You’ve likely heard of black box car insurance, but you may be wondering what it actually is, how it works, and how it could benefit you. If that sounds about right, then read on – this article is here to break down these questions, helping you to make the best decision according to your needs.

What is black box car insurance?

Essentially, black box insurance – which is also known as telematics – is a policy that some insurers may offer as a way of effectively monitoring your driving. Younger drivers who’ve just passed their test or drivers with less experience will tend to be offered black box insurance as a potentially cheaper option for insuring their vehicle.

Once the black box is installed in the vehicle, it uses GPS to generate information on your driving. That way, your insurer will monitor and set your premiums based on how you drive, rather than blanket policy or general statistics. The data that black boxes collect include braking, cornering, speed, mileage, and the time of day you drive. You’ll be given a driving score which you can see online, and your insurance price is then personalised depending on your driving habits.

Drivers who prioritise safety, drive responsibly, and take fewer risks will be rewarded with lower premiums. Depending on your insurer, these might be adjusted on either a monthly or yearly basis.

Black box car insurance – the lowdown

So, is black box insurance really worth it? We break down the potential benefits and disadvantages:

Black box advantages

Cheaper insurance for young drivers

For drivers who’ve recently passed their tests, black box insurance has significant appeal. It’s just a fact that insurance is more expensive for young drivers. A great way to avoid this is to use a black box, which will quantifiably measure driving habits and reward conscientious drivers with lower premiums. After a year of driving with a black box, it’s also not unusual to see premiums reduce by as much as 60% – a hefty reduction with serious appeal.

Great for convicted drivers

The premium on insurance policies is based on a driver’s history. Convicted drivers can therefore end up with expensive insurance as a result. A black box will record how you drive in the moment, thereby proving you’re a safe driver. This will then result in lower premiums.

Lower premium for drivers

If you’re a particularly careful driver, black boxes will reward you with significantly lower premiums. Plus, you’re likely to be more conscious of how you drive overall, resulting in safer, less risky behaviour.

Anti-theft

Because black boxes use GPS to track your car location, they also work to deter theft, as would-be burglars will likely think twice before stealing a vehicle. What’s more, if your car is stolen, it will be easier to recover.

And the disadvantages

Curfews

If you’re someone who frequently drives at night or during rush hour, you might get frustrated with black box insurance. Accidents tend to happen at nights, so some black box policies impose a curfew where you’ll be penalised for driving beyond a set time. Breaking this may result in higher premiums.

Journey restrictions

Black box insurance can impose restrictions on journey numbers and lengths. This is because statistically, the more and longer you drive, the more likely you are to have an accident. But it can result in restrictive policies, which may not suit your particular circumstances.

Fees

You’ll likely have to pay for a licensed installer to both put the box in and remove it at the end of your policy. Plus, if there’s any damage incurred to the device, you’ll also have to fork out to cover that, too.

Named drivers

Be aware that the box can’t tell who’s driving or when. It’s therefore worth being sure that any other drivers insured on the car are going to be as careful a driver as possible. This will avoid unnecessary price hikes on your premium.

Making driving affordable

Black box insurance is just one of the ways to make driving a car more affordable. That’s certainly something we’re familiar with at My Car Credit, as one of the leading car finance brokers for UK drivers.

With our help, you can spread the cost of your new car with affordable monthly repayments. Use our car finance calculator to get an idea of how much you can borrow or call our car credit specialists on 01246 458 810.

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