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Is It Worth Paying More For A Premium Dash Cam?

Deciding on your budget for a dash cam is not an easy task. You need to consider the features, quality, and long term functionality you will require, while also getting your moneys worth.

Prices for front and rear camera systems can drastically range from £100 – £500, with additional features and quality creeping in as the price goes up. However, you certainly do not need to spend a lot to get a quality dash cam.

Outlined below is what to expect when looking at each price point – budget, mid-range, premium – and whether it is worth paying the extra.

Budget

If you’re on a tight budget for your dash camera, look no further than the Thinkware F100, coming in at just £109.99 for the front only version, and £149.99 for front and rear.

Thinkware F100 best budget dash camThis camera proves that you don’t need to be spending large amounts in order to get a great product, however, it does lack some key features which many people will want.

Features:
Recording Quality – 1080p HD front, 720p HD rear
– Parking Mode
– Motion Detection
– Discreet

Along with these, there is an option to add a GPS antenna, enabling optional driver warning systems, and also an optional tamper proof case. The performance of this camera by no means resembles its budget price range, and should definitely be considered when deciding what is best for you.

Although this camera has great video quality for the price, and has parking mode functionality when hard-wired to the battery of the vehicle, it is missing some key features such as built in WiFi, GPS and cloud accessibility. These improve the functionality of a dash camera drastically, so are worth looking into at the higher ranges.

To see the Thinkware F100, click here.

Mid-Range

There are a lot of benefits in going for a mid-range dash cam. With the Thinkware F770-2CH, you get all the desirable features from the Thinkware F100, with a lot of extra functionality for only £239.99.

Thinkware F770 Best Mid Range Dash CamWith Thinkware being a leading providor of dash cameras, the F770 is able to rival many of the more expensive cameras on the market.

Features:
– Recording Quality – 1080p HD front and rear
– Parking Mode
– Motion Detection
– Discreet
– Super Night-Vison Mode
– Built-In GPS & WiFi
– Speed Camera Alerts

As you can see, there are several additional features you get from going up to the Thinkware F770. Built-in GPS and WiFi mean you can connect a smartphone to the camera, enabling you to review and download footage on your phone, and also track the location of your vehicle.

This alone is an incredibly beneficial feature which greatly increases the usability and functionality of the camera, making the jump in price worthwhile to most people.

For a mid-range, reliable camera with great features and a reasonable price tag, the F770 should not be overlooked.

To see the Thinkware F770, click here.

Premium

The BlackVue DR750S-2CH not only has all the features of a premium dash cam, but also looks the part too. Costing £349.99 for front and rear cameras, it has some impressive specs to back up the price.

BlackVue-DR75S-2Ch premium dash camUnlike other cameras, the DR750S also has the option to become completely silent at all times, making it the best dash cam for driving instructors.

Features
– Recording Quality – 1080p HD front and rear
– Parking Mode
– Motion Detection
– Discreet
– Sony STARVIS Image Sensor
– Built-In GPS & WiFi
– BlackVue Cloud Access

Similarly to the Thinkware F770, this camera records in 1080p HD from both front and rear cams, and has the all-important build-in WiFi and GPS for video and tracking access through your phone. However, the DR750S boasts a Sony STARVIS image sensor, providing clear video in all lighting conditions.

Blackvue over cloudAnother key feature of the BlackVue DR750S making it stand out as a premium dash cam is access to the BlackVue Cloud. This allows you to securely store any important video files onto the cloud, making them easily available when required.

You will also receive mobile notifications when the camera detects an event, and you can even take a phone call using the dash cameras built in microphone and speaker.

This is an incredible feature and one which is definitely worth the additional cost if it is going to be something of use to you.

To see the BlackVue DR750S-2CH, click here.

 

To see our full range of dash cams and installation options, click here.
Alternatively, contact us using the form below or call 01865 599598 to speak to one of our experts.

 

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5 Must-Have Items For Your Daily Commute This Winter

Car Wing Mirror Snow Winter Driving

Car Wing Mirror Snow Winter DrivingWinter is a brilliant time of year. With an emphasis on family, food, and good TV, it’s hard not to have a good time. However, there is no escaping one thing – It’s dark when you leave for work, and it’s dark again before you leave. Pretty mood-dampening. It is also due to this that around this time of year, many of us start to feel more vulnerable during the daily commute to and from work, given that it can be hard to see through the rain, fog, or snow – especially in the dark.

