The Fixer: Big brother car insurance

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Dear Fixer,
I am a 20-year-old man with two years of driving experience. I have never had an accident, but insuring my Volkswagen Golf still costs more than £1,500 a year.

A friend of mine has taken out an insurance policy that means having a monitoring machine fitted to his car to check up on his driving.

He thinks it will save him about £300, which sounds good. However, I am a bit worried about having an insurance company watching my every move. It all seems a bit Big Brother to be honest!

Are these insurance policies a good way to save money? Or am I right to mistrust them?

M Upton, Leeds

Dear Mr Upton,

I understand your concerns about being watched, but the insurers offering policies of this kind - know as telematics policies - only use the technology to monitor your driving, not your whole life.

What's more, they are undoubtedly a good way for young drivers such as yourself to cut costs.

Telematics car insurance involves having a small, computerised box installed in your car to monitor your driving habits.

With the AA's telematics policy, for example, its Drivesafe box tracks your speed, braking and cornering style, the time of day you tend to drive and the types of road you travel on.

And should the data collected indicate that you are a safe driver, the AA claims that your premiums could start to fall within 60 days.

You can view the data collected on your driving online, allowing you to improve your road safety and reduce the chances of you being involved in an accident. And if your car is stolen, having a telematics box fitted should help you to track it too.

That said, you could end up paying even higher premiums if your driving style is high risk.

So if you are still unsure, why not try the new Smartphone telematics app from The Co-operative Insurance.

Available for iPhone and Android users, it rates drivers on their speed, cornering, braking, and acceleration, and the time of day they drive – enabling them to see whether telematics is the right option.

The Fixer

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