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In May, I wrote about how I decided to install Progressive Snapshot, a device that tracks the performance of my car while I drive.  This device can tell you at what time you’ve driven, how fast you drive and at what speed.  Progressive offers this service to all policyholders who drive a vehicle launched 1996 or later as a way to gather data on drivers, while potentially saving them money on car insurance payments.

After driving with the Snapshot device for one month, the verdict is in.  Progress has decided to cut my auto insurance payments by 27%!  This means that my normal $110 a month auto insurance payments will now be $81 a month, and that’s a pretty nice savings of $350 a year.

The discount I received however is only temporary until Progressive decides to take back the Snapshot device.  This is done to ensure that my driving habits for one month are similar to my driving habits forever, and while there is no immediate timetable that I must leave the Snapshot device installed in my Mustang, the longest time-period is six months.  Progressive also states that during this period, I could stand to gain yet another discount, however smaller than the one already received.  Since I only use this car to run errands and take the occasional trip once a blue moon, I’m confident this discount will stick and I might even be able to reduce my car insurance even further!

Perhaps the nicest part of this whole experience was just how simple this entire process was.  After signing up online for Snapshot (which took all of 60 seconds), I received the Snapshot device, installed it and just watched as my data was complied.  Progressive allows you to check your driving performance everyday, informing you of high risk driving times, rate of speed, distance traveled and hard brakes.  All of these factors led to my 27% initial discount and once 30 days was up, Progressive immediately revised by auto insurance rates and sent out my new contract.  I had to do absolutely nothing after installing the device and only when I return it (Progressive provides a box with prepaid shipping) will I have to do anything else.

So long as my rates remain reasonable with Progressive, I predict I’ll be a lifelong customer of theirs.  My discount remains in tact as long as I have this car insured with Progressive, and should I decide to insure any other car, I can request another Snapshot device and start the process over.  Progressive makes it very clear that there is no risk on the consumers end to try this program, and policyholders can only receive a discount from this program, not a surcharge.  If you have Progressive auto insurance and are looking to lower your rates, Snapshot is a must.

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Author Bio

Total Articles: 182
After amassing more than $255,000 in debt on a math degree from the University of Miami, Michael now enjoys spending time at home and writing about personal finance.

Article comments

EOrtiz says:

I thought you should have started at $81 a month and then got your discount from there.

Michael says:

I wish.

I’m a single guy with terrible credit living in the worst city in the world when it comes to car insurance. No other car insurance provider can even come close to what Progressive is now offering me.

jamie says:

Question….do you do a lot of highway driving?? I’m also in South Florida and I drive on I-95 every day to work (15 miles each way). I’m thinking of giving this thing a go, seeing as it can’t increase your rate. From your experience w/ this device, do you think that would be a negative factor for me?? I’d like to see some sort of savings.
Thanks!! And congrats on the savings!

Michael says:

Hi Jamie

To answer your question, no I don’t have a lot of highway driving. I don’t have much driving at all but I did spend a few occasional hours on I-95 heading to and from the FTL airport. However the most important factors when looking at the discount you stand to receive are two fold:

(1) The time of day at which you drive. If you can avoid rush hour traffic and midnight-5am fast food runs, your discount should be substantial

(2) The number of hard breaks you have. Avoiding a habit of hard breaks (which is defined as a loss of 7mph in one second or less) will help the discount.

Without a doubt, you should try this service as there is little to no inconvenience on your end. You simply sign up online, then plug the device into your car and that’s it. If you receive a discount, great … if not … well at least you tried and there’s absolutely nothing to lose.

Good luck!

jamie says:

Thanks for the info! It can’t hurt, so I think I’ll give it a try. 🙂

Jon says:

Glad to hear that the device works and is giving people discounts.

I understand that the device only monitors your speed and time you drive which allows them to calculate the distance you drove. However, they have no idea where you are driving and thus do not know what the speed limits are. Now I do a lot of driving on the highway and I was curious if they actually care if you are driving too fast. Obviously the highway speed limits are 65 in most places which is probably the highest speed limit compared to those in the city. Would driving 70mph being pushing it or would it not that big of a deal? I’ve only been using this thing for a few days now and I am definitely 10x more cautious about the way I drive and it’s driving me insane but I would definitely love to see a discount.


