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A new way to spy on your teen driver

Worried parents now have several options, and some of those could result in a car insurance rate discount.

By MSN Money Partner Sep 30, 2011 12:15PM

This post comes from Des Toups at partner site on MSN MoneyOf course your teenager doesn't text with you in the passenger seat.


Of course she doesn't do a big, smoky burnout while you stand in the driveway.


But if you ever wondered what happens once your spawn turns the corner, you have another option: a private eye.


StreetEyes is a new service aimed at parents and business owners who want to see how drivers perform once their backs are turned. StreetEyes says its operators will follow at a discreet distance, filming the car, capturing its speed and tracking it by GPS, then report back to you, at a cost of $30 for a 20-minute session. The rate gets cheaper if you book more sessions.


"Being an insurance agent for almost 10 years, I have been dealing with the anguish parents feel about their teens starting to drive," founder Jim Lipjanic says.


StreetEyes enters an already competitive snooping-on-teens market. A worried parent has several other options, and some of those could result in a car insurance rate discount. Post continues after video.

Four other ways to snoop

Progressive's Snapshot discount, for example, plugs a black box into your car for an extended period, sending data back to the insurance company that tells it how much you're driving, when (between midnight and 4 a.m. is the worst), and whether you take chances it doesn't like (hard braking and speeds over a certain point). After a few months, Progressive calculates your discount and takes its box back.


State Farm's In-Drive works similarly, piggybacking through OnStar technology to monitor driving. But the program keeps right on monitoring as long as you're a participant with an active subscription.


Ford's MyKey technology lets parents reconfigure the key given to teenagers with limits on speed, stereo volume, and a "belt minder" chime. It's standard on all Fords built since 2010.


Various phone apps allow parents to block calls and texting while a car is moving. Other apps will track your child's speed, report his location, even upload video (recorded in a constant loop) in the event of an accident. Prices for the software range from free to as much as $300.


And none of them will creep out your 16-year-old daughter as much as a stranger trailing her in a van.


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