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Black box car insurance

Compare prices for black box car insurance, also known as telematics insurance

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What is black box insurance?

With black box insurance, also known as telematics car insurance, your car is fitted with a small device that monitors your driving style.

The safer your driving is, the lower your insurance premiums might be when you come to renew.

Telematics car insurance

How does it work?

A black box is installed in your car which monitors how you drive with telematics technology.

It detects things like how fast you drive and how hard you brake, the force of your acceleration and your cornering style, as well as any sudden manoeuvres and swerving. It also looks at the times that you’re driving on the roads.

Taking all of these things into account, the insurer awards you with a regularly updated ‘driver score’ which indicates how safe a driver they consider you to be.

With a good driver score, you’ll likely be rewarded with lower premiums when you come to renew your insurance. That’s because as a safer driver, you’re a lower insurable risk.

As the policyholder, you can keep tabs on your driver score via your insurer’s app or website. They may also offer advice on how to improve your driver score and what aspects of your driving might be considered unsafe or in need of improvement.

Who is it for?

Mostly, black box insurance is for young, inexperienced drivers aged between 17 and 25.

As a young driver, when you apply for a car insurance policy, you’ll automatically be charged a high premium.

That’s simply because new, especially young, drivers are considered a high risk on the road.

The policy price you’re quoted doesn’t take into account how safe you are as a driver.

And that’s where black box insurance can step in. It gives you the opportunity to prove that you’re a safe driver, so you can be rewarded with lower premiums when you come to renew.

Benefits of blackbox insurance

As well as helping to make premiums more affordable, black box insurance offers other benefits such as:

It can help policyholders develop safer driving habits

Throughout the term of your policy, you can monitor and improve the way you drive by reviewing your driver score and the data on your insurer’s app or website. Here, you’ll see exactly what sort of driving faults you may be making regularly - like accelerating too sharply or braking too hard. And you can work on improving your driving style and driver score over time. When you come to renew, you should be quoted a lower price for your policy, that reflects how safely you now drive

Theft tracking

Black boxes use GPS to collect your car’s data, so if your car is stolen, your insurer can liaise with the police to locate it

Accident alert

A black box will sense any strong impact to your car. This will be picked up by your insurers and in some cases, the insurer will check you’re okay and call the emergency services if necessary

Can help prove who’s to blame in an accident

If you’re involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, but there’s a dispute about who’s to blame, your insurer can check your data. This can help prove things like the speed that you were travelling and that you were driving safely, which can help build your case

Is black box insurance right for me?

Car insurance for young, inexperienced drivers can be really expensive, so a black box insurance policy can help save you money.

Some providers only allow people up to the age of 25 to take out black box policies.

But where there’s no age limit, even experienced drivers may find it can help lower their insurance costs.

  • Older drivers often get charged high car insurance prices because of their age, so they could reduce their premium prices with a black box policy
  • If you drive fewer miles than average, a telematics policy will prove this and might mean you can get cheaper premiums
  • If you only drive at low-risk times of day, that can bring your premium down as well. This is almost any time outside rush hour, excluding the middle of the night, which is usually considered higher risk
  • A black box can also prove you’re a good driver if you fall into a high-risk category, for example if you have a driving conviction

However, if you’re already a careful driver with several years of no claims on your policy backing that up, you’ll likely get better discounts and premiums on traditional car insurance policies than with black box insurance.

What details do I need to get a quote?

You can apply for black box insurance just as you would for a normal car insurance policy. You’ll need to provide information such as:

  • Personal details including name, address, date of birth, occupation
  • Your driving licence details
  • Car details - make and model, registration number, any modifications
  • Your estimated annual mileage
  • Any previous claims, points on your licence and driving convictions

Our expert says…

Telematics is a very useful tool, but any tool is only as good as its wielder. If you ignore your black box and don’t drive carefully or within any pre-arranged limits, you could pay more for your premiums"
Ryan Fulthorpe, Motoring expert at GoCompare

Frequently asked questions

A black box car insurance policy is designed to help you drive more safely so you pose less of a risk on the road. If you can prove you’re a safe, low-risk driver, then you could get reduced premiums when you come to renew your policy as a result.

In some cases, a normal car insurance quote might come out cheaper, though. When you get quotes with us you can compare telematics and non-telematics policies side by side to see which is the best deal for you.

Find out more about the cost of car insurance.

Most black boxes are smaller than a mobile phone and there are two types: self-installed or professionally fitted.

