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If you’re a new or young driver it can sometimes be pretty costly to get car insurance. This is due to the increased likelihood of an accident. According to Brake.org, one in four 18-24 year olds (23%) crash within two years of passing their driving test. There are a number of ways in which you can save money on your car insurance premium but one of the most popular is a black box insurance deal. So, let’s find out the pros and cons of black box car insurance.

What is black box insurance?

Black box insurance, also known as ‘telematics’, is when your car insurance provider fits a GPS box to your car which transmits information back to the provider regarding your driving performance. Your provider calculates your premiums based on how you drive. These boxes are used to monitor driving and ‘safer’ drivers can be rewarded with lower premiums, but it can also have implications for poor driving too.

Black box insurance, also known as ‘telematics’, is when your car insurance provider fits a GPS box to your car which transmits information back to the provider regarding your driving performance. Your provider calculates your premiums based on how you drive. These boxes are used to monitor driving and ‘safer’ drivers can be rewarded with lower premiums, but it can also have implications for poor driving too.

Each insurance provider can record different metrics. However, the most common tracked metrics are:

  • Speed
  • Mileage
  • Braking
  • Time of day
  • Corners
  • Steering

Where is a black box fitted?

A black box is usually fitted out of sight. It can usually be located behind the dashboard or on the battery, but it will not affect driving or have any impacts on your journey. Black boxes are usually about the size of a mobile phone and can be fitted in around an hour.

Did you know? One in four 18-24 year olds crash within two years of passing their driving test!

Who is black box insurance for?

Having a telematics box can be beneficial for a number of different drivers:

  • Young drivers. Black box insurance is typically aimed at 17-24-year olds. This is because they tend to be first time drivers and are more likely to make a claim in the event of an accident. The likelihood of making a claim can increase your premium.
  • Careful drivers. If you are a more sensible and safer driver than most then you can benefit from discounts for better driving. This is because you are seen as less of a risk to the insurance company.
  • Low mileage drivers. Typically, the more you drive the more likely you are to make a claim. Many black box providers take into account how much you drive and the miles you cover in a day.
  • Daytime drivers. Some black box insurers may take into account the time of day you drive. You are more likely to be involved in an accident when driving at night so if you rarely drive during 11pm-6am, then you could save money!

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The pros of black box insurance:

  • Improve your driving skills. Everyone wants to save money where possible and using a black box insurance deal will encourage you to drive safer and in the long run you will be a more sensible driver, it can also improve your driving skills such as steering and cornering.
  • Locate a stolen car. Black box insurance adds a little more security as the GPS tracking system can be used if your car has been stolen. The GPS box is usually hidden behind the dashboard or battery and can be tricky to locate so it can’t be stolen.
  • Prove your innocence in an accident. In the event of an insurance claim, you can sometimes use your black box to prove that you were not at fault as you were driving safely.
  • Accident alert system. Many black boxes are fitted with an accident alert system which informs the insurer if you are involved in a cash. This can add an extra level of safety and can mean quicker recovery.

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The cons of black box insurance:

  • Bad driving will increase the cost. If you have bad driving habits and don’t use your black box to correct them, you can end up paying more for your insurance premium. Harsh braking, driving over the speed limit and rapid acceleration can lead to higher premiums.
  • As mentioned, some car insurance providers may have driving time restrictions. Most accidents happen late at night and you may end up paying more if you are regularly driving after 11pm.
  • Journey restrictions. In some cases, your telematics box may take note of how many journeys you make in a day. This is because statistically, the more you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident.
  • Additional charges. Most providers will charge you for a number of things which could end up costly, for example, there is usually a fee for fitting the box, changing the box over if you get a new car or black box disconnection.