So, free stuff for being a good driver - it's just a dream, right?
Well, not anymore. Soon you could be grabbing your morning caffeine hit, immersing yourself in the latest blockbuster or chowing down on your favourite grub completely free of charge. But that’s not all, you could also get discount on your insurance premium too!
And what do you need to do in return for these lovely goodies? Nothing more than you should already be doing to be honest, showing off your great driving skills. Romex, an app development company have created an app, called MyFix that monitors your driving to see how good you are. And if you’re good for a certain amount of time, they plan to partner with people who’ll offer you rewards, like the ones we’ve just mentioned. We all love freebies, so getting the app just for that would seem like a good idea.
But that’s not the main aim, or benefit, of this new app – it’s just a nice little perk. The real aim, according to Romex spokesman, Steve Arscott, is to save lives. The app does this by using the GPS system on your phones to monitor when your car is moving at a speed over 4mph. When you do, the screen on your phone will be disabled and you won’t be able to make or receive calls, texts or anything else that can distract you while you’re driving. Thus you are made into a safer driver, and a legal one too. After all, driving while using your mobile is illegal in this country, and has been since Dec 2003. For good reason too.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, driving while using your mobile makes you less aware of your surroundings, which is pretty obvious when you think about it, as you can’t be looking at the road and your mobile at the same time. But it also makes you less likely to see road signs, keep in the correct lane and maintain a steady speed, and more likely to tailgate the vehicle in front, enter unsafe gaps in traffic and have slower reaction times. All of which are obviously dangerous and anything that helps you stop doing them can only be a good thing!
There are some other perks of having the app though. A side-effect of having less distraction should be an improvement in your driving skill, making you safer on the road. And being a safer driver should mean you get a discount on your insurance too. Romex think the same and are in talks with insurance companies who might be interested in giving a discount for consistent safer driving. Great, more good news!
But, by their own admission, the app is targeted at young drivers, those who are tempted by the promise of a freebie coffee, or night at the cinema, and who are the most likely uses of their mobile when driving too. But what about those of you have the willpower not to check your phone while driving and would just like to get the insurance discount?
Well, there are several apps already available that allow you to earn discounts off your insurance for displaying safer driving. Here are some of those on offer right now:
Tesco - Our every-little-helps supermarket has their own Tesco Drive + Reward app, which is free and could help you get up to 20% off your car insurance. Once downloaded you need to clock up 250 miles. After each journey you’ll be given feedback on your driving skill and if it’s good enough you can unlock rewards and a discount on your insurance.
Axa – their Drivology app monitors and gives feedback for every journey you make. At the end of three months, your premium will be recalculated based on the results, so could go up as well as down. You can continue this process for as long as you like, the safer you drive, the less money you’ll pay.
Direct Line Drive Plus – this app, which is used alongside a plug-in, will assess things like your accelerating, braking and cornering skills. You can see how well you’re driving using their Drive Plus Portal. Drives aged between 21-26 can get automatic discounts on their insurance just for agreeing to use the device.
Aviva – have a little app that gives you a score on your driving skill when you’ve done 200 miles. The Good Thinking drive challenge will score you between 1-10, and drivers with a score of over 7.1 could get a discount of approximately £150 off their premium.
LV – this is a plug-in and app combined offering, much like the one from Direct Line. Install LV =Driving and start clocking up the miles. You’ll need to gather 200 miles, over 10 or more journeys, to be in line for a discount. You’ll also get £10 off your insurance quote if you agree to using the app.
It may not seem like a lot, but you never know, a reduction in your car insurance premium could free up just enough cash each month to afford the payments on that new motor you’ve had your eye on.