In a UK first, a simple smart plug-in connects and protects millions of unconnected drivers. There are 37 million vehicles on the UK’s roads, 30 million of which have none of the accident alert, fault warnings and theft tracking capabilities of newer cars. But now, motorists can ‘get connected’ without having to wait to upgrade their car with Smartdriverclub.
Smartdriverclub is a completely unique membership service that offers motorists greater protection both on the road and when managing their car’s running costs, through the connectivity that comes as standard in new cars but without the heavy ‘new car’ price tag. Available to consumers driving vehicles that have been registered since 2010, it costs just £6.60* per month.
It works like this, once a customer joins the club, as a member, they will be sent a small device – the Smartplug – which they insert in an easily accessed socket, normally underneath the steering column. They can then view all of their Smartdriverclub services via their smartphone using the free Smartdriverclub app called ‘Viewpoint’ or online via their laptop or tablet device.
Benefits include essential safety features like automatic emergency assistance, breakdown help that can see the driver’s location to find them faster, theft tracking that can speed up Police recovery and a digital mechanic that can identify faults to help motorists avoid worsening the damage or even prevent a breakdown. It can even provide in-car wifi for those challenging ‘kiddie’ car journeys and a valuation service is included for when a motorist is ready to sell their car, from Cap Hpi.
Motor industry expert, Penny Searles, the brainchild behind Smartdriverclub, says: “I have elderly parents who make long journeys quite regularly, and it bothered me that I had no idea if they were OK until they reached their destination. If they were in an accident, I wanted to know that there would be no delay in emergency services being informed. If they broke down, I wanted to know that they’d be located by roadside recovery without unnecessary delay. They don’t drive a new car and whilst, of course, they have mobile phones, it’s not always easy to know exactly where you are if you’ve broken down.
“Parents with teenagers who have recently taken to the roads will also value the peace of mind of the services they get with Smartdriverclub, like being able to see where their car is at any time, or being immediately informed in the case of a serious accident.
“But these benefits are just the tip of the iceberg – the money saving features put motorists in control. We have deliberately priced the service to be as accessible as possible to motorists. For example, the theft tracking alone if purchased separately could be from £300 per year.
“It’s easy for motorists to get this level of protection in the US, without having to buy a new car, so I wanted to bring the same concept to the UK. Why should UK motorists have to wait to get the advantages of new car connectivity? Now with Smartdriverclub they don’t have to. We are anticipating a huge amount of interest – not only from motorist themselves but from motor dealers and brands looking to find ways to offer greater protection to their customers.”
SmartDriverClub comprises the following services in one package:
- My Mechanic – This will alert a motorist if a car problem crops up, suggest what they can do about it and find a local dealer they can talk to.
- Crash Assistance – If the customer is in a collision and Smartdriverclub can’t reach the customer on their mobile phone, they will contact the emergency services and direct them to the location.
- Stolen Car – An in-car tracker activated by the customer means that if it’s stolen, the Police should know exactly where to look.
- Breakdown Help – Smartdriverclub will inform roadside assistance so they know where the customer is and have useful information about their car.
- My Driving – Motorists can save money on fuel costs by seeing how efficiently their car performs on each journey with a smart driving history that helps them manage fuel use.
- My Deals – Customers can save money on everything from servicing to new tyres. Just tap through the app for the latest deal from their dealership.
- Value My Car – Smartdriverclub provides a valuation of the customer’s car that’s actually based on their car so that they can use this instant price for better deals and finance.
- Where Did I Park? – A handy little map is provided to those that have forgotten where they parked
- Club Insurance – from May – Cover for good drivers based on their driving behaviour, to ensure customers are not paying for the poor behaviour of others.
- Car Wi-Fi optional – Family car journeys are always a challenge especially with teenagers in the back seat desperate to upload the latest selfie or to connect with their friends on chat. A connected road trip could also mean a blissful journey with everyone occupied in the car.