First Stop’s 76 branches will join a list of female-friendly garages, accident repairers and car dealers when it is accepted onto the Foxy Lady Approved Tyre Services Register.
The Register identifies businesses that meet the female drivers club’s quality standards. Each member of the list has signed a Foxy Lady Promise to “never overcharge, patronise or sell women services they don’t need.” The new tyre-based register, “monitored by regular female feedback” like Foxy Lady’s other automotive industry registers, was started to build upon the club’s TyreSafe Online and Social Media Award in 2014, which recognised its work in promoting tyre safety using its Twitter and Facebook pages. The club is also a TyreSafe member.
Stuart Eagland, First Stop Retail’s business development manager, said: “The business case for getting service levels right for women is compelling. Women are increasingly independent and wealthy, buying half of all new cars and garage services. We welcome this opportunity to prove that we know how to treat women with the respect they deserve as well as offering tyre fitting services we know they really appreciate.”
Foxy Lady Drivers Club was established by director Steph Savill in 2004 after her stepdaughter was overcharged by a garage at her first solo visit. After doing her homework, Steph was horrified to learn that UK garages and mechanics don’t have to be licensed to repair cars so she developed a unique motoring service for mums and daughters so they knew who they could trust in future.
Savill said: “Too many women are intimidated by masculine garage environments and this may deter them from having their cars checked and maintained as often as they should. In the case of critical tyre safety, we have seen evidence that some women are less tyre safety conscious than men and we wanted to address this by identifying and then promoting female friendly tyre centres women could trust to not sell them anything they don’t need.”
Tyre specialists are required to meet strict criteria to be accepted on to the register, including a policy to never sell re-used tyres.
Maria Day, Foxy Lady Drivers Club area manager, said she was delighted with the partnership with First Stop: “We think it’s absolutely fantastic to have First Stop on our register to ensure women are never overcharged, patronised or sold anything they don’t need.
“The entire First Stop network is signed up to the FOXY Lady promise so women can find their closest branch and take their cars in knowing they will get the best possible service.
“It is the first entire tyre group in the UK to be signed up and to offer women drivers free safety checks across their network.”