With everyone returning to work again, the roads seem busier than ever. In the past few months, commuting along the motorway and test-driving cars for reviews, I’ve seen more accidents this year than ever. (None have been due to me trying to record a video, by the way!) Unfortunately, this puts you at a higher risk of being in an accident. So, how can you protect yourself on the road? Whilst they can’t prevent a crash, having a dash cam fitted can help you in a claim and reduce your car insurance premium.
What is a Dash Cam?
A dashboard camera (dash cam for short) is a specifically designed camera that records as you drive. They are connected to the power supply through a cigarette lighter or directly into the car battery. A dash cam can prevent vehicle theft, insurance fraud and even high insurance premiums. Dashboard cameras are relatively new and are fast becoming standard on all new cars. But for those of us with older cars, who want an extra layer of security, they offer an affordable way to protect yourself and could save you money.
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Is it worth it to get a dash cam?
Having a camera fitted in your car has many benefits. It can help lower the cost of insurance and can help you in the event of a claim or stealing. It is one of the most valuable gadgets you can buy. I find having a camera fitted extremely useful. My favourite is the NextBase 622gw, as is high-quality and has a touch screen.
Enough about me, let us take a closer look at the benefits of having a dash cam fitted in your car:
1. It can prevent stealing
Having a camera visible in the windscreen could deter criminals from trying to steal your car. It is like having CCTV at home; criminals will think twice before smiling for the camera.
2. You can submit footage as evidence
If someone does steal your car and you have the dash cam footage stored, you can submit it as evidence. Some offer ‘parking mode’, which will activate recording if the camera picks up movement when your car is parked. This footage is often stored on your connected smartphone and can be shown to the police to help the investigation. The same applies in the event of a car crash. For example, if you are in an accident with no witnesses, the other driver might deny everything. You can use the saved footage to prove it.
3. Lower insurance premiums
Since footage can be evidence of a claim or theft, fitting a dash cam can lower insurance premiums by up to 25%. If you tell your insurer you have a camera, be sure you are telling the truth. They will ask for footage in the event of a claim and can cancel your insurance if you lied.
Best Dash Cam 2022
There are many types of dash cams available. The best camera should be easy to use and mount on your windscreen without interfering with your view or obstructing anything important, such as airbags or sensors on newer vehicles. You should also be able to see where you’re going without difficulty when driving with your dash cam fitted. Crucially, you want it to record clear images so nobody can dispute what happened.
Here are some of the best dashboard cameras you can buy now:
1. NextBase Dash Cam
Taking the top spot has to be a Nextbase dash cam. These are high-end and currently offer the most features of any cameras. The highest in the range is the NextBase 622gw – not a fancy name but packed with fancy tech. It is full of ‘firsts’ in the dash cam world, including What-3-Words, image stabilisation and Amazon Alexa integration. It is £279.99, but you can get other NextBase dash cams starting from £89.99.
2. Garmin Dash Cam
A Garmin Dash Cam is a terrific mid-range option. The Garmin Mini is car-key-sized and has smartphone integration and park mode. With a 140-degree viewing angle with 1080p resolution and night vision, it’s perfect for capturing high-quality footage anytime. Two notable drawbacks are that it doesn’t have a display or GPS. It’s a great option at just £89.99.
3. Halfords Dash Cam
The Halfords HDC400 dash cam is a budget-friendly option. It still benefits from 1440p recording with a 180-degree viewing angle, GPS, night mode and parking mode. Again, it lacks a display, but you can easily view footage from your smartphone thanks to built-in wifi.