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DriveScore app launches that rewards good driving with lower car insurance premiums - here's how it works

Motorists may be able to save on their insurance by using a new app that rewards good driving with discounts on car insurance premiums. The 'DriveScore' app, built by credit reference agency ClearScore, can offer double-digit discounts to those who drive carefully. Here's what you need to know. 

Of course before taking out or renewing your insurance you should always compare prices to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere. See our Young drivers' insurance and our regular Car insurance guides for more info on getting the best deal, or see our Multicar insurance guide if you've more than one car in your household. 

What is DriveScore?

DriveScore is a free app available on Android and iOS that collects data on your driving in a similar way to how so-called 'black box' technology works. The difference with DriveScore is that you don't need to have anything installed in your car - it instead gathers information using your phone's sensors.

As a user, once you've set up the app, you don't need to do anything as the app works in the background, although you will need to notify the app if you're in a car or other vehicle as a passenger. 

Once the app has gathered enough data it will give you a score out of 1,000. You can then choose to share this score with DriveScore’s insurance partners, which will offer you personalised insurance premiums based on your driving skills. The minimum number of miles needed to get an initial score is 150 and your score will be based on your driving over the past 365 days, or less if you’ve not used the app for so long. 

How will certain manoeuvres impact my score?  

DriveScore views lower-risk driving, which will help you earn a higher score, as including:

  • Smooth acceleration. 
  • Taking corners smoothly. 
  • Avoiding harsh braking.

Higher-risk driving, meanwhile includes:

  • Sudden braking. 
  • Hard cornering.
  • Excessive speeding - DriveScore holds a database of road speed limits that it compares drivers' speeds to.
  • Driving at night - DriveScore defines this as between 10pm and 4am.
  • If you manually use your phone while driving (though not the content accessed), although this is illegal anyway.

Other data used to determine your score includes which roads you travel on, how far and how often you drive.

How much can I get off my insurance?

The idea is that the better the driver you are, the higher the score you'll have, and therefore the bigger the insurance discount you'll be offered. DriveScore says discounts will be determined on an individual basis, but that they could be "double-digit". 

However, DriveScore is currently only partnered with seven insurers - Admiral, Elephant, Diamond, Hastings, Insure Pink, People's Choice, and Provident - and given it's early days we don't yet know the true extent to which you can save through the app. 

Could DriveScore push up my premiums if I drive badly?

Sharing your score with insurers is switched off by default, so your data will only be shared if you ask for this via the app. Plus, if DriveScore thinks your score will hinder you and could result in insurance premiums rising, it won't let you share your score with insurers until it has improved.

Your score won't be shared on your credit reference file or with any other insurers unless DriveScore adds new insurers and you opt into sharing your score with them.

Who is DriveScore best for?

Generally, drivers with higher insurance premiums, such as younger and newly passed motorists, have the most to gain from using DriveScore as it could help them to lower costs while they're building up their no claims bonus. 

However, it's likely to be less beneficial for drivers with a no claims bonus going back years, as policies for these drivers will already be significantly cheaper than for newer drivers, or drivers that have made recent claims. Therefore drivers with cheaper existing premiums will likely see a smaller saving in real terms.

How can I check if DriveScore is worth it for me?

Just because you're offered a discounted quote through DriveScore doesn't mean it's the cheapest option for you. You should always check if you can beat the premiums the app offers you. Here's a quick lowdown of the best ways to find a cheap policy outside of DriveScore:  

  • Get quotes from direct insurers and find exclusive deals. Direct Line* doesn't appear on comparison sites, and can be competitive. You also won't find some special deals – see hot deals comparisons.
  • Then check to see if cashback sites can beat the quotes. Topcashback* gives £42 when you buy through its comparison service, and Quidco* £40. But it's also worth checking if you can then up that amount by going direct to the insurer through Topcashback* and Quidco's* normal sites – here you can sometimes get up to £70 per policy.

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