Why older drivers can save with black box
automatic notifications in the event of a crash,” Brown-Allan added.
Retired bank employee David Sage, 61, from Southampton, has learned surprising things about his own driving habits since taking out a telematics policy with SmartDriverClub.co.uk two years ago.
He has always considered himself a responsible driver, but telematics has provided a more detailed breakdown of his performance on the road. “I’m excellent on braking, excellent on night-time driving, but not so good on speeding. I know this from my SmartDriverClub app.”
David drives about 10,000 miles a year in his Mercedes E-Class and by showing he was a safe driver, he has cut his second-year premium by a fifth, saving around £90, and is heading for a further 5 per cent discount at his next renewal.
He said: “As a sensible driver with years of experience, I thought it made sense to have a premium that reflected this.”
The black box was easy to install: “I just plugged it in under the dash, and that was it.” Now he has to work on his tendency to drive a little fast: “If I slow down slightly I can improve my score and increase my next discount.”
He also appreciates the peace of mind that telematics gives him, in case of car theft or an accident.
“If I had an accident SmartDriverClub would know and contact me to see if I needed assistance. I think telematics also works for other older, sensible drivers,” he added.
Graham Gordon, director of global telematics at LexisNexis, said its research shows that older drivers assume telematics is only for the young, but there is a growing understanding that they can benefit, too. The cost of the technology has fallen sharply making insurance more competitive.
“This paves the way for drivers of all ages to benefit,” he said.
Coverbox Insurance associate director Martyne Miller said you have access to the telematics data, too: “You can use this to monitor and improve your own driving, reduce your insurance premiums, and maintain your independence as you get older.”
Next time your policy is coming up for renewal, it may be time to think inside the box.