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Is a black box insurance policy right for you?

Some car insurers offer a discount by fitting a special device, known as telematics or a black box, into your car. This device tracks your driving and feeds back data to an insurer to show how well you drive. You’re usually charged a fixed fee to drive a certain amount of miles a year.

Black box insurance policies measure everything from acceleration to cornering, plus the types of roads you drive and the times you drive at. This means your car insurer can get a full impression of your driving habits – and charges you accordingly.

Some black box and telematics insurance policies work by refunding drivers for good behaviour or increasing the premium for those who drive less safely.

If you answered yes to all these questions it could be...

Are you a good driver?

Do you accelerate and decelerate gently, slow down for corners and stick to speed limits?

Is your mileage relatively low?

Do you just drive locally, rather than over long-distances and on motorway?

Can you avoid night-time driving?

Driving at night is riskier. Some insurers offer discounts for daylight-only drivers.

Is standard car insurance too expensive?

Young drivers pay high premiums. Many new drivers can save money with black box car insurance.

How does the black box encourage safe driving?

Black box car insurance can’t make you a better driver – it’s not like you get an electric shock for making a mistake! But it’s set up to foster good driving habits by awarding points that translate into money off your premium.

The particular driving skills black box insurance policies focus on may differ between insurers. But they typically include:

Acceleration and driving speeds, the time of the day or night you are behind the wheel, with particular focus on night and rush hour driving, as well as sharp braking and cornering speeds. 

The underlying plan is that with premiums so high, relatively cheap black box insurance will prove attractive and within time the driving habits it encourages become second nature. This is good for the insurer, which can only be a good thing for you, too.

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Black box FAQs

Last updated: 28 January 2022

How does a black box insurance policy work?

A black box is a device fitted discreetly behind the dashboard of your vehicle that measures how well and safely you drive. It tracks how, where and when you drive using GPS – similar to your location app on your mobile phone. It provides your insurer with data on where you are, how fast you accelerate and drive and whether you brake gently or not. It also gives your insurer a view of your general driving style as well as the sort of roads you are using.

If you’re a careful driver, telematics car insurance can count in your favour. Your insurance quote will be based on your own driving, and not on the general risk of someone with your age and risk profile. So, you can be rewarded for being a safer-than-average driver.

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