Motor insurance policies look set to get a little cheaper, at least for people who are happy for their insurer to keep an eye on they’re driving.

Motor insurance policies look set to get a little cheaper, at least for people who are happy for their insurer to keep an eye on they’re driving.

Both the AA and Motaquote are offering discounted premiums for drivers prepared to fit a tracking device in their vehicles that monitors their driving habits — the idea being that if the recorded data backs up the policy holder’s claim of being a ‘safe driver’, they won’t be asked to foot the bill for claims made by people who aren’t.

The AA’s system — due to be formally announced later this week — uses a small box fitted to the car that records speed, braking severity, cornering and the types of roads used (presumably using GPS tracking) on each journey. This information is then transmitted to the insurer.

According to a report by BBC News, policyholders online can also access the data, where information on overall performance is provided, along with warnings about premium increases based on their driving.

AA spokesperson Ian Crowder told the BBC: “The point is that these sorts of devices firmly put in the hands of the driver a responsibility for driving safely. All the anecdotal evidence suggests that people who have installed the system have about a 30% better claims experience — in other words, less crashes — than those who don’t.”

Motoquote’s similar system has been launched in partnership with TomTom. It uses a specially developed TomTom PRO 3100 satellite navigation device, which includes Active Driver Feedback and LIVE Services.

Once installed, policyholders can be alerted to driving events, such as harsh cornering and sharp breaking, and benefit from accurate traffic information updated every two minutes

Drivers will also have a ‘LINK’ tracking unit fitted in their vehicles, allowing driver behaviour and habits to be monitored.

As with the AA system, this information can then be viewed by the policyholder in an online driver dashboard that details journey and driver behaviour data, and provides regular email bulletins.

Nigel Lombard, Managing Director of underwriters Fair Pay Insurance, said: “This is unlike some other telematics-based schemes where you may have to prove your ability over a number of months.”

“So if you think of your insurance as your car's MPG — the better you drive, the longer your fuel will last,” he added. “It's the same with Fair Pay Insurance, good drivers get more for their money and in that sense they will pay ultimately less.”

Such schemes are most likely to be of benefit to young drivers, who are currently forced to pay enormous premiums even for small cars, based on their statistical likelihood of making a claim.

With other insurers reportedly testing similar systems though, there could well be a shift from premiums based on driver safety rather than such things as age, gender and type of car.

There are obvious concerns about what other data, besides basic telemetry, that such monitoring systems might record — and whether or not safe drivers who choose not to use them will be unfairly penalised.

[AA | Fair Pay Insurance]

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo 250d Sport Long review – 1 - The Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo 250d Sport Long is priced from £56,670 OTR, £63,990 as tested (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Chausson Welcome 711 Travel Line review – 1 - The new Chausson 711 is being sold in Welcome Travel Line spec only (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Swift Rio 325


The Practical Motorhome Swift Rio 325 review – 1 - The 2018 Swift Rio 325 is just 5.99m long and has a licence-friendly MTPLM of 3500kg (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome IH N-Class 630 RLS review – 1 - The IH N-Class 630 RLS is priced from £73,995 OTR for the 130bhp variant and from £76,490 OTR for the 180bhp version – we're testing the latter (© Gentleman Jack/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Marquis Majestic 196 review – 1 - Fitting six berths and six travel seats into a 3500kg motorhome is no mean feat – does it work? (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Swift Bessacarr 597 review – 1 - The ’van tested has an MTPLM of 3850kg, but there is a version with a 3500kg MTPLM (and a lower payload) – read more in our Swift Bessacarr 597 review (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)