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Car insurance quotes : Can speed limiters reduce premiums?

17 Dec 2012 at 15:05

Car insurance is a big bone of contention for most motorists. Despite falling crash rates on the UK’s roads (accidents have decreased by 20% since 2006) and vehicles becoming ever safer, our insurance premiums seem to rise year on year.

There are various ways to help curb that rate of increase, however, and having a speed limiter on your car is one of them.

MG is the first name in the industry to fit a speed limiter, equipping its MG6 model with the technology as standard – and as a result, insurance rates for the vehicle (depending on other external factors) drop significantly.

The vehicle’s top speed is restricted to 120mph, meaning it gets an insurance group rating of 14E in the new 1-50 rating scale. By comparison, a Ford Mondeo with exactly the same power output is rated at group 18.

The reduction comes because speed limiters are proven to reduce accident rates, which can in turn be passed on to the customer through a reduction in their insurance premium.

Many commercial vehicles all over the globe are fitted with speed limiters to help improve safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in America recently analysed 138,000 individual truck crashes and found that wagons fitted with a limiter were “significantly less likely to crash than those without an SL.”

A significant proportion of lorries and vans in the UK are fitted with velocity limiting devices by law to help reduce crash risks.

With haulage businesses running fleets that travel millions of miles per year collectively, a governed maximum speed can help keep insurance costs down. This evidence proves how it could also benefit the average car driver too.

Vehicle electronics specialists Cobra highlight that many vehicles burn 25% more fuel at 80mph v 70mph. If, hypothetically, your vehicle was limited to the national speed limit, it could cut your fuel bills by up to one quarter if you mostly travel on motorways and dual carriageways.

Then there’s the legal aspect. Setting your car’s maximum velocity at a level that can’t see you prosecuted for speeding has to reduce your insurance risk as well. Not only that, but it means your licence is safe from possible momentary lapses of concentration that could see you stray over the legal limit.

Verdict

Speed limiters are a controversial addition for many motorists who value the freedom of unrestricted motoring. There are proven benefits to fitting them though, not least the carrot of cheaper car insurance. Could this be enough to see them voluntarily taken up?