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26 April 2021

75% of Drivers Don’t Want Vehicle Data Logging …But Are Cars Doing it Without Them Knowing?

A poll by finds 75% of drivers don’t want monitoring devices in their cars

Only 10% of people polled knew their car had a data agreement in place

Almost 90% of people would not like their car to share driving habit data with third parties

Exclusive research by – the UK’s largest consumer car reviews and advice website – has revealed that three quarters of car drivers don’t want monitoring devices in their cars that could affect things like their insurance premiums. But only 19% of those polled that knew their car has a data agreement have read it.

The research from comes off the back of an investigation into car companies’ use of behaviour data. This revealed that car companies share anonymised behavioural data about its customers, like where they go and their driving style, with third party data companies.

Just 10% of people polled knew their car had a data agreement in place already, and of them, only 19% of those people confessed to reading it.

A whopping 86% of people would not be happy for their car to share driving habit data with third-party companies.

Summary of Parkers investigation

  • The rise of connected services – why car manufacturers are keeping tabs on customers
  • What your car knows about you – the information car manufacturers gather from you
  • Your behavioural data and how it’s used – how manufacturers use the information
  • The future – how data will be used in the future

What is a data agreement?

Broadly it means agreeing to how and where your data can be shared. If you use Google, you’ll have signed one before.

New cars with connected services (an internet connection or an app) will have you sign up for agreement. Generally, it involves agreeing to share data about you and the car with the manufacturer, and certain third-party companies.

What data does your car collect?

This depends on what car you have, as well as how old the car is. If you can operate functions on your car (like the locks or the heating) via an app on your phone, or the car has an inbuilt sat-nav it can most likely collect data on you.

Common data collection from cars include:

  • Location information – like where you’ve been
  • Driver behaviour data – such as how hard you brake
  • Personal information – for instance, when you purchased your car
  • Marketing information – for example, when your PCP agreement is due to end

What does the future hold?

A few car makers have add-ons you can buy from inside of the car. Expect this to become the norm in the future.

For instance, Skoda Octavia SE customers have the option of upgrading to auto-dip headlights for a one-off payment of £179. This includes unlimited access to the feature and is transferable from owner to owner. The software and hardware are installed into the vehicle, including the buttons needed to operate it, but it requires a further payment from inside the car to work.

Buying from behind the wheel looks set to become even more lucrative with autonomous cars.

The Polestar 2 was the first car to have Google’s Android OS natively plumbed into it. Polestar’s website mentions that thanks to Android Automotive OS being native, the Polestar 2 ‘will soon be a shop you can buy things in.’

Mark Aryaeenia, CEO of vehicle data company, Verex, told Parkers: ‘Car companies are thinking far ahead into the future. For instance, an autonomous car has a captive audience. Imagine the e-commerce opportunities it has.’

What does this mean?

A high percentage of people don’t want their data being collected. But a low number of people understand what data is being collected.

The research from Parkers shows that regular car buyers don’t like the idea of car manufacturers profiteering from their untapped behavioural data, and that they don’t like being kept tabs on.

It also shows that car manufacturers can share data because people agree to their data being shared – but 81% of people haven’t read the user agreements they sign up to. Editor, Keith Adams, says: “It’s true that we’re agreeing to all manner of terms and conditions on a daily basis – I shudder to think what Google knows about me – but it comes as a surprise to see so few drivers are aware of what their cars knows about them. It suggests that carmakers need to make their data gathering more transparent, their agreements easier to read, and most importantly for the 75% of drivers who don’t want it, to opt out of.”

For more information, visit


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About Bauer Media

Bauer Media UK reaches over 25 million UK consumers through a portfolio of world-class, multi-platform media and entertainment brands including heat, KISS, Grazia, Empire, Magic, Absolute Radio and the Hits Radio Brand Network. These brands offer commercial partners access to highly engaged audiences, with creative solutions underpinned by insight and instinct. Bauer Media UK is part of the Bauer Media Group, one of the world’s largest privately owned media businesses with media assets all over the globe.

For further press information, please contact:

Jess Blake, Communications Director, UK Publishing

E: M: 07739 516345

Odelia Yu, Senior Commercial Communications Executive, Bauer Media

E: M: 07718124791

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