Friday, 22 November 2013

Animated Film To Raise Awareness Of Ghost Brokers Amongst Young Drivers

Young motorists are being increasingly targeted by fraudulent companies selling fake car insurance for young drivers.

As a result an animated video warning newly qualified and young drivers of fraudsters has been released as part of a national awareness campaign by the charity Crimestoppers alongside the police and members of the insurance industry.

Check out the video below for more information:

These fraudulent businesses - also known as "ghost brokers", tend to target young male drivers with fake car insurance policies. With over 27.6 million cars insured in the UK last year alone and with new young drivers paying higher premiums many of these ghost brokers are profiteering off their misfortune by offering cheap deals online, in person, restaurants, cafes and even university and college campuses.

The problem with the policies these fraudsters are offering is the fact that young motorists are being exposed to a whole host of problems, including:

 - Driving without valid insurance - which means the young driver is not adequately covered.
 - The car could be seized by the police if it's not covered by a real insurance policy.
 - Young drivers could end up facing fines as well as risk incurring a criminal record.
 - The cost of bills for any damages or injuries if they cause an accident.

Commenting on the problem the Deputy Head of IFED, DI Dominic Parkin stated:

“Ghost broking is a nationwide problem which is now being met by a national law enforcement response. But making arrests and securing convictions is one piece of the puzzle - raising public awareness to prevent the fraudsters from duping young drivers is equally as important."

Here at iKube we recommend that young drivers do their research before buying a policy from any broker - online or otherwise. We work with a panel of insurers including Markerstudy, Equity Redstar, Sabre and Avive to help tailor a car insurance policy for young and learner drivers.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Wintery Weather Warning On Driving Dangers

Recent statistics show that over 6,200 reported road accidents occured as a result of ice and snow last winter alone.

As a result we want to remind young drivers of the dangers of driving during the winter months.

In-spite of the fact that snow flurries and severe icy conditions are yet to hit, now is the perfect time to start preparing your car for the wintery weather.

 - Have the right equipment - including battery jumper cables, first-aid kit, spare warm clothing, etc. For more information check out this article: top 10 things to carry in your car during winter.

 - Carry out a check of your car at the start of winter - checking for oil levels, antifreeze, air filter, etc.

 - Defrost your car thoroughly before setting off on an icy day to ensure your windows and mirrors are clear of any ice.

 - Ensure your headlights are in working order. Winter days get darker far earlier than any other time of the year and with thick snow or rain showers it's essential that your vehicle's lights are in good working order.

 - Check your car's battery - checking to ensure the top of your battery is clean, dry and it's terminals are tight and free of corrosion are all important.

 - Drive carefully in strong winds since they can be quite unsettling or even (in extreme cases) move the car around. On a road with other motorists and road users you need to be more aware or others - especially when around larger vehicles such as lorries and trucks.

 - Be cautious when driving in icy or snowy conditions - the best advice is not to risk driving if you don't need to, however, if you do find yourself in this situation you should drive at a reduced speed to help prevent skidding. You should also leave yourself plenty of stopping room in case you need to brake.

 - If you get stuck whilst driving in snow then we recommend clearing the snow from the car's wheels and put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give your tyres more grip. Once moving it's recommended that you try not to stop until you reach firm ground.


Friday, 15 November 2013

Young Drivers Urged To Look After Their Eyesight

A recent survey undertaken by revealed that young drivers between 18 and 24 were more likely to have issues driving due to bad eyesight when compared to older motorists.

The "Think About Your Eyes" campaign aims to identify poor eyesight on the road.

The report showed that whilst over 50% of motorists over the age of 55 required glasses or corrective lenses when driving compared to just a third of young drivers, around 10% of younger motorists believe that they should probably be wearing glasses when they drive.

Perhaps more worryingly 1 in 7 young drivers are of the opinion that they have put themselves before the safety of their passengers due to eyesight, compared to 1 in 35 motorists over the age of 55.

The report also showed:

  • 1 in 5 young drivers say they have been unable to see road signs when compared to 1 in 20 older motorists.
  • 1 in 7 young drivers struggle to read number plates
  • A third of young motorists have driven onto a roundabout and narrowly missed being hit because they failed to spot the oncoming vehicle.
  • 40% of young drivers admitted to a near-miss because a vehicle came out of nowhere.

