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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.

www.thedrivingskool.com

1: Take your time
So you’ve received your provisional licence and you’re eager to get started ASAP. Be prepared to take your time and try not to put too much pressure on yourself, there is a lot to learn. It’s quite common for people to tell you how few lessons they took, what they don’t tell you is that they had lots of private practice as well. Also remember that the driving test has got progressively harder over the years, lots of experienced drivers would most likely fail a driving test today. Remember what works for one person may not work for another. Take your time and become a good safe driver, taking your test then will just be a formality and you should pass first time very easily.

2: Learn the controls properly
Make sure you understand the basic controls and how to control the car properly. If you can’t control the car in all situations it will make you feel nervous and affect how you do on your lessons. If you intend to get some private practice with friends or relatives then tell them what you find difficult. You might just be far better going onto a car park to practice things that you need, such as, clutch control, steering between obstacles, braking evenly to a controlled stop or at a given mark, also reversing around corners and into parking bays. Remember that driving very slowly and accurately around tight areas requires much more skill than just driving along a road in a straight line. Constructive practice will benefit you greatly and you won’t be wasting valuable lessons learning the basics.

3: Buy some books
You will need to learn the Highway Code, not just because you have to pass a theory test, but because you need to know all the rules of the road. Driving can be very dangerous when you don’t know what to do because you haven’t read or understood the rules. Don’t just learn the theory questions off by heart, there are hundreds of things that aren’t covered in the theory test. Another good book worth reading is ‘Driving The Essential Skills’ this is a DSA publication. You might also call it the examiners bible. And remember it won’t cost you anything on loan from a library.

4: Ask you instructor
Don’t keep things to yourself, all of our instructors are friendly easy going people who are there to help you and teach you to drive safely, but they are not mind readers. If you don’t know a particular routine or manoeuvre please ask them again, they wont mind going over things as many times as necessary. Most instructors will have a few different techniques for teaching a certain skill and if one way is not working for you then they will have another method that might work for you better.

5: Practice on all types of roads
When learning to drive you should practice on every type of road (apart from motorways) You should not just drive around test routes, and then think you can drive. A good driving instructor will take you to areas that are unfamiliar to you with lots of variety of road and traffic conditions. This will definitely make you into a much better all round driver and when you do pass your driving test and buy a car you will feel a lot more confident about going anywhere in it.

6: Driving test myths
Some people who fail a driving test will often blame anybody and everybody before themselves. When you first meet an examiner they will have your marking sheet without any faults on it, your responsibility is to keep it that way. Driving examiners are very fair people who I’m sure would much rather pass you than fail you. All the stories about people failing because the examiner didn’t like them or they had to fail so many that week are total rubbish. Don’t listen to people who say these things, they are just making excuses about why they failed.

7: Take a mock driving test
At an appropriate time in your training your instructor should carry out a mock driving test. This mock driving test should be very realistic and include all things associated with an actual driving test. It is designed to see how you perform under test conditions including, how you drive independently on your own without any help from your instructor. Your instructor will only give you route directions and instructions.

8: Don’t tell too many people
When learning to drive you will often find that people are always asking you, when are you going in for your test. Our advice is to keep it to yourself because telling people creates pressure and pressure can make you worry, worrying too much about what you’re going to tell them can make you take your mind off your driving, which could then lead to a fail. Sometimes in life its far better to keep quiet and this is one of those times.

9. Keep your driving licence safe
When you go for both your theory test and driving test you will need to take both parts of your driving licence. Most instructors will tell you how they have had pupils who cant find their paper part of the licence, often leading to a frantic search of the whole house, followed by a mad dash to the test centre. Not a good way to start a test.

10. Get plenty of practice
If you were to ask most driving examiners why people fail their driving tests they would probably say that the person needed a lot more practice before coming for a test. Work it out financially, a person going in for a test too soon will most likely fail, they then have to have more lessons and pay another test fee, this can add up to a lot of money. It is far better and more economical to use this money and have more practice before your first test rather than fail and have to do it all again.

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Pass your driving test with the driving skool.com

Lee Moughton our happy ADI :)

Lee Moughton our happy ADI :)

Lee does driving lessons in the following postcodes: RM1, RM2, RM3, RM4, RM5, RM6, RM7, RM8, RM10, RM11, RM12, RM13 and RM14  

Lee is a part-time Driving Instructor and works as a Fireman full time. So when it comes to teaching people to drive Lee has a huge amount of expertise and knowledge!

