Would you let Big Brother watch you drive?

Hi Skint pals,

Hope you all had a great weekend. I’ve been driving myself slightly distracted checking out car insurance this weekend – yep, life just gets more and more glamorous. You see, following the theft of our jalopy I already know that the premium is going to shoot way up next year; having a car nicked from outside your front door just does that, I believe. So I’ve been looking into ways to keep costs a little lower, else even a jalopy might be out of reach come next year.

And this weekend I discovered the black box, or to give it its Sunday name, the telematics box,  a little device that insurance companies instal behind your dashboard to monitor how you drive. cut car insurance costs

Would you let them? No chance? Not even if it slashed your premiums by 200%? Hmm, gets trickier now, doesn’t it?

Once this beady eye is fitted in your car, insurers can monitor how you drive, what time of day, the routes you take etc and recalculate your risk of having an accident based on this more sophisticated information, rather than just the initial info you give when you ring up for a quote. So, if you’re in a high risk group but drive in a low risk way you could see your premium come right down.  

These boxes, Big Brother though they might be, are getting popular with new drivers who frequently face premiums the size of their salary. One user I saw quoted this weekend allegedly reduced his quote from £20,000 to £1000 a year (still super-steep), if he agreed to install the box. Well, given that reduction, who wouldn’t?

 One thing I really like – taking data from the box lets insurers recalculate your premium more often, so you’re not left for a whole year with the same premium. If you’ve been a good boy or girl your cost goes down – if not, go figure. Yup, insurers can put your premium up too if they see that you’re a worse driver than they thought you would be . . .

Though with one of those things in the car you’d be on your best behaviour, wouldn’t you? If you know you’re being watched you’re less likely to drive no-hands while lighting up a fag and shaking your booty to the Bee Gees as you do eighty in the fast lane. (Whaddya mean you never have?) 

So, is the black box the future, or way too big brother for you?  Would you take a gamble on telematics if it meant way cheaper car insurance costs? I think I might – I’d definitely like to compare my quotes with and without to see just how much I could save. And if I’d had a black box installed in the jalopy that pesky thief would be getting tracked right now; another point in favour.  

Would you do it? Have you already? Ordo you prefer to keep your car as your own personal hidey hole, free from prying eyes?


About Skint in the City

Skint in the City provides stylish, practical tips and advice on how to live the high life on a shoestring budget.

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