Whilst these figures do suggest that young motorists need to consider their eyesight and wear glasses - where appropriate, they also suggest that young drivers are simply less aware of other road-users and need to be more vigilant whilst driving to avoid claims on their car insurance.

With the weather getting colder and the night’s drawing in earlier iKube would like to remind young drivers to stay safe on the road. If you need to wear glasses whilst driving we strongly recommend doing so as you could be putting yourself and others at risk by not doing so.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Young Drivers Snapping #DrivingSelfies On The Road

Eating, drinking, reading maps, making calls, texting and applying makeup are just part of a growing list of silly things that young drivers do whilst on the road.

According to Fox17 taking a photograph with a mobile phone (aka "selfies") whilst driving is the latest craze to add to the list.

The website has reported that almost 15,000 drivers have uploaded driving selfies to Instagram using hashtags like #drivingselfie, #drivingselfies and #drivingtowork. There are even those who have ironically used #IhopeIdontcrash...

Motoring experts in the US have called for young drivers to see common sense and curb their enthusiasm for selfies whilst on the road. Jackie Gillan, the president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety said:

“Taking a photo of yourself while you’re driving a 2,000-pound vehicle down the road at 50 or 60 miles per hour? That is putting your life in danger and putting the lives of those around you in danger.”

Governments, the police and road safety groups in the UK, US and in other areas of the World have been raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, with mobile phone usage being a primary concern. This includes texting, social media use and making calls whilst driving.

In the UK the Hampshire Constabulary in September this year launched Operation Tramline and detected 227 distracted driving offences in just 5 days! Commenting on this Seargent Paul Dimond, who headed up the operation said:

"Distracted driving is proven to be a significant factor in many of the collisions on our roads. The vast majority were holding phones in their lap and accessing applications or texting with their hands held low – this is incredibly dangerous both for the motorist and for other road users."

There are frequently stories in the press about motorists who crashed into other vehicles as a result of distracted driving, for example, the most recent was a lorry driver on the M25 who crashed into a queue of traffic as he was distracted whilst talking on the phone and checking his SatNav at the time - killing at least one other driver. Another truck driver in Arizona, USA crashed into a number of emergency vehicles, killing one police officer whilst distracted by semi-naked women on his smartphone.

Whilst taking a selfie whilst driving may seem like harmless fun at first it is still distracted driving and a moment's distraction could mean fatal consequences. Our advice – if you have to take a selfie in your car – make sure you’re not driving at the time…


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Red Cross Issues Advice For Young Drivers At The Scene Of An Accident

The British Red Cross has recently released first-aid advice for young drivers, following a recent announcement by the Government that they are considering a number of measures to improve road safety, including the introduction of curfews and increasing the age they can get a licence to 18.

The Red Cross have suggested that whilst the proposals put forward by the Government could help to prevent accidents, young drivers are still advised to undertake first-aid training should a road accident occur.

The Red Cross have also released some sound advice for young drivers to follow if they find encounter an accident on the road, these include:

  1. If you come across an accident and are in a car, park-up somewhere safe and switch the engine off. Stay calm and assess the situation - looking out for dangers such as leaking fuel, broken glass and traffic.

  2. If more than one person is injured then it's advisable to check on the quiet one first as they may be unconscious and require immediate attention. It is also recommended that you do not move any casualties as you could exacerbate or cause further injuries.

  3. If an injured person is bleeding then it's recommended to put pressure on the wound with a clean cloth if available - i.e. a torn shirt, rag, towel, etc. Keep pressure on the wound until help arrives.

  4. Call 999 or ask someone else to do it.

All sound pieces of advice for any young driver in this kind of situation, however, there are a few more common sense tips that iKube have come up with, including:

  1. Make sure you've alerted others to the accident - by using the hazard lights and forward facing lights in your car. In addition it makes sense to place a warning triangle on the road if you have one.

  2. Whether you or someone else calls the emergency services you should make sure that you give them enough information about the accident, including:

  3.  - Your telephone number
     - The location of the accident - a map reference, landmarks or Sat-Nav co-ordinates will do
     - Describe what has happened - e.g. a van has rear-ended a car and caused the car to vear off-road

The most important message we at iKube can give you as a young driver is: Stay safe on the road and don't put yourself in dangerous situations if you can avoid them. Source:

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Telematics - How A Little Black Box Promotes Road Safety

Today I asked myself this question - "what is the real purpose behind car insurance?"