 

Safety and comfort should always be a priority here. So, we’ve put together a list of 5 must-have items for your daily commute this winter.

1) De-Icer Spray

Number one is De-Icer Spray because there is nothing worse than having to spend 10 minutes scraping ice off your car in the freezing cold when you’re already in a rush to get to work. This cheap item (around £2) is great to have around at all times because when you end up needing it, you will be so glad you have it. It not only saves you time but also makes the whole process a lot more bearable!

2) Ice Scraper

This is kind of a follow-on from the last one. Unfortunately, those cans of de-icer spray do not last infinitely. One day, they will run out just when you need them. It is annoying, but you absolutely need an ice scraper as a back-up. It isn’t pleasurable to do, but at least you will be able to see where you are driving!

3) Dash Camera

BlackVue DR750S-2Ch
BlackVue DR750S-2Ch

Due to the dark, and often poor weather conditions during the UK winter, the chances of having an accident increase by a massive 20%. With road accident rates already high, it is more important than ever to cover yourself while driving. A dash cam is a perfect way to do this.

By having a dash cam installed in your vehicle, any accidents you get into will have indisputable video evidence showing who was at fault. This is especially useful given the recent rise in fraudulent claims such as crash for cash and increased risk of accidents in winter.

A good quality camera is crucial to ensure the video quality is good enough to catch number plates and details in all levels of light, however, that does not mean it has to break the bank. With front and rear camera systems such as the Thinkware F200-2Ch, your vehicle can be fully covered with HD quality footage at all times, along with built-in WiFi, and optional GPS. See the Thinkware F200-2Ch here.

Alternatively, there are top-range dash cam systems such as the BlackVue DR750S-2Ch. With 1080p HD recording from both the front and rear cameras, this is a very discreet, high-quality camera. The built-in GPS and WiFi allows a smartphone to be connected to the camera, allowing for easy and fast access to footage, to be played back, or downloaded which is ideal for keeping any valuable footage safe during your commute this winter. See the BlackVue DR750S-2ch here.

With professional installation, all wires will be hidden, and the camera will be hard-wired to the vehicle. This allows the use of parking mode, meaning your camera will be recording for hours after you have finished driving. Book your installation here.

4) Grippy Shoes

With the wet weather around these times, unsurprisingly, the ground is also wet. When walking to and from your vehicle, the sole of your shoes will inevitably get wet – making it easy for your feet to slip from the pedals. This reduces the control you have over the vehicle and is a road safety risk that is often forgotten about. So, it is best to pick yourself up some shoes with a lot of grip.

5) Spare Clothes

Sitting in damp clothes at work or in the car is enough to ruin anybody’s day. Instead of risking a soggy sock from stepping in a puddle while looking at your phone, bring some spare clothes – the essentials. You will likely save yourself from a miserable day or drive home.

 

Although the daily commute becomes a mindless activity for most people, it is important not to forget the risks there are, and the safety precautions which should be taken. By using a dash cam, you can feel secure in the knowledge that if anything does happen, you have the video evidence to show it.

Click here to see our guide on driving safely in the snow.

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50% Of Drivers Considering Dash Cams

Driver Dash Cam Safety

Dash Camera Professionally Installed
It is no doubt that the use of dash cameras has increased massively since their boom in 2015, where sales increased by 395%. This made them the fastest growing consumer electronic item. However, with 31.5 million vehicles on the UK roads, is it possible that 21 million of these will soon have dash cams installed?

Looking at a recent poll held by the AA, one fifth (20%) of drivers already own a dash camera, while another 50% are thinking about getting one. This clearly shows a strong interest amongst drivers and with good reason, but something must be stopping them from taking the leap.

Why You Should Install A Dash Cam

There are a huge amount of benefits to owning a dash camera, and while it can require a bit of investment initially, the payoff is massive in the long run.

Parking Protection – One of the main reasons for many people getting a dash cam is the built-in parking mode. This allows the camera to record movement or impact around your car while the ignition is switched off. The footage recorded by a trigger of the g-sensor will be saved to the memory of the camera and not overwritten, which provides solid evidence in the event of criminal damage or theft.

For parking mode to be enabled, the camera must be hard-wired to the battery of the vehicle. This can be done through a professional installation. For more information on installation services, click here.

Bad Driving – There are times while driving that everyone makes mistakes. However, some bad driving is extremely dangerous, and often illegal. It is becoming more and more common for footage of illegal driving to be submitted for review, with growing police support around the matter.