He also has a fantastic sense of humour (Don’t tell him that!) and lots of stories to tell! Make sure you have plenty of time!

To contact Lee to book your driving lessons call the Office on 0333 123 0245 or Lees Mobile 07599 408188

Lee Moughton Driving Instructor & Fireman

Lee Moughton Driving Instructor & Fireman

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A HUGE well done and congratulations to the following guys and girls who worked really hard and have successfully passed their driving test and now have FULL licences! :) Thank you for choosing us and be safe!

Mike, Julie, David, Lee, Pete, Scott, Sham and Paula

For more info on how you can learn with us call the Office on 0333 123 0245 or through our contact page.

1. 6/1/2014. 1st of year! Well done Marcia Wiggins who passed her driving test this afternoon with only 2 minors at the practical driving test centre in West Wickham! Fantastic result! Mike :)
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2. 7/1/2014. Well done Shane who passed his practical driving test at the West Wickham test centre this afternoon. Mike.

3. 9/1/2014. Yet another one! Congratulations to Stephen who passed his driving test at West Wickham DSA test centre with only 2 minors! Great job! Mike
pass with driving skool.com

Stephen Clilverd: Thanks again for teaching me Mike your a great teacher to have If anyone needs lessons you will get my recommendation with out hesitation

4. 21/1/2014. A huge well done Ann – Marie who passed her practical driving test this morning @ Sidcup. What a fantastic journey we had! Now for your new Mini on Monday See you for Pass Plus. Be safe! Mike

www.thedrivingskool.com

5. 22/1/2014. Congratulations to Jack Sheppard who passed his practical driving test today at the Sidcup test centre and with 2 examiners in the car! Well done Julie White ADI

pass with Julie White

6. 24/1/2014. Congratulations to Chloe who passed her driving test at West Wickham this morning! Well done & be safe! Mike

 7. 24/1/2014. Well done Holly Hill who passed her driving test today @ Erith with only 3 minors! Julie White ADI

1620601_10151948138028262_977211770_nHolly Hill: Thank you Julie for being such a good and lovely driving teacher I really enjoyed my driving lessons! Thank you for helping me pass x

8. 28/2/2014. Well done Joe Burge who passed his driving test 1st time today @ the Sidcup driving test centre. Congratulations! Dave

9.  28/2/2014.  Congratulations Harry who passed 1st time today at West Wickham driving test centre! Should have been NO minors! What a great result :) Be safe Mike

10.  5/3/2014. And another 1st time driving test pass for Vicky Taylor today at the Erith Test centre. Well done and we will see you for pass plus!  Julie

11.  10/3/2014. Well done Lance Chamberlain who passed his driving test st Sidcup today! be safe. David

12.  12/3/2014. Lots of congratulations to Whitney who passed her driving test @ West Wickham today! Great result Whitney! David :)

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pass with the driving skool.com

13. 22/3/2014. Well done Dana who passed her driving test with only 2 minors @ Hornchurch test centre. Be safe :) Scott

14. 02/04/2014. Congratulations Ellia who passed his driving test 1st time today @ the Erith test centre! Well done! Julie :)

15, 16.17,18 & 19. 7/04/2014. A huge well done to the following, James Bull, Conner Norris, Britany Vant, Emily Clark and Teri Murphy. All passed their practical driving test @ Hornchurch test centre! Congratulations! Lee :)

 20. 9/4/2014. Well done Liam who passed his driving test today @ the Horchurch test centre with only 4 minors! :) Scott

21. 25/4/2014. Congratulations Connor Butler who passed today at the Hornchurch test centre with only 3 minors! lee

22. 25/04/2014. And another one for Lee. Well done Deana Gammans who passed at Hornchurch test centre with only 2 minors :)

23. 26/04/2014. They keep coming! Congratulations Amelia Rodriquez who passed her practical driving test @ Goodmayes test centre. Lee

24. 1/5/2014. Congratulations to Rachael Humphreys who passed her test today at Erith I told you that you were ready for test. A well deserved pass, keep safe and see you for pass plus x – Julie

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Pass 1st time with Julie White ADI

