Should you buy a dashcam?
Dashcams have been used from as early as the 1980s – when they were installed in police vans to help keep officers safe while on duty – but back then dashcams were bulky, expensive and hard to access.
Nowadays, dashcams are a lot smaller and cheaper, making it far more common for all types of driver to use them – from parents wanting to monitor their teenager’s driving, to taxi drivers recording their passengers.
But despite their ever-growing popularity and affordability, a lot of people still find themselves questioning whether forking out for a dashcam is worth it. Sound like you? Don’t fret – we’ve broken down the pros and cons of getting a dashcam to help make the decision that little bit easier.
1) It monitors your driving
- We’re always quick to blame the people around us for the misfortunes we face on the road but with a dashcam, evidence of your own driving standard is there for assessment.
With the ability to review and therefore improve your own driving, you could save a pretty penny along the way as generally speaking, the safer a driver you are, the cheaper your van insurance is.
2) It protects your van
- A huge advantage of having a dashcam installed is its capability to continue recording even when your vehicle is switched off.
The footage can be sent through to your phone immediately, giving you the option of taking instant action if your van is under threat from thieves, for example.
3) It records accidents
- This is one of the biggest reasons why people purchase dashcams. Whether you’re involved an accident directly or merely witness one, the real-time footage captured by the dashcam can be used as evidence should the case go to court.
This means that you’re far less likely to have to pay out for damage that wasn’t your fault or be charged with a driving offence that you didn’t commit.
4) Reporting irresponsible drivers
- There’s nothing more annoying than car drivers who don’t respect or understand the limitations that driving a large vehicle presents.
As well as being irritating to drive around, these kind of drivers pose a massive risk on the road and often put themselves and others in danger.
It can be hard to report these incidents due to a lack of proof but with the dashcam recording all external events and capturing the car’s license plate, your footage will present its own case.
1) Fixture can lead to theft
- Vehicles with fancy gadgets and technology are at the most risk of theft and as a dashcam is exactly that, having one in your van may give rise to theft.
This is particularly the case as dashcams are usually positioned in clear view for people to see and are not difficult to dismantle from the windscreen.
2) Can lead to distraction
- Some may see the temptation to be sidetracked by their dashcam and its ability to record outside events, including blind spots, may cause you to become occupied by what’s on screen rather than focusing on the road.
3) Can affect blind spots
- Due to their positioning on your windscreen, there is the potential for dashcams to block your blind spots, which already pose enough danger as it is.
4) Sharing footage may lead to a violation
- In a world where social media is at the forefront of many people’s lives, there’s always the temptation to share things online but if you do this, you’re at risk of violating personal privacy and could find yourself in court as a result.
Can having a dashcam affect my insurance?
You’ll be pleased to hear that yes, installing a dashcam can impact your van insurance premium – in fact, it’s one of the biggest factors when deciding should you buy a dashcam.
Some insurance brokers believe that dashcams encourage more careful driving, as no one wants to be caught on camera doing something stupid, so they offer discounts to drivers with one installed.
Is a dashcam worth it?
Beyond their security and safety practicalities, dashcams can capture great events and memories. Above all else, they can be very affordable, with smaller models available for as little as £49; a small investment for a device with such a range of abilities.
However, dashcams have faced negative press, with some countries banning them completely due to data protection and intrusions into privacy.
Although there are some obvious benefits of having a dashcam, please also be aware that all of your driving is recorded and could be used as evidence against you in cases of accident, injury or damage.
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