The Rise of Dash Cams in the UK
UK dash cams and why more people use them
With more cars on UK roads than ever before, a lot more people are trying to ensure they are covered if they get involved in an accident that’s out of their control.
One way of doing this is to prove to insurance companies that the accident wasn’t your fault.
A pretty convincing way to do this is through video footage caught by an in-car dashboard camera, or dash cam.
How dash cams work
There all tend to work in the same way; with a small digital video camera that sits in front of your rear view mirror, attached to your windscreen.
It records your activity once you turn the vehicle on (if installed) or when you turn the device on (through lighter or USB port).
If you have an accident or perform an emergency stop the camera automatically saves your journey.
More expensive cameras also work whilst the vehicle is parked which means if somebody hits you or scrapes your vehicle whilst you’re not there it will save the footage, making it easier to claim on your insurance.
Most dash cams also have GPS tracking which means you can prove where you were and what speed you were going when an accident happened.
There are two ways you can use your dash cam, the first is to just plug it into the cigarette lighter or USB port and the other is to get it ‘hardwired’.
If you don’t drive that often you could probably get away with the cigarette lighter but it will mean you have a wire hanging down from your camera.
If you use your car regularly it may be worth getting it ‘hardwired’ which means you won’t see any wires and it will be installed to your electrics. This also means it will turn on as soon as you start your engine.
Getting it hardwired costs around £30 but could be money well spent if you want it to be neat and tidy. You can go to a local garage or somewhere like Halfords to get this done.
If you’re good with cars then you can find several YouTube videos showing you how to do it but it’s not advisable to mess with your electrics unless you know what you’re doing.
If you do a lot of driving it may be beneficial to invest in a dual camera which records out of the back window as well as the front.
This means you’ll be able to film tailgating or if somebody goes into the back of you and you’re sure it’s not your fault.
The downside to these cameras is if you have people in the back seat they will be in the camera’s line of vision. If this is a regular occurrence it’s probably better to invest in two separate cameras, one for the front and one for the back
One main thing to know is that using a dash cam doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a cheaper insurance deal, in fact it’s one of those insurance myths at the moment.
Fingers crossed it won’t stay a myth for long and that insurers will start catching on that video evidence is a great way to prove your innocence and it will become one of those pieces of technology that could save you money.
Most dash cams have audio recording which can be switched off. It’s advisable to keep it on purely in case somebody questions whether you were indicating as you should be able to play back the footage and hear it.
Make sure you warn people who get into your car though, you don’t want to record a personal conversation without their knowledge or permission!
If you decide to invest in a dash cam it will set you back around £100-£300 but it could be worth it for your peace of mind.