Black box insurance vs Smart Pricing: The new, easier way

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What is telematics?
How Smart Pricing works
How black boxes work
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You know what we hate? The fact that good drivers can pay as much for car insurance as bad ones, while things your job or postcode may also impact your rates. It can seem very unfair.

That's why Cuvva launched Smart Pricing. We're making car insurance fairer, because we believe everyone should have affordable access to a car, anytime, anywhere.

First, some background!

What is telematics?

A black box is a physical piece of hardware, sometimes called a ‘telematic device’, that is installed in your car to monitor how you drive. Drivers may get discounts on their car insurance - but must put up with pesky restrictions and fees. This is called telematics.

Cuvva’s Smart Pricing rewards good drivers without hitting them with rules and costs. Instead of a box, your phone’s location and sensor data lets us know how well you drive, with insurance discounts of up to a third on offer. Put simply: the better you drive, the less you pay.

Black boxes and Smart Pricing could both save you money but they are very different. Here is our complete guide to how they work and which one we think is better.

Black boxes offer discounts but may include restrictions

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How Smart Pricing works

Once you sign up to our monthly car insurance subscription and opt-in to Smart Pricing, the Cuvva app starts learning about five main aspects of your driving ability in real time:

  • Speed: How fast you drive, and whether you stick to the speed limit. 🚗
  • Braking: How quickly you stop, and if you give yourself enough time to slow down safely. 🚦
  • Cornering: How smoothly you turn, and whether you give other drivers enough indication. ⏎
  • Focus: Whether or not you use your phone while driving. 👀
  • Accelerating: How quickly and smoothly you set off. 🏁

Smart Pricing pulls this all together to give you a driving score out of 100. We need you to drive 125 miles to make sure your score is reliable - but to tide you over, we'll give you 10% off as soon as you sign up. Even better, there are no joining fees or deposits, either.

Just keep in mind, if your score is low, your insurance price could go up or stop you from using Cuvva and our temporary insurance. However, the good thing is we offer super flexible cover which means you can cancel your subscription for free.

Cancellation fees

Many car insurance providers slap drivers with a fee if they want to remove their black box.

We think that isn't fair - so turning off Smart Pricing is completely free.

See below for a quick comparison of removal fees.

  • Cuvva: £0
  • RAC: £125
  • Co-op: £90
  • Tesco: £80
  • MyPolicy: £50
Rolling monthly car insurance
No hidden fees or tie-ins. Manage it all through the app. Check it out

What is black box insurance?

Traditional black boxes are clunky pieces of hardware that often must be fitted to your car by an engineer. It tracks you on the road to see how safely you’re driving. They are often popular with young drivers hoping to reduce pricey car bills.

Unfortunately, driving with a black box can come with lots of restrictions and unexpected costs. Getting them set up takes time and can be expensive. Some insurance providers penalise drivers by reducing their discounts if they exceed a driving mileage limit or hit the road late at night.

There can also be fees for installing and removing the boxes, and for signing up to or cancelling the policies. Some insurers require engineers to install their black boxes - with penalty charges if you decide to change or cancel your appointment.

Black boxes are often literal boxes fitted behind the dashboard. However, some black box car insurance providers use a ‘plug-and-drive’ device, which fits into your car’s lighter socket, or an on-board device, which goes in the OBD port. These usually don’t require an engineer to install them.

Smart Pricing gives good drivers discounts on their car insurance

What is 'excess'?
Compulsory excess is decided by your insurer. All those things that can affect your insurance price can affect your excess, too.

Sign up to Cuvva’s Smart Pricing

Want to know more about Smart Pricing? We’ve got everything covered, from how we keep your data safe to battery usage, right here.

Want radically better car insurance that rewards good drivers? Sign up for Smart Pricing on the Cuvva app. Simply click the Insights button and follow the simple instructions.

Get a quick quote here.

Updated on 23rd June 2022