Michael says:


The Snapshot device is going to stay in your automobile for a minimum of 1 month and a maximum of 6 months. If you are changing your driving habits only to save a small amount of money, you may be putting yourself at risk of an accident.

The snapshot device does monitor speed, but it’s more concerned with how often you are breaking (hard breaks are big negatives towards your discount) and at what time of day you drive (late at night and rush hour are the bad times). Consistent highway driving is going to lower your potential discount but are you prepared to spend the next six months changing your everyday driving habits?

Try to forget you have the snapshot and just drive the way you normally do. Let the discount figure itself out.

Be good.

sam says:

I have had this snapshot device in my van for over a year. At first I got a discount, but later said that I did not qualify since I have hard braking. I understand that this means slowing down faster than 7mph. I am a good driver, no road warrior. My children would celebrate if I ever got a ticket for speeding. I do need to break quickly when leaving the parkway at my exit since there is a short exit ramp. Their rep said that maybe I should just slow down and let the people behind me honk. I stay with the slower flow of traffice in the right lane. I am beginning to think that this is a rip off.

Amy says:

I put this thing in about a week ago and I never tailgate or do any braking that I would call “hard” and it has me for a few already and judging by the times it’s when I’m getting off the exit for home or the one for work and what do they expect you to do in traffic going 65+mph? I do what everyone else does at those exits and it seems perfectly normal to me. UGH! Well, fine then, I will snail my way onto those ramps and try to get a discount.

Michael says:


Don’t change your driving habits just to receive a discount. I had my fair share of hard brakes too and it’s understandable every once in a while. Stay off the road late hours and I’m sure you’ll receive a nice discount!

Jesse says:

I’m a college student living in Miami, too, and I’ve had the same experience with Progressive. At $110/month, I thought their rates were a bit steep until I shopped around and got similar quotes of $250-300/month with other companies. I just ordered Snapshot and bought a student pass for the metro. Now I’m looking forward to hopefully getting a comparable discount to yours 🙂

Michael says:

Perfect Jesse

I used to ride the Metrorail all the time to and from UofM. The cost of your monthly Metro Card should be less than your Snapshot savings, so I hope you come out way ahead in this deal!

But make sure you drive your car a little bit, during the day (non rush hour times) and you break normally. Should optimize your discount!

TJM says:

Yea that’s just what we need, them watching every mile I drive.

So if I accelerate to fast or brake to hard don’t think for one minute that won’t affect you rates. Anybody who thinks they are doing this to save YOU money has no sense at all. It’s benefiting them in one way shape or form. Do you really want your insurance company watching every mile you drive, you’d have to be crazy to want that.

Your vehicle is your private property,sounds like to much of an invasion for me.

danwat1234 says:

How does the device connect to Progressive’s servers? Does it connect via cell phone towers, or do you connect the device to your computer via a USB port?

Doug says:

It uses cell phone towers. Some of the first generation snapshot devices have to be manually connected to your computer to do the data upload.

Mark Bruce says:

I was just wondering how long you did have it in your car for? I know the max is 6 months, but I’m just curious as to how long you really had it before you had to give it back. Thanks! 🙂

Jim Fry says:

We have had this device in the wife’s Pacifica come next week six months….started out with the initial discount of 13 % and now up to the max of 30% …..will see how much longer we need to keep the device to decide if we will continue to keep it. The wife’s round trip commute everyday is less than 4 miles a day and to be quite honest at this point I am not sure if it is worth it or not?

meat says:

what if ur cars old and has a carburator

Jake Harbour says:

If you read, it does say “after 1996”

Aidan says:

Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your
blog and look forward to new updates.

Glenn Hoddle says:

Your experience differs wildly from mine. I got my Snapshot in March’17. I expected to have it for a month, like yourself. However Progressive didn’t ask for it back after a month. Then 2, then 3…. Eventually after 3 months they told me ‘oh, we need it for a whole policy cycle’ – so that’s another 6 months ON TOP OF the 3 months of data that they’d had. I stuck with it, but when an out of state move happened and they told me they’d need yet ANOTHER 6 months, I told them to shove it. (I also found the device fairly inaccurate – I averaged a B+ but it would beep at the oddest of times.) No, I would NOT recommend Snapshot to anyone.

Marsha Tibbetts says:

So the snapshot said I saved $63 on my vehicle and $21 on husbands, do you receive a check for the amount or does your payment get lowered $84,Im confused cause the payment schedule does not reflect that savings.