“Accidents happen,” they say. But with these clever gadgets for your car, they don’t have to.
Not only can these help you drive safer, they can also save you money, with many insurers slashing premiums when you install certain gadgets.
Are you taking advantage of technology to keep your car insurance down?
Rear view cameras
Rear view cameras, also known as back-up cameras, are like a second pair of eyes for a driver: a small camera affixed to the back-end of your vehicle beams a wide-angle image to a monitor in the car.
This means you’re not restricted by what you can – or, in the case of blind spots, what you can’t – see in your mirror! If you use a rear view camera, you’ll gain greater situational awareness of any hazards and obstacles towards the rear of the car once you pop it into reverse.
Most back-up cameras remain operational at night or in poor weather conditions. So long as you properly observe your surroundings, using rear view cameras can help limit the chances of an accident.
One of the biggest problems when you find yourself a victim of a traffic collision or similar incident is proving that you’re not at fault. After all, you don’t want your insurer upping your premiums for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
That’s where the dashcam comes in. Where a rear view camera focuses on what’s happening behind you, dashcams record what’s happening in front.
The footage recorded by the dashcam shows your insurance company – and the relevant authorities – when you’re not at fault. And that, alone, could save you a pretty penny on your premiums.
You might also consider using a dashcam to increase your driving skill, by studying the footage and learning where improvements can be made.
Car security is another area that insurers will check when figuring out how much you’ll need to pay. As such, insurance is cheaper when parking on a driveway compared to on the street (and it’s even cheaper parking in a locked garage).
An immobiliser is another great way to increase security, while potentially attracting discounts on your car insurance. Cars made after 1998 typically have factory-fitted immobilisers.
However, if you own an older car, you can still have an immobiliser installed. This bit of kit is an electronic device that stops the car from running unless the right key is used – so, even if unscrupulous thieves gain entry to your vehicle, at least they can’t take it for a joyride.
Still worried about how secure your car is? Then a car tracker may be just the thing to put your mind at ease (and shave a few coppers off your car insurance, to boot).
A tracker lets you keep, well, track of your vehicle using GPS. This makes it vital in combating car theft, tipping the odds of recovery in your favour.
There are a couple of caveats to bear in mind: these gadgets aren’t cheap, with an initial charge, alongside a subscription fee.
And, while you can fit a tracker yourself, check with your vehicle manufacturer and insurer to find out whether doing so will invalidate your warranty or whether the insurer demands it be fitted by a professional in order to qualify for any insurance discounts.