We wrote about this on our sister site Fleet Witness, read about it here.

Liability – Proving liability in the event of a crash has always been a battle for those involved. If nobody was around to see the accident, then it is your word against another. This makes it very hard to assign blame and penalties. Dash cams directly solve this problem. By providing undisputable video evidence of what actually happened, you could save thousands from being wrongly blamed.

Crash For Cash The unfortunate rise in fraudulent claims is a cause for concern for any road user. This involves a staged accident, where an innocent driver appears to have caused the accident. More about this here. Claims from vehicle damage to personal injury can quickly add up to amounts as high as £30,000. This can all be stopped by spending a few hundred on a quality vehicle camera.

Not only do individual cases of this rack up thousands of pounds in fines, but insurance premiums are also rising due to this. This means that all road users are facing the effects of crash for cash.

What’s Stopping People?F70 Inflight Front

With so many reasons to buy a dash camera right at your fingertips, there must be something that is holding back the 50% of people who are only thinking rather than doing.

We can only speculate of course. But, it is true that in the past, drivers have faced difficulty in making claims with their recorded footage. However, with the growing acceptance of the importance of dash cams from the government and police, along with funding for video evidence in a road safety plan, the majority of valid footage is now being used.

Along with the increasing support from the government and police, big names in the insurance industry are also very much aware of their benefits. This can be seen through discounts for having a dashcam being offered on insurance premiums. There have also been statements that dashcams should be a compulsory addition to every vehicle.

Cost

It is a common misconception that a quality dash camera has to break the bank, which is likely to put a lot of people off – especially when one of the reasons for them in the first place is saving money! However, there is actually a large range of dash cams on offer, at price points to meet nearly any budget. Listed below are some of the good options out there.

Entry Level/Budget – The Thinkware F70 is a fantastic low-cost option. Despite the entry level price point of £99.99, it boasts an impressive spec including 1080pHD recording @30fps, and a time-lapse parking mode, extending the duration of regular parking mode. To see the Thinkware F70, click here.

Mid-Range – A mid-range budget will open up your options a lot. A very good option here is the Thinkware F200-2CH. This camera system provides fantastic value, as you get both a front and rear camera for well under £200. With this, it records in 1080pHD from the front, and 720pHD from the rear, and comes with built-in WiFi. An all-around great camera. To see the Thinkware F200, click here.

Alternatively, you could go for something like the NextBase 512GW for a quality camera recording at 1440p Quad HD, with a 3″ LCD display screen. To see the Nextbase 512GW, click here.

Top of the Range – When it comes to high-level dash cams, the BlackVue DR750S-2CH is the clear winner for us. It has an impressive list of features including; 1080p HD recording from both front and rear cameras, built-in GPS and Wifi allowing a smartphone to be connected to the camera in order to review or download footage, and a discreet, aesthetic design. To see the BlackVue DR750S, click here.

Installation

Installation is another common concern/misconception around the process of purchasing a dash camera. This is usually for one of two reasons.

Lack of Knowledge – Many people think that the installation of a dash camera is a complicated process, whereas It doesn’t have to be at all. Really, you have two options – both of which are very easy! The first of which is powering your camera through the cigarette lighter socket. This involves attaching your camera to the windscreen yourself, and simply plugging it in. This provides continuous recording while driving, and will turn on automatically with the car, however you will not be able to use parking mode, and there will be a wire dangling from the camera to the socket.

The other option is a professional installation, which many people don’t think about. This will involve a fully trained auto-engineer hard-wiring the camera to your vehicles battery. This will allow parking mode as the camera has access to power from the battery of the car. You can see more about professional dash camera installation here.

Mess From Cables – Another aspect of installation that often puts people off is the thought of having messy cables going between the cameras. It makes sense, we all take pride in our cars. However, with a professional installation that is not the case. Engineers are able to install dash cameras so that all the wiring is hidden in the trim of the vehicle, no damage will be done, and all you will see is an inch of cable going up from the camera into the trim.

How To Ensure Footage Is Valid

For dash camera footage to be accepted in the event of an accident, it must abide by a few dash camera laws.

This infographic sums up these laws nicely:

Dash Camera Laws

Is Dash Cam Footage Used?

