Artificial Intelligence

Plug-in tech upgrade helps Gran drive safer and smarter

31st July 2017
Alice Matthews

One in four motorists has made the decision to delay buying their next car to help them manage their motoring costs, according to a survey carried out by Smartdriverclub, the UK’s first connected car service. Other cost cutting measures include shopping around for motor insurance (63%), being more conscious of fuel use (48%) and even downsizing (16%).

The latest DVLA figures show more than 4.5 million of the 39 million people holding valid driving licences are aged over 70 with Hampshire cited as one of the top three areas with the highest number of drivers between 80 and 89. One motorist from Southampton has taken matters into her own hands by becoming a member of Smartdriverclub – not only to make her motoring more cost-effective but safer too.

Kitty Searles, a Grandmother, 72 from Southampton, has a 2015 Toyota Auris VVT-I Business Edition which she has owned since April 2017.

Kitty said: “Like many grandmothers, I am often ferrying my grandchildren around which I love. I couldn’t do without my car so when my daughter told me how I could get discounted insurance for driving safely plus additional benefits such as crash assistance and alerts to mechanical problems I was sceptical at first but agreed to give it a go. And I’m glad I did!”

Along with insurance, Smartdriverclub offers in-car connectivity to customers with benefits such as crash assistance, fuel tracking, MOT and Tax Reminders, alerts to mechanical issues as well as theft tracking. All the services are enabled though a matchbox sized smart plug device which slots into a socket under the dashboard and feeds data to Smartdriverclub. Once in place the customer can view all of the services via an App on their smartphone.

Kitty continues: “Given the amount of time I spend in the car with my grandchildren, safety is paramount to me, which is why I think crash assistance is such a useful feature. I hope I never have to use it, but it gives me and my family peace of mind to know that if I was involved in an accident, Smartdriverclub would try to reach me and inform the emergency services. The app has lots of great features, I really like how it measures my speed and driving style as well as notifying me before my MOT and Tax is due. I noticed on the app that I was driving slightly above the speed limit, and after making a conscious effort to slow down, Smartdriverclub has rewarded my safe driving by reducing my premium by 24%.” Smartdriverclub was launched by Kitty’s daughter, local business woman, Penny Searles. Penny wanted to give drivers of used cars all the benefits of connectivity.

Penny said: “I launched this service with my mum in mind as her car is so crucial to her independence, plus it gives me reassurance to know she is safe when she's out on her own as well as the times she has the grandkids with her. I am delighted she agreed to try it out and is now saving money and driving more carefully. The usual £7.99 monthly membership cost is waived for insurance customers who can benefit from the Smartdriverclub service which 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 42% discount on their car insurance.”

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.
  • 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.

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