Improvements in technology are helping reduce the ongoing cost of car ownership. Today we look at some examples where innovation is bringing down the price of driving.
Improved Fuel Efficiency
The biggest change that technology has had on all drivers is the improvement in fuel efficiency of cars on the road. All the minor changes that go into each new vehicle are usually designed in some way to reduce the amount of fuel that a car uses on each journey.
Let’s just take a look at progress over the past 15 years. In 2000, the best-selling car in the UK was the Ford Focus, accounting for 5.2% of all new cars sold in the year that saw in the new millennium.
According to Parkers, the 1998-2004 Ford Focus 1.4l ran at 42 miles per gallon (mpg).
15 years later, the best-selling car in the UK was the Ford Fiesta. To compare like with like, we’ll also look at a 1.4l engine, which has a reported 67 mpg.
This is approximately a 60% improvement in that time period, drastically reducing fuel costs.
Whilst this is an amazing improvement in such a short time frame, we may have to take that with a slight pinch of salt give the recent revelations coming out of the VW emissions scandal!
And it’s not just the manufacturers who are embracing technology to reduce the cost of motoring. Robins & Day, for example, offer a Just Add Fuel Telematics product, which is designed to reduce the cost of motoring for young drivers.
When you purchase a car, it is fitted with a “telematics device” which on an ongoing basis monitors how the driver uses their vehicle. This allows the insurer to understand that the driver isn’t driving recklessly (sharp turns, fast acceleration, quick braking, etc), and can therefore offer them lower prices on their insurance.
Other insurance providers also offer this, as I’m sure you would have seen with Paul Whitehouse in the Aviva adverts talking about the Aviva Drive app.
Payment Box Lending
In a similar vein, the use of the payment box for people who are leasing a car and have poor credit means that their cost of borrowing when leasing a car can fall.
The payment box is a small device that is fitted to a car which allows the lender to deactivate the vehicle (at the next safe location) unless the driver keeps up to date with their payments. The installation of these devices has significantly cut the amount of defaults on borrowing against vehicles and therefore brought down the cost of borrowing accordingly.