Here you will find all of the answers to every dash cam question that has ever crossed your mind. If you are thinking about purchasing a dash cam and you have questions, then here is where you will find all of the information that you could possibly need.
What exactly is a dash cam?
- 1 What exactly is a dash cam?
- 2 Why does it have the name “dash cam”?
- 3 Are there different types of dash cam?
- 4 What is the best type of dash cam?
- 5 How do I use a dash cam?
- 6 What types of things are dash cams good for?
- 7 How do dash cams actually work?
- 8 Are dash cams legal to use?
- 9 How are dash cams actually powered?
- 10 What types of things can I record with a dash cam?
- 11 What uses do I have for my footage?
- 12 Can you actually video record in public?
- 13 Will my dash cam drain my car battery if the car is not running?
- 14 Will I be able to play back my footage on my computer?
- 15 Is the microphone feature optional on a dash cam?
- 16 Can I use my dash cam outside of the UK?
- 17 Will I need to replace the memory card when it is full?
- 18 How much should I expect to pay for a dash cam?
- 19 Can my dash cam be connected to the car battery?
- 20 How can I benefit from having a dash cam?
- 21 Does it matter what vehicle I have?
- 22 Are dash cams easy to install?
- 23 What should I look for in a dash cam?
- 24 Where does the recorded footage get stored?
- 25 What does WDR mean?
- 26 Do dash cams have GPS built in?
- 27 Do dash cams have WiFi built in?
- 28 Can you edit dash cam videos?
- 29 Do dash cams have audio built in?
- 30 What kind of video recording should I look for?
- 31 What is the difference between channel 1 and channel 2 dash cams?
- 32 What is motion detection in parking mode?
- 33 Should I get an adhesive mount or a suction mount?
- 34 What is a G sensor used for?
- 35 Can I use a dash cam with rear tinted windows?
- 36 Why are some dash cams designed to look inconspicuous?
- 37 What sort of warranty is usually offered with a dash cam?
- 38 Can my footage be used against me?
A dash cam is a small recording device that is placed on the dashboard of your vehicle. It can be used to record accidents, prevent theft, prevent insurance fraud, or even just film your journeys. Many of them are fitted with sensors so that they automatically start recording the second they detect sudden breaking. This allows you to ensure that any accidents are caught on camera.
Why does it have the name “dash cam”?
The name of the dash cam is actually quite self-explanatory. The camera is placed onto the dashboard of your car, which is where it gets its name from.
Are there different types of dash cam?
Yes, there are several different types. For example, there are some models that are fitted with sensors, there are even some that have motion detection so that they record movement outside of your car overnight. This can help to prevent theft capture accidents that happen overnight.
What is the best type of dash cam?
This is really all down to personal preference. If you have your car parked on the roadside overnight, for example, then the best type for you would be one that has motion detection that triggers the recording feature. It all depends on what you want to use the dash cam for.
How do I use a dash cam?
This will depend on the model that you buy. The majority of the more modern dash cams on the market are fitted with a G sensor which will start recording as soon as it detects sudden braking. With these types of cameras, you don’t really need to do anything apart from carry out the initial setup. Most new models are very straightforward.
What types of things are dash cams good for?
There are actually a number of uses for a dash cam. Preventing theft, preventing insurance fraud, proving who is to blame for an accident, catching dangerous drivers; these are all good uses for a dash cam.
How do dash cams actually work?
Again, this will really depend on the type of dash cam that you have. As we have already mentioned, the majority of them will have a sensor fitted into them that automatically records when there is a change in braking. However, there are more complex models that will do other things such as offer motion detection, night vision and even have a parking sensor built in.
Are dash cams legal to use?
In the United Kingdom, dash cams are perfectly legal to use in your vehicle and you won’t get into trouble for recording your journeys. We have a full article on whether dashcams are legal in the UK.
How are dash cams actually powered?
This could vary depending on the type of dash cam that you have. Some models are hard wired into the car electronics, whereas others are powered by the car cigarette lighter. You can also get models that have rechargeable batteries that can be recharged overnight.
What types of things can I record with a dash cam?
There are actually a lot of different things that you can record with your dash cam. If you are into your cars, then you might want to use your dash cam to record your journeys to upload to YouTube. You can record dangerous drivers on the roads. If you are in an accident, then you can record the footage to prove who is responsible.
What uses do I have for my footage?
If you have captured an accident that was not your fault but the other driver is disputing this, then you can use your footage for your insurance company to prove that you were not responsible for any damage. If you have captured theft, potential insurance fraud or a dangerous driver then you can hand your footage over to the police for them to take appropriate action.
Can you actually video record in public?
Video recording in a public place is legal. However, you cannot video record in an area where someone would expect to have their privacy such as their home or garden. If you record in public then the police do have the power to demand the footage. However, they may only do so if they have reason to believe that what you have captured contains evidence of a crime and they believe that you may tamper with it or delete it. Otherwise, they should be happy enough for you to send the footage to them.
Will my dash cam drain my car battery if the car is not running?
If you don’t want your dash cam to drain your car battery then the best thing that you can do is to make sure that you don’t go for more than three days without using your car. If you don’t use it regularly then there is a chance that the dash cam could drain the battery when the car is not running.
Will I be able to play back my footage on my computer?
This is the great thing about a dash cam. By simply connecting it via USB or memory card to your computer, you will be able to play back any footage that you have captured so that you can get a close look. However, it is a good idea to make sure that your operating system is supported by your dash cam.
Is the microphone feature optional on a dash cam?
This is something that will depend entirely on the model that you have. Some dash cams will allow you to switch the microphone feature off if you want to, whereas others will not. Take a look at the specifications for your model to be certain.
