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For a while, some insurance companies have been encouraging teenagers to get a little black box in their cars. But how do they work, and will everyone soon have one?

For many young people, getting their first wheels is a rite of passage, a path to independence, the precursor to flying the nest.

But with one in five young drivers having an accident within their first 12 months of being on the road, insurance premiums are high. Many look to ways to reduce their costs.

It has led to the rise of what is known as the little black box, which motorists are installing in their cars to prove they are a good driver, in the hope they see insurance costs drop.

The British Insurers Brokers’ Association (Biba) says sales of motor insurance policies which use “black box” technology, called telematics, have increased fivefold over the past two years.

It says it can knock 25% to 30% off policies, saving some young drivers up to £1,000.

Critics say they cost too much and civil liberty campaigners have expressed concern about the potential for invasion of privacy, or data incriminating drivers.

So how does telematics technology work, and what do these black boxes record?

Typically the boxes are placed inside a dashboard and are able to monitor things such as speed, acceleration and braking, and the times of the day that the cars are on the roads.

The safer the driver, the better the score and the lower the insurance premium.

But prices can go up as well as down. If the analysed information shows examples of poor driving, such as fast cornering or doing wheelies, the black box will also pick that up.

Nick Moger, one of the founders of Young Marmalade, which offers a young driver insurance scheme with telematics technology, says his company uses a green-orange-red system to monitor driving, emailing drivers to alert them when they have picked up bad driving.

“The very first time, they get an email to say they are driving erratically, if they ignore that then they get another email to say you are on probation for 30 days and if they continue to drive badly we increase the premium by £250,” he says.

Manufacturers are convinced highlighting poor driving patterns can improve driving behaviour and reduce the number of accidents.

“It has been proved in Italy – where they are probably the leaders in Europe in accident rates – their rate has dropped by 16% by having black boxes,” says Moger.

More than 600,000 cars in Italy are believed to have the devices, many more than in the UK. But Biba expects 500,000 UK cars to have them by July 2014.

Nicole Darbyshire, a 20-year-old nursery nurse from Bolton, has already signed up to the system.

After passing her driving test in April, she says the cost of a car and its associated insurance was “a big worry” before she discovered that telematics could help reduce bills.

“For the first month, I was really aware of the box, and if I accidentally sped, I’d brake really quickly. Now I tend to forget it’s there.

“I can log onto my account online and see how I am driving. It shows when I’ve over-accelerated – it has pictures of the street which is a bit strange. So far I’ve been 97% green, so that’s good. I’ve got more relaxed about checking now as I know it will email me if I do anything wrong,” she says.

But not everyone is so relaxed about signing up to this sort of surveillance.

Taylor Brown, 21, says he thinks his insurance company already has enough information. “Why should I then tell them what I’m getting up to – Big Brother Britain and that, but you know, it is up to me where I go.”

Joe Johns, 18, doesn’t like the idea either. “It would be like being on a driving test 24/7. You’d always have someone monitoring you about how you’re driving, your foothold, your braking. I just wouldn’t fancy it.”

Firms such as Coverbox, iKube, Co-operative Insurance, Swinton and the AA now offer insurance schemes with telematics for young drivers.

The AA, which stores a small electronic box under the bonnet transmitting data via satellite to the company, says savings of up to £850 can be achieved when compared with standard inexperienced driver policies.

And the boxes aren’t the only devices that incorporate artificial intelligence as an aid to monitor and control a young driver’s behaviour.

Insurance firm Aviva has launched a new pay-how-you-drive smartphone app which could offer drivers savings on their car insurance premiums, based on how they drive.

Motoring journalist Paul Horrell says the devices are part of a wider trend that is seeing insurers and manufacturers try to incentivise or coerce young drivers into being more careful.

He cites a Ford product in the US called MyKey, which allows a master key to set various limits – such as maximum speed or audio – on the vehicle.

Volvo’s Alcoguard monitors alcohol levels. It will not start until a driver has blown into a unit, which transmits the results via radio signal to the car’s electronic control system. If a blood-alcohol limit of 0.2g/l is exceeded, the engine will not start.

And DriveCam, which was developed to help organisations with fleets of drivers, like haulage companies, monitor their drivers’ performances, uses a system which relies on two cameras – one pointing at the road, and one monitoring the driver – to record instances of bad driving such as texting or tailgating.

So might everyone soon have a little black box, or something similar, in their car?

Horrell says it is often parents that are particularly attracted to devices such as little black boxes. But he thinks it is unlikely that everyone will subscribe to such surveillance.

We are definitely going to have more behaviour-based motor insurance in the future”

“If people are willing to submit to this kind of observation, they are probably the kind of people who are willing to behave more responsibly.”

