Boastful drivers miss out on cheap car insurance

Motorists are a competitive bunch who often blur fact with fiction about the way they and other road users drive.

More than three-quarters (78%) rate themselves as above average when behind the wheel, while a 22% boast they are ‘excellent’ drivers.

Younger drivers thought most highly of their skills, with 26% believing they are ‘excellent’ on the roads.

But what drivers think and the truth about their skills seem poles apart.

One insurer, Aviva, collected 700,000 miles of driving data through a mobile phone app drivers activated to record their journeys in cars and vans.

Each driver had to clock up 200 miles to gain a rating between 1 (poor) and 10 (excellent).

The prize was up to a 20% car insurance discount.

Despite nearly 80% of drivers rating themselves as above average, the app only granted the maximum discount to 19%, while half of all drivers were rated average and gained a 10% off their premiums.

And while many of the drivers complained older drivers were unsafe, the opposite was true as drivers aged between 50 and 60 years old averaged a score of 7.5 out of 10 against an all-driver average of 7.0.

Other drivers picked on as unsafe include young men and van drivers.

The firm’s Heather Smith said: “We don’t believe such stereotypes exist and in fact, we believe that it’s how you drive, not who you are that matters when it comes to driving ability.”

The research also revealed that although most drivers learn their skills from their parents, half thought they were better drivers than their parents and 32% believed they were better drivers than their partners.

Men were most likely to over rate their skills – with 30% scoring themselves as excellent drivers, while only 16% of women bragged they were excellent.

Not only did men believe they were better drivers than women, they also consider they are more vigilant (40%).

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