Can I use my dash cam outside of the UK?
Whilst your dash cam will work in other countries, it is important to remember that different countries have different laws regarding the use of dash cams in your vehicle. There are some European countries where it is legal and others where it is banned. If you are taking your car to another country then it is definitely a good idea to check the law regarding the use of dash cams before you take yours with you.
Will I need to replace the memory card when it is full?
Unless you have important footage on your memory card, it can be deleted so that you have more space available. Many dash cams come with a loop recording feature, so that it will automatically overwrite previous footage unless you specifically save it.
How much should I expect to pay for a dash cam?
If you are going to choose a budget model, then you can expect to pay between £30-£50. However, for high end dash cams, you can expect to pay anything over £100. It all depends on the budget that you are happy to spend.
Can my dash cam be connected to the car battery?
There are some models of dash cams that can be connected directly to the car battery. However, it is always best to have a professional hard wire the dash cam so that you don’t make any mistakes or potentially damage the battery of your car.
How can I benefit from having a dash cam?
There are many incidents where an accident has occurred and both drivers claim that the other is responsible for the damage. By having a dash cam in your car, you can prove what or who was responsible. If your car is hit whilst it is parked overnight and the culprit drives away, then you are able to capture their number plate to give to the police. If you notice a dangerous driver on the road who you suspect is driving illegally then you are able to hand the footage over to the police. The benefits are endless.
Does it matter what vehicle I have?
Absolutely not. You can use a dash cam in a car, van, lorry, even attached to your motorbike.
Are dash cams easy to install?
Yes, they are very easy to install. Usually it is simply a matter of mounting the camera onto your dashboard and following the initial setup. If you are going to be hardwiring the dash cam then there is more work involved, but this should only be done by somebody who really knows what they are doing.
What should I look for in a dash cam?
There are a number of things that you should look for. First, take a look at the different features that each model has. Once you have done this, take a look at the mega pixels. You want something that is going to offer high quality recording. If you want to use the dash cam to record things overnight, then you should look for a model that offers night vision as well as motion detection. It all depends on your personal circumstances and what you want to use your dash cam for.
Where does the recorded footage get stored?
Most dash cam models will either have a MicroSD card inside of it or a memory card of some sort. This can then be inserted into a laptop or PC so that you can play back the footage. There is usually internal storage, but it is always a good idea to have a memory card with a good capacity.
What does WDR mean?
WDR stands for Wide Dynamic Range. This is a feature that allows you to capture videos in low light in the same quality that you would see with the naked eye.
Do dash cams have GPS built in?
This will all depend entirely on the model of dash cam that you have. There are some that have built in GPS but not all models will. It is always a good idea to check model specifications to get a better idea of the features that your dash cam has.
Do dash cams have WiFi built in?
Again, this is something that will depend on the specific model of your dash cam. Some of the higher end dash cams do have a built in WiFi function. If you’re not sure, then always check the specifications of your individual model.
Can you edit dash cam videos?
If you have video editing software then you will be able to edit your dash cam footage. For example, if you want to cut the footage shorter so that you can highlight a particular part of the footage, or you want to get a closer look at the footage then editing is an option.
Do dash cams have audio built in?
Most of the mid-range to high end dash cams will have a built in microphone. This is particularly useful when it comes to capturing road range incidents. However, not all models will have built in audio so again, it is a good idea to check the specifications.
What kind of video recording should I look for?
If you are going to be buying a dash cam, then it is important that you consider the resolution of the recording. Ideally, you should go for at least HD recording, especially if you plan on using your dash cam on a regular basis.
What is the difference between channel 1 and channel 2 dash cams?
If you have been looking for a dash cam then you will have probably already come across the terms channel 1 and channel 2 and are wondering what the difference is. To put it simply, a channel 1 dash cam records in one direction, whereas a channel 2 dash cam records in 2 directions.
What is motion detection in parking mode?
Motion detection is particularly useful if you have your car parked on the roadside overnight. This will start the recording feature if any movement is detected outside of your car whilst it is parked. This can be very good for capturing hit and run accidents when your car is parked overnight and potentially even prevent and deter thieves from targeting your vehicle.
Should I get an adhesive mount or a suction mount?
This all depends. If you are planning on using your dash cam for every journey that you make then you could consider an adhesive mount. However, if you are only going to be using it occasionally, then you are better off getting a suction mount.
What is a G sensor used for?
Most modern dash cams come with a built in G sensor. This sensor will activate the recording feature each time sudden braking is detected. The good thing about this is that it means that you can make sure that you capture video footage of any accidents that might occur without having to worry about activating the camera yourself.
Can I use a dash cam with rear tinted windows?
You can use a dash cam with rear tinted windows. However, it is important to keep in mind that night vision is likely to be greatly affected by the tint. Adjusting the exposure of the dash cam may help with this but it is certainly not a perfect solution.
Why are some dash cams designed to look inconspicuous?
If you have been looking at different dash cams, then you might have noticed that some of them are designed to almost look hidden. There are a number of reasons for this. First of all, you don’t want your vehicle to be targeted by thieves who think that they can make a little money from the dash cam. Secondly, you don’t want a dash cam that is going to obstruct your view whilst driving.
What sort of warranty is usually offered with a dash cam?
More often than not, your dash cam will come with a manufacturer warranty of at least 1 year. Certain brands will offer a 2 year warranty; it all depends on the brand and model that you go for.
Can my footage be used against me?
If you have found yourself in an accident that you believe was not your fault and that somebody else is responsible and you intend to present the footage to your insurance company, then it is important to keep in mind that the footage could actually be used against you if the insurance company agrees with the other driver that you are actually responsible for the accident.
Hopefully we have answered all of your dash cam questions!