A dash cam makes it easier to claim on your insurance because they clearly show insurers who was at fault in an accident.
You can also submit your footage to the police to use as evidence. You might need to do this if you saw someone who was driving dangerously, for example.
Some models can monitor your car when it’s parked and activate when they sense movement. So they can give the police a clear view of anyone who’s trying to break-in to your car.
These features make dash cams a popular choice for motorists. Around 6 million told us they had a dash cam when they were getting a quote. Here’s what else you need to know about dash cams.
Can I use dash cam footage to support my insurance claim?
Yes, you can use dash cam footage to support your insurance claim.
If you're involved in an accident and you have a dash cam installed, you should submit the footage to your car insurance company. In fact, many insurers insist that you do.
When you make a car insurance claim, tell your insurance company that you have dash cam footage to submit. They can tell you how to send them the footage.
Having this footage could provide clear details of what happened during the accident, including:
- Weather and road conditions
- The make, model, colour, condition and reg plate of the other vehicle
- Whether there were any other passengers or witnesses at the scene
- The speed and location of the vehicles involved
In some cases, dash cam footage can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful claim.
Mark* supplied dashcam footage as a witness to a 'hit and run' collision between a delivery van and a neighbour's parked car. The footage identified the vehicle that caused the damage as it clearly showed its reg plate.
Without this footage the neighbour would have had no idea who caused the damage and would have had to claim on their own insurance policy.
How do I send dash cam footage to the police?
If you’ve got footage of a traffic accident or incident, you can submit your footage to the police through the National Dash Cam Safety Portal.
Nextbase runs this site. They’re dash cam experts and manufacture critically acclaimed dash cams.
The portal makes it easy for you to submit footage of dangerous drivers to your local police forces. You can submit your footage by selecting the police force on the map, you’re then either:
- Taken to the police force’s operation SNAP page
- Or the police force’s other relevant page for submitting incident details
If the police force doesn’t have a relevant page, you can fill in Nextbase’s form and they submit this on your behalf.
If they don’t have a relevant page, Nextbase gives you alternative instructions for submitting your footage. For example, contacting the police force directly.
Does my car insurance cover dash cams?
Yes, if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy, your dash cam should be covered if it's stolen or damaged in an accident.
This is usually called 'personal belongings' cover. A standard policy usually covers you for £150. But you can ask your insurer to increase this, as some dash cams can be more expensive.
Can I get an insurance-approved dash cam?
There's no universal list of insurance-approved dash cams. Each insurance company has its own criteria for what counts as an acceptable dash cam.
In general, insurance companies want dash cams that can provide high-quality video. The better the video quality, the more useful the footage.
So when you're looking at buying a dash cam, narrow your search for models that offer at least 1080p resolution. You can get dash cams with up to 4K resolution, but these are more expensive.
Do I need to have my dash cam professionally fitted?
No, you shouldn't need to get your dash cam fitted by a professional. Your insurer can use the footage to support your claim as long as there’s a clear view of the road ahead.
Professional dash cam fitting connects the dash cam directly to your car, rather than plugging it in via USB.
There are some benefits to having your dash cam installed by a professional, including:
- The dash cam is always on when the car is on. Since the dash cam is hardwired to the car, you don't have to worry about it not working.
- You can enable parking mode. If your dash cam has a parking mode, hardwiring it to the car lets you activate this feature.
- Fewer wires. The cables are neatly stored so you don't have dangling wires, which could be a distraction or a hazard.
Professional dash cam fitting costs between £50-70 at places like Halfords.
Do I get a discount on my car insurance if I have a dash cam?
Having a dash cam doesn’t always mean you get a discount on your insurance. But some insurers we compare might offer a discount on your insurance price if you have a dash cam installed, so it's worth mentioning it when you get a quote with us.
When you compare car insurance quotes with us, we'll ask you 'Do you have a dashcam fitted to your car? (optional)'
Selecting 'Yes' means that any insurance companies that offer discounts for dash cams can factor this in when giving you an insurance price.
According to our data, around 6 million customers select 'Yes' when they get a quote.
Most insurance companies insist that you need to be able to provide any dash cam footage if you make a car insurance claim.
If you've said you have a dashcam and you don't do this, they might ask you to pay back any discount you've had. If the insurer believes you've deliberately misled them to get cheaper car insurance, they could invalidate your policy.
"Having a dash cam can save you a lot of hassle if you need to make a claim. And although they don't always mean you get an insurance discount, it gives insurers an idea that you're willing to have your driving scrutinized. This can work in your favour. "Without a dash cam, your insurer has to go on word of mouth from all the parties involved. But a dash cam provides a definitive version of events, so it could help prove you weren't at fault and could keep your future insurance prices down. "If the footage is in your favour, it could help: "If you want to use dash cam footage when you make a claim though, you need to make sure it's installed correctly with a good view of the road ahead."
What our motor insurance expert says
"Having a dash cam can save you a lot of hassle if you need to make a claim. And although they don't always mean you get an insurance discount, it gives insurers an idea that you're willing to have your driving scrutinized. This can work in your favour.
"Without a dash cam, your insurer has to go on word of mouth from all the parties involved. But a dash cam provides a definitive version of events, so it could help prove you weren't at fault and could keep your future insurance prices down.
"If the footage is in your favour, it could help:
"If you want to use dash cam footage when you make a claim though, you need to make sure it's installed correctly with a good view of the road ahead."
How much do dash cams cost?
A dash cam is likely to cost between £40 and £500, depending on what features it has.
When looking at dash cams, consider which features are most likely to help you, as this is likely to change your costs:
- Picture quality - the higher the resolution, the clearer the footage for your insurance company
- Number of cameras - additional rear and cabin cameras cost more but give you more coverage
- Storage - footage that uploads to the cloud is more secure than an SD card, but costs more
- Parking mode - this protects your car even when you're not using it, but usually needs to be hardwired to your car
*Name has been changed