Sunday, 10 January 2010

The Girls' Car Handbook

Maria McCarthy

Published 20th August 2009 by Simon and Schuster price £7.99

Fresh, lively and informative, The Girls' Car Handbook is an essential read for every woman who loves her car but hates the hassles that can come with it – such as delving under the bonnet, dealing with dodgy garages or sorting out car insurance.
Packed with advice from experts including Steve Fowler, editor of What Car? Vanessa Guyll, technical expert at The AA and top breakdown patrolman Adam Ashmore, it will help women:

Haggle with dealers in car showrooms and come out on top.
Find a garage they can trust.
Motor through the credit-crunch, getting the best deal on everything from fuel to insurance.
Cope with driving disasters such as breakdowns and accidents.
Get up to speed on the various options for greener motoring, without feeling as though they've accidentally wandered into an A-level chemistry lecture.
Stay sane on the school run.

Until now motoring handbooks aimed at women have fallen into two categories. The frivolous gift-book variety, full of tips about how to top up your lipstick at traffic lights or the more feisty 'girls' can be grease monkeys too' approach which urges us to don overalls and change our own sparkplugs. And then in motoring programmes such as Top Gear 'the women's angle' is usually dealt with by wheeling on a female racing driver to show that girls can burn rubber with the best of them. But the fact is that most women aren't remotely interested in how their car's sprockets work or racing teenage boys at traffic lights. What they want are clear guidelines for carrying out basic maintenance checks, tried-and-tested tips to spot a dishonest mechanic or car dealer, and advice about staying safe on the road. The Girls' Car Handbook delivers on all these fronts, cutting through the jargon of the often male-dominated world of motoring and explaining everything a girl could possibly need to know in a clear, practical, and entertaining way.

About the author
Maria McCarthy is a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers and has contributed to Cosmopolitan, The Independent, The Guardian, The Sunday Express and MSN Cars. She's also a popular media commentator on motoring matters and has appeared on BBC Breakfast News and Radio 5 Live. She is the author of The Girls' Guide to Losing Your L Plates: How to Pass Your Driving Test and teaches freelance journalism at Bristol University. For more information see

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