Potential Dashcam Problems
We answer below common questions that people may have before purchasing a dash camera.
There are a wide variety of dashcams that come at different price point, depending on the features and capabilities of the device you require.
Typically, a good quality dash cam is priced between £50 - £400. At this price point, you can buy a car camera from a trusted brand name, built with reliable components, and covered by warranty.
Along with the basics, a good dashcam should:
- be reliable in extreme temperatures
- offer a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connection
- provide access to cloud video management
- have an associated smartphone app.
More expensive dashcams are likely to provide higher quality resolution images, allowing the driver to capture more details such as a license plate, or street sign – which may be vital for making a claim or providing evidence in the occurrence of a road accident.
With the price of dashboard cameras falling even further, they are accessible to more motorists than ever before. That being said, are they worth it? Yes.
For a relatively small investment, a dash cam has to potential to prove your innocence in the event of an accident or capture crucial evidence like a number plate of another vehicle that could lead to a conviction.
They can also potentially help lower your insurance premium, and models fitted with GPS can help the emergency services locate you in the event of a serious incident.
It is possible to turn your phone into a dashcam by downloading an app. However, there are lots of reasons which suggest that you should not do this. For one, there are the issues with the device itself:
- Overheating and locking up
- Shortened lifespan of smartphone and SD-memory card
- Inbound call or text message stops the recording
- Smartphones in a holder blocks the drivers view / attracts thieves
- Low framerates and suboptimal viewing angle / narrowness of the lens.
- Camera is unlikely to handle glare, and moving objects may appear blurrier
Not only this, but the law suggests that dashcam positioning’s should be behind the rear-view mirror, as they are not typically designed to help the driver to drive, which may be problematic if using a mobile device.
It is highly unlikely a dash cam would be stolen - unless your car was being broken into for other reasons, or if the thief was spooked by the camera, and took it to prevent any evidence.
35 dashcams were tested by Georgia Petrie and her team of 5 from HonestJohn.co.uk, and out of the 35 dashcams over the span of 5 years, none of them were stolen.
Ways in which you can minimize the risk of dash cam theft are as follows:
- Design of the dashcam
(Consider one that is lower-profile, without an electric screen). Cylindrical or rear-view mirror dash cams would be the preferred style, as they are smaller and less noticeable.
- Mounting Position
(Cameras such as a rear dash cam are smaller, and almost always installed higher up).
- Cable Management
(Hard-wire the dashcam, with the cables tucked away – gives fewer visual cues to thieves of nearby expensive devices).
- Car Alarm
(Buying one separate to your installed alarm allows you to get notifications if broken into, whilst also prevents thieves with access codes from disabling car alarm)
- Remove and Sleep Soundly
(If you live in a high-crime area, it might not be worth the risk leaving your dashcam in your car overnight
No. Dashcams generally consume very little power. For comparison, a 100-Watt light bulb consumes roughly 0.9amps when turned on, whereby a dual lens dashcam requires less than half of that (0.25amps)! Even a small car battery has a battery rating of about 45-amp hour - meaning that it can supply 1amp of power for 45 hours in a row (theoretically).
The implications of fitting a dashcam into your car on the warranty, depends on the car dealership you are with. For the majority, it shall not be affected provided you are using the 12V socket. If you are hardwiring the dashcam, then make sure it is done correctly by a professional, so that it does not get noticed.