I drove into 2019 with a broken light bulb and creaky sounds coming from somewhere in my car. Not that I should be that surprised really. It’s coming to my third year of driving a second hand Fiat Punto (05 plate) that I bought for £995 off gumtree. My first car. My baby. I named her Rio. It dawned on me that it’s probably time to take Rio to the mechanics. Always a dreaded trip, like that Sunday night feeling before work, or a trip to the dentists. Except I know I’ll end up feeling small(er), stupid and ripped off!

Fast forward a few days, my sister and I were bouncing ideas for ‘New Year Resolutions’ and decided that perhaps it’s time to pick up some new practical skills that would help us become more independent. We both drive everyday so learning basics about car fixing seemed obvious. It’s pretty unheard of for women to be found under a hood of a car, but why is that? After some Google searching we found zero courses teaching car basics for anything less than £400, and more shockingly, we found there are only 200 female mechanics in the UK. That’s 0.05% of all the mechanics! We had a hunch that if there was a non-daunting, female friendly way to learn more about our four-wheeled friends, we would all be on it!

But don’t just take my word for it…

Very soon after our brainstorm session, we got on a mission to talk to as many women drivers about common car problems and their attitudes towards getting them fixed. Here are some of our findings from our 500+ conversations:

· 51% of women have faced tyre related issues in the last 6 months. The next most popular problems include Oil Change (10%), Wiper Blade Replacement (9%) and Bulb Replacement (14% – I am not alone)

· 35% of women have spent more than £100 (7% more than £500) to get these problems fixed.

· 85% of those surveyed have had an issue with their cars less than 6 months ago. 40% in less than a month!

Ok, so what does this really mean? Looking a bit deeper into this results, it is clear that minor car problems persist pretty frequently, and repair costs don’t exactly cost pennies. In fact 65% went to a mechanic and 25% asked a male partner or friend. Big up to the 15% who attempted fixing it for themselves (you’re our heroes). What’s more promising is 95% of you said you would love to learn.

We all know that the secret to getting ahead is getting started, so my sister Shriti, and I are proud to introduce MsFixx, a woman-run platform to help you learn a thing or two about cars and car care. It’s the best place to empower yourself, pick up a new skill and connect with like-minded people.

And to figure out how to do this, we’ll be your guinea pigs, get our hands dirty and learn how to fix a real life car!

I’ll keep you posted on how that goes on my next blog. Until then, we’ll keep chatting to as many of you as possible and launch our workshops!

If you have any ideas, car tips, or would like to contribute in any way, please feel free to reach out to me directly on hello@msfixx.com

“We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.”—Beyoncé

Meera Raikundalia

Co-Founder MsFixx.com

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