In the early days of motoring a driver would employ a mechanic to sit in the car in case assistance was needed on a journey, now the RAC has come up with an on-board black box to do the same.
Every driver taking out RAC Black Box Car Insurance who opts for complimentary RAC breakdown or already has existing RAC roadside assistance cover is now automatically being given access to the RAC’s new state-of-the art ‘connected’ breakdown service.
Black box – or telematics technology – is proving to be increasingly popular with hundreds of thousands of motorists already benefitting from cheaper car insurance by having their driving reviewed to prove they are safe at the wheel. In fact, in 2017 RAC Black Box Car Insurance customers drove over 46 million miles – that’s the equivalent of going to the moon and back 96 times.
As a leading black box car insurance provider the RAC decided to further strengthen its policy by adding in its new RAC Connected breakdown service which remotely transmits information from vehicles’ on-board diagnostics systems to the RAC, allowing important faults to be identified and fixed at the earliest possible opportunity.
Every time the vehicle’s engine is started a full diagnostics scan is carried out covering more than 15,000 checks. Even though fault codes may be generated, these don’t always appear on the dashboard meaning the driver is not aware there is an issue with the vehicle.
In fact, the code may remain in the background until the vehicle is next serviced, or the fault gets worse, possibly causing the vehicle to break down.
However, with RAC Black Box Insurance when a vehicle produces a fault code the box sends it to the RAC where it is assessed using the RAC’s unique insight, gained from years of analysing millions of breakdown fault codes read at the roadside, and assigned a fault severity.
The policyholder can access any fault codes in their app or via the online portal straightaway and will receive a weekly email notifying them if there is an issue. When a serious fault is identified which could have safety implications or lead to a more complex failure, the customer will be automatically contacted by an RAC agent to inform them in plain language what the problem is and what action needs to be taken.
This can range from sending an RAC patrol to booking the vehicle into the nearest RAC Approved Garage, or providing the details of the faults so they can take it to their own trusted garage. The fault analysis information from the technology can also be used to assist the assigned RAC patrol who can even collect any required parts before attending. By getting faults fixed as soon as they are identified it is possible to prevent issues developing and becoming more serious and costly to repair.
In addition, when a member is unsure of exactly where they have broken down the RAC black box can be used to locate them accurately, allowing a patrol to attend sooner.