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Black box car insurance

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

What is black box insurance?

Black box insurance, also known as telematics insurance, is car insurance that’s priced based on using technology to monitor your driving.

Your driving will be recorded by a small black box fitted to your car. Your insurer will use this to gather information on:

  • Your speed, braking and cornering
  • The time of day or night you drive
  • The average length of your journeys

Your insurer can use this data to give you a driving ‘score’ and price your premiums fairly, based on how you drive.

If you drive safely and sensibly, your premium might be reduced.

Careful though – your insurance prices will go up if you drive recklessly. Heavy braking and driving above the speed limit are also monitored and can reduce your score, increasing your costs.

How does black box insurance work?

Telematics insurance tracks your driving so your insurer can see how safe you are on the road. Here's how it works:

1. A black box device is fitted to your car

2. The box uses GPS to measure how you drive

3. Most insurers will have an app or website where you can see your driving feedback

4. You'll get discounts for good driving, either at renewal time or your premium will be adjusted each month

Benefits of black box insurance

Most people will choose black box insurance to get cheaper premiums.

But black boxes can also be used to improve your driving, which has its own rewards. You’ll be more likely to build up a no claims bonus and reduce the chance of having to pay for repairs or make a claim after an accident.

  • Discounts for safe or low mileage drivers
  • Accident tracking
  • Theft tracking
  • Online record to help you monitor and improve your driving

Is a black box right for me?

Telematics insurance is usually aimed at younger drivers.

If you’ve not been driving long, it’s a way to save money on your car insurance by proving you’re a safe driver.

Some providers only allow drivers under 25 to have black box policies. But good drivers of any age could benefit on policies that accept them:

  • If you stay local, have a low annual mileage, and mostly travel short distances, telematics will prove this and might mean you can get cheaper premiums.
  • A black box can also prove you’re a good driver, despite falling into other high-risk categories. For example, if you’re a racing driver or have a driving conviction.
  • 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.

What details do I need to get a black box insurance quote?

You need to give us some information so that we can get you some quotes:

  1. About you

    Your date of birth, address and occupation, plus your annual mileage

  2. Your car

    Registration number, make and model. You’ll also need to tell us about any modifications

  3. Your driving history

    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

  • Is black box cheaper than normal insurance?

    It depends on your age, your claims history and your driving habits. 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.

  • How is the black box fitted?

    Most newer cars have telematics hardware pre-installed. If yours doesn’t, there’ll be a little unit about the size of a smartphone to fit to your car. The insurer will either give you instructions to plug it in yourself, or send out an installer to fit it for you.

    If it’s self-install, the insurer sends you a plug-in device that you push into a socket under your dashboard.

    If once it’s installed, you think it’s causing damage, obstructing fans, disrupting the electrics, or you just suspect it’s faulty, you need to bring it up with your insurer as soon as you notice.

    If the insurer supplied the technology, it’s their responsibility to make sure it’s working. If you’re concerned, document your car’s state of repair before having telematics installed, just in case you need to show evidence of damage.

  • Can a black box be fitted to any car?

    It depends on the age of your car, but for most cars which are under 20 years old, there shouldn’t be an issue. If you have any concerns speak to the insurer about your car’s compatibility.

  • Who owns the box and what happens if you remove it?

    Although it’s your car, the insurer owns the physical GPS tracker or black box tech. When you want to stop using it, the insurer might deactivate it remotely, or send an expert or engineer to remove it from the car. If you want it removed before the end of your policy, you might be charged a fee.

  • What happens if someone else drives my car?

    The black box can’t tell the difference between you and another driver. If someone else consistently drives your car and their braking, cornering and speeding habits are riskier, your premium is likely to increase. They’ll also be adding to your miles.

    If it’s just once or twice, it should average out over the whole year and you’ll probably see very little cost difference.

    Don’t take the chance – if someone else drives your car, first make sure your policy actually covers them, or that they have their own suitable insurance. Then point out the box and ask them to take it easy.

  • What happens if I go over my mileage or drive at a restricted time?

    You’re likely to be charged extra to adjust your policy. Your policy documents will say exactly how your insurer will treat these situations. If your use changes after the start of your policy, ask your insurer about adjusting your cover.

  • What if I have an accident with a black box fitted? Is the data shared?

    The insurer will only share data if the police ask for it. The black box will have an accurate record of how and where you were driving when you were in an accident. If you or the third party report the accident to the police, they may ask your insurer to volunteer the information.

  • Can I use the data to get cheaper premiums in the future?

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

    If you want even cheaper premiums, you can try shopping around for new quotes. You’ll build up a no claims with telematics, so that might help you find cheaper prices.

  • Can I see how well I’m driving, or is that just for the insurer?

    You can usually log into an app to review the data collected by the black box. You might be awarded bronze, silver, or gold standard driving, as an example. If the insurer doesn’t have an app, it may send you regular updates and feedback, possibly picking out areas where you can improve to help control the cost of your premium.

  • Does black box insurance have a curfew?

    It depends on the policy. Some have limits on when you drive. Some have limits on the hours you can drive. Others let you drive at any time of the day or night with no curfew – however frequently driving at risky times, like late at night, might reduce your driving score.

  • Is there a limit on mileage?

    When you get a quote, tell us how many miles you’ll cover over the year. That’ll be your mileage limit. If you find out in a few months’ time you’re driving further than you thought you would, you’ll have to contact your insurer to ask if it can adjust your mileage. This might cost extra.

  • How long do policies last?

    Black box policies last for a year. At renewal time you can get a new black box policy, or switch to a standard car insurance policy.

  • Are there age limits on black box insurance?

    Some policies will have an upper or lower age limit.

  • Will a block box restrict where I can drive?

    No, but longer journeys or higher mileage might decrease your driving score.

    You should also check whether you’re covered by your policy before planning to drive in Europe – not all insurers will allow it.

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