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Driving tips and other life stuff

Is your named driver ruining your driving feedback?

So, you've got yourself a car - whoop! You've got yourself insured - second whoop! Only trouble is, you've also got to have your mum or dad on the policy. Sigh.

There's loads of pros to having a more experienced driver on your insurance policy: reduced premiums, shared responsibility for maintenance and having the comfort of knowing someone else can help when your car needs to be somewhere you're not.

But if you do decide to have a named driver on your insurance (although if you're not the one paying this might not be YOUR decision - soz), it's REALLY important that they know how the black box in your car will work.

The black box doesn't know you're YOU

In an ideal world, the black box would be so instinctive that it would recognise who's driving at any particular time.

Maybe by scent or steering wheel finger print recognition or retina scan mirrors. But in reality, it's a plastic box hidden away behind your dashboard to collect driving data. Smart - but not THAT smart.

The black box is designed to know HOW THE CAR IS BEING DRIVEN not 'how Ben drives' and 'how Ben's mum drives'.

So if Dad decides to nip out to Tesco's to make the most of his latest Clubcard vouchers, Dad's driving will contribute towards YOUR driving feedback and your price reviews.

If big sister jumps into the driving seat to pick up Saturday night's takeaway for the weekly X Factor sesh, then (yep - you guessed it) her driving will also affect your driving feedback.

The serious bit

If a policy gets cancelled for dangerous driving it will be the policyholder (you) that has to deal with it, even if it wasn't you driving.

While your named driver gets off scot-free for regularly driving over the speed limit, you could be left with an insurance cancellation to your name. And trust us: that's something you really want to avoid.

What our Driver Behaviour Unit has to say

"We hear about named drivers messing up driving feedback all the time. It's so important to make sure any named drivers on your policy are aware of what the black box does and what's being recorded because their actions can have big repercussions for you.

"If you get your insurance cancelled, you'll be faced with much higher costs in the future - if you manage to find someone to insure you at all."

"We can't tell who's behind the wheel of the car but we have to get in touch if we see driving that makes us worry. If you know one of your named drivers hasn't been behaving in the car, explain what can happen - to YOU.

"On the plus side, if your named drivers are actually really GOOD drivers (and you'd kind of hope Mum and Dad are!), you reap the rewards of their careful driving. Just keep quiet about that bit so you don't have to share the discounts..."

The big lesson

If you're going to have other drivers on your insurance, make sure they're completely aware there's a black box in the car and their driving affects YOU.

Oh - and we give you permission to lecture anyone who mucks about with your good feedback. Your dad might think he's the best driver that's ever lived but your black box says different.

Need some help with your driving feedback?
Give our speed advice a go


Katey Joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of all things social and content. She passed her driving test in 2015 and her first car is a Toyota Yaris T3 named Tyrone.