Young drivers aged between 17 and 24 who have experienced the shock of scandalously high insurance premiums when looking for coverage for their first car may find hope in the form of a small smart-box which can be fitted under their car. The smart-box will measure how they drive and allow the insurance companies to tailor the insurance premium accordingly.

The new boxes will be a godsend to many young male drivers who think that they are constantly discriminated against because of the stereotype of boy racers. The pay as you play system, which takes digital telematics from your vehicle, (sent back to the insurance company by satellite) will be able to monitor and classify the driver’s driving style, recording speed, braking and cornering. The smart box goes underneath the car – should it record any extreme G-force, sudden braking, dangerous cornering or driving for lengthy periods without stopping, then that insurance premium goes straight up.

The system has already been adopted by the AA with young drivers being charged according to how many miles they do and paying their premium in advance for 5000 miles. Once that pre-paid mileage is used up they are allowed to buy more miles but if they have driven badly the price will go up or they will not be allowed more credits. If they have been driving safely, then the price goes down.

The system, developed by a UK company, Insure-the-Box, has also been adopted by the Co-op – however their policy assesses the driver after 90 days using five different assessment categories: accelerating, braking, cornering, time spent driving and speed of driving. If you are a careful and safe driver for that first set period you will get a percentage of that first premium back. If you’re a boy racer idiot then your premium either goes up significantly or is cancelled completely. In a nice touch, the company also sends regular alerts to its drivers to let them know how they have been driving and whether they need to adjust anything.

That might seem a little excessive but for many anything will be better than the premiums of thousands of pounds that had been offered over the last few years, most famously in the case of Jake Redshaw which made all the papers when he was quoted £33000 to get insurance on his £3000 Vauxhall Corsa.

Matt is a consumer finance journalist and blogger. He enjoys writing about jazz or cricket but these days mostly writes about mortgages, life insurance quotes and  .



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