Not all black box policies are the same. It's not unusual to see restrictions on mileage and the time of day you drive, but also how your driving is monitored can vary. Some insurers will ask you to install a box in your car, while others will ask you to use an app on your phone while you drive. I recommend checking the policy details carefully so you're fully aware of these.
What is black box insurance?
Black box insurance is a personalised car insurance policy that’s based on the way you drive and your driving habits. It means your insurance costs depend on how well and safely you drive.
Black box insurance has a few names:
- Telematics insurance
- Smart box insurance
- Pay as you drive
- Usage-based insurance (UBI)
But they all work in the same way - someone fits a black box to your car, or it’s done through your insurance company’s app. It uses the data collected to calculate the cost of your car insurance. The better you drive, the higher your driving score is, and the less you should pay for your policy.
You can improve your score by keeping to the speed limits, accelerating smoothly and braking with plenty of time. Black boxes don’t like surprises, so consistent, safe driving should see the greatest rewards. You usually get tips through a personalised dashboard on how to improve your driving score.
You might get a discount just for getting black box car insurance, but your driving score determines what you pay in the end. Careful, responsible drivers should pay less. A growing number of companies offer black box insurance policies to lower the cost of car cover.
- Save up to £445 on your car insurance*
- Plus choose a free gift with Confused.com Rewards**
It’s a win-win.How to claim a reward
*Based on data provided by Consumer Intelligence Ltd, www.consumerintelligence.com (April '23). 51% of car insurance customers could save £445.29
**Single annual policy. Shell Go+ account required. Only one £10 fuel reward can be used per transaction and each can only be used on fuel purchases of £10 or over. HelloFresh 18+ subscription service. Geographical exclusions apply. T&Cs apply
Black box insurance rules
Black box insurance rules vary between insurers. But insurance providers often ask you to agree an annual mileage limit when you get the policy. You're typically be able to increase the limit later on if you need to,which comes at an extra cost. If you think you’re going to go over your mileage you should talk to your insurer in advance.
Some black box insurance companies let you buy more miles if you exceed the agreed limit. Others may amend your policy price if you tell them ahead of time that you’ll be going over. If you have a pay-as-you-go car insurance policy, you may be charged automatically if you exceed the mileage limit without topping up.
If you agree to a curfew - meaning you don’t drive at certain times - you might get cheaper car insurance. Statistically, more accidents happen late at night or in the early hours of the morning. So, the curfews tend to be from 11pm- 5am as insurers view these as riskier times to drive.
What it comes down to though is your driving habits. If you don’t choose a curfew policy and you drive faster or brake suddenly later at night, you risk lowering your driving score.
You can normally drive abroad with a black box fitted to your car. You typically get up to 90 days' cover to drive in the EU and certain other European countries with many black box car insurance policies. But you should check the terms and conditions in your policy before you drive abroad.
When it comes to speed or speeding, your insurer isn't going to tell the police, but your costs might go up as speeding affects your driving score. Going over the speed limit by a small amount occasionally might not affect your policy much. But if you regularly break the speed limit, it’s likely to push up your costs as this is one of the main factors that will influence your price. In some cases, your insurer might even cancel your policy for regular excessive speeding.
What details do I need to get a black box insurance quote?
Having the following information will speed up getting a black box insurance quote:
- Your job
- Any points on your licence as well as the conviction code
- Previous claims or accidents from the last 5 years
- Any drivers you want to add to your policy
- Your driving licence number - some insurers offer better prices if they know this
- Details of your no-claims bonus (NCB) in years
- Registration number or make and model of your car
- Any modifications made to the car
- Estimated annual mileage
Look out for the black box labels in your list of results. You’ll also be able to see details about each policy, like whether they include a physical device or use an app.
Once you’ve bought your policy, your insurer should contact you to schedule a time to fit a device in your car or send you a plug-in device to install yourself. Otherwise they should give you details on how to download their app.
Types of car insurance
Temporary car insurance
offers short-term comprehensive cover from one hour to 28 days.
Multi car insurance
lets you insure one or more cars on the same policy.
Classic car insurance
offers cover for owners of classic cars. For insurance purposes, a classic car can be any car that’s older than 15 years.
Business car insurance
covers you if you use your car for work, including travelling between offices or across the country.
New driver insurance
for those who are new to driving or hold a provisional license.
We compare a range of trusted insurance companies to get you our cheapest deal in minutes
"Very easy to navigate through and plenty of helpful advice."
Mark - Confused.com customer (March 2023)
"Good selection of companies to choose from."
David - Confused.com customer (March 2023)
"Easy to get your personal quotes tailored to your needs."
Peter - Confused.com customer (March 2023)
Car insurance guides
Car insurance statistics: 2023
With the UK car insurance industry increasing in size each year, we share all you need to know about the competitive car insurance providers and policies
Road closures for King Charles III's coronation: What you need to know
King Charles III's coronation is happening over the 6 May bank holiday weekend. People could be having street parties to celebrate, which mean road closures. Here's how to find out which roads are closed near you.
Cheapest cars to insure
We've looked at thousands of quotes to find the 10 cheapest cars to insure as well as the cheapest models to insure for young and new drivers.
Driving licence numbers explained
You can find your driving licence number on the front of your photocard driving licence. Having this number could reduce your car insurance costs too.
How to make a pothole claim
If your car has been damaged by a pothole, you may be able to claim compensation.