Carrot, the young driver insurance provider that uses black box technology to record driving patterns and reward safer driving, is incentivising thousands of young drivers to continue to leave their cars at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Carrot director Andrew Brown-Allan said the company was responding to worrying news of a recent, sudden increase in the number of miles driven, which has led to Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director for Public Health England, to urge people not to drive their cars.
However, Carrot’s data shows that the UK’s young drivers seem to be following the government guidelines and not driving unless absolutely necessary.
Brown-Allan reported that in the 24hrs following the lockdown announced by the PM on 23 March, the average number of daily miles driven by Carrot’s customers fell by 38% to 8 miles. Six days later, on 29 March, the average daily miles driven by Carrot customers had fallen to just 4 miles, compared to 13 miles on the day that lockdown was announced – a reduction of 70% across that period.
Government data showed that despite a gradual fall in motor usage to less than a third of the usual average by Sunday 29 March, overall vehicle mileage in the UK jumped by 10% to 37% on Monday 30 March.
One reason for that could be that many local councils, NHS hospitals and NCP, temporarily suspended car parking charges the previous week to allow key workers to commute without using jam-packed trains and buses. Therefore those who had to work on Monday drove there and back.
Carrot’s data analytics found the average number of daily miles driven per Carrot customer also increased modestly from the 29th to 30th March (up from 4 to 6 miles average per customer) – but in that same period over half of all Carrot customers did not use their cars at all (i.e. recorded zero miles).
Brown-Allan continued “We want to encourage our customers to reduce their car use further still, so in the period Monday 6 April to Monday 13 April (Easter Monday) we will issue double rewards to all customers with a ‘New Driver by Carrot’ policy who leave their cars at home and don’t drive at all during that seven day period.”
“They normally earn weekly rewards for demonstrating that they are safe drivers, and this will continue for those making essential trips, but in our view the best way to keep themselves and others safe during lockdown is to leave their cars undriven.”
“There is intense scrutiny on the insurance industry including criticism of the way it has responded to the COVID-19 crisis, but this new Carrot initiative is just one of a number of important contributions we are making on an ongoing basis to put technology to good use and keep road users safe, and at home.”