Whilst on the surface that might seem like a bit of a daft question to ask the introduction of black box telematics technology has practically changed its original meaning to something... even more meaningful.

Let me put this into perspective:

For many years the primary purpose of car insurance was to insure against loss due to a traffic accident or theft.

This is still the basic premise behind this, however, a telematics or "black box" car insurance policy not only offers the essential cover but it can also make you a safer driver.

By harnessing this kind of technology insurance providers such as iKube not only offers 17 - 25 year old full licensed drivers and learner drivers discounted cover but it also promotes safer driving.

By giving young drivers the toolkit to monitor their own driving through the use of an online dashboard and the use of TomTom's tracking software iKube are essentially saying to policyholders - "you have control over your premium".

By keeping an eye on driving habits whilst out on the road or by using these tools young drivers can improve their driving on a day-by-day basis.

I will leave you with this thought - no one ever stops learning from their driving. Every day we get out on the road we're learning new things - whether it's about how we drive or how other people drive.

By offering this technology - telematics insurance providers are making safe driving a priority and policyholders are reaping the rewards at renewal - as long as they consistently demonstrate good, safe driving.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Parent Education for Teaching Learner Drivers

I read an interesting article today that describes how parents of learner drivers in Port Macquarie, Australia have been invited to a free workshop to help them when taking to the road with a learner driver.

Parents in the UK and other parts of the World tend to get in the car with their son or daughter when they're learning to drive to supplement training when they're not off out with an instructor.

But let's face facts - getting into a car with a relatively inexperienced learner driver can probably be pretty daunting (and not just a little scary).

What this workshop aims to do is educate parents and help them to "plan and deliver driving sessions and allowed them to share experiences with other parents and supervisors", said a spokesperson for the NSW Centre For Road Safety in Australia.

They went on to say that they want to use the course to reinforce the important role that families can have in providing on-going support for young drivers from an early age.

Would parents benefit from a similar workshop here in the UK? More importantly - would they attend if it meant making their son or daughter a better, safer driver in the long-run?

Here at iKube we believe that anything that reinforces road safety and reduces the number of accidents on the road can only be a good thing – if done in the right way.

iKube’s black box device records on how the car is being driven and its location – which can be very helpful for parents who want to help their young driver improve how they drive.

We provide online feedback via our dashboard and TomTom’s own software – which we encourage both young driver policyholders and their parents to monitor as it delivers an excellent level of feedback.


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Psychology Behind Aggressive Driving – Why It Needs To Be Reigned In

Following the UK government's introduction of on-the-spot fines for unsafe driving the Guardian released an article that examines why drivers behave in a certain way whilst driving.

Aggressive Driving

Interestingly young drivers top the list with failure to realise when they're driving aggressively. Tailgating or blocking other road-users is deemed to be a bullying tactic - and certainly one many of us wouldn't do in a face-to-face situation.

Younger motorists are thought to be some of the worst offenders for this and a psychological study has revealed that those who score high on personality measures such as sensation-seeking and impulsiveness are more inclined to drive aggressively.

The article mentions a number of other aspects but the three that probably stand out the most in terms of aggression behind the wheel were the following:

1. We behave more aggressively to those of a "perceived" lower status

Sadly this is true - decades of research actually shows that behaviour such as tailgating, prolonged honking and other bullying tactics stem from the fact that the aggressor believes that they are the more important driver.

It's believed that drivers make this assumption based on the vehicles involved - i.e. size or newness in many instances - larger cars over smaller ones and newer vehicles over older ones. These assumptions are made with no knowledge of the person driving the car.

2. We simply forget that other motorists are people as well

Anger and road rage are not uncommon when driving and near misses and cutting other motorists up tend to be the main reasons behind it.

To put this into perspective - the Guardian rightly says that if you accidently bump into someone on the street or in the supermarket - you're usually inclined to apologise and move on. In spite of this, when you get into the car you're more inclined to dehumanise other motorists and pedestrians and react to them in a completely different way as a result.

3. Blaming Others & Overestimating Ourselves

Many drivers blame others for dangerous driving without thinking about the situation in question  – attributing the mistakes of other motorists to their personality or driving ability, while excusing our own errors on the road.

