If you’ve ever watched ‘Car Crash Britain’ on ITV, or seen a viral video featuring an angry cyclist or a smashed up car, the chances are that you’re watching dash cam footage. Historically a gadget just for police patrol cars, the dash cam is now a fairly cheap device that is available to all.
But why would you want to record your day-to-day commute? The main reason being ‘just in case’ really. On those (hopefully very rare) occasions when an accident can occur, having a recording of the accident can prove invaluable in proving liability of fault to your insurer. So much so, that many insurers will offer you a discount on your car insurance if you have a dash cam installed.
There’s other reasons to have a dash cam too of course. A recording of a lovely drive through the scenic Swiss Alps on your holiday, for example, would be a rather nice thing to have and share.
So a recording is a recoding yeah? Why are there so many dash cams, ranging from £50 to £350?
As with all technology, you get what you pay for. But if you don’t need the high end features then there’s no point in paying for them.
Things you should be looking for are:
Quality & Resolution
The cheaper models tend to have low resolution. Lower quality footage means you might not be able to see much detail such as road signs & number plates. Any branded model above £70 should be of a decent quality.
Having WiFi onboard makes the transfer of videos from the dash cam to another device (or the cloud) a lot simpler. No cables necessary.
G-force sensors measure impact and can lock a video to prevent deletion.
On-board GPS means that the geographical location is stored along with the video footage.
Most dash cams are mounted on your, erm, dash board, and point forwards. Which is not much good if someone bangs into you from behind. A rear view dash cam will take footage out the back of the car too.
Mirror Dash Cams
Mirror dash cams don’t sit on your dash at all, they attach to your rear view mirror, keeping your dash nice and neat.