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These Are The 3 Most Important Dash Cam Features

Most Important Dash Cam Features

The huge amount of dash cam features and options can be overwhelming when you’re first looking into getting a dash cam.

When making an investment like this, it is important that you understand what your options are.

Because of this, the rest of this post will cover the 3 most important dash cam features for you to consider.

These may not all apply to your individual needs, but after helping thousands of customers find their ideal dash cam – this is what we think.

If you have different or specific needs for a dash cam system, contact us to find out how we can help.

Most Important Dash Cam Features

 

Recording Modes

There are 4 distinct recording modes which are key to a well-functioning dash cam – they are the reason that only the manufacturer made SD cards should be used.

You should look for a camera with four different, reliable recording modes. These will all be used in different events and will help to segment footage into the appropriate folders within the SD cards. This makes it easier to find what you need and removes unnecessary footage.

The cameras recording will automatically switch between these modes depending on what is happening around the vehicle.

Continuous Recording Mode – The majority of the cameras time spent recording will be in continuous recording mode. This begins when the ignition of the vehicle is switched on and ends when the ignition is switched off.

This will store recordings to the SD card in 1-minute clips. The oldest of these clips will then be overwritten once the memory card becomes full.

Event Recording Mode – Event recording mode will be triggered when the G-sensor detects impact or shock around the vehicle. This saves a 20-second video file into the event section of the memory, with footage of slightly before and after the event.

An event recording will interrupt continuous recording. The clips stored from this are in a locked file. They will not be overwritten when the memory becomes full so important footage is safe.

Manual Recording Mode – Manual recording is manually triggered by the driver. This can be done through pressing the ‘REC’ button on your camera, or by waving your hand past the sensor if you have a camera with this option such as the BlackVue DR750S. This saves the footage taken around the time of manual recording being triggered and saves it to the correct section of the memory.

Uses of this include capturing dangerous driving or road rage incidents which don’t cause impact to your vehicle and therefore wouldn’t be picked up by event recording.

Parking Mode – Parking mode requires your dash cam to be hard-wired to the battery of your vehicle. Once your ignition is switched off your camera will automatically enter parking mode. This will then only record and save files at times when motion or impact is detected around the vehicle. The parking mode files are saved in the event recording folder, meaning they will not be overwritten with new footage.

Alternatively, many cameras have a time-lapse parking mode option where the camera will record continuously at 2FPS for the duration of parking mode.

F200

Why Is This Important?

These recording modes are important for the reliability and function of your dash cam.

The primary importance of these is parking mode as that is the sole reason that many people get a dash cam – to protect their car while parked overnight.

Having this footage saved into a locked folder which will not be overwritten ensures that your important footage will not be lost. If you cannot rely on your camera properly doing this, then you cannot feel comfortable leaving your vehicle.

Furthermore, it is important to be able to ‘set and forget’ your dash cam. Continuous recording mode allows you to do this, so that any important collision footage will be automatically recorded, rather than you having to remember to press the record button in a very stressful situation.

Integrated WiFi & GPS

The feature of built-in WiFi provides a huge benefit to the user, as it greatly improves the usability and function of your dash cam.

Integrated WiFi will allow you to connect to your camera with your smartphone when within range as if it was a router in your own home. This is done through the dash cams’ smartphone app.

From this app, you will be able to adjust the settings of the dash cam remotely. Along with this, you will be able to review footage stored on the SD card, or even download important clips onto your phone to secure them and free up space.

This can all be done without having to even touch the dash cam.

When built-in WiFi is paired with GPS, you will be able to view the location data of your vehicle alongside the footage.

Thinkware mobile phone dash cam viewing app

Why Is This Important?

There are several benefits to built-in WiFi & GPS which make them some of the most important dash cam features.

Usability – Usability is important for any dash cam. As built-in WiFi allows a smartphone to connect to the camera, this becomes a very necessary feature.

The ability to remotely review, save, or download any important footage without having to remove the SD Card and put it into a computer makes the whole process a lot more hassle-free.

You are also able to directly alter the camera settings, making quick adjustments much more possible while on-the-go.

For people who aren’t technical-minded, or who don’t want to spend a lot of time going back and forth with their dash cam, this becomes a very necessary and important feature.

Evidence – These features provide a huge boost to the level of evidence which your dash cam can provide. As this is the exact reason you have one (or want one) installed, it is clearly very important.

Evidence provided is made better by the built-in GPS antenna which allows the vehicle speed, location, and direction of travel to be recorded. This information can be crucial when using your dash cam footage as evidence for a claim.

One of the reasons for this information being necessary is the large increase of car cloning.

This is where a fake copy of a vehicles number plate is made and used on another vehicle of a similar make and model. The ‘cloned’ vehicle is then often used for illegal activities such as speeding, theft, racing, and more.

When the vehicle is inevitably caught by speed cameras or other dash cams, the number plate will then trace back to you. This is pretty scary, and the number of cases last year increased by 50% in London alone.

Therefore, GPS information can be used to prove the actual location of your vehicle compared to the location of where you are accused of being.

