10 out of 10 for telematics

If your car were stolen, would you expect to get it back in one piece? Would you expect it to have been driven with care and consideration, or red-lined to within an inch of its life by wide-eyed joy riders?
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Most of us would probably prepare for the worst. We’d assume we’d never see our car again, or if we did it’d be looking worse for wear. But a young driver from Greater Manchester certainly got a surprise when police returned his stolen car.

Boxing clever

Alex Cooper, a 17-year-old driver from Oldham, had his Vauxhall Corsa stolen from outside where he works. Thankfully, police were able to recover his car in a matter of hours thanks to the telematics device fitted by Carrot, a telematics insurance provider. Telematics technology is an increasingly popular way to cut the cost of car insurance for young drivers – not only does it enable insurers to adjust what they charge according to actual driver behaviour, it also works as a tracking device so any vehicle fitted with a black box can be quickly located if it’s stolen. As a newly-qualified driver in a fairly lively car, Alex has been relying on telematics to keep a lid on his premiums. And it turns out the thief has done him a favour. Alex has been bringing in driving scores around the 7.5 out of 10 mark. But the thief actually scored a perfect 10 – something only the safest and most considerate drivers achieve. And if you want to get an idea of how difficult it is to hit a perfect 10, watch the video below to see how I got on when putting telematics to the test… Will telematics change my driving style - V1

How telematics technology can help young drivers

If you’re new to telematics, here’s a quick re-cap on how the technology works. When you take out a telematics policy your car is fitted with a small device that relays information on your speed, smoothness and control back to your insurer who then calculates a unique driver score for every journey (some policies use an app downloaded to your phone). Regularly achieving high scores will trigger a reduction in the price of your policy and, in the case of insurers such as Carrot, you can even earn quarterly cashback rewards for good driving.

Cash bonus

Sportingly, Carrot has agreed to honour the thief’s good driving score, meaning Alex has two reasons to be grateful for his telematics policy: his car was found speedily, and he’s in line for a drop in policy price and a cash bonus within the next few months. Commenting on the theft Alex said: ““My heart sank, I didn’t know what to do. It was an instant relief when I found out that the telematics device had picked up the car’s location – it was like a huge weight had been lifted.  With the help of the police we had it back within three hours.” Alex’s mum said: “It’s very impressive that the thief drove Alex’s car so well. Perhaps Alex could learn a thing or two! Well done to them for driving up the score.” Ah, you can always rely on your mum, can’t you?
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