Graeme Trudgill, head of corporate affairs at Biba, says although he expects to see a significant increase in the number of little black boxes in the young driver market over the next couple of years, it would not be economical for all insurance companies, and all age groups, to go down this route.

In many ways the future depends on technology, he says, as it depends on what happens with smartphone apps such as Aviva’s, which are cheaper than having a box fitted. And in the next couple of years, vehicle manufacturers are also going to be required to install emergency call buttons, which will transmit GPS signals and have the potential to use telematics.

“What is clear is that we are definitely going to have more behaviour-based motor insurance in the future – and young drivers are going to still be the primary market,” he says.

Adeola Ajayi, from the Association of British Insurers, says riskier or more dangerous drivers are likely to be the ones who are the most resistant.

She thinks there will be a spike in the number of young female drivers opting for a black box after 21 December, when an EU ruling which bans insurers from taking gender into account when setting premiums comes into effect.

“Female drivers, who are statistically safer, have benefited from cheaper insurance in the past, so these might prove popular with them.

“Others are simply keen to do whatever they can to get a premium that reflects their exact risk, and this is a way of getting more insight and rewarding customers,” she says.

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Driving lessons, the test itself, buying and insuring a car all add to the expense, but there are ways to limit the damage

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Passing your driving test has long been seen as a rite of passage, but the rising cost of running a car is driving more and more young people off the roads. The Department for Transport’s recent National Travel Survey shows a sharp drop over the past 18 years in the number of young people holding a full driving licence. While in 1995, some 43% of 17- to 20-year-olds held a full driving licence, that has plunged to just 31%. The fall is sharpest among young men, where it has dropped from 51% to 30%, while the percentage of young women with a full driving licence has slipped from 36% to 31%. Over the same period the proportion of 21- to 29-year-olds with full driving licences has also fallen.

The main reason fewer young people are driving is cost, says Stephen Glaister, director at the RAC Foundation. “Younger people were hit disproportionately hard by the downturn. Even though employment is now rising, incomes are stagnant, and many are only in part-time work, and find running a car too expensive.”

Spiralling student debt and rising housing costs leave little money for driving lessons, at around £25 an hour, and the test itself. With the practical test costing up to £75, and the theory test adding another £31, the cost of buying a car is the least of the problems facing young drivers. In 1995 a five-year-old Ford Fiesta, a typical first car, cost £3,250, against £5,510 today, according to figures from motoring guide Glass’s. That is a rise of nearly 70%, almost exactly in line with the increase in average earnings over the period, says Andrew Jackson, head of analytics at Glass’s. “In real terms, the Fiesta isn’t any more expensive than it was in 1995, even though the materials, technology and manufacturing quality are incomparably better.”

Other motoring costs have accelerated sharply, according to the RAC Foundation’s UK Cost of Motoring Index. While the cost of living has risen 76% since 1995, as measured by the retail price index, the cost of maintaining a car has risen 140%, while petrol and oil costs have increased 145%. Meanwhile the cost of tax and insurance has soared by 170% since 1995, well over twice the rate of inflation. The average 17-year-old now pays a hefty £1,997 a year for motor insurance, according to figures from Towers Watson and comparison site Confused.com.

Here are some ways to make getting behind the wheel more affordable.

• Buy a small car

As a general rule, the less powerful your car is the less it is likely to cost to insure, says Lee Griffin, car insurance expert at GoCompare.com. “Young or inexperienced drivers should therefore look at cars with smaller engines as opposed to performance vehicles. But this isn’t the only factor they take into account. They will also look at its value, engine size, power-to-weight ratio, and availability of parts. These factors determine which insurance group the car will be in, and how much it will cost to insure.”

• Shop around

One in three car insurers wouldn’t cover a 17-year-old driver at all, while 10% wouldn’t cover anybody under 25, according to GoCompare.com. “All insurers rate drivers differently, and while some target older, more experienced drivers, others will price competitively for younger drivers, so shop around to make sure you’re getting the right cover at the best possible price.”

An online search for an 18-year-old motorist covering an eight-year-old Ford Fiesta Freedom with a 1.3 litre engine, with 10,000 annual mileage and a £250 excess, showed the cheapest premium at £2,917 a year from Carrot Car Insurance, a telematics-based insurer that targets younger drivers. Next was Hastings Essential, which quoted £4,129 a year. Insure Pink, 1st Central and Go Girl offered quotes ranging from £4,634 to £5,000 a year. Some insurers charged up to £9,000, while many didn’t quote at all.