A prime example of this is what happened to me recently - I was in a situation where I was cut up by a white van on a motorway, however, he was forced to by a lorry merging into the middle lane trying to overtake another vehicle. To get angry at the van driver would have been pointless – it wasn't really his fault at all.

Unfortunately this leads to many of us overestimating our driving ability – according to official statistics 80 – 90% of motorists believe that they are an above-average driver. Sadly – the more skilled we believe we are the less likely this is to be true…

This article is really just a little food for thought but certainly worth considering for the next time someone cuts you up or you’re tailgating a slower, older vehicle in front. Besides – do you really want an on-the-spot fine that the government have recently introduced for this type of behaviour?


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Is Birmingham The Worst Place To Learn To Drive?

A recent article by the Birmingham Mail suggests that the city has one of the highest failure rates for learner drivers taking their practical test.

With 23 learners failing a whopping 21 times in Birmingham and 863 having to take their test 11 - 15 times before they passed. In addition to this 105 took 16 - 20 attempts before they passed as well.

The writer goes on to suggest that as a result of these shocking statistics many newly qualified drivers are not safe on the roads, however, this is questionable if you look at the figures over the 2004 - 2013 period they've quoted them from.

With the tens of thousands of learner drivers taking tests every year 863 over a 9 year period seems rather minor in comparison and suggests that this could be blown way out of proportion.

Birmingham reportedly has some of the worst driving test centres in the UK - some of them are as low as 35.5% - the second worst in the UK outside of London.

A spokesperson from the Alliance of British Drivers commented:

“I would like to know what the pattern of failures is – are they failing for the same thing or is it something different each time? They could just be extremely nervous types who don’t do tests well – although that might suggest they’re not suited to driving.”

Which also raises an interesting question - are the issues affecting their ability to pass their driving test being addressed by their driving instructor in an efficient yet sympathetic manner?

The Driving Standards Agency has released a statement saying:

“It’s essential that all drivers demonstrate they have the right skills, knowledge and attitude to drive safely. The driver testing and training regime tests candidates’ ability to drive safely and responsibly as well as making sure they know the theory behind safe driving.”

In addition city driving is no mean feat and can be quite stressful and hazardous when compared to driving in and around small towns – check out our guide to city driving to find out more.


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Safer New Cars Ramp Up Young Driver Insurance Premiums

According to recent research young drivers are feeling pressurised to buy older, cheaper cars as they are unable to afford the cost of insurance for a newer, safer vehicle.

The report released by car manufacturer, Alfa Romeo, shows that 50% of respondents feel that they are being forced into cheaper, unreliable, older cars. It is believed that this is the main contributing factor to young drivers under the age of 24 being involved in more car accidents than any other age group.

Of those surveyed as many as 63% believe that it is wrong for young drivers to be charged higher car insurance premiums because of their age. Almost 75% believe that they are at a higher risk of having an accident as a result of the cost of young drivers car insurance forcing them into older, less reliable vehicles.

Commenting on the outcome of the study, Damien Dally, the head of Brand at Alfa Romeo stated:

"Young drivers are having to pay increasing amounts of money just to get behind the wheel of a car and often a new car is totally out of the question, despite the obvious benefits of safety, efficiency and modern technology."

Many young drivers are reliant on their parents helping them to buy a first car and insurance, however, with a standard policy costing in excess of £2,000 the costs are proving to be quite a burden for many.

As a result telematics or "black box" car insurance is proving very popular with young drivers looking to cut costs.

The black box device is simply fitted in a discrete location in the car and tracks a number of aspects about the drive. In the case of iKube this is largely focused on the time of day. However it also looks at how well or poorly the motorist has driven over the course of the year and the premium is adjusted accordingly.

If the young driver has driven well they receive a discount on their policy, however, if they have driven poorly this could result in an increase.

To find out more about how iKube's black box insurance works check out our telematics car insurance page.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Men Less Likely To Accept Help With Their Driving

Recent figures released by the AA have revealed that male drivers are less likely to accept help with their driving when compared to female motorists.

According to the AA, of the 2,000 free lessons offered to help nervous, rusty, lapsed and dangerous drivers get back on the road only 22% that took the offer up were men.

