We’ll start off by getting the bad news out of the way first: if you’re a young motorist, you’re going to have to pay more for your car insurance.
Sorry, we tried to soften the blow as much as we could, but, unfortunately, that’s just the way it is; the cost of coverage for drivers aged under 25 is higher than any other age group in the UK.
It mightn’t seem all that fair, but unfortunately it’s a fact that younger drivers are statistically the most risky on the road, which regrettably means that the average cost of a year’s insurance for a 17-year old driver is an eye-watering £2,232. Stings, don’t it?
As well as teaching us the importance of being earnest, Oscar Wilde once said that “experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing”. You might be able to bum a cigarette or even get advice from a cracking automotive website (hint hint) for free, but experience doesn’t come cheap. Literally.
Unfortunately, experience seems to be the main thing that insurers measure your quote on. But then again, why should it be? Why should thousands of good motorists pay out the nose on behalf of a few bad apples who drive costs skyward?
Enter the good folks at Vauxhall, who, from this week onwards, are offering an exclusive deal for drivers who choose to get a new ADAM on lease or on finance.
As it turns out, Oscar Wilde isn’t the only one with good quotes; as well as offering competitive pricing for the ADAM, Vauxhall are also throwing in a whole year’s worth of insurance as part of the bargain.
For drivers aged 17-20, a whole year’s insurance will cost only £99, while if you’re aged 21 or over, your insurance will be absolutely free!
Sounds too good to be true? Fear not, because it isn’t. The only catch, if you could call it a catch, is that you’ll have to agree to have a so-called “black box” telematics device fitted to your car.
Black box insurance has been becoming more and more popular in the UK in the past few years, and could be just the answer you’ve been looking for if you’re a young driver on the hunt for lower premiums.
But what exactly is black box insurance, what’s all the fuss about and is it really that much better compared to other, more traditional, insurance options? To help clear things up, we’ve put together a quick list of just some of the benefits you could get by making the switch.
1. It’s cheaper
Using a device which records your driving information, black box insurance is sometimes referred to as ‘pay-as-you-go’ insurance, offering drivers a premium that’s based on their actual driving style, rather than on statistics.
If you’re a good driver and play by the rules, you can save a whole load of money, which otherwise might go on hefty premiums that are calculated by national averages and statistics.
2. And it’s simple to use
So how does it all work, exactly? Well, the black box telematics device is around the same size as your phone, and will be sent to you by your insurer through the post.
It works by simply plugging into the diagnostics port in your car and monitors all the information associated with your driving. Clear instructions will be supplied with it, meaning that you should be able to fit it yourself, though you can always contact your local servicepeople if you’re not sure.
Once fitted, the box will be able to tell how fast you drive, where you go and for how long, and can even tell how hard you cane it into the corners.
Using this information, it then calculates your premium based on your driving style. Riskier drivers get higher premiums, but good drivers are rewarded with savings. Easy, right?
3. You can check it as you go
Once the device is plugged into your car, you can then go back and make regular checks to monitor how you’re doing, sort of like how you can check the readings on your electric meter.
You can see all the information that the box has on you via a secure website which your insurer will give you access to, in order to track how your driving is doing and to find out if you need to adjust your skills to reduce your premium.
4. Premiums will change monthly
Insurance policies based on black box information are reviewed on a monthly basis, so you can adjust them regularly and drivers who work to improve their driving style will be quickly rewarded.
That means that even if you get off to a bit of a shaky start, you can always reduce your premium next month by shaping up your driving skills; it’s a vastly more flexible style of insurance than traditional payments.
As well as that, you can also limit the amount of driving you do, particularly at night or at peak times to reduce your price. The less you drive, the less you’ll end up paying.
5. Other people benefit too
It’s estimated that as many as five people die on the roads in Britain every single day, with around £18 billion in costs attributed to accidents annually.
By opting for black box insurance, you’re not just decreasing the amount that you pay yourself, but you’ll have a knock-on effect on society as a whole. Telematics insurance actively encourages drivers to behave more carefully on the roads, reducing accidents and potentially saving lives.
6. Insurers know where you’re going
Don’t let the tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists get you down; it’s highly unlikely that insurers or anybody else will be using your location information for any nefarious schemes.
That said, black box devices will still monitor your GPS position so that they can estimate how far you travel and whether you prefer to use main roads or statistically more dangerous B-roads, etc.
An upswing of this, however, is that your black box can also be used to locate you in an accident or to track a vehicle which has been stolen. Some can even remotely switch off the ignition so thieves can’t nick it!
7. Claims are made easier
In the event of an accident or collision with another driver, the information from black boxes can also be extremely useful when it comes the time to make a claim.
Rather than simply relying on witness testimony, the black box can prove which driver was the guilty party in the event of a smash, and can show whether a car was speeding or driving dangerously prior to the incident.
9. Getting quotes are a breeze, too
Plenty of insurers are now turning to black box insurance for young drivers, so it can help to shop around beforehand to get the best deal for you.
Vauxhall’s offer is pretty attractive if you ask us, but if an ADAM isn’t the car for you, it’s just as easy to quickly search the web and find out whether black box insurance will be something that benefits you.
10. You can even make some pretty awesome art
Well, this guy did anyway. A fun side-effect of the GPS system in your black box means that you can create what are known as GPS drawings.
You can actually download apps which uses the data from your telematics box in order to display the routes that you take every day, or to create some unique artwork on a truly epic scale. You won’t get that with traditional insurance!
We always love a chat, so if you’re interested in Vauxhall’s special ADAM offer, why not get in touch with a Perrys Vauxhall dealership near you, to see how you could benefit from a year’s worth of free insurance?
Likewise, for more information on any Vauxhall or anything in our extensive range of new and used cars, either check out our website or drop us a line today!