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Telematics Insurance: Revolutionising UK Car Coverage

In today's digital age, technology is transforming every aspect of our lives, including the way we drive and insure our vehicles. Telematics insurance, also known as black box insurance, is a great way to revolutionise the car insurance industry for UK consumers. This comprehensive guide will explain the concept of telematics insurance, its benefits, and how it works. We will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of black box insurance, and how it can help customers save on their car insurance premiums. Additionally, we will provide information on the top 10 telematics insurers in the UK, black box insurance rules, what a black box measures, how UK consumers can obtain telematics quotes, and reasons why UK consumers should consider telematics policies.

What is Telematics Insurance?

Telematics insurance, also known as black box insurance, is a type of car insurance that uses advanced technology to monitor and assess your driving behaviour. It involves the installation of a small device, commonly referred to as a black box, in your vehicle. This black box collects data about your driving habits, such as your speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering. Telematics car insurance provides a personalised price based on how well you drive, via a wireless device that you put in your car which connects directly to an app. So, you'll be able to check on how you're driving whenever you want! This data is then analysed by the insurance company to determine your risk profile and calculate your insurance premium.

How Does Telematics Insurance Work?

The black box, typically installed out of sight in your car, uses GPS and accelerometer technology to record data about your driving behaviour. It captures information such as speed, distance travelled, time of day, and location. This data is transmitted wirelessly to the insurance company, where it is analysed to assess your driving habits and calculate your insurance premium. Our installers will arrange to come to you and set it up at no extra cost.

Benefits of Telematics Insurance

  1. Lower Insurance Premiums: Telematics insurance offers the potential for lower insurance premiums, especially for safe and responsible drivers. By analysing your driving behaviour, insurance companies can assess your risk profile more accurately and offer personalised premiums based on your individual driving habits. This means that if you are a safe driver, you can benefit from lower premiums compared to traditional car insurance policies.
  2. Encourages Safe Driving: Telematics insurance promotes safe driving habits by making drivers more aware of their behaviour behind the wheel. Knowing that their driving is being monitored encourages drivers to adopt safer habits, such as obeying speed limits, avoiding sudden acceleration or harsh braking, and driving during safer hours. This can lead to a reduction in accidents and ultimately make our roads safer for everyone.
  3. Rewards for Good Driving: Some telematics insurance policies offer rewards and incentives for good driving behaviour. This can include cashback, discounted premiums, or other rewards that encourage drivers to maintain safe habits on the road. This not only benefits the driver financially but also reinforces positive driving behaviours.
  4. Accurate Claims Processing: In the event of an accident, telematics insurance can provide accurate and objective data about the incident. This can help streamline the claims process and prevent disputes between drivers and insurance companies. The black box data can provide valuable evidence in determining fault and assessing the extent of damages, leading to a faster and fairer claims resolution.

Advantages of Black Box Insurance

  1. Cost Savings: One of the main advantages of telematics insurance is the potential for cost savings. Safe drivers can benefit from lower premiums, as their driving habits are rewarded with personalised pricing. This can be especially beneficial for young and inexperienced drivers who are often faced with higher insurance costs.
  2. Improved Driving Habits: By being aware that their driving behaviour is being monitored, drivers are more likely to adopt safer habits on the road. This can lead to a decrease in accidents and a safer driving environment for all road users.
  3. Protection Against Theft: Some telematics insurance policies offer features that can help track and recover stolen vehicles. The GPS technology in the black box can assist authorities in locating the stolen vehicle, increasing the chances of recovery and reducing the financial impact of theft.
  4. Parental Control: Telematics insurance can be particularly advantageous for parents with young drivers. By monitoring their child's driving habits, parents can have peace of mind knowing that their child is driving responsibly and can offer guidance and feedback to help them improve their skills.

