SOME new car are marvels of modern connectivity bristling with devices that can identify problems and speed assistance to a stranded vehicle.
But the majority of used car owners are not so lucky as to have what is known as ‘talking car capability' and have to take their chance.
Last summer, the busiest day for breakdowns was September 1 when assistance was provided to thousands of stranded motorists by roadside rescue services.
With the anniversary looming, millions of motorists driving used cars now have the power to cut the risk of a breakdown and drive with greater peace of mind thanks to the launch of Smartdriverclub - the UK's first service to offer talking car capability in older cars.
Smartdriverclub gets used cars connected via a simple plug in device. As well as providing early warnings of mechanical problems arising, alerting recovery teams in a breakdown or automatically alerting emergency services in an accident, Smartdriverclub offers a range of services from theft tracking through to in-car wi-fi to keep the kids happy.
The club also offers insurance for good drivers with the promise of a discount of up to 40 per cent at renewal if they have driven well.
Penny Searles, chief executive of the Smartdriverclub said. "We've all done it - driven past a car packed with holiday paraphernalia that's broken down on the motorway and thought ‘thank goodness that's not me'. And let's face it, if you drive an older car, the chances of a breakdown are probably higher than a newer model.
"That's why I launched Smartdriverclub - I wanted to give the millions of used car drivers the power to upgrade the intelligence of their car so that they can better manage their upkeep, save money and look after themselves and their family when out on the road."
Members of the Smartdriverclub, they are sent a Smartplug device which they insert in a slot usually found behind the steering column.
Once connected, the driver can view all of their Smartdriverclub services via their smartphone or via a website using a free app called Viewpoint or online via a laptop or tablet device.
Included in the services is 'My Mechanic' which will provide an alert to the driver that a mechanical fault needs attention before they hit the road and make the problem worse.
My Mechanic also provides a link to the user's preferred garage or dealer to get the problem sorted. If the motorist does break down, Smartdriverclub will provide an exact location to their recovery provider.