Telematics Guides | What Is A Telematics Box?

What is a telematics box? Telematics Boxes Explained

A telematics box is a small black box that goes inside a vehicle. Businesses have these boxes fitted to track where their drivers are and how they’re driving. By having a black box installed, you can often get cheaper insurance quotes.

Telematics boxes allow you to receive accurate information about your driving. For businesses looking to improve performance or cut costs, getting a box installed is an absolute must.

What is a telematics box?

Small telematics box for vehicle tracking

A telematics box, also referred to as a “black box”, is a device that can be installed into a vehicle to track when, where and how you drive.

These boxes are often used by fleet managers and insurance companies to monitor how vehicles are being used.

The information the box gives you can be used to lower insurance quotes, reduce accidents, and improve your driving.

What does a telematics box look like?

Most telematics boxes are rectangular, black, and often smaller than your smartphone. These boxes are usually fitted on the dashboard or plugged into your car meaning you don’t even notice it’s there.

What does a telematics box do?

The box collects information on the vehicle and how it’s being used. This information is sent to an online portal, where fleet managers, insurers, and drivers can see data on:

  • When you’re driving
  • The speeds you’re driving at
  • If you accelerate or brake harshly
  • How far you drive
  • How often you use your vehicle

Fleet managers can use this data to monitor driver performance. Insurance companies will also use this data when looking to provide you with an insurance quote.

Who should get a black box?

Online vehicle tracking of vans with location details

These are the types of businesses that benefit most from telematics devices and reasons why:

  • Fleets: Improve driver performance and track vehicles
  • Young drivers: Get lower insurance quotes
  • Sole traders: Monitor your vehicle and avoid being off the road for repairs
  • Taxi, chauffeur, delivery drivers: Get evidence to help you in the event of insurance claims

How does a telematics box work?

The little black box uses GPS signals and a SIM card to collect information about your driving. That data is then sent to your company and/or insurance provider. The information can be seen by drivers as well via an online portal.

What information is collected depends on the type of telematics box. Companies can use this information to improve behaviour and reduce fuel usage.

Can a telematics box tell where you are?

Yes. The box has a GPS sensor inside which detects the location of your vehicle. Many businesses and sole traders use a telematics box as part of their vehicle tracking system.

Companies only share your location data and other driving details if they have to under law. If you get into an accident, your insurance company can share the telematics data with the police. A telematics device can only send information. The device has no control over your vehicle.

Can a telematics box make your insurance cheaper?

It depends on the provider and some other factors. These telematics boxes are popular for young driver policies.

Some insurance companies will offer lower prices for drivers under 30 who get one of these boxes installed. Young drivers can save the most with a box in their vehicle, but even more experienced drivers can get potential savings of over £100 a year. The amount you can save will depend on what driver score you get. The better your driving skills, the lower your insurance costs.

Insurance companies will also offer these boxes to businesses of all sizes. Fleets and small businesses can benefit from them. Your insurance quote will depend on even more factors for businesses, but it’s worth asking your provider if having a box installed would lower your costs.

How is a telematics box is installed?

Some insurance companies will give you a plug-in box. These can be fitted by easily as the plug-in box goes into your cigarette lighter.

Some boxes can be used alongside a smartphone app on your to track your driving.

Other boxes are more advanced. The boxes that give the most information and are best for businesses usually need professional installation. It can take around an hour to get the box fitted and your provider will arrange a time with you to send out an engineer.

Can you install a telematics box yourself?

Some devices can be self-installed whilst others will need a professional. If your provider says it can be self-installed, they should send you a tutorial video to help.

You shouldn’t try to self-install a device that needs a professional. If it goes wrong, you’ll end up paying for the cost of any damage.

How to get a telematics box

Getting a box installed has lots of benefits for every business but which one is best for you? Use our free comparison tool to cut down on the hassle.

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