A survey[i] of motorists by Smartdriverclub, the connected car service, has found that 1 in 4 has made the decision to delay buying their next car to help them manage their motoring costs. Other cost cutting measures include shopping around for motor insurance (63%), being more conscious of fuel use (48%) and even downsizing (16%).
With the rate of Insurance Premium Tax rising again, motoring expert Mike Brewer believes that shopping around for cheaper insurance is a wise move, but urges motorists to improve their chances of reducing premiums by making their old car clever with a simple tech upgrade.
Mike Brewer says: “If you really want to save some cash, it’s worth considering what you can do to seriously upgrade your current motor and possibly get cheaper insurance too. It starts with getting connected. If you’re not connected you’re missing out on a whole load of benefits that take the stress and cost out of running a car. Unlike the US where connected services for used cars are well established, in the UK, connected services are provided by Smartdriverclub – an innovative business launched last summer by Penny Searles who wanted to give drivers of used cars all the benefits of connectivity.
“Through a smart plug that takes less than two minutes to plug in, Smartdriverclub gives motorists a range of connected benefits including theft tracking, accident alerts, fault warnings, fuel tracking, business miles, plus the peace of mind of knowing where a family member’s car is located at any given time. At just £7.99* per month it brings older cars bang up to date and easily pays for itself in cost-savings. For example, the theft tracking alone if purchased separately could be from £300 per year and members who show they drive well could get up to 40% discount on their car insurance. ”
In addition to benefiting from smart technology, motorists can look to make simple enhancements to improve the overall look and feel of the interior and exterior of the car – and improve their driving performance.
• Buy an AUX cable so that you can listen to your own music on your smartphone through the car’s speaker system.
• Invest in wider wheel tyres for improved road-holding, turn-in precision, and braking.
• Install performance seats for greater body support for better steering and pedal control.
• Have your air-conditioning reconditioned to improve performance.
• Update your steering wheel.
• Replace floor mats – you could even have them personalised!
• Clean everything inside and out – treat yourself to a full valet
• Fix the cockpit…if you can’t read the dashboard at night, replace tired bulbs to illuminate vital monitors such as your speedometer
• Purchase a mount for your dash, center console or cupholder for your GPS-enabled phone.
• Fed up of tired paint work or simply want a change of colour – give it a new look with a custom vinyl wrap
• Get connected for as little as £7.99 with a smart plug such as SmartDriverClub to benefit from theft tracking, accident alerts, fault warnings…
Once a customer joins Smartdriverclub, as a member, they will be sent a small device – the Smartplug – which they insert in an easily accessed socket, normally underneath the steering column. They can then view all of their Smartdriverclub services via their smartphone using the free Smartdriverclub app called ‘Viewpoint’ or online via their laptop or tablet device.
Smartdriverclub comprises the following services in one package:
My Mechanic – This will alert a motorist if a car problem crops up, suggest what they can do about it and find a local dealer they can talk to. This includes TAX and MOT reminders
Crash Assistance – If the customer is in a collision and Smartdriverclub can’t reach the customer on their mobile phone, they will contact the emergency services and direct them to the location.
Stolen Car – An in-car tracker activated by the customer means that if it’s stolen, the Police should know exactly where to look.
Breakdown Help – Smartdriverclub will inform roadside assistance so they know where the customer is and have useful information about their car.
My Driving – Motorists can save money on fuel costs by seeing how efficiently their car performs on each journey with a smart driving history that helps them manage fuel use.
My Deals – Customers can save money on everything from servicing to new tyres. Just tap through the app for the latest deal from their dealership.
Value My Car – Smartdriverclub provides a valuation of the customer’s car that’s actually based on their car so that they can use this instant price for better deals and finance.
Where Did I Park? – A handy little map is provided to those that have forgotten where they parked
Business Miles – Business drivers can accurately record their business vs personal miles and download the information directly into their expense forms, confident that it is validated information for mileage claims
Club Insurance – Preferential rates for good drivers based on their driving behaviour, to ensure customers are not paying for the poor behaviour of others.
Customers sign up by calling 0333 772 0489.
* Smartdriverclub membership is available to UK residents only. There is a one-time joining fee of £25 and monthly installments of £7.99
Smartdriverclub Insurance is underwritten by Admiral Insurance and is available for vehicles registered in or after 2004. Customers should check the compatibility for their car at https://www.smartdriverclub.co.uk/join/