 25. 8/5/2014. Well done Lewis who passed his practical driving test at Basildon today! Sham :)

26. 9/5/2014. Many congrats to Jack Lewis who passed at Sidcup driving test centre with only 2 minors!! You nailed it Jack! And remember – this is just the beginning of the learning curve – take it easy and be safe… Cheers, David

27. 15/5/2014. Well done Amy who passed her driving test 1st time this afternoon in sunny West Wickham! Fantastic! Mike

28. 15/5/2014. Congratulations to Niomi Nembhard – a terrific pass with only 3 minors @ Erith today. Glad the Intensive Course paid off Niomi, enjoy driving that Mini!! Take care, David

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Pass with the driving skool.com Office: 0333 123 0235

29. 16/5/2014. What a great way to start the weekend! Well done izzy who passed her driving practical test early this morning @ west wickham only 2 minors Be safe. Mike

30. 20/5/2014. Congratulations to Danny Osman who passed his practical test today at the Erith DSA test centre :)  Julie

 

31. 23/5/2014. The best kept secret in town! Well done Ryan Spicer who passed his driving test 1st time this afternoon @ West Wickham! Mike :)

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32. 29/5/2014. Congratulations to Josh Ives who passed his driving test, today at the Erith test centre – happy driving – keep safe Julie

33. 23/6/2014. A great big congratulations to Shannon Eaglestone who passed his test today at Erith. I look forward to seeing you for your pass plus Julie

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34. 24/6/2014. Well done Sergei Ribkin who passed his practical test @ Hornchurch test centre with only 4 minors Scott :)

35. 4/7/2014. Well done Charlie Leaver who passed his practical test 1st time this morning at the Sidcup test centre! – Mike #learntodrivesidcup #drivingschoolssidcup #drivinglessonssidcup #sidcupdrivinglessons

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36.  7/07/2014. Congratulations to Ross Crilly who passed his test today a well deserved pass keep safe! :) Julie #sidcupdrivinglessons #femaleinstructorsidcup

Ross

37. 7/7/2014. and another one! Well done Charlie Mills who passed 1st time this afternoon @ West Wickham test centre! A job well done Charlie! See you friday! Mike #drivinglessonswestwickham #learntodrivewestwickham #learntodrivebeckenham

charlie

38. 16/7/2014. What a fantastic result! Well done Libbie who passed her practical driving test 1st time this afternoon! Enjoy your holidays! Mike #learntodrivewestwickham #bromleydrivinglessons #drivinglessonsbeckenham #westwickhamdrivingschools

Libbie

39. 18/7/2014. Many congratulations to Jack Evans who passed his first test today @ Hither Green with only three minors. All the hard work payed off Jack. It’s been a real pleasure!! Good luck to you and Mrs. Evans for the new baby!
Jack Evans
40. 21/07/2014. Well done Conner who passed his practical driving test @ West Wickham today 1st time! – Sham #tilburydrivinglessons #learntodrivetilbury
Conner
41. 30/7/2014.  Congratulations Georgia who passed her driving test with only 2 minors! Lee :) #learntodrivedagenham #dagenhamdrivinglessons
42.  5/8/2014. Great result Albert who passed his practical driving test @ the driving test centre in Sidcup today! Drive safe! :) David :) #drivinglessonssidcup
Albert
43. 12/8/2014. Congraulations to Didem who passed her driving test @ Sidcup today! David #learntodriviesidcup

 

 

44. 19/8/2014. Wow another great result! Well done Ellie who passed her driving test at west wickham DSA test centre this morning. Mike :) #drivinglessonswestwickham

 

 45. 19/8/2014. An another one! Congratulations Daniel who passed today at Belvedere today! Great result! Julie :) #femaledrivinglessons #belvederedrivingschools

the driving skool.com

 

 

46. 19/8/2014. and another pass. Well done Jack who did an intensive driving course with Sham and passed his driving test @ West Wickham test centre

 

 

hk

 

 

47.  27/8/2014. Well done to Elise Bryan who passed today at the Sidcup driving test centre with only 3 minors. Lovely driving E!! See, I said you were good enough to pass despite your negativity !! See you for the PassPlus!! take care, David

 

 

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48. 5/9/2014. Congratulations Hannah who passed her driving test with our Instructor Julie @ the Erith Test centre! Well done! Julie :)

 

