The ECJ gender directive, which banned insurers from using gender as a factor when calculating car insurance costs, came into effect at the end of December last year and saw some significant shifts in premium prices for both men and women. But, when it comes down to it, are male and female motorists really all created equal? This summer the MoneySuperMarket car park was turned into a battle ground so we could find out. The men and women of the UK’s number one comparison site went head-to-head to find out who was number one when it came to all things car related. We devised a number of tasks that would take into account car maintenance, fuel economy and driving ability. So were the men really kings of the road or did the women prove to be goddesses of the highway?
Round 1 – Tyre change challenge
Our first task was the ‘Tyre change challenge’ where we pitted editor-in-chief, Clare Francis, against head of publishing, Dan Bolger to see who could change a tyre quickest on the same car. And here’s what happened… So, in true tortoise and hare style, slow and steady won the race and the women took a one-nil lead.
Round 2 – Dipstick challenge
Next up was a simple car maintenance challenge to find out who looked after their engines best by not letting the oil run dry – and so six volunteers took on the Dipstick Challenge. Did the men level the series? Or did the women take a two-point lead? Let’s take a look… Just as round two looked destined to end in a draw, a shock empty oil tank gave the women the win and put them into a two-nil lead.
Round 3 – Junk in the Trunk
Keeping unnecessary items in your car can have a negative effect on your car’s fuel efficiency as, on average, every extra 25kg of weight increases fuel consumption by around 1% - so for round three we decided to check out who had the most junk in their trunk, the men or the women. Did the ladies take an insurmountable 3-0 lead – or did the men begin their long awaited fight-back? Most of the women seem to use their boot space as extra storage, while the men’s (by and large) empty boots meant their cars were the more fuel efficient. A point back for the fellas and the series is looking more balanced at 2-1 to the ladies.
Round 4 – Parallel parking
Who is better at parking a car – men or women? It’s a debate that’s raged on for almost as long as people have been behind the wheel, so the penultimate round of our battle of the sexes series set out to find the answer - and here’s what happened… The form book flew out of the window and the ladies easily won round four, giving them a 3-1 lead and the series win – but could the men knock out the dent in their pride by winning the final round?
Round 5 – Driving test
Almost a third (29%) of new drivers say they cannot drive alone after passing their driving test according to new figures from Co-operative insurance; something that has led to calls for a minimum learning period and a more rigorous test. So for the final round we took six motorists with a combined total of 81 years’ driving experience between them and, with help from RED Driving school, put them through their practical test all over again. And here’s how the final round panned out… So there you have it, the MoneySuperMarket battle of the sexes has once and for all settled the age old argument over who makes the better motorist – and it doesn’t make good reading for the men who were on the receiving end of a 4-1 hammering. It seems men and women motorists really aren’t created equal – no matter what the ECJ try to tell us!