By Carl Jackson 29/05 Updated: 31/05 00:25
A BROMSGROVE 18-year-old has been declared one of just five 'perfect drivers' out of 10,000 across the country and seen a 70 per cent reduction to his car insurance after taking part in a motoring scheme.
Tom Mason, who lives on the Worcester Road, reaped the rewards of Co-operative's 'pay as you drive' insurance scheme for 17 to 25-year-olds, which involves fitting a 'smartbox' to cars that monitors how well people drive.
After only his first year of driving his Peugeot 106, Tom has achieved a perfect score on average for the last 12 months and is now only paying £600 as a named driver on his dad's fully comprehensive insurance after intially stumping up nearly £2,000.
Amazingly, Tom was quoted a staggering £15,000 on comparison websites before he signed up with Co-op.
He said: "It's silly, what young drivers are asked to pay for insurance.
"The Co-op scheme is a good idea.
"It has definetely made me a better driver."
Users are rated out of five each day on braking and accleration, cornering, speed and the time they drive. They then have access to an online 'dashboard' which places their driving performance in the green, amber or red zones - green representing a safe driver. Drivers who score a four and above overall recieve cash back.
Tom added: "Its not hard to get a good score, you just have to follow the rules of the road.
"It becomes a game and it's in your mind then.
"I'm certainly more aware of my actions.
"Been a boy racer isn't my thing anyway."
The NEW College art and design A-level student, has already saved one friend money with the scheme and he said plenty of his fellow classmates paying high premiums have asked him about it since he was declared one of five 'perfect drivers' out of the 10,000 analysed.
The Co-op 'pay as you drive' scheme was launched last March to help young drivers who were finding themselves being priced out of owning a car. The online dashboard provides all sorts of feedback, including tips on how to improve your score and even reducing carbon emissions. Because the 'smartbox' is based on GPS technology it also tracks the car if it has been stolen.
As well as rewarding safe drivers, people who consistently drive poorly could see their premiums rise by 15 per cent or even have their policy cancelled.
Jenny Barnes, board director for The Co-operative Group in Worcestershire, said: "Young drivers tend to have a reputation for being reckless on the road, but as this scheme is showing, there are thousands of young people who drive very well and now have the opportunity to be rewarded for doing so.
"Tom has demonstrated almost flawless driving over the past year – a fantastic achievement.
"Although the scheme is only a year old, if more and more people took out this type of insurance we could have a generation of much safer drivers which could be a big step towards improving safety on our roads."
Those wanting to find out more about the scheme can visit www.co-operativeinsurance.co.uk/youngdriver
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