Dash cams are becoming more widely used in the UK, and almost 11 million motorists use one while driving. But does installing a dash cam cut the cost of car insurance premium?
A dash cam is small video camera which is mounted onto the dashboard or windscreen of a vehicle and used to record the road ahead while someone is driving.
Find out whether using a dash cam can help reduce the cost of your car insurance as well as tips on how to find the best car insurance deal.
Can a dash cam reduce your car insurance?
Dash cams can be a reassuring presence for some drivers and can also provide valuable evidence if you get into an accident.
Exclusive Which? research has identified that, despite their growing popularity, dash cams only get you a discount with four car insurers – and only two mainstream providers.
Axa and Swiftcover offer discounts of 10% and 12.5%, respectively, for drivers with a dash cam. Lesser-known Sure Thing offers a 20% discount, while specialist and classic car insurer Adrian Flux provides up to 15%.
However, Sure Thing and Swiftcover will only apply a discount if you use a Nextbase dash cam – any other model won’t qualify for the reduction in price.
Find out more: car insurance discounts for dash cam owners
Could a dash cam increase my premiums?
There could be unintended consequences on your car insurance premium for installing a dash cam.
The Which? Money Helpline recently fielded a call from a member who had wired a dash cam into his car. His insurer classed it as a ‘modification’ and that it would, therefore, increase his premiums.
If this is something you are considering, it’s vital to check with your insurer to see what they consider to be a ‘permanent modification’ – and what impact this could have on your premiums – before going ahead.
Why don’t all insurers offer a discount for dash cam users?
While dash cams can provide useful evidence during accidents, some insurers don’t believe they are enough to reduce the amount of a risk a driver poses on the road.
Dominic Stannard, from the Association of British Insurers, said: ‘Dash cams are a useful tool when it comes to settling a claim, particularly when there is a dispute as to where the fault lies.
However, the use of a dash cam doesn’t necessarily make a driver any less likely to be involved in an accident and will therefore have a minimal impact on a consumer’s level of risk.’
‘If a driver is keen to bring the price of their premium down, telematic black boxes provide insurers with real-time data on the safety and quality of a driver’s activity and may therefore be more likely to reduce the cost of a good driver’s premium.’
Other insurers offer discounts to drivers who use their driving apps which measure performance on the road, rather than for simply recording their journeys.
Paul Heybourne at Aviva said that ‘evidence doesn’t show that having a dash cam on its own improves road safety.
‘Instead we offer our Aviva Drive app which, as well as providing a dash cam feature, allows users to demonstrate they are a safe driver and receive up to 28% off their insurance.’
Find out more: best and worst car insurance
How to buy a dash cam
The best dash cams produce high-quality video footage, providing valuable evidence to your insurer or the courts if you’re ever in an accident.
The quality of dash cams, however, vary significantly, so it’s vital to consider their features rather than selecting a model solely based on price.
The most important aspect of a dash cam is the quality of footage it records, as you may not be able to use your footage in the case of an accident if the image quality poor.
All dash cams support at least 720p resolution (1,280 x 720 pixels), but some can record a higher resolution of 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels).
If you’re hoping to use your dash cam abroad, it’s also vital to check whether there are any restrictions for using them in the country you visit.
Find out more: how to buy a dash cam
Finding the best car insurance
Whether you’re looking for your first policy, or hoping to renew your car insurance, these tips can help you find the best deal at a competitive price.
Always shop around for a car insurance policy. Price comparison sites are a handy way to see what deals are on offer.
Once you’ve identified a few policies, read the terms and conditions carefully. Failing to do so could result in you buying the wrong level of cover, leaving you at risk if you ever need to make a claim. If anything is unclear in the policy wording before you buy, get in touch with the insurer to clarify.
The time of year that you buy a policy can also have a big impact on the price you pay too.
Research shows that February is the cheapest month for car insurance while December is the most expensive month for car insurance.
To give you hand finding the best insurer, we’ve combined Which? expert analysis of over 30 car insurance providers’ standard policies with feedback from thousands of policy holders to produce independent car insurance reviews.
You can also find more useful tips in our car insurance advice guide.