Black box car insurance for students: Pros and cons

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Black box insurance is becoming the cheapest option for car insurance for young drivers but what are the pros and cons?

Black box or telematics insurance sees your car fitted with a little gizmo (a black box) which tracks how you drive, from times and locations to your speed and braking.


The 'better' you drive the less you pay but 'bad' driving attracts higher insurance premiums.

But what are the advantages or disadvantages and is it worth it?

Pros and cons of black box car insurance

Advantages

Savings: The biggest plus for black box insurance. You can save up to 20% on your premium - that can be as much as £500 a year. You can also save money on fuel by driving more economically.

Safer driving: Black boxes will encourage safer driving, although you shouldn't really need a black box to do that.

Tracking: The GPS tracking system provides a way to find a vehicle if lost or stolen.

Evidence: In case of an accident, incident or insurance claim the data from the black box provides evidence as to just what happened.

May be the only choice: Depending on your budget, a telematics insurance quote may be the only realistic one for you.

Disadvantages

Curfews: Some insurers may charge you for driving in certain hours, such as between 11PM and 5AM or during rush hour.

Fees: You may have to pay for the black box to be fitted and/or removed.

Privacy: Having your every movement tracked, logged and reviewed has some obvious privacy implications.

Can be more expensive: With 'fines' for bad driving, long journeys or breaking curfews you may find telematics car insurance actually more expensive than alternatives.

Hard to budget for: Not knowing just how much your insurance costs makes accurate budgeting impossible.

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Photo by ID.8 Photography/REX

Conclusion

Whether or not you can get a good car insurance deal with telematics or black box companies really depends on your driving habits. If you do few miles, and mostly in the day outside of rush hour then you can make big savings.

However long trips and journeys during high risk times (such as late evening or in rush hour) may see premiums higher than with a standard insurer.

Check for any fees for instalation and removal before you sign up, as these may wipe out any discount you are getting.