Newly-qualified drivers can benefit from the £99 deal thanks to a partnership between Vauxhall, Pentagon and telematics firm Ingenie. The latter's sophisticated black box device comes already fitted to Vauxhall cars involved in the deal and is capable of monitoring the way that a vehicle is driven. It gathers data on acceleration, braking, cornering and the general speed at which the car is driven. All of this information is passed on to the team at Ingenie, who are then able to analyse the data to produce a score out of 100 every 10 days or so. The system rewards those who drive safely, calmly and steadily, with points awarded for steady acceleration, controlled cornering and gentle braking. The better the driving style, the more points the system allocates. In essence, the scheme treats young motorists as individuals who can prove that they are capable of driving in a safe and controlled manner, rather than assuming that they are all high risk simply because of their age and lack of experience behind the wheel.
Drivers get messages offering them pointers on their style and how they can adapt the way they drive to become safer and more controlled on the roads. The basis of the system revolves around offering inexperienced drivers a financial incentive for driving safely. The higher the score they receive, the more money they can potentially save on an annual insurance premium. It's possible for young drivers to claim back as much as £33 per quarter through the Ingenie system, a significant saving that can help to make the cost of motoring a reality for many more newly-qualified drivers.
An average of 70 per cent of drivers are awarded a discount every quarter thanks to continuous good driving, but even for those who don't there is always the opportunity to make use of the advice offered and work on improving bad habits behind the wheel. What's more, the system is not just designed to offer financial incentives on a quarterly basis. The quarterly bonus is in addition to a no claims discount that is offered as standard at the end of the policy period. The majority of customers are offered a significant discount on the next year's premium.
The small black box is fitted securely and discretely out of sight behind the dashboard, but getting access to the data that it produces couldn't be easier. Thanks to the Ingenie smartphone app, data can be reviewed with ease using a handset, or alternatively, online through the company's website. Updates are provided every 10 days or so, just as long as the car has covered a distance of 40 miles or more. With each update, speed, acceleration, braking and cornering are given one of six colour-coded ratings. A green (good) rating is the best, indicating that the style of driving is consistent and will attract the greatest discount at the end of the period. Light green, amber, orange, red and finally black ratings are used to suggest improvements and issue warnings about driving standards. Black messages are highly rare and are only issued in certain situations, such as if the car has exceeded the speed limit by 30mph or more, or six red messages for speeding have been issued within one year.
The unfortunate reality is that young drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident than more experienced motorists for obvious reasons. In fact, statistics show that one-fifth of newly-qualified motorists will be involved in a crash within six months of passing their test. It's also the case that by carrying passengers, the chances of a young driver being distracted and then being involved in an accident are massively increased. Some organisations have called for restrictions to be placed on young drivers, such as night-time bans, but this is not the case with Ingenie, and there are no curfews in place.
With the Ingenie scheme, the idea is not to penalise drivers, but rather to provide a useful critique on a regular basis and offer advice in order to help them improve their driving style. This can be incredibly useful for newly-qualified drivers who do not have their own experience to draw on. For example, a driver will have never gone on a motorway before passing their driving test. The guidance offered by the Ingenie system can help to increase confidence in young drivers and make them better drivers as a result.
While the £99 insurance offer is certainly cause for excitement, there are many other reasons for young drivers to consider getting behind the wheel of a new Vauxhall Corsa Excite or Limited Edition from Pentagon. To start with, Vauxhall is currently offering to pay the full deposit on either model - £1,903 for the Excite and £2,451 for the Limited Edition. This means new owners will only have to pay an initial monthly payment of £169.69 for the Excite or £149.71 for the Limited Edition before driving away. Both cars come with a 0% APR finance deal, so there is no need to worry about any interest payments while the 35 further monthly payments are being made. And with a lifetime warranty offered as standard with any new Vauxhall sold through Pentagon, there's no need to worry about any reliability issues before the car covers 100,000 miles either.
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