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49. 9/9/2014. Well done Jess who passed her driving test @ the DVSA test centre in Sidcup. David

 

 

jess

 

 

50. 11/9/2014. And they keep coming! Congratulations to Katie who passed today @ Hornchurch test centre. Lee

 

 

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51. 11/9/2014. Great result Scott who passed his driving test at Hornchurch test centre. Well done! :) Lee

 

 

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52. 11/9/2014. Congratulations to Samantha Ives who passed today at Erith Test centre. What a fab result!  Keep safe and see you on the road Julie

 

53. 15/9/2014.  Well done to Ijlal Iqbal who passed his driving test today @ Sidcup. Good luck and be safe out there Ijlal. Best wishes, David 

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54. 16/9/2014. Congratulations Lucy who passed her driving test 1st time this afternoon @ West Wickham. Thanks for all the laughs on the way, I had alot of fun! Be safe Mike

 

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55. 19/9/2014 Congratulations to Roisin Hoban who passed her practical driving test today at Erith just in time to return to Uni today as well. Keep safe Julie

 

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56. 23/9/2014. Fab result! Well done  Ainsley who passed his practical driving test today at West Wickham :) Sham

 

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57. 25/9/2014. Well done Natasha who passed her practical driving test to with the driving skool.com at West Wickham test centre. Mike

 

Natasha

 

58. 1/10/2014 Congratulations Sherry who passed her driving test today @ Sidcup! Well done! David

 

Sherry

 

59. 3/10/2014. Well done Harry who passed his driving test at the driving test centre in Erith today. Julie :)

 

Harry

 

60. 13/10/2014. A huge well done to Jake who passed at hornchurch test centre today. Be safe! Lee :)

 

Jake

 

61. 20/10/2014.  Fantastic result Ellyse who passed 1st time this afternoon at the driving test centre in West Wickham. Mike @ www.thedrivingskool.com

 

Ellyse

 

62. 20/10/2014. Congratulations Elle who passed today at Sidcup.  Be safe! David

 

Elle

 

63. 22/10/2014. Well done Charlotte who passed her driving test today at Erith. Congratulations. Julie

 

Charlotte

 

64. 23/10/2014. The last driving test for the Mini! Well done Lucy who passed 1st time today @ Sidcup! Mike

 

lUCY

 

65. 24/10/2014. Well done Harry who passed 1st time today at the DVSA test centre in Sidcup! David :)

 

hARRY S

 

66. 15/11/2014. Well done George who passed his driving test  today at the driving test centre in Sidcup. David :)

 

George

 

67. 17/11/2014. Congratulations Nevin who passed his practical driving test at West Wickham today! Well done! David

 

Nevin

 

68. 17/11/2014. And another one on the same day! Congratulations Ollie who also passed his driving test at West Wickham today. David :)

 

Ollie

 

69. 24/11/2014. Well done Brian who passed his driving test @ the practical test centre in Erith. Julie 

 

Brian

 

70. 3/12/2014. Congratulations Ollie who passed his driving test at Sidcup driving test centre. David

 

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71.  4/12/2014. A massive congratulations to Teresa Oakins who passed her driving test today at Erith I am very proud of you you worked so hard to get there and we had great laughs along the way. I will really miss our lessons. Julie

 

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72.  5/12/2014. Another big congratulations to Kelly Lopez who passed her driving test, 1st time at Erith today. I’m so going to miss driving with you and I’ll think of you every time I go to drive thru McDonald’s xx Julie

 

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73. 9/12/2014 Congratulations to Ross who passed his driving test @ the driving test centre in Horchurch. – Lee :)

 

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74. 10/12/2014 Well done James who passed his practical driving test @ Hornchurch. Lee Moughton ADI

 

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75. 11/12/2014. Well done Gemma Cannon who passed her driving test this morning @ the Hornchurch test centre with only 4 minors. Lee

 

 

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76. 16/12/2014. Congratulations Shay who passed his driving test 1st time today @ Sidcup! – David

 

Shay

 

77. 18/12/2014 Well done Sofia who passed today at the Sidcup test centre! Be safe! David :)

 

Sofia

 

78. 22/12/2014. Great result, Nicole who passed her driving test today and passed first time at the driving test centre in West Wickham. David

 

Nicole

 

www.thedrivingskool.com

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