Unfortunately official motoring figures suggests that male drivers are twice as likely to have an accident as women.
However, the survey also revealed that young drivers between the ages of 21 - 25 were more likely to sign-up to improve their driving than older motorists.

The importance of further driver training has been compounded following recent figures that showed that 17,478 men were either killed or badly injured on the roads in 2011 – compared to 7,544 women.

The director of the AA - Edmund King has warned motorists not to let pride stop them from improving their driving skills - adding that everyone should aim to become a safer driver, no matter how long they've had their licence. He went on to say that all motorists have a responsibility to make sure that their skills are up-to-date.

Mr King went on to state that men shouldn't let pride get in the way since further training can not only reduce risk but could help reduce car insurance for young drivers as well as premiums for older drivers.

To sign off I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts –

It’s not just learner drivers who need the initial training and it’s important to remember that you never really stop learning after you pass your driving test. No matter how skilled you believe yourself to be behind the wheel there is always room for improvement. So – if you are a newly qualified motorists why not consider a pass plus course – you never know, it might even help bring down the cost of your young drivers insurance


Monday, 10 June 2013

Young Farmers Group Takes Action To Improve Rural Driving

The study carried out by Road Safety Analysis has revealed further information about rural drivers - including the riskiest areas of the England and Wales to drive.

As a result of these findings the National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs (NFYFC) has called for more support from local communities and the government for young drivers in rural areas.

The NFYFC has joined forces with the National Farmers Union (NFU) and their road safety campaign - Drive It Home.

Drive It Home was originally founded as a result of the disturbing results from a report by the Department for Transport. The report showed that young drivers in rural areas are at far greater risk when on the road. To find out more about these results please read our article: Young Drivers Welcome Changes To The Way They Drive.

The study highlighted a number of areas around the UK - including Surrey, parts of Lincolnshire, South Glamorgan, East Sussex and other areas that were the worst hit.

As a result the NFYFC are putting together a number of recommendations - including the introduction of a compulsory rural road section of the driving test as well as more transport links in rural areas of the UK.

Commenting on behalf of the NFYFC, spokesperson Milly Wastie said:

“This research shows that rural young drivers face distinct challenges on our country roads and a lack of education and support is costing lives.”

She added that the group is working with NFU Mutual to offer practical driver training courses to their 25,000 members who are young drivers.

Tim Price from the NFU Mutual voiced his support for this work by adding:

“Deaths and serious injuries are taking a dreadful toll on the lives of young people and we are working with Young Farmers’ Clubs and other organisations to try and reduce accidents and save lives.”

Are you a young farmer? Have an opinion? Why not share it in our comments section below...


Tailgaters - How To Deal With Them

As an inexperienced young driver it can be all too easy to get upset by the tailgater sitting as close to the rear of your car as they can - believe me, we've all experienced and all dealt with it in our own way.

A lot of the time there is no right or wrong answer to dealing with them - hopefully the £100 police fines to be introduced in July 2013 will go some way to preventing foolish tailgating behaviour.

But it probably won't deter them completely - so what can you as a young driver to deal with a situation like this?

Well there are a number of solutions that drivers around the UK have come up with over the years - some right, some not so right. Here's our top suggestion:

Ease back - by easing off the gas and slowing down you can increase your forward safety gap - giving you more time to stop in an emergency. By doing this you're not only giving yourself more time but you are also giving the driver tailgating you more time to react. In addition - it allows them to overtake when it's safe to do so.

As annoying and as dangerous as tailgaters are you are far better off letting them pass you - at least that way you can take note of their car registration and report them to the police! Besides - it's safer for you and others in your car to have the dangerous driver in front - rather than right up your car's rear.

The most important thing to remember is to stay safe whilst your on the road - the last thing you want is an accident that results in injuries, damaged vehicles and a claim on your young drivers insurance.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Tailgaters And Middle Lane Drivers To Face Fines

The police have recently announced that tailgaters and middle lane drivers on motorways could face on-the-spot penalties under new measures introduced by the UK Government.

As of July the police will have the power to issue £100 fines as well as 3 points for careless driving offences. Currently drivers who are caught have to go through lengthy court procedures. It is believed that by introducing these on-the-spot penalties it will allow police to target offenders quickly by cutting out this lengthy process.