Disadvantages of Black Box Insurance

  1. Loss of Privacy: Telematics insurance requires the collection and analysis of personal driving data. Some individuals may feel uncomfortable with the idea of their driving habits being monitored and potentially shared with third parties. However, it's important to note that insurance companies are bound by data protection laws and have strict policies in place to safeguard customer data.
  2. Driving Restrictions: Some telematics insurance policies may impose driving restrictions, such as curfews or limitations on certain high-risk driving conditions. While these restrictions are intended to promote safer driving, they may not be suitable for all drivers.
  3. Installation Costs: There may be initial costs associated with installing the black box device. However, many insurance providers offer free installation or include the cost in the premium.
  4. Data Accuracy: While telematics devices are generally accurate, there may be instances where the data collected does not accurately reflect the driver's behaviour. Factors such as poor GPS signal or technical issues with the black box can potentially affect the accuracy of the data.

The Top 10 Black Box Car Insurers in the UK

Now that we understand the benefits of black box car insurance, let's explore the top 10 insurers in the UK that offer black box policies. Each insurer has its own unique features and offerings, so it's important to compare and choose the policy that best suits your needs.

1. Tesco Bank

Tesco Bank offers black box car insurance that rewards safe driving with up to 100 Bonus Miles per month. The black box device assesses factors such as speed, smooth driving, breaks on long journeys, and the type of road you drive on. The great news is that our safest drivers can earn extra discounts for safe driving - plus the smart tech allows us to offer the option to choose an annual policy or a mileage based policy depending on how many miles you expect to drive. This policy is available for drivers aged between 17 and 35.

2. Admiral

Admiral's LittleBox black box insurance is available for cars manufactured in the last 15 years, worth at least £250, and driven at least 1,900 miles per year. The policy offers discounts based on good driving behaviour and can save customers over £408. There is no maximum age limit for eligibility. Data from the Consumer Intelligence price index (June 2022) tells us that the average premium quoted for UK drivers aged under 25 in June was £1669.

3. RAC

RAC's black box insurance policy calculates your 'Driver Score' every seven days based on factors such as speed, acceleration, braking, time of driving, and location. The score is displayed on the RAC Breakdown Cover app, and safe driving can lead to discounts on premiums. Additionally, the policy includes free RAC breakdown cover, providing an easy way for drivers to access assistance in case of any issues on the road.

4. Direct Line

Direct Line offers the DrivePlus telematics policy for drivers under 25. This policy requires a small plug-in device that can be self-installed, and provides regular feedback on your driving habits. The maximum age limit for this policy is 95.

5. Churchill

Churchill's DriveSure car insurance eliminates the need for a physical device in your car, as it is entirely app-based. By simply installing the app on your phone, you can receive an upfront discount and potential renewal discounts based on your driving performance. Churchill DriveSure is a popular choice for drivers who prefer the convenience of app-based insurance.

6. Hastings Direct

Hastings Direct offers the SmartMiles policy for drivers aged 17 and over who drive less than 15,000 miles per year, mainly between 05:00 and 22:00. This policy provides access to a free app that monitors your driving performance and offers driving tips in real-time to help reduce your premiums.

7. Marmalade

Marmalade's black box car insurance is specifically designed for drivers aged between 17 and 30. It includes a self-fit telematics box that measures various driving parameters such as speed, acceleration, braking, cornering, and location.

8. Ingenie

Ingenie's black box car insurance offers multiple ways to save money. Customers receive an upfront discount upon signing up, and additional discounts are provided for safe driving as early as three months into the policy. Ingenie also offers discounts on policy renewal.

9. Bell

Bell's black box insurance policies have no curfews or mileage limits. The policies utilise a device that records six months' worth of data, which is then sent back to Bell to determine discounts on premiums. Optional extras such as motor legal expenses cover and UK breakdown cover can be added to the policy. If you’re an occasional driver, this could work in your favour as the fewer miles you drive, the cheaper your premiums might be.