There aren’t many people who know how submitted dash camera footage is used better than a Director of Insurance. This is what Janet Conner, Director of Insurance for the AA had to say about it:

“Data is king in the event of a collision and dashcam footage provides proper, reliable evidence that can establish fault. What’s more, it can and, based on the Operation Snap evidence does, lead to the prosecution of dangerous drivers.”

“Similarly, dash cam evidence submitted to insurance companies can be decisive in ensuring that fault can be properly attributed where otherwise, circumstantial evidence and witness statements may suggest a different outcome.”

In Conclusion

There is a huge amount of support behind dash cameras and their effect on road safety. It is also undeniable that they can be pivotal in proving innocence in many situations. With the points made in mind, it would not be a surprise to see 67% of drivers using dash cams. It can only be a positive for peace of mind, both physically and financially.

 

 

For more information on our products click below. 

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Our top 5 tips for driving safely in the snow

Our top 5 tips for driving safely in the snow

Driving can be a dangerous affair at the best of times but with the temperature plummeting below 0 and snow on the ground driving can become even more hazardous.

It is advised that you avoid travelling in these conditions all together, unless it is absolutely necessary.

Of course, we know this isn’t necessarily practical. If you do need to venture outside we want you to have the safest journey possible, which is why we are sharing the best advice for driving in snowy conditions below.

Remember, if you do have the day off. Enjoy it! Throw a snowball, build a igloo, go sledging, then sit down with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and order a dash cam 😉

  1. Preparing for the journey- Before travelling you should ensure that all snow is cleared from the windscreen, mirrors, bonnet and roof! This is to ensure you have an unobstructed view of the road but also to prevent the snow on you car flying off to blind other road users.
  2. Vehicle checks- Checking the amount of thread left on your tyres is a must, the minimum for this weather is 3mm. Having at least a quarter of a tank of fuel is essential when driving in this weather as you do not know when you will next be able to fill up.
  3. Safety equipment- Since journeys can be longer than expected you should ensure you have the following items in your vehicle: shovel, torch, blanket, jump leads, tow rope as well as some water and munchies.
  4. Drive smoothly- Pull away gently, if using a manual start in second gear to prevent your wheels from spinning on the ice.
  5. When Driving- Slow down, you should drive at a speed that is appropriate for the conditions of the road. Stopping distances can increase by 10 times when there is snow or ice so remember to leave a greater distance between you and the car in front.

As previously mentioned, it is safer not to travel in these conditions. But if you are heading out for a drive please follow the above advice to ensure that you are as prepared for your trip as possible allowing for a safer journey.

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How To: Improve the quality of your dash cam footage

How to imrove dash cam video quality

There are a variety of dash cams on the market today, ranging from simple cameras worth £50 to high end cameras that have all the bells and whistles and cost £300. With such a difference in price there is bound to be a gap in quality, which is why we have compiled this list on how to get the most from your camera.

1- The best way to ensure your footage is the best quality is to ensure you purchase a camera that can record in at least 720P HD. Anything less than this will result in unclear footage and may not be able to be used in court.

2- Check thResolutione settings of the camera. Most cameras will have an option for you to adjust the recording quality, you should always set the recording quality to a minimum of 720P at 30FPS.

3- Adjust the camera position. It is of the utmost importance that the camera is positioned in the correct place, otherwise if an accident occurs and the camera is pointing at the sky, your evidence is gone. You should make sure the camera is as central and as high as possible.

Car Cleaning

4- Keep the vehicle clean and tidy. By keeping the windscreen clean and ensuring there is no clutter in front of the camera it will improve the video quality. The last thing you want to see when looking for evidence of an accident is that air freshener or dice hanging from the mirror unit.

5-Use a high quality SD card. We recommend using a class 10 SD card as these are best suited for the high-intensity use it will have inside a dash cam. Alongside this, you should format the SD card at least every three months to ensure it is functioning correctly and there are no corrupt files.

By following these 5 points, your dash cam will record high quality, clear footage of any incident that happens in front of the camera. You will also be able to send this evidence to the police and it is court admissible.

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Congratulations to our dash cam winner!

 

Neil McCall with his competition prize

Many congratulations to Neil McCall, the winner of our recent dash-cam giveaway competition.

Neil was selected at random by computer and took delivery of his prize last Friday when our nationwide installation team visited him at his home in West Heaton, Manchester. He is now the proud owner of a Blackvue DR650S and a Power Magic Pro hard-wire kit.

installation of dash cam
Installing the dash cam

The DR650S is a stylish forward-facing 1080P dash cam – a  high-performance camera that is one of the best available in terms of recording quality with full HD capability. It also has a variety of useful features such as cloud technology, built-in WiFi and GPS.

