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Does a dash cam lower car insurance?

It doesn’t matter how safely you drive, there’s always a risk of being involved in an incident with other road users. Not only can a dash cam provide video evidence, but it could also help you improve your own driving.

It doesn’t matter how safely you drive, there’s always a risk of being involved in an incident with other road users. Not only can a dash cam provide video evidence, but it could also help you improve your own driving.

Written by
Alex Hasty
Insurance comparison and finance expert
Reviewed by
Rory Reid
Car and technology expert
Last Updated
14 OCTOBER 2022
4 min read
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What is a dash cam?

A dash cam is basically an in-car camera that makes an audio and video recording of your car journey.

If you’re involved in a road incident, it can often be difficult to remember all the details of what happened. A dash cam can provide a video account of the incident and can even be used to determine who was at fault.

It’s estimated that millions of UK motorists are now using dash cams to record their journeys, while an increasing number of insurance providers are accepting dash cam footage as evidence in insurance claims.

What are the benefits of a dash cam?

Having a dash cam can provide several benefits, as well as evidence of any incidents you may be involved in. Dash cam footage could also help:

  • Identify who was at fault
  • Protect your no-claims discount if you weren’t at fault
  • Settle claims and disputes more quickly
  • Deter insurance fraud and ‘crash for cash’ claims, where criminals fabricate accidents to claim the insurance pay-out
  • A cabin view dash cam can record what’s happening inside your car – ideal for taxi drivers and car sharers
  • Dash cams with a GPS tracker function can help emergency services find you if you break down or have an accident.

A dash cam could also help you improve your own driving. A cabin view dash cam can be used to check your driving habits, so you’ll be more aware of whether you’re driving carefully or not. Research from the RAC Foundation has shown that dash cams can reduce bad driving if young drivers know the footage can be shared with their parents.

Are there any disadvantages to having a dash cam?

While a dash cam could be a valuable feature, there can be some disadvantages to having one fitted:

  • They’re not always going to support you – the footage you record of an accident is only one perspective. It may not tell the whole story, so don’t presume it’ll get you out of trouble. In fact, it could record evidence that works against you.
  • They could attract thieves – given that dash cams must be positioned where they can get a good view, this also makes them easy to spot by passers-by. This may make them attractive to thieves.
  • They can obstruct your view – if you install your dash cam incorrectly, it could obstruct your view and become a hazard while driving. However, if you install your dash cam as instructed, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Did you know?

While dash cams are typically bought as a stand-alone device, some car manufacturers are starting to offer them as a built-in feature. Cars with a built-in dash cam option include BMW, Tesla, Mini, Citroen and Subaru.

Can dash cam footage be used as evidence in court?

Dash cam footage can provide valuable information about an incident. It can be used as evidence in court, as long as images and important details such as number plates are clear.

You can fill out an official police report and submit footage to the relevant authorities via the National Dash Cam Safety Portal. Some individual police forces also have websites where you can upload footage.

What’s the difference between a dash cam and black box telematics?

Dash cams and black boxes both provide important information about your journeys. While a dash cam provides a visual record, a black box telematics device also records data about your driving style including speed, braking, mileage, steering and cornering.

If you have dedicated black box car insurance, the data from your device will be sent directly to your insurance provider, and they may reward you with a discount on your premium for safe driving.

Can I get a dash cam discount on my car insurance?

Insurance providers are beginning to see the benefits of dash cams, and an increasing number are offering dash cam discounts on their car insurance deals.

Just like black box telematics, dash cams could help improve road safety. This in turn could help to lower your insurance premiums. But you need to be careful that your dash cam, and the way you use it, meets the insurance provider’s terms and conditions.

Not all insurance providers offer dash cam insurance discounts.

If you’re looking to save money on your car insurance by installing a dash cam, shop around to find an insurance provider that offers a discount you’re happy with. But please note, you can’t currently get dash cam insurance discount through Comparethemarket.

Frequently asked questions

Are dash cams legal in the UK?

Yes, dash cams are legal to use on UK roads. You don’t need to fill out any paperwork or get special permission. If you’d like to use one, just fit it yourself and get recording.

Are dash cams easy to fit?

Most dash cams are designed to be easy to install. They usually come with a suction cup fitting (similar to old sat nav devices) or are fitted using double-sided tape. Dash cams with suction cup fittings have greater flexibility as they’re easier to move or uninstall again.

Make sure you fit your dash cam into the correct place. It shouldn’t be placed somewhere that’ll obstruct the driver’s view. It should also be positioned centrally to provide the best view for recording. If your dash cam is positioned poorly, it may lead to your footage being inadmissible in court.

How much do dash cams cost?

Like any tech, dash cams range from basic models to top-of-the-range gadgets. This means the price range is equally stretched. Basic models can cost less than £50, while others can cost hundreds.

If you’re looking to buy a dash cam to protect yourself against potential legal disputes, you should know that footage below a certain quality can be deemed inadmissible in court. This means you might want to invest in a decent dash cam to avoid it being a waste of money. However, it doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg.

Which dash cam should I buy?

While there’s a wide range of dash cams to suit every budget, there are some important features to consider when finding the best dash cam for your needs:

  • Video quality – HD, UHD or 4K to ensure sharp, clear video footage
  • Viewing angle – how much of the road ahead or behind is recorded. A 180-degree angle will capture what’s happening to the sides of your car, as well as directly in front and behind
  • Night recording mode – ensures clear footage at night on unlit roads
  • GPS tracker – will automatically record the location, so you know exactly where an incident took place
  • G-force sensors – automatically save and protect footage in the event of a major collision.

How can I ensure my dash cam captures clear footage?

To ensure your dash cam footage is reliable and as clear as possible:

  • Position the dash cam behind the rear-view mirror in the centre of your windscreen, so it can record without obstructing your view
  • Make sure you demist front and rear windscreens on rainy days – switch on the air con to clear the windows more quickly
  • Don’t hang any items or place stickers on your windscreens that could obstruct the footage
  • Choose an SD card with plenty of storage, so the memory doesn’t fill up too soon
  • Adjust the resolution in the dash cam settings so footage is as clear and sharp as possible
  • Check footage regularly to make sure the dash cam is recording properly, and videos are clear

Where can I send my dash cam footage?

The National Dash Cam Safety Portal provides a free and easy way for drivers to upload and send their dash cam footage in the event of an incident. This allows motorists to act against dangerous drivers, even if they don’t stop to exchange details.

The footage will only be shared with the relevant police force dealing with the incident.

Some police forces also have individual websites where you can upload and submit footage directly to them.

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Julie Daniels - motor insurance comparison expert

Julie is passionate about delivering a great customer experience and rewarding people for saving on their insurance through our loyalty and rewards programme. She’s spoken to the media, including outlets like Sky News and Capital FM, about car and home insurance, as well as our rewards scheme.

Learn more about Julie

Rory Reid - car and technology expert

Rory Reid is a car and technology expert. He serves as the main presenter on Auto Trader’s YouTube channel and was previously a host on BBC Top Gear and its sister show Extra Gear. He is also a presenter on Fifth Gear. Previously, he hosted Sky TV’s Gadget Geeks, CNET’s Car Tech channel, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition and on the YouTube channel Fast, Furious & Funny.

Learn more about Rory

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