A third of dash cam owners who have made car insurance claims have used the footage from their device to prove an accident wasn’t their fault, according to new research.
It shows drivers are relying on dash cam footage to prove liability when making claims, but Which? has found some cameras simply aren’t up to the task.
Here, we explain how dash cams can help you prove you were not at fault in an accident and whether having one can cut the cost of your car insurance premium.
Drivers using dash cams to help with claims
Around three million UK drivers own a dash cam or helmet cam and their popularity could be on the rise.
A new survey of 2,000 drivers by the comparison website Money Expert shows 70% of dash cam users bought one to catch accidents on film, while 20% did so to save on the cost of their car insurance.
Money Expert says a third of dashcam owners who made claims used the footage from their device to prove an accident wasn’t their fault when making an insurance claim.
As well as catching accidents on camera, dash cams are also useful for vandalism or road rage incidents and they could even make you a better driver.
Money Expert says one in five people felt installing a dashcam improved their driving by making them feel more alert and confident.
- Find out more: secrets of the car insurance claims process revealed
How can dash cams help your claim?
The evidence from a dash cam could be vital in protecting a no-claims bonus or from tainting your driving record.
Footage recorded on a dash cam can be submitted directly to your insurer, which can be helpful in settling claims. The recording can also be sent to the police if necessary.
The best dash cam models record clear audio as well as video, so you might even be able to capture an admission at the scene of the accident before the other motorist denies culpability to their own insurance company.
Find out more: car insurance no-claims bonuses explained
Can dash cams cut the cost of insurance?
As well as protecting your premium if you have an accident, in some cases, owning a dash cam could cut the cost of your car insurance policy. Our research shows the following insurers offer discounts for drivers with dash cams:
- Axa Axa offers new and renewing customers a 10% discount if they use a Nextbase dash cam. The camera should be permanently fitted in your car and Axa has the right to request sample videos from time-to-time to ensure its working properly.
- Swiftcover Swiftcover offers a 12.5% discount for drivers with Nextbase dash cams, or a 10% discount for drivers with other cameras.
- Adrian Flux Adrian Flux offers a 15% discount if drivers install a dash cam from its approved list (you can find this on its website).
- Admiral, Diamond and Elephant Insurers in the Admiral Group offer discounts for dash cam users, but not as a set percentage. To find out how much you’ll save, you’ll need to add your dash cam as a ‘modification’ when applying online, or call the insurer if you’re an existing customer.
Axa, Swiftcover and Adrian Flux won’t give discounts if you use an app that converts your smartphone into a dash cam.
- Find out more: dash cam car insurance discounts
Which type of dash cam should I buy?
There are two types of dash cam: forward-facing, and front-and-rear.
Forward-facing dash cams are most common, so it’s easy to compare models and find one that fits your budget. The big downside is a front-facing camera may not be much use if an incident happens behind your car.
Front-and-rear cameras can provide additional peace of mind, but they’re trickier to install, so you may require professional help. They’re also considerably more expensive.
How much do dash cams cost?
Dash cams vary significantly in both quality and cost, but we’ve found that the most expensive cameras aren’t always the best.
It’s possible to get a cheap dash cam for less than £50. Mid-range cameras usually cost from £50 to £115, while premium models can cost anything up to £400.
- Find out more: how to buy a dash cam
Best and worst dash cams
If you’re thinking of buying a dash cam for your car, it’s important to choose the model wisely.
When we tested dash cams earlier this year, we found plenty of Don’t Buy models that were difficult to install and provided unusable video footage, rendering them useless in the event of a claim.
To choose our Best Buys, our experts assessed the quality of footage provided by the camera in the day and at night, how easy the camera was to install, the process of downloading and viewing footage, and how the camera would cope in a crash.
If you’re a Which? member, you can find out which models we named Best Buys by checking out our 2020 dash cam reviews. If you’re not a member, you can join Which? to get instant access to all of our online reviews
- Find out more: top five dash cams for 2020