It’s a horrible feeling. You’ve got a trolley full of shopping. You’re fishing around in your bag for your keys when you look up and notice your car’s damaged. Some idiot has driven into it while you’ve been in the supermarket and they’ve driven away.  It’s not even unusual. If you read this article in the Sun, it says that 10% of Brits admit they would drive off after a bump. Is the answer a dash cam?

Crash for cash incidents are still on the rise. And, there are pedestrians who throw themselves in front of slow moving cars. They pretend to be hurt and want to claim injury compensation.

One of the ways you can protect yourself and your car is to fit a dash cam. It might not deter the no brain who hasn’t noticed you have one. But, it does mean you’ve got them on film. That means there’s a good chance they could be identified You can also prove to the police or your insurance company that you weren’t at fault.

What is a dash cam?

It’s a video recorder with audio. Some dash cam models also take still photos like a traditional camera. The video captures the scene ahead and/or behind you whilst you’re driving. 

Front Facing

Front facing dash cams record everything that they can see in front of you. These are the cheapest dash cams on the market.

Dual Facing

These dash cams record what’s happening in front of you and behind. As most accidents are rear-ended collisions a dual facing dash cam is the better option. If you have a 12-volt socket in your boot, you might save some money. You can buy two separate dash cams instead of a dual model.

some dash cam models also still take photos ,
like a traditional camera.

Parking Mode

There are also dash cams which feature parking mode. The video will start to run if the dashcam detects any movement. So if someone comes along and pulls off your wing mirror or bumps into your car while it’s parked, it will be on film. This type of dash cam needs to be hard-wired into the car to make sure it has a permanent power supply.

G-Force sensors

Dash cams with G-Force sensors will automatically save any recordings from an accident. It does this because it picks up the force of the impact. 

GPS

If you don’t already own a sat nav you can buy a dash cam with a GPS system. They can include real- time traffic updates and a frontal collision warning.

Wi-Fi

Less expensive dash cams won’t have Wi-Fi. This means to view your footage you will have to remove the memory card and insert it into your computer. 

A dash cam with Wi-Fi allows you to view footage on your smartphone. so, if you’re involved in an accident and you want to look at the evidence immediately you have instant access.

Less expensive dash cams
don’t have wifi.

Resolution

Your dash cam’s resolution affects the quality of the images it produces. The advice on the web is to buy a dash cam with a high resolution. While on the whole, this is good advice, don’t ignore cameras that only have 720p resolution. Not all cameras with a high resolution will be perfect. 

Which? Magazine say they’ve tested dash cams with an average 720p resolution. Some of them gave good quality images. An average dashcam will give you a 1080p resolution. The most expensive dash cams have a whopping 4k.  

How the dash cam works

The camera fits onto your window screen like a sat nav. You can have it hard-wired into the car or use the cable to plug it into the cigarette lighter socket.

The video film records on to a memory card. Some dash cams will automatically delete the oldest recording to make way for new ones. But, others will need to be manually removed or a new card inserted. The videos record in segments of between one and three minutes.

If you don’t have a GPS in the dash cam the screen won’t be on while you’re driving. Of course, if you do have a GPS you’ll see the map on the screen.

The benefits

Having a dash cam is useful if you are the victim of a crash for cash accident, or you have a genuine accident. The footage can prove your innocence (or guilt). Drivers who damage your car and don’t stop or vandalism will also be on film. Dash cam images are also accepted as evidence in court.

You can also have fun with your dash cam. If you’re driving somewhere with beautiful scenery your dashcam will be recording the vista. It’s great if you go on a road trip. You know what it’s like, your eyes are on the road and you get to admire the view. With a dash cam, you can look at the footage when you’ve finished driving.  

Cost

A basic dash cam starts at around £30.00. If you want one with all the features we’ve talked about then expect to pay in the region of £135 or more.

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