You may have heard that black box insurance allows drivers to prove they’re a responsible and safe driver – did you know, telematics (the technology that a black box uses) could also help you improve your driving skills?

We’ve broken down how having a black box fitted to your car could potentially help you become a better driver.

How does a black box monitor driving skills?

When you take out a black box insurance policy, you agree to attach a black box to your car. Also known as telematics, it is a small GPS-tracking device that records various aspects of a policyholder’s driving habits.

Your insurance provider uses the data it provides to monitor and assess your driving, and to calculate your insurance premiums. The device will report on behaviours such as:

  • Speed
  • Cornering
  • Braking
  • Accelerating
  • Journey time and length
After every journey, your insurer gives you an overall driving score, which you typically access via an app. Typically, the higher the score, the better your driving is. When it comes time to renew, your insurer uses this information to more accurately price your premium based on your individual risk level.

Can a black box improve your driving skills?

While black boxes cannot directly improve your driving skills or overall safety, we’ve given you some tips below on how to use your black box to have a positive impact.

Use feedback for self-improvement

If you have black box insurance, you’ll get feedback on driving habits such as speed, acceleration, braking, and cornering. By being aware of how you drive, you can identify areas for improvement and work to become a safer and more responsible driver.

Be incentivised for driving safely

Some insurance companies offer discounts and rewards for safe driving behaviours. Rewards often come in the form of gift vouchers, reduced premiums, or additional mileage allowances. Knowing that your driving habits are tracked and that you could be rewarded for safe driving may encourage you to adopt safer driving practices.

Avoid night-time driving

It's considered more of a risk to drive between the hours of 11pm and 5am due to factors including darkness, tiredness, and wildlife on the road increasing the chance of an accident. Many black box policies actually impose curfews to deter policyholders from driving during unsafe hours with the aim of reducing the chance of an accident.

Face penalties for speeding or risky driving

Similarly to how safe driving is often incentivised, dangerous and risky drivers may face penalties for things like:

  • Phone Usage: Some advanced telematics devices can detect if a driver uses a mobile phone while driving – this is an illegal offence in the UK. 
  • Risky behaviours: If a driver engages in unsafe practices like speeding, harsh acceleration, abrupt braking, or aggressive cornering, the insurer will know.

If you consistently receive bad driving feedback, this may impact your premium when you come to renew your policy. In some instances, if you repeatedly break the black box insurance rules, you could be issued a warning or even face your policy being cancelled.