In addition to these penalties fines have also increased for not wearing a seatbelt or using a phone whilst driving. Fines are set to rise from £40 - £100.

The measures are likely to prove a good move by the Government as many motoring offences currently go unpunished due to the bureaucracy involved in bringing current cases to court. 

This could be good news for young drivers who have recently passed their driving test as it means that they are less likely to get irresponsible motorists hassling and tailgating them whilst on the move. This move could also result in a reduction in road accidents.

Stephen Hammond, the road safety minister, commented:

"Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people's lives at risk."

Mr Hammond went on to say:

"That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court."

Both the AA and the RAC Foundation have supported the action to make UK roads safer. 

Professor Stephen Glaister of the RAC Foundation believes that anti-social behaviour on the roads is as much of a problem as it is in wider society, adding:

"Giving police more discretion to act, and freeing up resources to allow them to do so by cutting procedural delays in court, is good news."

In spite of this, whilst he supports the move, motoring expert Quentin Wilson raised concerns that the UK may not have enough traffic police to enforce the law – especially since the number of traffic police on the roads have been cut by 50% since 1997.

Do you think this is the right move by the Government? Leave your thoughts below...


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Young Drivers Welcome Changes To The Way They Drive

Amidst growing concerns and alarming figures that suggest young drivers are increasingly at risk on the roads the UK Government are planning to curb the excesses of newly qualified 17 - 25 year old drivers.

Young drivers appear to be welcoming this news, along with many aspects of the Government's "green paper" young driver report. Many are backing the mandatory motorway driving lessons and the introduction of breath-alcohol ignition locks that will not allow the young drivers to take to the road before being breathalysed. The device actually prevents the vehicle's engine from being started if the results are higher than the blood alcohol limit.

However, young motorists are less keen on other elements - such as a year's minimum learning period before being able to go for a driving test and only 10% backed night-time driving curfews.

Following this report, recent figures produced by the Road Safety Analytics company and Michelin Tyres has revealed that young drivers were 44% more likely to be involved in a serious accident on a rural road, when compared to urban areas.

The results suggests that young drivers are 68% more likely be involved in an accident on a 60mph rural road. An alarming figure - especially since 41% of respondents admitted to being more likely to drive faster on rural roads.

As a result of this report the head of government affairs at Michelin - Darren Lindsey has said:
"There is an urgent case for greater education and awareness among young drivers, especially those in rural areas.”

Mr Lindsey added that following the release of the government's recent green paper on young drivers, the report "provides a compelling case for some of the recommendations."

So is this the future for young drivers - more importantly - do you agree with the Government proposals? Let us know what you think by commenting below.


Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Driving Curfew Could Come Into Force For Young Drivers

The British Government are looking at putting a driving curfew for young drivers to prevent road accidents and slash young driver insurance premiums.

Over the last few years the subject of putting young driver curfews in place has been suggested on more than one occasion. As a result it looks like MPs and specialists within the car insurance industry are now discussing it as a very real option.

Ministers are also suggesting:

1. An extended probation period after learner drivers pass their test. During this period 6 penalty points results in disqualification - Ministers are suggesting that this needs to be extended from two to three years.

2. A zero alcohol limit

3. A restriction on the number of passengers carried in the car

4. A minimum period of 6 - 12 months to learn to drive - learner drivers will no longer be able to take their driving test once they hit 17.

There is also a suggestion that learner drivers can take lessons on motorways and driving tests could change to include more unsupervised driving time. It's thought that this will allow test examiners to observe candidates in a more natural surrounding when assessing skills.

Commenting on behalf of the Association of British Insurers, Otto Thoresen stated:

"We have long campaigned for changes to the current approach to learning to drive which does little to help young people become safe, secure drivers."

Mr Thoresen added that newly qualified young drivers are "at a much higher risk of having a serious crash on our roads which is reflected in the cost of their car insurance, insurers want to see young drivers become safer drivers which in turn will result in more affordable premiums."

iKube currently offers a young drivers insurance scheme that rewards newly qualified drivers for being safe on the road. The scheme also rewards young drivers who agree not to drive late at night (between 11pm - 5am) in a bid to help reduce accidents and slash premiums.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Learner Driver Numbers Dropping

With motoring costs doubling is there any wonder why young people do not want to drive?

