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We’re not listening to your calls

The Telegraph reported on Saturday that telematics insurers are tapping our phones and sending sexts to our mums.

Well. Not really. The gist was that SOME insurers monitor their customers' phone use in the car, picking up when calls are made, texts are sent and social media is checked.

But ingenie doesn't interact with your phone at all

Hey - we're never going to say using your phone in the car is OK. It's not. But it's your responsibility to make good decisions about distracted driving, whether that's turning off your phone or booting out noisy friends.

How we actually work

We record your driving with a black box we fit in your car, not with an app. This gives us much more reliable driving data from the GPS and accelerometers inside.

The black box is ONLY collecting data on how the car is being driven and doesn't know (or care) how many Facebook friends you have.

Our app is how we send you driving feedback every 10 days based on what the black box is picking up. It doesn't report back to us on when you're using your phone, whether it's hands-free or not. But it definitely should be, FYI.

We're much more interested in your driving style: your speed, acceleration, braking and cornering - all of which we can get from our lovely little black box, tucked safely out of sight.

Phones at the wheel are not OK

We absolutely don't condone using phones behind the wheel, which is why we include a safe driving declaration for the driver to agree to before they enter the app. We've also done campaigns, articles and huge surveys about distracted driving, working to make it as stigmatised as drink driving.

From 2017, using your phone while driving could get you 6 points on your licence and a minimum £200 fine - that's an immediate ban for a driver in their first 2 years on the road.

Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000.


Last year, we wrote about a survey that revealed nearly half of people now admit to using their phone at the wheel. Some of the increase is probably due to people being more honest about it - but that's part of the problem: it's becoming more and more acceptable when it should be getting less so.

We asked Twitter

Encouragingly, the majority of drivers in our own community said they never use their phone in the car, and 48% even agreed that new drivers should lose their licence if they do.

Although distracted driving is still a massive problem, making it a topic of conversation and awareness can go a long way. The things for us to tackle are the grey areas around hands-free and the 'it can't hurt' stuff like texting in stationary traffic - which definitely DOES count and will still get you points and a fine.

Whether there's specific legislation or not, if you're distracted while you're driving, you can be charged with driving without due care and attention or dangerous driving. Just don't.


Honor Clement-Hayes

By Honor Clement-Hayes

Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .