Our guide to dash cams

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Touch wood you’ll get through your first few years on the road without a crash. But as a young driver, there’s a strong chance you will have a mishap at some point, even if it won’t necessarily be your fault. How do you prove the other driver was to blame?

A dash cam doesn’t take sides

By recording an incident, you’ll have evidence of your actions and those of the other driver or drivers involved. It’s a lot harder to argue with a video recording than somebody’s fallible memory of who did what.

Being in a crash can be stressful and intimidating, especially the first time. It’s easy to forget to write down details like the number plate of the other car. A dash cam remembers what you forget. And if the other driver sees you have a camera, they’re more likely to behave calmly as they know they are being filmed.

Not only can dash cams help you prove you were driving responsibly, but they can also be a worthwhile investment even if you never have an accident. That’s because some insurers offer a discount for drivers who use a camera, which can be as high as 20%. This could save far more than the cost of the dash cam, given that you can pick up a good quality camera from around £50.

 

What to look for in a dash cam

  • Good quality footage – This has to be the top priority when choosing a camera. Grainy footage with blurry number plates is no use to anyone. You want to be able to read plates clearly and see how many people are in the car to guard against false whiplash claims. Expect cameras to record in 720p resolution which should be clear and detailed. More expensive cameras may offer 1080p resolution. It’s not just the resolution that important – a wide angle view will show more of what happens.
  • Auto start-stop – You’d kick yourself if you had a crash and had forgotten to click ‘record’, wouldn’t you?! That’s why most dash cams automatically start recording when you turn on the ignition.
  • GPS positioning – A built-in GPS will confirm where an incident occurred, and will show what speed you were travelling at – so don’t speed!