A recent study by Auto Trader has suggested that the cost of keeping a car on the road could double in the next decade, forcing many young drivers off the road completely.

The poll of almost 3,500 drivers suggested that many believe that the cost of motoring could be as much as £4,580 in ten years time, doubling the current cost of motoring - an overall annual cost of £135 billion a year.

As a result 71% of respondents believe that it would be very difficult for young drivers to buy a car in the future. Consequently over 50% of the 17 - 24 year olds questioned believes that there will be a drop in the numbers of people learning to drive.

Research by ITV news backs up this argument with figures that show that the numbers of learner drivers taking lessons have dropped by a fifth in the last five years alone.

ITV news suggests that this is a result of high young driver insurance costs and problems with the UK economy.

However, by taking out a black box telematics insurance policy, such as iKube, young drivers can reduce their premium by as much as 25% in some cases. To find out more about how this work's check out iKube's guide to telematics car insurance.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Parents Fib to Slash Young Drivers Insurance

A comparison website has revealed that 10% of parents are happy to commit fraud to help save money on their kid's young drivers insurance.

Essentially the parent is engaging in a fraudulent scam, otherwise known as "fronting", to reduce car insurance premiums. This scam involves a parent or older driver to insure the car in their name, however, in reality the young driver is the main driver.

Committing car insurance fraud is illegal and really not worth the risk as it could invalidate the car insurance as well as lead to a criminal record. To find out more about the dangers of fronting we recommend reading our article on the importance of supplying your insurer with the correct information - which expands further on why you should avoid fronting.

According to the road safety charity, Brake, a fifth of new drivers are involved in a crash within 6 months of passing their driving test. Figures also show that an 18 year old young driver is three times more likely to have an accident than a 48 year old. Stark figures that highlight the importance of ensuring that newly qualified young drivers are insured correctly.

To bring down the cost of car insurance for young drivers’ iKube recommends looking at a telematics (black box) insurance scheme. In addition to this the parent could look at adding themselves as a "named" driver as this could help also help to reduce the premium.

By adding a named driver and opting for a black box insurance scheme the young driver may not only reduce the premium in the first year but can continue to benefit from the scheme.

In the case of iKube, for example, as long as the young driver avoids late night driving and drives carefully, then they can continue to benefit from the discounts that iKube offers at renewal.


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Should Learner Drivers Be Taught To Read Maps?

With many young drivers lacking basic map reading skills due to over-reliance on SatNav and online technologies we ask the question – should learner drivers be taught how to navigate using a road map?

A recent study by has suggested that the map-reading skills of many young drivers are extremely poor - suggesting that they have become too reliant on satellite navigation technology.

According to the survey four out of five young drivers between the ages of 18 and 30 have confessed to being unable to read a map and require electronic guidance to help them find where they need to go.

Commenting on behalf of the company, a spokesperson said:

"We’ve all seen the pictures of lorries wedged in narrow streets or heard the tales of cars being diverted hundreds of miles purely to avoid one bit of road. Map reading is a valuable skill and one which should not be lost especially amongst our younger generations. We have to remember that technology cannot be counted on all of the time."

The survey clearly brings up a number of concerns - including the lack of map reading skills by young drivers. Whilst it's easy to become dependent on the likes of a SatNav or online tool like Google Maps there is no knowing when it could go wrong. 

The difference is – a SatNav is essentially a computer device that pulls its data from a satellite where a road atlas is a large book of road maps. An atlas can’t really go wrong – unless it’s a really old version and therefore doesn’t include the latest road changes – but that’s why it’s important to make sure the Atlas is up-to-date. A SatNav is an extremely useful tool; however, it is electronic and therefore prone to bugs, errors and general technical failure (in some instances).

There are arguments for both sides; however, stories in the press of people driving down restricted roads; driving headlong into lakes or rivers or driving the wrong way down a one-way road due to over-reliance on their SatNav also highlights the importance of map-reading, checking road signs and a little common sense. 

So with this over-reliance on satellite navigation is it time to bring things back to basics? Should map reading to be introduced as part of a learner driver’s driving test?


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Young driver insurance rates could be on the increase

Experts in the insurance industry have warned that young driver insurance rates could increase to £3,300 a year or higher in some cases.

The reason insurers are looking to increase their rates for young drivers is down to changes in the way that compensation is paid to crash victims.

