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How to fit a telematics device

Black box insurance is a great way to save money on your insurance, especially if you’re a young or new driver or you’ve got driving convictions. But how do you fit a telematics device? And if you don’t want to do it yourself, can you get a professional to fit the box for you? We’ll let you know in this blog.

What is a telematics device?

If you’re a young driver, you might have heard of this term before. A telematics device, or black box, is a piece of equipment that fits into your car when you take out a black box insurance policy.

The device itself measures aspects of your driving like speed, acceleration and deceleration to gauge how safe you are as a driver. The safer you are as a driver, the lower your insurance premiums will be when you need to renew your policy. You can learn more about this in our guide to black box insurance.

Can you fit a black box yourself?

There are some black box devices that you can install yourself, but this will depend on the insurance policy you’ve taken out. There are essentially two different types of telematics devices: self-install black boxes, and professionally fitted black boxes. Whilst you can install the former yourself, you’ll need to call a professional to fit the latter.

Can a black box be fitted to any car?

A black box can be fitted to the majority of cars. If in doubt, it’s best to ask your insurance provider if your car can be fitted with a black box before signing up. Some black boxes can only be installed on vehicles less than 20 years old, while others might need certain features in the car in order to function (e.g. a cigarette lighter).

In some cases, your car can be modified by an engineer so it allows you to install a black box. You might have to get this done at your local garage before the black box can be fitted, though.

How are telematics devices fitted?

How your telematics device is fitted will depend on the type of box you’ve got.

Self-fitted black boxes

Most of these are fitted to the front windscreen of your car and connected to your car’s power source through either the cigarette lighter or a USB port. This means they’re usually visible to passers by, which, incidentally, can actually help to deter thieves!

Take our own black box insurance, FluxScore, for instance. The instructions are as easy as following the video below:

There are also some self-install devices that can be fitted directly to your battery, but these are a lot rarer than other types of self-fitted black boxes.

Professionally installed black boxes

These are usually fitted internally, usually behind the dashboard.

Do I need to do anything once the black box is fitted?

No, both professionally fitted boxes and telematics devices fitted by yourself will kick in automatically when you turn your car on. This means you don’t have to remember to turn it on every time you drive, nor do you have to think about charging the device.

Of course, this technology is always changing. It’s always best to check with your insurance provider about whether you need to do anything with your device before use.

How long does it take to install a telematics box?

Most self-installed black boxes can be set up in just a few minutes. This usually involves wiping the windscreen, attaching the black box to the windscreen, and plugging it into your car.

On the other hand, a professionally fitted black box will usually take an average of an hour to install. These are slightly less convenient as you’ll have to book a time slot with the engineer, but time slots aren’t always an exact science!

Some professionally installed telematics devices don’t require you to be there in person. You can give your car key to a family member or friend, who can give the engineer access to your vehicle instead.

Is there any such thing as an easy-install black box?

Person fitting a telematics device
Fitting a car telematics device easily

Most black boxes that can be fitted by yourself are extremely easy to install. And best of all, you don’t need to pay for installation!

What happens if I change my vehicle mid-policy?

This will depend on your insurance. Please note that you should always let your insurer know if you change your car as this will likely impact your insurance premiums.

For self-fitted devices, it will often simply be a case of removing the equipment yourself and reinstalling it in your new vehicle.

However, for professionally fitted devices you’ll likely have to request for your insurance provider to reinstall the device into your new car. Not only will you likely have to pay extra to cover labour costs, but you might also be penalised for changing your vehicle mid-policy. This is usually around the £50-90 range.

What happens when my black box insurance expires?

If you’ve managed to secure an affordable insurance policy and you no longer need black box insurance, you can continue driving as normal – you don’t need to remove or uninstall your telematics device.  Once you cancel your black box policy, the black box will stop collecting information on the way you drive.

In the event that you’ve installed your black box yourself and you’d like to get rid of your device, you can simply remove it from the windscreen and disconnect it from your car.

If you’d prefer to remove your device and it was installed professionally at the start of your policy term, it will have to be removed by a professional. You should request this service from your black box insurer. Unfortunately, as you don’t technically need to remove your telematics device, you’ll probably need to pay extra for this service.

If I want to sell or scrap my car, do I need to remove the device?

You’re not legally obligated to remove the black box device even if you do want to sell or scrap the vehicle, so you can simply keep it in your vehicle.

How does FluxScore compare?

FluxScore is our telematics insurance that rewards safe driving. Designed with an easy-to-install box, the device can be fitted by yourself without professional guidance. The connected app helps you track how safely you’re driving and allows you to see on a map where you made mistakes so you don’t repeat them.

For a free, no-obligation quote, call us on 0800 369 8590. Alternatively, use our callback form and we’ll call you back at your convenience. FluxScore offers up to 60% off your renewal premium when you drive safely with the black box device for a year or longer.

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