This will be the evidence you need to avoid the false claims, fines, and more while on the road.

Blurred Camera Lens Picture

Video Quality

The video quality of a dash cam comes down to several variables.

Resolution – The resolution of your dash cam is the definition of the video. The standard for this is 1080p Full HD, however, you may find 720p HD in lower cost options and rear cameras.

High-end models such as the Thinkware Q800 Pro or the BlackVue DR900S even have resolutions of 1440p Quad HD and 4K Ultra HD respectively.

The higher the resolution, the better the quality of your recording will be.

Frames Per Second – The frames per second (FPS) is how many images are taken by the camera per second to create the video footage.

This will improve the video quality by allowing a smoother, sharper recording with better detailing of moving objects. You can see this difference in the image below.

Dash cams will generally either record at 30FPS or 60 FPS. The higher the number, the better.

30fps vs 60fps dash cam video quality

Other Factors – Video resolution and frames per second will make up the majority of a cameras recording quality. However, there are other factors which go into this which should be considered.

Higher quality parts within the camera, such as BlackVues Sony STARVIS sensor, create a much better-looking recording than a cheaper, generic sensor – even if they were both 1080p & 30FPS.

Due to this, a higher quality camera will often produce a better image with more detail than a cheaper option, despite the FPS and video resolution often matching.

The image below shows the difference between a regular sensor, and a higher quality Sony STARVIS.

blackvue dash cam sony starvis sensor comparison

Why Is It Important?

Video recording is the main function of a dash cam and should be a priority when deciding which you would like to go for.

This is incredibly important as you need recordings good enough to clearly identify important details such as Vehicle Registration Numbers.

If you are unable to make these details out, then the footage will not be court admissible, and will, therefore, be less likely to get you out of any unfair claims, or charges where you were not at fault.

 

Click here to view our range of dash cameras.

For further advice on the best dash cam options for you, or information on our mobile fitting service, please contact us using the form below.

 

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How Much Is A Dash Cam?

Asking “how much is a dash cam?” is very similar to asking “how long is a piece of string?”. There really isn’t a set answer.

Dash cameras can vary drastically in price, with our cheapest starting at £99.99, and the most expensive up to £499.99.

This may seem intimidating at first, but this is actually great news for you as it means you have plenty of choices to make a dash cam purchase comfortably fit your budget.

As you go up the price range, you will see added features, improved quality & design, and increased reliability. Because of this, your needs and expectations from a dash camera will dictate how much it will be for you.

When we help people to decide what dash cam they should get, there are generally 3 different mindsets which people fit into. So, this article will go through these and try to answer the question of “how much is a dash cam” for each one.

I Want Something Cheap And Basic, But Reliable

If you are looking for a cheaper car camera which gets the job done, it doesn’t have to cost you a lot.

With high-quality budget options such as the Thinkware F70, you are able to get a solid dash camera stripped of the complex features for something reliable and cheap that does the job.

The Thinkware F70 records the front of your vehicle in 1080p HD at 30 frames per second. This is good enough to capture the details you need such as number plates.

This camera also comes with an additional GPS antenna by default, allowing speed and location data to be recorded alongside the footage.

An 8gb Micro SD card is supplied which is enough to record 1 hour of footage before it begins to overwrite. However, the camera has the capacity for up to 64gb.

This is a fantastic option which only costs £99.99

Click here to see the Thinkware F70.

Thinkware F70 Dash Cam

I Want Something High Quality But Without The Added Features

When looking into the mid-range section of dash cams, you have a lot of choices.

However, in terms of quality and value for money, the Thinkware F200-2CH is a clear winner – and is also one of our best selling cameras.

The Thinkware F200-2CH records the front of your vehicle in 1080p HD at 30 frames per second, and from the rear in 720p HD. Improved night vision and clarity is another improvement seen in this model from previous versions.

This car camera has built-in WiFi which allows you to connect to the camera via the smartphone app. This means you can remotely access, download, or review footage without having to get the SD card. Very convenient.

The GPS antenna is optional with the Thinkware F200 and can be purchased for an additional £24.99. This keeps the cost down for those of you who are not interested in getting the GPS information.

The F200 comes with a 16gb Micro SD Card as standard and can be upgraded up to 128gb of storage.

For a front and rear dash camera system that only costs £169.99, there is no better option.

Click here to see the Thinkware F200-2CH.

Thinkware F200 Dash Cam

I Want The Best Dash Cam Possible With All Features

If you want the absolute best for your vehicle, then BlackVue is the way to go.

Their premium line of dash cams boasts extensive features and impressive design, and the BlackVue DR900S-2CH is no exception.

The DR900S-2CH is a top of the range dash camera recording in 4K Ultra HD from the front camera and 1080p HD from the rear. This uses an 8MP Sony CMOS sensor allowing crystal clear footage during both the day and night. A 162° ultra wide angle lens is also a key feature of the DR900S’ recording.

Along with this, built-in WiFi & GPS are standard, allowing you to remotely review or download footage and location details when connected to the camera via the smartphone app.