• Get better qualified

You may be able to get a slightly lower premium if you have taken advanced driving courses such as Pass Plus or the advanced driving test from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). If that 18-year-old had Pass Plus, for example, Hastings Direct would cover them for £2,240, but the next best quote was from Insure Pink at £4,147.

• Secure your vehicle

Fitting your car with an approved alarm, immobiliser and tracking device can make life harder for thieves, reducing the chance that you will make a claim for theft. “It helps if you can park off-road overnight, preferably in a locked garage or at least on a driveway, as your insurer may reduce your premiums accordingly,” says Kevin Pratt, car insurance expert at MoneySupermarket.com.

• Add an older driver to your policy

Adding an older, “safer” driver, such as a parent or relative, will cut the cost of your insurance policy, Pratt says. “You must list the person who drives the car most as the main driver, otherwise you may be accused of ‘fronting’. This is treated as insurance fraud and will lead to a minimum £300 fine plus six points on your licence. It will almost certainly cost more to get insurance in the future, if you can get it at all.”

• Try telematics (Blackbox)

Telematics technology can also help young motorists drive down their premiums. This involves fitting a gadget in your car that measures your speed, cornering, acceleration and braking, as well as your location and the time of day you drive. If the black box judges you to be a safe driver, your insurer should reward you with a lower premium. If you’re taking risks, however, your premium could increase.

A 17-year-old student living in Cardiff driving a two-year-old Ford Fiesta, with no claims or convictions, annual 7,000 mileage and a £250 excess, would typically pay £2,124 a year for standard insurance, but this would fall to £1,783 with Telematics, according to figures from Confused.com. That’s a saving of £341, or 16%. A 20-year-old with three-years’ no-claims bonus would typically see their premium fall from £780 to £601.

• Drive safely

If you’re a young driver with points on your licence or a recent insurance claim to your name, you’re in double trouble, says Pratt. “Driving with care is the name of the game. Points on a licence can easily add 10% to your insurance costs, so avoid speeding and other convictions.” Young drivers should avoid making insurance claims, so they can steadily build up a no-claims discount – this can knock up to 75% off the cost of cover after five years.

www.thedrivingskool.com

A huge than thank you to everyone who made Chislehurst Rocks 2014 a fantastic day out!

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Some of the driving skool.com team meeting the Bromley Mayor. From left to right we have, David kenna, Mike Jack, The Lady Mayoress, The Lord Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Julian Benington, Julie and Keith White. For driving lessons Bromley contact

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Looking for driving lessons in Petts Wood or maybe thinking about doing an intensive driving course in Petts Wood?

At the driving skool.com we pride ourselves in the ability to deliver quality driving lessons in Petts Wood at affordable prices. Our DVSA approved Driving Instructors are extremely passionate about making your driving lessons fun and exciting, as well as giving you the skills and confidence you need for the road and to pass your driving test.

We can pick you up or drop you off at college, work, or anywhere local. Your driving lessons in Petts Wood can be for an hour or two hours, evening or weekends, seven days a week! We work around you!

We focus on providing a highly personalised service and will build a learning to drive programme around you, the customer! Our competitive rates and block booking discounts will ensure that you get excellent value for money throughout your course of driving lessons in Petts Wodd.

Whatever your driving skills, you want a driving instructor in Petts Wood who will provide the quality driving tuition you need to reach your goal.

Learn to Drive Petts Wood

  • Fully qualified Driving Instructors
  • No short changing! Our 1 hour driving lessons are 60 minutes or longer!
  • Petts Wood based Driving Instructors!
  • We discount driving lessons for block bookings!
  • New to driving in the UK? We can help!
  • Motorway Driving Lessons
  • Driving lessons are available as gift vouchers.
  • We can pick you up or drop you off anywhere locally
  • Have fun while learning to drive!
  • One to one driving Lessons!
  • Friendly patient Driving Instructors who won’t keep you waiting!

For more information on learning to drive in Petts Wood, intensive driving courses in Petts Wood or if you have any questions please call

0333 123 0245 or call/text 07919 193299

Driving Lessons Petts Wood

Areas covered (BR postcodes)

Bromley, Keston, Beckenham, West Wickham, Orpington, Chsilehurst & Swanley

Not there? Please let us know as we maybe able to help!

Learners in the capital face toughest challenge

THOSE brave enough to learn to drive in London take longer to pass their tests. (Jay like many of our customers rose to the challenge!)

A new study by Privilege Car Insurance shows that learners in Belvedere, South London have a pass-rate of just 31%. Shedding L-plates isn’t much easier north of the Thames either, with just 32% passing in Wanstead, North East London.

That’s compared to the 70% of new drivers who pass learning on the roads in Kelso, Scotland and 69% in Lochgilphead, Scotland.