Couple this with the Power Magic Pro hard-wire kit, a power-monitoring unit which prevents discharging of the vehicle battery, then you have a pretty robust camera system for your car.  As part of the giveaway prize, Neil was also lucky enough to have the whole system installed for him.

As you can see from the photograph here, once in place the DR650S offers a very discreet and stylish solution to an on-board camera.

Find out more about the BlackVue DR650S today/a>

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Speeding Fine Law Change

Speeding Fine Law Change

Drivers who are caught speeding on or after April 24th will face harsher penalties that will be based upon how much you earn. The new rules mean that you could face a penalty charge of up to 175% of your weekly income!

Current Laws

At the moment, the minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three points on your license. Whilst the maximum fine is £1,000 or £2,500 for motorway offences.

The Changes

With the new laws, anyone who is going between 31 and 40mph in a 30mph zone will get three penalty points and a fine of between 25 and 75 per cent of your weekly income.

For those who are caught travelling at more than 101mph in a 70mph speed limit you could be disqualified for up to 56 days or receive 6 points on your licencse and get a fine of between 125 and 175 per cent of your weekly income.

The changes are a result of speeding offences increasing every year from 2011. Since 2011 the number of speed awareness courses has increased from 772 to 1,216. This statistic is from the Department for Transport statistics.

Read our article on mobile phones and driving. to find out the full information on the new laws regarding the use of mobiles when driving.

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Dash Witness x Ambit Dash Cam Giveaway

Dash Cam Giveaway

To celebrate our partnership with Ambit, we are hosting another dash cam giveaway! The lucky winner will get themselves a BlackVue DR650S-1Ch dash camera, power magic pro hard-wire kit and a professional installation.

The Prize:

BlackVue DR650SThe BlackVue DR650S-1Ch is a 1080P full HD front facing dash camera that has Wi-Fi and GPS built-in. This is one of the highest quality cameras available and our best selling front only camera. Alongside the camera, is the power magic pro. This accessory is needed for the camera to be hard-wired into the vehicle, allowing for parking mode to be used as well as allowing the cables to be hidden.

The professional installation will be performed by one of our fully trained auto-electricians, who will arrive on time, at the date, time and location agreed before hand. The engineer will perform the installation to the highest standard and ensure all cables are out of sight.

View The BlackVue DR650S-1Ch Product Page

Entry

To enter our dash cam giveaway all you need to do is fill out your full name and email address here. The competition will last until April 30th at 11:59PM and the winner will be drawn on May 1st. Read the full terms and conditions of this giveaway.

Enter Our Giveaway Today

What is Ambit?

Ambit is a community of those who look after workplace vehicles and anybody who drives as part of their working life. Ambit enables collaboration through connecting people and driving related resources. Find out more about Ambit today.

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Mobile Phones and Driving

Mobile Phones and Driving law change

From today, the law on using a mobile whilst driving is changing in the U.K, this will increase the punishment given to those who are caught using a mobile device when driving. The news of this law change has been greeted by much support from a variety of local police forces and general motorists alike, with both hoping this will create safer roads and less accidents.

TExting whilst drivingWhat are the consequences?

The points and fine you receive if caught using a mobile device whilst driving will be doubled, going from three points and a £100 fine to six points and a £200 fine, along with this there will no longer be an option to go on a driver retraining programme.

 

These new consequences mean that everyone who has held their driving license for less than two years will automatically have their license revoked if they are caught using a mobile when driving. For those who have held their license for longer than this are left with only six more points to accumulate in a three year period before they lose their license as well. We hope that these changes will act as a serious deterrent and lower the amount of people who use mobiles whilst driving.

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August Dash Cam Giveaway Results

Dash Cam Giveaway Results

Dash cam giveawayOn July 20th we started our first ever dash cam giveaway, the prize was a Lukas Qvia T790 front only dash camera and installation. Last night the competition closed, the response we received was overwhelming with over 700 entries. However, entry number 40 proved to be the lucky number…

Congratulations Mr Toby D

Dash Witness would like to congratulate Mr Toby D who has won the giveaway! We will be in touch with you over the coming days to arrange the shipping and installation of your new dash camera.

As a ‘thank you’ for entering our dash cam giveaway, all entrants will shortly receive a promotional offer.