as the case may be!) terms of current issues.
Like Leuw, Steph Savill started the website after having bad experiences that highlighted how some garages tried to take advantage of both men and women, due to the fact that the industry wasn’t regulated.
So the membership website was born, back in 2004, for women who were left intimidated in a male-dominated industry were emailing and calling with their motoring queries.
For good traders to promote themselves
They also enable garages to add themselves to the Foxy Choice website; a list of approved businesses that are free to access and made to sign an agreement ‘to never overcharge, patronise or sell women services that they don’t need’.
So while these websites are arming women with the knowledge to educate women so that they can identify rogue motor traders, they are also helping to positively promote responsible motor traders who do great work – whether they are dealers, motor trade insurance providers, garages or any other type of motoring business.
The future of a more female-friendly motor trade industry
Therefore, they are a positive addition to the landscape of motor trading, and as women’s motoring in particular has become such a valuable part of the market, there are likely to be more similar resources appearing in the future aimed at looking after them.
So for motor traders, their aim should be to either become or continue to be more female-friendly, looking after their female customers, as they make up a large and very profitable portion of the driving industry, and so both attracting and retaining their business is a very important thing for all motor trades.August 12, 2014