Charlotte Fielding from the car insurance firm said: “The general rule is that if you are driving on busier roads and complex road systems, your driving test is likely to be tougher.”

HIGHEST PASS RATES

70% – Kelso, Scotland
69% – Lochgilphead, Scotland
67% – Stranraer, Scotland
67% – Kendal, Cumbria
66% – Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

LOWEST PASS RATES

31% – Belvedere, SE London
32% – Wanstead, NE London
32% – Barking, E London
33% – Wood Green, N London
35% – Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Pass your practical in London with the driving skool.com

Learn to Drive in Bromley and surrounding areas.

 

Congratulations, you’ve found the driving skool.com

 

Your first step to passing your driving test is complete!

We’re a well established independent driving school based in Chislehurst (BR7)

We’re not a national, corporate driving school, but a local driving school, with local Driving Instructors who live and work in the area.

Our Instructors are passionate about teaching you safe for life and passing the driving test 1st time.

Areas covered

Bromley, Beckenham, West Wickham, Eden Park, Shortlands, Chislehurst, Downham, Petts Wood, Orpington, Keston & Shirley

Not there? Let us know!

Why choose us?

Intensive Driving Courses

All our Driving Instructors are CRB checked! (no instructors were hurt in the vetting process!)

Under 17 years old off road driving experiences

Gift Vouchers for that special occasion

No short changing! Our 1 hour lessons are 60 minutes! You can do longer!

Block booking discounts and we do look after students!

Friendly, patient Driving Instructors who will build your lessons around you!

Fun and enjoyment! Really? You can with this Driving School!

Learn to drive in Bromley!

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It’s often imagined that young drivers have too much confidence and rush to complete their driver training in their eagerness to get on the roads.

However, a recent survey, taken from a sample of 2,000 drivers between the ages of 18 and 30, paints a different picture, with 62% of young drivers in favour of a minimum learning period.

Statistics show that many young drivers feel unequipped to drive safely and competently after passing their test, and many will go out of their way to avoid driving situations where they lack confidence.

Young Driver Survey Data

The report gives a unique insight into the opinions of Britain’s young drivers and shows that many of them feel totally unprepared for driving after passing their test. Yet young drivers themselves are rarely consulted about their driving experiences.

Although the driving test has been improved to better reflect real-life conditions on the roads, almost half of newly qualified drivers (48%) felt unprepared for motorway driving and around one in three (29%) were nervous about night-time driving and driving alone after passing their test.

Situations that young drivers admitting avoiding included motorway driving, driving in city centres and turning right at busy junctions.

In the survey, published in August 2013, one in four drivers who had had an accident believed that it might have been avoided if they had spent longer learning to drive. Despite this, amongst the young people consulted in the survey, one in five took less than three months to pass their driving test and 50% took less than six months to pass.

Written by: Janet Fisher

Dagenham

 

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Goodmayes Driving Test Centre

Test centre address

98 Goodmayes Road
Ilford
Greater London
IG3 9UZ

Contact details:  0300 200 1122.

Test centre details

Waiting room is on the 1st floor, there are two flights of stairs. Candidates with mobility impairment will be met in the DTC car park.
Toilets to first floor.

Situated on the busy city roads of London, Goodmayes Driving Test Centre test routes will involve many complicated roundabouts, junctions and crossroads. A high level of practice and knowledge of such roads in and around the test centre is beneficial.
Narrow residential roads are often featured as part of the driving test. These roads involve narrow lanes, sharp bends and oncoming traffic.
Busy A roads such as the A1083 and A118 are highly likely as are dual carriageways such as the A406, A12 and A13 with a slight possibility of more rural roads that are within test centre radius.

The driving test examiner will require at least 1 driving test manoeuvre with a 1 in 3 possibility of incorporating the emergency stop procedure. Goodmayes Driving Test Centre has a small car park that is frequently used for the bay parking manoeuvre.

The car park at Goodmayes is small, try not to arrive for the driving test more than 10 minutes before the test booking time as this may conflict with other learner drivers returning from their test.

The driving test from Goodmayes Driving Test Centre is challenging due to difficult roads and roundabouts. As Goodmayes is located in a busy area, more emphasis is placed on busy urban roads and very little on country roads and driving.

A good understanding of the driving test routes from Goodmayes Driving Test Centre will benefit you with knowledge of the types of road you will be taking during the driving test.

For more local knowledge, with local female & male Driving Instructors contact

the driving skool.com

Book a driving test at Goodmayes driving test centre

Driving tests cannot be booked through the test centres directly. To book a driving test, there are 2 options; by phone or online.

