Best 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. Here's how to choose the best policy for you.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Get a car quote with Confused.com

  • Save up to £285 on your car insurance*.
  • Compare over 100 car insurance providers.
  • Enjoy Confused.com rewards.
Start comparison
Powered by
For our “best for” categories, our team evaluated a range of features from providers on our website to help determine the best black box insurance. Keep in mind that our top picks may not always be the best for you, and it’s wise to compare for yourself to find the policy that works for you. Read our full methodology here to find out more.

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.

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.

Some studies show that, on average, black box car insurance saves young drivers around £150 each year on their insurance premium, but other drivers may also be able to save by switching to a telematics policy.

Five steps for choosing the best black box policy for you:

  1. Get quotes from different sources for regular car insurance, including comparing different types of cover (third party only vs comprehensive, for example).
  2. If you can’t find an affordable quote, shop around for black box insurance quotes.
  3. When looking at options, consider the restrictions of the policy (like curfew and how far away from home you can drive) and check that they fit with your lifestyle.
  4. Choose the policy that combines the best conditions and price for your circumstances and take out the cover.
  5. Download or print your policy documents and keep them in a safe place (whether stored on your computer or as hard copies in your house) for easy access in case you need to make a query or claim.

Some of the best black box car insurance companies

  • Tesco Bank. When you install a black box with Tesco Bank, it will reward you with up to 100 Bonus Miles per month for safe driving. Safety factors include your speed, smooth driving, taking breaks on long journeys and the type of road you drive on. The more Bonus Miles you rack up, the higher your renewal discount will be. This is available for motorists aged between 17-35.
  • Admiral. Admiral’s LittleBox black box insurance is available, provided your car was manufactured in the last 15 years, is worth at least £250 and you drive at least 1,900 miles per year. You’ll receive a discount based on good driving. Customers can save over £408 with LittleBox and there’s no maximum age limit to be eligible for this policy.
  • RAC. Your ‘Driver Score’ will be recalculated every seven days, as long as you’ve driven 200 miles in that time. Your score will be based on your speed, acceleration, braking, when you drive and where you drive and will be shown on the RAC Breakdown Cover app. You’ll get free RAC breakdown cover with this policy.
  • Direct Line. You can get a Direct Line DrivePlus telematics profile if you’re under 25. It only requires a small plug-in that you can install yourself and you’ll get feedback on your driving on a regular basis. The maximum age limit for this policy is 95.
  • Churchill. You don’t even need a device in your car with Churchill DriveSure car insurance, just the app on your phone. You’ll get an upfront discount if you take out this policy, plus a discount on renewal if you’re judged to be a safe driver.
  • Hastings Direct. You’ll be eligible for Hastings Direct SmartMiles policy if you’re aged 17 or over, drive less than 15,000 miles per year and mainly drive between 05.00 and 22.00.
  • Marmalade. If you’re aged between 17 and 30, you’re eligible for Marmalade’s black box car insurance. It comes with a self-fit telematics box that measures speed, acceleration, braking, cornering and where you drive.
  • Ingenie. With Ingenie black box car insurance, you save money in three ways – you’ll get an upfront discount on signing up, it’ll give you a discount for safe driving as early as three months into your policy, and you’ll get a discount on renewal.

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 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 location.

This data is assessed by the insurer 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.

Which age group is most likely to purchase black box insurance?

A key reason why younger drivers face astronomical quotes for car insurance is that insurers have no proof that they’re safe drivers. Telematics devices were invented to allow new motorists to prove that they are safe on the road. That’s why black box car insurance is mostly aimed at younger drivers.

You can see how much more drivers under the age of 30 pay for car insurance in our guide to car insurance costs.

However, that doesn’t mean older drivers can’t benefit too. If you’ve seen your premiums increase due to your age, a black box policy could help prove to your insurance company 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.

Drivers between the ages of 17-25 will have a much bigger choice of black box car insurance companies to choose from, but those outside of that age bracket could get a good deal too so make sure to shop around.

Cost of black box car insurance

According to Finder’s research, motorists can typically save between 8% and 26% on their premiums with a black box.

As car insurance is such a personal thing, you’ll need to get a quote to be able to see whether it could save you money.

