Meet ingenie driver, Caroline Grimshaw
So, how's it going Caroline?
Pretty good! I've been with ingenie for nearly a year and a half now - since April 2018, and I'm currently on a driving score of 95/100 - working towards my 3rd good driving discount of the year.
What car do you drive, does it have a name?
I drive a white Peugeot 208 - her name's Phoebe!
That feeling when you're officially legal to drive your own car is the absolute best. The freedom and independence that comes with passing your test is unreal, still one of my greatest achievements.
What's your thoughts on black boxes?
As every learner does on the lead up to their test, they search endlessly looking for the best deals on car insurance, both with and without having the ‘dreaded’ black box. In all honesty, having a black box didn’t bother me as I wanted to be a safe driver.
I spent hours searching the best car insurance for young drivers and spoke to my friends about their experiences of having a black box, some good some not so good! I passed my driving test 6th April 2017 and immediately went home to search for car insurance. Eeek.
I knew I needed a lot of miles as I travel around 50 miles a day to get to and from work, which meant I needed to buy around 13,000 miles. While searching for different insurances, I saw a few companies I'd been advised to avoid. But then I came across ingenie and what a find that was! I made no hesitation in booking my 1st year of driving insurance with them.
How do you adapt your driving for such long journeys?
I set off to work around 6:30am to try and avoid some of the traffic - it would be horrendous if I set off any later. My daily commute is a long journey, so I have to set myself a relatively long time allowance to make sure I get there on time and safely. Unfortunately, I don’t leave work until 4 or 5pm hitting rush hour at its finest. Some days it feels I see more of the M60 than I do of my own family, haha! But I just remind myself to take my time - rushing doesn't benefit anyone.
Has your driving changed since you've had a black box?
After the week my black box was fitted, I carried on driving the same as I had done prior to having the box. I waited an anxious 10 days to see my scores from driving, to which I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have any improvement messages. The feedback just matched up to my driving - so I was instantly relieved.
One of the major incentives which makes you want to continue driving safely (apart from keeping your licence!) is the discount. Every 3 months you get a review based on how you've been driving and at the side of the ingenie app it tells you how much money back you've earned. It really helps you keep on track seeing the amount you're working towards.
Any bugbears about being a driver?
Everyone is always so busy and rushing these days. And I'm guilty for it too. The one thing I have to remind myself while driving is to take my time! As painful as it is on a Friday while driving home from work, I know that sticking to the speed limits and driving carefully is ultimately what keeps us all safe.
Frustratingly, the same can’t always be said for other drivers. Unfortunately, in the year and a half I’ve been driving I’ve had a near few misses - from people not paying attention. Drivers distracted by their mobile phones, messing with the screen in their car or just general stupid driving. Grr.
Top piece of advice you'd pass on to a new driver, then?
Try to avoid slamming on your brakes all the time. When you're nervous and new to the road there's a tendency to do this more often - but that's how you're going to start racking up bad feedback. Unfortunately, you will come across some idiots that will cut you up from time-to-time, but my advice would be to look further ahead up the road and try to prepare for hazards by giving yourself more time to react.
If you do have to do an emergency stop, don’t be afraid to contact the social media team and let them know the details of what happened. If it's clear it's just a one-off, they'll be able to make sure it doesn't mess up your good driving discount. The social media team are amazing!
What would you say is the best part of being insured with ingenie?
I'd say having the social media team on hand to give you more detail on your driving feedback. If you find that you're not 100% happy or you're unsure with anything you can always contact the team on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and they will give you more info into your messages and score.
Any last comments before you head off?
I’m lucky enough to have what I consider to be an amazing relationship with ingenie. So much so, I even renewed my insurance with them for my 2nd year. A few days after I came home to a lovely surprise: a large envelope full of car smellies, chocolates and sweets - which went down a treat!
All I can say is do not hesitate to take out car insurance with ingenie, they will help and guide you to become a better driver.
By Katey Gregory
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.