The Facebook-designed Citroen C1 Connexion - image: CitroenEnlarge Photo
If you’re a new driver, you know that the cost of car insurance can, in some cases, be more than the cost of your first car. Get a ticket, or have an at-fault accident, and you may find yourself with the kind of insurance rates that would make Bill Gates wince, if your company doesn’t just drop your coverage altogether.
Insurance cost isn’t just a problem in the United States, so French automaker Citroën
is offering up a unique version of its Facebook-designed C1 Connexion subcompact, aimed at young drivers in the U.K.. Fitted with a "black box" telematics system that monitors your every move behind the wheel, the C1 Connexion comes with discounted or even free car insurance.
To qualify for free insurance, drivers must lease or purchase through Citroën and must have two years of accumulated No Claims Discount (NCD). New drivers, or drivers with a single year of NCD are still eligible for discounted, but not free, car insurance.
Here’s where the “Big Brother” aspect comes into play: your insurance renewal premiums will be based on data logged and sent to your insurance company. Drive like you’re hauling a crate filled with unstable nitroglycerin, and you’ll likely get a favorable renewal rate. Drive without regard to traffic laws, and you’ll likely be looking for a new insurer.
While there are similar insurance-discount concepts in the United States (such as Progressive Insurance’s Snapshot
, which plugs into your car’s diagnostic port to log your driving habits), to the best of our knowledge no automaker has stepped forward to offer a bundle of free or discounted insurance on a national level (though GM did trial a program
in the Pacific Northwest).
That begs the question of whether or not you’d be willing to have your every moment behind the wheel scrutinized for cheap (or even free) car insurance. Could you obey every traffic law, every day, without fail? Would you even want to roll the dice, knowing that one forgetful moment could raise your insurance rates?
What’s your take on this? If a domestic automaker offered such a program, would you sign on the bottom line, or run the other way?