Should I get a dash cam for my car?
Whether it’s to help protect yourself during a car insurance claim, or to make you feel safer on the roads, a dash cam could be the solution you’re after.
Our recent report1 on connected cars revealed that almost one in five motorists (17%) have a dash cam with another 30% planning to purchase one in the near future. The main reason for motorists currently or wanting to use a dash cam is because three quarters (76%) want proof of incidents when they happen and four in 10 (42%) feel safer in their car with one.
For those looking to purchase a dash cam for their car, we’ve compiled this handy guide to help get you started.
What is a dash cam?
A dash cam is a small camera that can be mounted on the windscreen or dashboard of your car. The camera records any activity going on in front of the driver, and some cameras also record what’s going on inside their car or behind them. Footage can be used as evidence in car insurance claims if there’s an incident.
How does a dash cam work?
It works by recording what’s going on around your car while you’re out driving. You mount it where you want it to capture footage, which can be powered by plugging it into the cigarette lighter socket or direct into the fuse box. When you turn on the ignition, the device begins recording continuously (depending on camera model) – storing the footage onto an SD memory card.
Why should I get a dash cam?
- Footage for insurance claims. Clear dash cam footage can be used as evidence during an investigation into a car insurance claim. Its beneficial to quickly establish true culpability to speed up any claims process.
- Evidence to tackle crime. Insurance aside, it can also help tackle crash-for-cash scams – benefitting other motorists as well. Video evidence can help if there’s theft and vandalism near your home, or even be used by police to convict other motorists.
- Improves driving skills. The presence of a dash cam in your vehicle may subtly encourage you to drive safer - as you know it’s there recording your every decision while on the road. Other motorists may also be encouraged to take it easy on the roads as they know they’re also being recorded.
What dash cam options are there?
There are four key types of dash cams you can purchase depending on what you’d like to get out of it. We’ve put together what the choices are and their capabilities:
Front view camera
A single-lens dash cam is the most basic option, which either sits on your dashboard or can be stuck on your windscreen. All is required from you is to set it up in the ideal location then it’s ready to go, and it can be plugged into your cigarette lighter socket or hard-wired in, and includes simple removable storage - such as SD cards. For those not wanting to spend too much, this is the most affordable option.
Advanced dash cam
This is your single-lens dash cam with additional features. Depending on what you want to get out of your new dash cam, there’s several features that you can choose from that include: audio recording, GSP logging, speed sensors, accelerometers and uninterruptable power supplies.
Dual, front and rear dash cams
You have the front of your car covered, but what about the rear? Having a dash cam both at the front and rear of your car will mean you’re fully covered if you were to have an incident on the road. Dual dash cams are where the camera on the dashboard looks at both the exterior and interior of your car; a dual camera is also useful for keeping your car secure.
Mobile phone camera
Alternatively, you can turn your mobile phone into a dash cam while you’re driving. There’s an array of mobile apps that are free or require a small fee – all you'd need to get for it is: a phone stand to sit on and a charger (so your battery doesn’t run while out on the road).
Will you be one of the third of UK drivers planning on using a dash cam in the near future?