Black box car insurance

If you're a good driver and think you're paying over the odds for your car insurance, a black box policy could save you money.

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Car insurance costs can often be through the (sun)roof, and young drivers often pay more than anyone even if they have a spotless driving record. Insurance providers consider young and inexperienced drivers to be the most at risk on the road, meaning they pay more for their premiums.

But what if you’re genuinely a good driver despite having little experience? Read our guide to see how telematics or “black box” car insurance policies work, and if it can reduce the price of your insurance below.

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What is black box car insurance?

Black box or telematics car insurance is a specialised type of cover that’s designed to give good drivers cheaper car insurance. A black box device is attached to your car to record your driving performance, which is then used to determine the size of your premiums. The safer your driving, the less you’ll pay for cover.

On average, black box car insurance saves young drivers approximately £150 each year on their insurance premiums, but other drivers may also be able to save by switching to a telematics policy.

How does black box car insurance work?

Black box car insurance customers must first have a black box device fitted to their car, which continually measures how their general driving performance using GPS technology. This includes how the driver handles braking and turning, as well as the car’s speed, distance travelled and the location the car is used.

This data is assessed by the insurance provider and given a score, which is then used to calculate the driver’s next insurance premium. The scoring system typically ranges from 0-100, with 100 representing the safest drivers.

What are the benefits of black box car insurance?

Here are some of the benefits of black box car insurance:

  • Save money. Taking out this policy could help to lower insurance premiums for drivers who generally fall into a high-risk insurance category based largely around their age, such as young inexperienced drivers, or even experienced older drivers in their 70s and beyond.
  • Become a better driver. Through regular reports, feedback and scores of your driving, you may find that your driving actually improves over time in order to achieve a higher performance score from your insurer.
  • Additional monitoring and analysis. By having a black box device fitted to a car, other monitoring and analysis may be included as standard such as anti-theft tracking or accident alert. Data can be shared in the event of a claim being made to determine what actually happened.
  • Safety checks. If a driver is involved in an accident, some black box car insurers monitoring the impact will try to make contact with the driver or contact emergency services if necessary.

Is black box car insurance right for me?

Black box car insurance may be best suited to the following groups:

  • Young drivers
  • Infrequent or inexperienced drivers
  • Drivers over 70
  • Drivers with poor records

However, deciding whether black box car insurance is suitable for you depends on if you genuinely believe you’re a safe and careful driver, and if you’re willing to prove it. There’s no hiding once you have a black box device fitted to your car, as your driving habits will be monitored regardless of whether you drive well or drive badly.

If you drive well, you could see your premiums fall, but if you drive poorly, you may see your premiums increase. Black box car insurance may not be suited to drivers over the age of 25, and may end up being more expensive than regular car insurance.

Where can I get black box car insurance?

Many car insurance providers offer black box or telematics insurance policies, and popular options include:

Is there an age restriction for black box policies?

Age restrictions will generally depend on the insurance provider offering the black box policy. As long as you hold a valid UK driver’s licence, you should be able to find a black box policy to suit you. Some providers may have age restrictions, so make sure to check if this is the case when comparing policies.

How can black box car insurance save me money?

If you recently passed your driving test and have little experience, you could avoid being automatically lumped into a high risk category by allowing your insurance provider to monitor your driving. If you continue to drive well, your insurance costs will reduce compared to regular car insurance.

If you’re an older driver in your 70s and have seen your premiums increase, a black box policy could help prove to your insurance provider that you’re still a good driver. Ultimately, by driving safely and proving your driving skills, you could see a significant reduction to your premiums.

Pros and cons of black box car insurance

Pros

  • Suitable for drivers that typically fall into a high risk category based on their age.
  • Reduced premiums for driving safely.
  • Could make drivers safer in the long run.
  • Could help to locate a stolen car fitted with a black box or use information as part of a claim.

Cons

  • Not available if you car share, as only a driver’s performance is monitored by the black box, not who that driver is.
  • Increased premiums for driving poorly.
  • Curfews may be imposed by some insurance providers which can affect drivers working unsociable hours.
  • Not necessarily suitable for older drivers over 25

Frequently asked questions


*51% of consumers could save £200. Quote aggregator Seopa split the insurers on its comparison systems into different categories. It then selected quotes from the most popular providers as well as quotes from other providers which returned a price. It then selected providers, weighting them according to UK insurance market share (data from the Association of British Insurers), choosing the cheapest of either the most popular providers or other providers ("the cheapest selected quote"). Seopa then compared the cheapest quote on its system against this "cheapest selected" quote. The company then took the savings figure which 51% or over could have saved, using that formula. The savings you could achieve will depend on your individual circumstances and how you selected your current insurance supplier.
Please take reasonable care to answer all the questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. If you don't answer the questions correctly, your policy may be cancelled, or your claim rejected or not fully paid. The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you.
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