Aside from the 4K Ultra HD recording quality, perhaps the most impressive feature is the BlackVue cloud access.  This allows you to remotely view the live camera feed and vehicle tracking, receive mobile alerts when your camera’s sensors are triggered, and store footage on the cloud, rather than on your phone, computer, or SD card.

The recording quality, design, and features of this dash cam are unparalleled. It is the best option if you want a top of the range dash cam for your vehicle.

Click here to see the BlackVue DR900S-2CH.

BlackVue DR900S Dash Cam

Why A Dash Cam Is Worth Investing In

Just because you can afford to invest in a dash cam, should you? Absolutely.

Below are just some of the reasons why you should invest in a dash cam.

Save Money

A benefit that offers a more immediate return on investment is that a dash cam can provide you with discounted insurance premiums.

Many motorists don’t realise this is a possibility, by the number of insurers providing these discounts in rapidly growing for any drivers with a fitted dash cam.

If you spend £200-£250 getting a dash cam which is professionally installed and see that returned in insurance savings over the course of 24 months or less, then its a no-brainer.

This is hugely beneficial for new and young drivers who often have issues facing extortionate car insurance rates. Also, it is a fact that new drivers are among the most likely to be involved in a road traffic accident.

Although there is no hard proof, there has been research to suggest drivers with a dash cam are less likely to drive recklessly as they are acutely aware that they’re being recorded.

Crash For Crash

Crash For Crash is a car insurance scam that has constantly been on the rise over the last few years.

This involves an accident being staged where the innocent driver looks to be at fault, whereas in reality – it was caused by the other driver.

This could involve the driver in front of you suddenly slamming on their breaks, aiming to make you hit them. Or another example would be flashing you to go at a junction, but then continuing to drive on and hit you.

Without video evidence to prove who was at fault for the accident, in most of these situations, you will appear to be guilty. Because of this, you will face fines of vehicle damage, personal damage, and more which often reach £10,000+.

Having video evidence of the incident not only proves your innocence so you can avoid these charges, but also drastically decreases the time taken to process your insurance claim.

Being involved in an accident is stressful enough without having the worry of a length claims process hanging over you. With a dash cam, you can avoid unnecessary costs, retain your no-claims benefits, and give yourself that extra piece of mind when driving.

Public Security

When your vehicle becomes stationary, most dash cameras will switch to parking mode.

Whilst in parking mode the dash cam will shut down unnecessary features such as GPS but will enable motion detection and the G-sensor.

If the vehicle is knocked, or if movement is detected around the vehicle, recording will begin.

This is incredibly useful when leaving your vehicle in a public place. It can capture crucial evidence if someone reverses into your vehicle, hits it with their door, and more.

Still need some advice?

Use the contact form below or call us on 01865 598 599 to speak to one of our experts.

 

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UK Drivers Lose £1,317 Per Year To Congestion

London Congestion Costs To UK Drivers

London Congestion Costs To UK DriversStudies from 2018 data published by INRIX have revealed that on average, drivers in the UK lose £1,317 every year from sitting in congested traffic. The top offenders being London with 227 hours lost, and Birmingham with 134 hours lost due to congestion, per driver, each year.

London drivers lost up to £1,860 per year due to this congestion, followed by Edinburgh (£1,219), Manchester (£1,157) and Leicester (£1,145). Liverpool had the lowest cost of congestion among the UK cities studied at £878 per driver.

The average congestion time across the UK came out as 178 hours a year, totalling a cost of £7.9 billion to drivers. This shocking data has brought attention to the issue, which if left “unaddressed, it will continue to have serious consequences for national and local economies, businesses and citizens in the years to come,” said Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX.

Trevor Reed continued “In order to avoid traffic congestion becoming a further drain on our economy, it is increasingly obvious that authorities need to adapt. With the help of new and innovative intelligent transportation solutions, we can begin to tackle the mobility issues we face today.”

Glynn Barton, director of network management at Transport for London (TfL), said: “We are taking bold action to reduce congestion and improve London’s poor air quality. This includes removing the Congestion Charge exemption for private hire vehicles and reducing the time taken to clear up unplanned incidents, ensuring that roadworks by utility companies and others are better coordinated. We are also working with the freight industry to encourage more efficient deliveries across the capital.”

“To directly tackle poor air quality, we are ensuring that buses, taxis and private hire vehicles are as green as possible, alongside the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone this April.

“In delivering the Mayor’s ambitious plans for 80% of all journeys to be made by public transport, walking or cycling by 2041, our plans will further help tackle congestion across London.”

With London Ranking in the top 10 worst cities for congestion out of the 38 countries assessed, it is clear that this is a cause of concern. We can expect to see large pushes on public transport, improvements to the implementation of road works, and more in order to reduce congestion time across the UK as a whole, helping to save drivers more money. £1,317 can pay for a lot of miles!

 

For our full range of dash cams and installation options, click here.
If you would like to speak to one of our experts to find the most suitable option for you, please fill in the contact form below, or give us a call on 01865 598599.

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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.

 

 

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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.