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Do You Need A Dashcam?

Thu, 21/12/2017
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Dashcams have grown in popularity, with ownership increasing from 1% to 15% in just four years. There are many to choose from, and several reasons why people use them. Whether you’re not sure of the benefits of a dashcam or you’re ready to hit record, take a look at our handy guide to find out everything you need to know about dashcams.

What is a dashcam?

A dashcam is an in-car camera which captures a video and audio recording of your journey.

What types of dashcam are there?

There are three types of dashcam – front view, front and back view, and cabin view. Front view cameras capture everything that happens in front of you, such as the cars you are following. Front and back view gives you a view of both the front and the rear of your car. Meanwhile, cabin view cameras capture what happens inside your car, making them popular for taxis.

Why might you need a dashcam?

Dashcams provide drivers with a way to see how they and other motorists are driving, and they are particularly useful for finding out who was at fault in the event of a car accident.

Dashcams can also help to prevent crime and the footage can be used in court. For example, they can provide footage of crash for cash scams should you be involved in one.

However, the footage can work both ways and as well as working to protect you legally, dashcams can also incriminate you. For example, if you are pulled over by the police for a motoring violation, they may ask for your dashcam and use the footage as evidence. Some dashcams have GPS tracking and can be used to find out how fast you have been driving.

How can a dashcam help in the event of an accident?

If you are involved in an accident, it can often be your word against another party’s, and that’s when a dashcam can come in handy. A dashcam provides proof of who did what and who was at fault, and footage can be shown to the police and your insurance provider to settle a dispute. Often an accident can happen so quickly that you may not be sure exactly what happened, but recorded video can help to resolve any uncertainty.

How can a dashcam affect your day-to-day driving?

As well as helping in the event of an accident, dashcams can help you to see how you are driving – for example if you are not keeping a safe distance from the car in front. This could be particularly useful for new and learner drivers to nip bad habits in the bud.

Where can you use a dashcam?

Dashcams are legal on UK roads, but if you are driving abroad you should check the laws of the country you’re going to. Some EU countries may be less tolerant of the use of dashcams because they record members of the public without their permission and may violate privacy or data protection laws.

Who needs to know that you have a dashcam?

In the UK, you don’t need special permission to use a dashcam and you don’t need to let anybody know that you are fitting one in your car unless you share your car, for example as part of a company scheme. Dashcams record sound and some record the inside of the vehicle, so you must let other drivers and passengers know that they are being recorded. Taxi drivers must also inform their passengers if there is a dashcam in use.

How do you install a dashcam?

Dashcams need to be fitted properly and in a position that doesn’t obstruct your view. If your dashcam is not positioned safely you could be fined, and the footage it captures could be rendered inadmissible in court or when provided to your insurer.

A dashcam should be fitted behind the rear-view mirror so that it’s in the centre of your windscreen, and it shouldn’t obstruct your line of sight. Most come with either double-sided tape or suction cups and plug into your cigarette lighter, while some can be professionally hardwired into your car’s electricals.

How can fitting a dashcam affect your insurance policy?

If you provide dashcam footage to your insurer which proves another party was at fault during an accident, this could help to protect your no claims discount. Some car insurance companies also offer a discount on your premiums if you have a dashcam fitted. Check with your provider to find out if this is something you could benefit from.

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