Book a driving test by phone

To book a practical driving test at the Goodmayes Driving Test Centre by phone, call the DSA on 0300 200 1122. This driving test booking telephone number is an automated system. A DSA representative can be reached however by listening to the options.

Book your driving test online:

To book your driving test online for Goodmayes Driving Test Centre, click here

Making changes to the driving test at Goodmayes

Cancelling and rescheduling the driving test at Goodmayes can be done provided at least 3 working days notice if given. The DSA will be unable to offer a refund or reschedule the test if this notice is not met.

For information on learning to drive with a Local Driving Instructor, with Local Knowledge

www.thedrivingskool.com

info@thedrivingskool.com
Office: 0333 123 0245
Mobile: 07919 193299

 

goodmayes

Hither Green Test Centre

42-44 Ennersdale Road
Hither Green
London
SE13 6JD

Contact: 0300 200 1122

Hither Green Driving Test Centre information

Hither Green Driving Test Centre is situated around very busy urban roads where the test examiner will require a high degree of knowledge of various road systems.

Excellent ability and safety of roundabouts, junctions and crossroads is essential. Quiet residential roads are often incorporated into the driving test. These roads present hazardous conditions due to being narrow with speed restrictions (Usually 20mph)

Ability to manoeuvre the car for oncoming traffic is important. Faster paced roads such as the A20 and A205 being likely.

1 of the 4 test manoeuvres will be requested and the emergency stop procedure has a 1 in 3 possibility. The independent part of the test reserves 10 minutes of test time.

Book a driving test at Hither Green driving test centre

Driving tests cannot be booked through the test centres directly. To book a driving test, there are 2 options; by phone or online.

Book a driving test by phone

To book a practical driving test at the Hither Green driving test centre by telephone, call the DSA on 0300 200 1122.

Book your driving test online

To book your driving test online for Hither Green Driving Test Centre, click here.

Test cancellations and rescheduling

Rescheduling or cancelling the test from Hither Green can be done via the above contact methods. If by telephone, talk to a DSA assistant regarding this matter. A minimum of 3 working days notice is necessary if you with to reschedule to a later date or to receive a full refund if cancelling.

For more local knowledge, with local female & male Driving Instructors contact:

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info@thedrivingskool.com
Office: 0333 123 0245
Mobile: 07919 193299

hither

This is the top 10 easiest mistakes to make in your test and how to avoid them.

Make sure you give yourself the best chance of passing your test, read this list and then learn from other peoples mistakes. When your instructor and you agree you are ready to sit the test, don’t let nerves get the better of you and remember not to make any of these mistakes

1.Observation at junctions – not remembering all your mirror checks and blind spots, or making the wrong decision based on what you see. Plan ahead, as you approach the end of the road check if it is an open or closed junction (look for walls, fences and hedges). Check right, check left then check right again making sure you look out for any hazards

2. Reverse Parking – ineffective observation or a lack of accuracy. Always check your blind spots looking out for approaching traffic. While reverse parking ask yourself, “Am I fully aware of everything that is going on around me?” At each stage of the manoeuvre ask yourself this again and check your mirrors/blind spots. Cyclists and pedestrians can’t be expected to hear or see you while you park.

3. Use of mirrors – not checking or not acting on the information. Have you checked your mirrors in the last 7 seconds? What did you see? Plan ahead but always remember to check your mirrors even if you think you know there is nothing there. If as a result of your driving you cause others to swerve, slow or stop its a serious fault.

4 Reversing Round a Corner – candidates often swing the vehicle out at the front, fail to spot approaching traffic in the road they are reversing into or hit the kerb. Do this manoeuvre slowly.

5. Incorrect use of Signals – giving the wrong signal or forgetting to cancel a signal. Remember to stop signalling once you have pulled over!

6. Driving away Safely – inadequate observation. ALWAYS check your road side blind spot when you drive away safely.

7. Incorrect Positioning on the Road – lane positioning at roundabouts, switching through lanes on the roundabout – steer the car with the curve, stay within the white lines.

8. Lack of Steering Control – Always maintain control of the speed and steering and never underestimate the sharpness of a corner. Follow best practice with hand position to reduce the chance of this fault.

9. Incorrect Position for turning right – at junctions or one-way streets. One one way streets ask yourself ‘which lane do I want to be in?’

10. Inappropriate Speed – NEVER break the speed limit. Don’t hesitate. Try to maintain speed with the traffic on the road at all times. Don’t think if you drive slowly you will pass. Its dangerous and you will fail.

These tips will help you avoid the common mistakes most people make when they fail. Make sure you maintain concentration at all times and remember to stay calm.

Ellyse

Pass with the driving skool.com