Dashboard cameras and 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, it could help 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, it could help improve your own driving.

Daniel Hutson
Motor insurance expert
5
minute read
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Posted 17 JANUARY 2022

What is a dash cam?

A dash cam is basically an in-car camera which 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 car 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 providing 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 

Also, a dash cam could 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.

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 like 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.

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 though.

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, currently you cannot get a dash cam insurance discount through Compare the Market.

How do I get the best car insurance deal if I have a dash cam? 

One of the best ways to get a great car insurance deal is to shop around and compare quotes from different providers. Some insurance providers will offer discounts for drivers with a dash cam installed, but don’t always assume that these will be the cheapest. Shop around and compare different providers and policies to find which works best for you. That’s where we can help, comparing dozens of car insurance quotes in minutes.

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 should not be placed somewhere which will 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 anything 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’ll 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.

Are there any disadvantages to having a dash cam?

While we’ve discussed the advantages of having a dash cam, there can be several disadvantages of 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 passersby. 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.

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