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Black box insurance for young and new drivers

Telematics ‘black box’ insurance can be a cheap car insurance option for young and inexperienced drivers. Learn more about how black box insurance works.

Nimisha Jain

Words by: Nimisha Jain

Last updated on 31 January 2022 | 0 min read

What is black box insurance?

Black box insurance, also known as ‘telematics’ insurance or ’pay as your drive’ cover, is a car insurance policy that records your driving behaviour over time to provide you with a bespoke insurance premium as opposed to a fixed, pre-determined one.
Your insurance provider collects data such as your speed, how fast you take corners, how sharply you accelerate and brake, the time of the day you drive and the average length of your journey. Different insurance providers track different types of data, but they don’t track personal data like where you go. This model of car insurance rewards safe drivers with discounts on their premiums. In a nutshell, instead of deciding your insurance premium based on your age and experience (as well as the type of car and other such considerations), it factors in your actual driving. Thus, black box insurance appeals to young drivers, drivers without any prior experience and high-risk drivers.

How does black box insurance work?

The insurer fits a small device in your car called a ‘black box’, which uses GPS to monitor how safe you are behind the wheel.
Alternatively, they may ask you to download an app on your phone to track your driving. The app or the insurer’s website may also show you details about your driving behaviour and feedback. Your driving is then monitored and assessed, but there’s no need to worry if you have an off-moment and brake suddenly – your driving is assessed over a long period of time, so occasional blips shouldn’t affect what you pay. If you don’t want to use black box insurance anymore, the black box can be easily removed. Although, there can be high cancellation/removal fees if you cancel a policy mid-term.

Advantages and disadvantages of black box car insurance

There are various pros and cons of using black box car insurance:

Black box insurance pros:

• You can get a cheaper premium if you’re a safe or low mileage driver • Black box insurance can be a cheaper option for young or inexperienced drivers, or drivers with convictions • You can also benefit from cheaper premiums if you only drive locally or travel short distances • Installing a black box can make you a more disciplined driver and improve your driving • You can benefit from accident or theft tracking with the help of the black box in an unforeseen circumstance • You can monitor your driving behaviour on the road through the insurance providers online records

Black box insurance cons:

• You could end up paying more if you’re a harsh driver • Some insurers may track what time of the day you drive – this can be inconvenient for those who need to drive late at night as you may have to pay a higher premium for driving at a more accident-prone timing • Some telematics insurance providers may track how many times you drive in a day – this can a disadvantage for those who need to make frequent trips in a day • Some black box providers may charge you additional fees like a fee for fitting the box or for cancelling your insurance mid-way • Some insurance providers ask you to estimate your annual mileage – if you exceed this, you can be charged extra on your premium • Black box insurance can be a hassle if there’s someone else driving your car as well, especially if they’re a bad driver

How much does a black box reduce insurance premium?

For safer drivers, the benefits of a black box can be huge, with a significant amount of savings on their insurance premium.
You may initially find black box insurance to be more costly than a standard car insurance, but if you drive safely and sensibly with the black box, you could get discounts on future insurance policies.

How much is the black box insurance?

The price for black box insurance differs for each individual – your insurance premium would be based on your past driving history and your current driving habits.

Can I try before I buy black box insurance?

Several insurers offer free apps that monitor your driving and allow you to check how you might be assessed if you took the plunge and invested in a black box.
We’ve partnered with Compare the Market, to provide you with car insurance quote on Auto Trader . You can also get more guidance on buying car insurance on Auto Trader. Related: Cars with cheap insurance