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New law limiting phone usage

Experts are warning drivers about a new law that will further ban them from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists, or play games.

As the government aims to make the using of phones while driving as frowned upon as drink driving, from next year UK motorists could be hit with a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence.

Whilst many of us are now driving cars packed with a range of connected functionalities, the experts at Confused.com warn your vehicle may be able to catch you out if you are using apps such as Spotify whilst driving.

In their brand new Connected Cars report, the experts reveal which car brands can access the details of your music history, identifying when you have been scrolling through your Spotify or Apple Music apps.

Taking fifteen of the top car manufacturers across the globe, five of them can access your music details including, playlists, recently listened to, and favourite songs:

  • BMW

  • Audi

  • Porsche

  • Honda

  • Mini

Whilst drivers will still be able to continue using devices “hands-free” while driving, such as a sat-nav, if it’s secured in a cradle, simply changing a song or playlist directly from your phone will land you in trouble.

Not only can your music history be accessed but connected car features can also impact your insurance premiums.

Alex Kindred, car insurance expert at Confused.com, reveals his thoughts on connected-car insurance premiums.

“Cars have changed massively over the last 20 years. Simple radios or CD players have been replaced by entertainment hubs connected to our smartphones.

“These changes have driven up the value of cars, and in turn, driven up the cost of insuring them too. Car insurance now covers not only the vehicle but the gadgets that come built into them also.

“Insurers will always ask if you’ve made any changes or modifications to your car, and these aren’t just cosmetic changes. If you’ve installed things like expensive audio systems it could increase the chance of your car being stolen or broken into, so it’s important to disclose these when gathering quotes.

“If you’re finding the cost of your insurance is high, either due to modifications made or built-in tech, making sure you have safe storage such as a garage or locked storage area could help reassure insurers.

“However, it’s not always the case that having tech in the car could increase your car insurance costs. Safety and security devices, such as dashcams, could help to lower your risk of crashes and your car being stolen. Insurers should take these features into account when calculating your premium.

“Some insurers give big discounts for certain tech like a dashcam. Discounts range from 10-30% with some insurance companies, so it’s always good to let them know if you have one.”

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