Money In The Black Box

It has recently been announced that, thanks to an EU edict with effect from 2018, all new cars in Britain and Europe will have to be fitted with automatic ‘SOS’ black boxes. These emergency calling devices will be mandatory under new rules despite opposition from the UK’s Conservative led Government on grounds of cost. Some are also concerned about ‘Big Brother’ tactics and are not convinced that car owners’ privacy will be adequately safe-guarded.

On the other hand, some drivers – especially young or inexperienced motorists – are prepared to accept an insurance black box that monitors their driving habits in return for favourable car insurance premium rates. Ultimately, motorists will have to make up their own mind about this technology but it’s not all bad news, especially when it comes to financing that gleaming new motor.

Did you know that these days new or used car purchase is financed by loans in nearly eighty percent of cases? There are various options and using credit to buy things is now part of our modern lifestyles. This obviously has given rise to the importance of the credit ratings system which is used to assess our financial security. Lending money has always been a risk business so it doesn’t seem unreasonable for lenders not to want to take any chances.

In the same way that the black box science can monitor car use or safety so these days some financial lenders are offering borrowers the chance to arrange fitment of a black box – but don’t worry, this isn’t spy technology; it’s a device that, essentially, helps you manage your own finance and is an idea that could especially benefit car buyers for whom credit-worthiness is a bit of a problem.

Here’s how it works: obviously a box is fitted to your new car when the choice is made and finance is in place. Once the payment plan is underway the box will start to signal a warning every time a payment is becoming due. In short, it reminds you when it is that time of the month. It is also backed up by text reminders. If you think about it, we all pay for all manner of things by Direct Debit and the like, so it doesn’t really hurt to have something that reminds you to check that there is enough money in the bank.

Clearly, none of us would tolerate a constantly bleeping, flashing device so, as long as your payment is made by the due date, the box will cease and desist until the next time. Sometimes things don’t work out as you would wish so, when the box starts flashing, if there’s a problem then that’s the time to contact the lender. Fail to do this or otherwise default and the box can be used to shut down the car, rendering it unusable until the arrears are paid. This technology is available now through certain lenders and is expected to expand out through the whole industry.

The Stoneacre Motor Group conducted a survey, here, to see what car buyers thought. As you might expect the results were a mixed bag. Some folk are concerned that this new-fangled black box technology, however used, is intrusive and a step too far. Others thought it was a pretty good idea and it is probably true to say that for drivers for whom both finance and credit rating are a bit of a shaky issue, it would seem like a plan. If you are borrowing money to buy a car it is well worth considering for financial peace of mind.