Unfortunately young drivers under the age of 22 are expected to be hardest hit as they are statistically more likely to be involved in a serious accident.

A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers commented:

"It is little surprise motor premiums are rising because insurers have been hit with a mixture of extraordinary conditions such as increased cases of fraud and whiplash claims. When these costs come under control, the cost to drivers will fall."

The increase in insurance rates for young drivers could come as an additional blow to young female motorists as many may have already seen an increase in their premiums as a result of the EU Gender Ruling introduced in December 2012.

Commenting on behalf of the RAC, Stephen Glaister added that millions of people rely on their cars to get to work and high car insurance costs are likely to severely impact them. He added:

"Hikes in premiums and the new gender rules could make driving all but a dream for thousands of young women."

Fortunately here at iKube Insurance we offer discounted car insurance for young drivers based on the time of day they drive. As long as the policyholder agrees not to drive late at night (between 11pm - 5am) we can offer them discounted rates.


Monday, 14 January 2013

Top Five Cars For Learner Drivers This Year

A recent article by has revealed the top five cars that learner drivers should consider when getting behind the wheel for the first time.

They've taken into motoring costs - such as road tax, learner driver insurance and MOT when suggesting cars for learners to help manage  their / parent's budget.

They include cars such as the Toyota Aygo, Smart Fortwo, Chevrolet Spark, Ford Ka and the Vauxhall Corsa.

However, when you look at the cars they all tend to come with a very similar specification. The majority have a 1.0 / 1.2 litre engine and fall into group 1 (or 2 / 3 at a push) for car insurance. Read our guide on car insurance groups to find out more.

Each of the cars mentioned in the article all tend to be fuel efficient and you should expect to get at least 55mpg.

In order of top-to-bottom cars to drive for learner drivers we have:

1. Toyota Aygo / Citreon C1 / Peugeot 107 - apparently they just couldn't make up their minds! They are all believed to be good cars for learner drivers.

2. The Smart Fortwo - a hybrid vehicle that could help save on fuel consumption, however, it does fall into insurance group 3 so the cost of provisional insurance may be a little higher than the others.

3. The Chevrolet Spark - an American vehicle with the most capacity of the five contenders.

4. The Ford Ka - a reliable fuel efficient vehicle that is ideal for first-time drivers.

5. The Vauxhall Corsa - a popular choice amongst driving schools that is fuel efficient and appears to be the most capable of handling longer journeys.


Monday, 7 January 2013

The Importance of Indicating Whilst Driving

When out on the road it can be easy to slip into bad habits - especially when it comes to not using the vehicle's indicators correctly.

Did you know that by not using your indicators you could be risking your life and that of other road users?

It might sound a little dramatic but a recent study suggests that indicator neglect can result in up to 2 million crashes over a 12 month period, according to the US Society of Automotive Engineers. When compared to the 950,000 crashes reported by the US Department of Transportation as a result of distracted driving (i.e. mobile phone use, ogling attractive pedestrians, etc) it puts it into perspective.

We've all seen it - someone driving on the motorway or dual-carriageway swerving in and out of lanes without indicating. Whether this is through sheer ignorance or just a complete disregard for other road users is not known - but that doesn't take away the fact that it can be dangerous - possibly fatal.

Indicator signals are there to inform other road users and pedestrians about what you plan on doing. For example, if you plan on turning into another road and a pedestrian is about to cross it tells them what your intentions are and they may wait for you to turn. However, if you go to turn without indicating and the pedestrian is already crossing as they are not aware of your intentions then this could result in an accident...

These two examples highlight the importance of signalling - whether you're in a built-up area such as a town or village or even on the motorway. By forcing yourself to use indicators you are taking an important step to driving safely.

Here at iKube we still turn to the Highway Code to check driving facts - especially if it means it will make us safer drivers. Take a look below at what the Code says about signalling:

• Always give clear signals in plenty of time. It's important to check that it's not misleading to signal.
• Use indicators to advise other road users before changing course or direction.
• Cancel your indicators after use.
• Ensure that your signals will not confuse others.
• Be aware that an indicator on another vehicle may not have been cancelled.

Remember - by driving safely you naturally reduce the chance of accidents on the road - as well as reducing the likelihood of claiming on your young drivers insurance.