10. Admiral (MultiCar)

Admiral's MultiCar policy offers black box insurance for drivers aged 17 to 30. The policy is designed for new and young drivers who want to start with low premiums and transition to a traditional policy within two years. Additional benefits include a free courtesy car guarantee and no night-time curfews.

Black Box Insurance Rules

  1. Installation: The black box device must be installed by a qualified engineer or authorised technician. It is usually installed out of sight, such as under the dashboard or in the engine compartment.
  2. Data Collection: The black box continuously collects and transmits data about your driving behaviour to the insurance company. This data is used to assess your risk profile and calculate your insurance premium.
  3. Privacy: Insurance companies are required to comply with data protection laws and have strict policies in place to protect customer data. They are not allowed to use the data collected for any purpose other than calculating premiums and settling claims.
  4. Data Access: As a policyholder, you have the right to access the data collected by the black box. You can request this data from your insurance provider if needed.

What Does a Black Box Measure?

The black box measures various aspects of your driving behaviour, including:

  1. Speed: The device monitors your speed at any given time. Excessive speeding can negatively impact your risk profile and result in higher premiums.
  2. Acceleration: The black box records how quickly you accelerate from a standstill. Rapid acceleration can indicate aggressive driving behaviour.
  3. Braking: The device measures how forcefully you apply the brakes. Harsh braking can be an indication of erratic driving or tailgating.
  4. Cornering: The black box assesses how smoothly you take corners. Sharp turns or excessive swerving can be a sign of aggressive or unsafe driving.
  5. Time of Day: The device records the time of day that you drive. Insurance companies may consider driving during high-risk hours, such as late at night, to increase your risk profile.

Obtaining Telematics Quotes

If you are interested in telematics insurance, obtaining quotes for a standard car insurance policy is a straightforward process. Most insurance providers offer online quote forms where you can input your details and receive a personalised quote. It's important to provide accurate information about your driving history and habits to ensure an accurate quote. You can compare quotes from different insurers to find the best policy that suits your needs and budget.

Why Should UK Drivers Consider Telematics Policies?

  1. Cost Savings: Telematics insurance offers the potential for significant cost savings, especially for safe and responsible drivers. By adopting safer driving habits, you can benefit from lower premiums compared to traditional car insurance policies.
  2. Safe Driving Incentives: Telematics insurance encourages safe driving habits by providing rewards and incentives for good driving behaviour. This can include discounted premiums, cashback, or other rewards that motivate drivers to maintain safe habits on the road.
  3. Accurate Premiums: Telematics insurance allows insurance companies to assess your risk profile more accurately. This means that your premium is based on your individual driving habits, rather than general risk factors. Safe drivers are rewarded with lower premiums, while high-risk drivers may face higher costs.
  4. Peace of Mind: Telematics insurance can provide peace of mind for parents with young drivers. By monitoring their child's driving behaviour, parents can have confidence that their child is driving responsibly and can offer guidance and feedback to help them improve their skills.

How to get a cheap black box insurer?

To find a cheap black box insurer, here are some action points you can follow:

  1. Research and compare: Start by researching different black box insurers in your area. Look for ones that offer competitive rates and have good customer reviews. Compare the prices and coverage options from multiple insurers to find the most affordable one.
  2. Check for discounts: Many black box insurers offer discounts based on factors such as driving behaviour, low mileage, or good grades (if you're a student). Look for insurers that offer these types of discounts and see if you qualify for any of them.
  3. Optimise your driving behaviour: Black box insurers use telematics devices to monitor your driving behaviour. Driving safely and responsibly can help you get better rates. Avoid speeding, harsh braking, and unnecessary acceleration. Maintaining a good driving record can help you secure lower premiums.
  4. Consider your mileage: Black box insurers often offer lower rates to drivers who don't drive frequently. If you're a low-mileage driver, look for insurers that offer pay-as-you-go or low-mileage policies. This can help you save money if you don't drive much.
  5. Increase your deductible: A higher deductible means you'll have to pay more out of pocket in case of an accident, but it can also reduce your premium. Consider if you can afford a higher deductible and if the savings on your premium outweigh the potential increased cost in the event of a claim.
  6. Pay annually: Some insurers offer discounts if you pay your premium annually instead of monthly. If you can afford to pay the full amount upfront, it may be worth considering to save on your overall premium.
  7. Shop around and negotiate: Don't settle for the first quote you receive. Shop around and negotiate with different insurers. Sometimes, simply asking for a lower rate or mentioning a competitor's offer can lead to reduced premiums.
  8. Maintain a good credit score: In some regions, insurers consider your credit score when calculating your premium. Maintaining a good credit score can help you secure better rates. Pay your bills on time and keep your credit utilisation low to improve your credit score.

