When you are buying your auto insurance online you may be offered the option of using a tracking device in your vehicle in exchange for good driving discounts. These devices are available in the Austin area, but not every auto insurance company offers them, so you may not understand how they work.

If your company offers this discount, you will be offered either an app that you download to your phone or a small device that will plug in under the dash of your car. If you sign up to use the plug-in option, the insurance company will normally mail the device to you along with instructions showing where to plug it in under your dash.

The purpose of tracking your driving habits is to let the insurance company know things like how many miles you drive each day, when the car is used, distance driven, how fast you typically drive, and any incidents of hard braking. These details let the insurance company know if you are eligible for good driver discounts.

If you have a teen driver in your family, this is also a good way for parents to monitor your teen’s driving habits. Most of the companies who use tracking devices provide an app or a website that you can visit to see the information that has been gathered. You do need to make sure that all the drivers understand that after you start using the tracking device, you can’t unplug it or turn it off. If you do disconnect the device, the insurance company will be notified and you normally lose your good driving discounts.

We understand that some of you may drive like you are in the Indy 500 every day. If you are one of those drivers who weave in and out of traffic and constantly stomp on your brake or gas pedal, then a good driver tracking device is probably not for you. The good news is that most companies let you pick which vehicles you want to track. So you can put a tracker in your kid’s car, but not put a tracker in your own car.