With a professionally-fitted black box, the insurance company will send out an engineer to fit the box to your car, usually behind the dashboard or under the bonnet.

Other insurers send out a self-fitted black box for you to install yourself. You’ll be sent complete instructions on how to do this. Sometimes, you attach the box to the inside of your front windscreen - the top left-hand corner can be best as it’s out of your field of vision. The box will need to be connected to a power source such as your car’s USB or 12V socket.

A black box can be fitted to most cars under 20 years old. If you have any concerns that it might not fit your car, talk to your chosen insurance provider.

The black box belongs to your insurance provider. If you remove the box before your policy ends, then you risk invalidating your policy and won’t be covered for any incidents that occur afterwards. Your provider can also cancel your policy, and you could struggle to find new insurance with that on your record.

When you come to the end of your policy term, if you don’t want to renew with the same insurance provider, you can either:

  • Remove a self-fitted box yourself and send it back to your insurer (they’ll usually email you a freepost label to do this) or take it to a suitable recycling centre. Your insurer will tell you what to do
  • With a professionally-fitted black box, the insurer can deactivate it remotely so it no longer records your driving data. If you’d rather that the box was removed from your car, your insurer can arrange for an engineer to do that for you, though you’ll be charged a fee. It’s not wise to try to remove a professionally-fitted black box yourself as you could damage your vehicle

Their driving will be monitored, just like yours is, as the box records driving and not a particular person.

You’ll need to ask them to drive carefully as their driving will impact your driver score.

Of course, they must be a named driver on your car insurance policy before they’re able to get behind the wheel.

It depends on the rules of policy. But if you breach any conditions of those rules, you may be charged higher premiums.

A black box will record and recognise if you’ve had an accident. In some cases, the data collected on the black box can prove to be a crucial part of evidence in any investigations, such as to determine who was to blame for the crash. It can show things like how fast you were driving at the time of the accident.

The insurer will never share your black box data with anyone without your consent unless the police request it in the event of an accident.

Your telematics insurer will review your data to give you a renewal quote. If you haven’t made any claims and your driving habits are good, your renewal quote should be cheaper.

You’ll build up a no-claims bonus with telematics, so you could also try shopping around for new quotes and possibly cheaper prices with other insurance providers.

Your black box insurer won’t share your data with other insurers, though, So, if you take out a new black box policy, you’ll need to build up your driver score from scratch.

As well as being designed to reward you with cheaper quotes, a black box policy is also there to help make you a better driver.

That’s why, throughout the term of your policy, you can access the insurer’s app or website to check your regularly updated driver score, plus all the data collected on each journey you’ve made. Here, you can see if you’ve driven well.

Similarly, you’ll see any errors or room for improvement, such as accelerating too sharply or speeding. Then, you can work on improving your driving style and driver score over time so that when you come to renew your car insurance, you’ll pay a lower price that reflects how safely you now drive.

The risk of having an accident is higher at night. But most black box policies won’t go as far as applying an official curfew to your policy which completely bans you from driving late at night.

That said, you may find that regular night-time driving will affect your driver score (and therefore your ability to get the best discounts when you come to renew). For that reason, if you have to drive regularly late at night - for example because of your job - then a black box policy may not be the best type of car insurance for you.

If you do opt for a policy with a curfew, you may find that premiums are cheaper, but you could be penalised if you drive outside of your curfew limit.

When you apply for a quote for any car insurance policy, including black box insurance, you’ll be asked to estimate your annual mileage.

This helps your insurer work out how much to charge for your policy.

People who drive fewer miles usually get lower premiums than someone who racks up lots of miles on the road, simply because there’s less risk.

The black box can let your insurer know if you’re driving substantially over the estimated mileage you’ve given them and you could get charged a higher premium as a result.

Like standard car insurance policies, black box policies last for a year.

At renewal time you can either get a new black box policy, or switch to a standard car insurance policy.

Though black box insurance is mainly targeted at young drivers aged between 17 and 25 who are considered higher risk by insurance companies, almost anyone of any age could take out a telematics policy.

There are usually no restrictions on where you can drive with a black box policy – the important thing is how you drive, not where.

Most black box insurance policies will also cover you to drive abroad, but you should obviously check with your insurer whether that’s the case.

£4 million refunded to customers with free excess cover^^

If you need to claim, we’ll pay £250 towards your excess^. Just another reason to make your life choices on Go.Compare.

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Page last reviewed: 23 February 2023
Page reviewed by Ryan Fulthorpe