Which drivers should consider getting black box policies?

  • Younger drivers: Black box policies are often recommended for younger drivers, as they tend to have less driving experience and higher accident rates. Installing a black box can help monitor their driving behaviour and potentially lower their insurance premiums.
  • Older drivers: While black box policies are commonly associated with younger drivers, they can also be beneficial for older drivers. These policies can provide insights into their driving habits and potentially offer lower premiums based on their safe driving behaviour.
  • Convicted drivers: Drivers with previous convictions, such as speeding or drink driving, may find black box policies helpful. By monitoring their driving behaviour, these policies can demonstrate that they have improved their habits and may reduce insurance costs.
  • Infrequent drivers: Drivers who don't use their vehicles frequently may consider opting for black box policies. Since the premiums are often based on actual usage, infrequent drivers can potentially save money by paying only for the miles they drive.
  • Low-mileage drivers: Black box policies often offer discounted rates for drivers who don't frequently use their vehicles or have a low annual mileage.
  • Drivers looking to save money: Black box policies can provide an opportunity to save money on insurance premiums by rewarding safe driving habits or low-risk behaviour.
  • Drivers with high-value vehicles: Owners of expensive or high-performance vehicles may opt for black box policies to potentially reduce their insurance costs, as these vehicles tend to have higher premiums.
  • Parents of new drivers: Parents may consider black box policies for their teenage children to monitor their driving habits, encourage safe driving behaviours, and potentially reduce insurance expenses.

What information do I need to get a black box insurer quote?

To get a black box insurer quote, you will need the following information:

  • Personal details: Name, age, address, and contact information.
  • Driving history: Details about your driving experience, including when you obtained your license and any previous accidents or claims.
  • Vehicle information: Make, model, year, and registration number of the vehicle you want to insure.
  • Usage details: How often you plan to use the vehicle, including daily mileage and types of journeys (e.g., commuting, leisure).
  • Policy preferences: Desired coverage limits, additional features, and any specific requirements you may have.
  • Additional drivers: Information about any additional drivers who will be using the vehicle, including their age and driving history.
  • Security measures: Details about any security features installed in the vehicle, such as alarms or immobilisers.
  • Payment details: Information about how you plan to pay for the insurance premium, such as annual or monthly payments.
  • Any other relevant information: Some insurers may ask for additional details, such as occupation or annual mileage estimates.

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Telematics Car Insurance Frequently asked questions

Telematics Insurance is growing in popularity in the UK, with an expected annual growth rate of 30%. It provides a cost-effective solution for drivers who don't drive long distances or drive safely and responsibly.

To make the most of Telematics Insurance, it's recommended to maintain good driving habits and avoid excessive speed or harsh braking. Since your premium is calculated based on your driving behaviour, maintaining a safe driving record can result in substantial savings.

While Telematics Insurance monitors your driving behaviour, companies promise not to increase premiums if undesirable driving behaviour is detected. Instead, it offers an opportunity to lower your premiums through safe driving.

Yes, if you drive fewer than 10,000 miles a year, Telematics Insurance could be a good option. This insurance charges you based on your actual driving behaviour, potentially leading to significant savings if you drive less than the average person.

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