Black box car insurance can save some drivers up to 50% on premiums – but are the restrictions worth it?

Black box car insurance can halve the cost of car insurance for some drivers, but comes with a lot of restrictions in terms of when, where and how you drive. Here we take a closer look at whether black box car insurance is actually worth it.

car keys saleThe average cost of a comprehensive car insurance policy is currently around £478 per year, according to the latest data released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

That may not sound too much, but that is just the average, there are a lot of motorists – particularly young drivers – who are having to pay a lot more than that to insure their cars.

Subsequently, a lot of new and young drivers are opting for black box insurance policies which involve the insurance company monitoring their driving habits in return for cheaper premiums for safe drivers.

Despite offering cheaper insurance costs, new statistics have shown that black box policies are proving divisive for new and young drivers.

What’s the problem with black box car insurance?

A recent study by comparison site Quote Goat has found that a lot of young drivers are not completely satisfied with their black box policies, with 45% of young drivers (those aged 17-24) saying they were unhappy with having to resort to using black box insurance to keep the costs of insurance down – pointing to the driving restrictions they have to abide by as the main cause of concern.

These restrictions include not driving during busy periods e.g. rush hour or during the night, as well as having to drive safely e.g. no speeding, fast cornering or hard braking – which is not always possible depending on the behaviour of other road users.

One of the main reasons that young drivers are expected to pay higher insurance premiums is that they are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident. But while some young drivers may deserve the ‘boy racer’ stereotype, the vast majority drive safely and sensibly – so it’s not surprising that they may feel aggrieved at having to pay such high car insurance premiums.

That’s where black box insurance is supposed to help, as it promises to reward the safe and sensible young drivers with premiums that better reflect how they drive.

The problem is the driving restrictions that are in place in return for these lower premiums. For example, some policies set a strict curfew on what time you can drive – miss the curfew and you will pay a lot more for your cover. There are many different black box policies that don’t set a curfew though, but you may find that these do not offer the same savings.

Some policies may also set a limit on the amount of miles you can drive, and others may not – so it’s important to weigh up the different restrictions each policy offers, and the associated savings, before you decide whether black box car insurance is worth it, and which policy to choose.

How else can you save money on car insurance?

It’s also important to note that black box policies are not the only way young drivers can save money on car insurance.

For example, investing in a dash cam can reduce the cost of premiums with some insurers as they see them as a good way to investigate accidents and quickly identify who was at fault. Not all car insurance companies offer reduced premiums for dash cams, but a growing number of them are starting to.

Another way to bring your car insurance premium down a bit is by limiting the number of miles you do each year. It’s important to not underestimate your annual mileage, as this could lead to your policy being invalidated, but make sure you are accurate and not paying for mileage you don’t need.

You can also opt for a higher voluntary excess – which is the part of the claim you are willing to pay yourself – as the less the insurance company will have to pay, the cheaper the premium will be. Be careful to not choose an excess that you can’t afford to pay in the event of a claim though.

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