That said, for most drivers, taking out a black box car insurance policy is a good way to get a discount on premiums in the long run, provided you’re a safe driver.

Is a black box worth it?

Finder’s insurance expert Ronny Lavie answers

Ronny Lavie

That depends on your priorities and how good of a driver you are (in practical terms).

If you’re a safe driver and strictly keep to the rules of the road, then a black box can save you quite a bit of money. You’ll have to keep to speed limits and be super careful though, otherwise you might incur fines that will mean the black box ends up costing you more money than it saves.

You’ll also have to take your lifestyle into consideration. Do you work late shifts or regularly have to drive far away from your registered address (say, to attend school or visit relatives)? If so, a black box insurance policy might not be for you, as it often comes with a curfew and restrictions on how far away from home you can drive.

So, basically, you have to consider what you value more – saving money, or having no restrictions on your driving. If you recently passed your driving test and have little experience, or if you’re an older driver who wants to prove you’ve still got it, 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. You’ll have to make some sacrifices for it though, so it’s up to you to decide if they’re worth it for the saving.

Best cars to insure on black box insurance

Generally speaking, driving a cheaper car leads to cheaper car insurance premiums. This is because it costs less to repair or replace these cars when they get into an accident.

Cars with smaller engines also cost less to insure, as they can’t reach the speeds of bigger engine cars, and so are considered to be lower risk by insurers.

Regardless of whether you opt for black box car insurance or not, you should be aware of the 50 car insurance groups, created by Thatcham Research.

The cars in group 1 are the cheapest to insure, while group 50 vehicles are the most expensive to cover.

Pros and cons of black box car insurance

Pros

  • Suitable for drivers who typically fall into a high risk category based on their age.
  • Reduced premiums for driving safely.
  • Could make drivers safer in the long run, thanks to regular feedback on driving.
  • The black box is a tracking device, so it can help locate a stolen car.
  • Information from the black box can be used as part of a claim.

Cons

  • Not available if you car share, as only the 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.
  • Might come with restrictions on how far from home you can drive, as well as where you drive to and how many miles per year you do.

Our 2020 customer satisfaction league table

The companies listed below all provide black box options, and all these brands were in our customer satisfaction survey. We asked policyholders to rate their satisfaction with their insurance company and whether they’d recommend it to a friend. We’ve shown both for each brand in the table below. Our independent survey of 750 insurance customers was carried out in December 2019.

Overall satisfactionCustomers who’d recommendIssuerReview
★★★★★75%Picture not describedWhile fewer Direct Line customers said they would recommend the service, the strength of its policies pushed its overall score up. Customers surveyed called the products on offer competitive and the service helpful.View deals
★★★★★87%Marmalade logoAs Marmalade only offers cover to drivers up to the age of 30, it didn’t quite make our top 10. However, the service did very well in our survey, with customers calling it easy to use and praising the competitive prices.View deals
★★★★★83%churchill logoMost people would be aware of Churchill, largely because of its nodding dog. Love or hate those ads, customers called the service provided by Churchill reliable and helpful. Some were impressed by the claim handling process.View deals
★★★★★82%LV= logoAs well as standard car insurance, LV= also offers cover for electric and classic cars. Its comprehensive cover includes windshield damage and replacement locks and was considered good value by customers in our survey.View deals
★★★★★77%Picture not describedhastings direct home insuranceHastings Direct’s two main cover options are Direct and Premier. The company also offers Essential comprehensive cover, as well as third party and third party, fire and theft, but there’s not a lot of information available on those.View deals
★★★★★76%Picture not describedAdmiral-logoAs one of the most well-known insurers in the UK, Admiral offers a range of cover options, including a combined home and car policy, multi-car cover and temporary car insurance. Customers praised the good value cover and helpful staff.View deals
★★★★★73%Picture not describedTesco-logoThe largest supermarket chain in UK, Tesco also provides solid car insurance policies. You can choose the Black Box policy for young drivers (17–35) or the standard cover for drivers over 21, which customers reported to be good value.View deals

Car insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
Our customer satisfaction scores (“Customers say”) are based on a survey of 750 customers carried out in December 2019.

Frequently asked questions

*Based on independent online research by Consumer Intelligence (March ’20). 51% of car insurance customers could save £285.88.
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.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site