|The gadget! It's pretty cute, actually.|
"No, we don't do that anymore." the girl I spoke to told me.
No so, Progressive lady. Progressive recently started a new program called Snapshot, where you actually get a small device, plug it into your car, and it records how many miles you drive, how you drive, and what times of day. You get points off for hard braking (studies show that people who frequently brake hard are more likely to have accidents), traveling between 12am and 4am (which makes sense), and they calculate a new insurance rate based on your actual driving rather than the current algorithm which (I'm guessing a bit here) is based on where you live more than how you live i.e. Rhode Island's rates are sky high because people here drive like assholes.
Considering I drive 1.89 miles to get to work, and often only drive my car four days out of seven, I leaped at the chance to try this out. This is pretty much what I've been waiting for my entire driving life, and even though I just plugged it in Thursday, I already love it.
Also, I read a rather interesting article a couple days ago about how the state of Oregon is exploring the idea of eliminating the gas tax in favor of taxing people on miles driven. This may seem unfair as some people (myself included--in the past) can't really help the number of miles they have to drive to work, or they can't really reduce those miles due to lack of public transit options, but on the other hand, this could be enough of an incentive for those who do have other options to take those options.
Of course, the other side of the coin is that if people start driving fewer miles and pay less in gas tax, the government will likely need to make up that loss in some other way, but overall, it does seem more fair, and I'm a big fan of fair.
Regardless of whether or not this is a scheme that takes off, I'm more than happy to potentially get a reduction in my astronomical car insurance rates. I've often looked at my car sitting in the driveway as I bike off to work and wondered if since I'm paying for the insurance, I should drive it more--stupid I know, but the brain does what the brain wants. It currently costs me ~$2.5 per day for car insurance, regardless of how much I drive. Now, I have groovy charts like this to keep me in line:
Note: This is not a sponsored post, and Progressive did not ask to me write anything, I'm just really excited.