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What is a dash cam? A guide for small businesses

Take a look at our detailed dash cam snapshot, explaining everything you need to know about these handy devices…


Dashboard cameras, more commonly known as dash cams, are enjoying new heights of popularity these days. Available in different shapes and sizes, these dynamic devices offer a wide range of benefits for businesses across the UK, and are being used by everyone from fleets of trucks and lorries to taxi drivers and police officers.

In simple terms, these devices continually record the road ahead, or the road behind as well depending on the camera – but they are anything but simple pieces of tech.

But what can dash cams do for your business exactly? Well, with dash cam recordings, you can protect your drivers and easily settle insurance claims, saving your business heaps of time and money. Dash cams also encourage safer driving, which should minimise the risk of road incidents, while keeping your fuel consumption down due to fuel-efficient driving.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are many different types of dash cam with different features, offering different benefits. Read on for more detail, and to see why dash cams should be mounted to the top of your company’s priority list.

What is a dash cam?

A dash cam sits on your vehicle’s dashboard and continually records the road ahead. The footage can either be stored on a memory card, or automatically sent to a fleet management software platform via the Cloud or wifi. Dash cams are mainly used to prove who was at fault after an incident, and for providing clear evidence for insurance claims.

How does a dash cam work?

Dash cams can either be powered via the vehicle’s battery outlet, connected via the electrical system, or even hardwired in. Suitable for all vehicle types, dash cams can be easily attached to and detached from the windscreen using a suction cup or sticky pad.

Different dash cams have different logistics. For example, if your dash cam is hardwired, the camera will automatically turn on with the engine, so you won’t need to worry about turning the camera off and on. Also, if it’s connected via the cigarette lighter, you don’t need to think about charging your device.


What are the different types of dash cam?

There are many different types of dash cams, so it’s important that you find the perfect device to suit your fleet management needs. Let’s dive into the world of dash cams in more detail…

Front and rear dash cam

Otherwise known as a dual or dual-facing dash cam, these dash cams record the road ahead and the road behind at the same time – either within the same device, or with a second camera placed on the vehicle’s rear.

These devices are particularly useful for truck and lorry fleets, providing the driver with a 180-degree view while on the road. Essentially, front and rear dash cams can protect your business against insurance claims if your vehicle is hit from behind.

What is a front view dash cam?

As the name would suggest, a front view dash cam records everything in front of the driver. These are the most common type of dash cam, and are suitable for all types of fleets and vehicles, offering clear footage of the road ahead.

What is an internal camera dash cam?

Sometimes called ‘cabin view cameras’, internal dash cams record the inside of the vehicle. These cameras are particularly useful for taxi drivers who want an extra element of safety while driving late at night.

Internal cameras are also great for discouraging distracted driving – for example, if the cabin is being recorded, the driver in question is far less likely to use their phone. For fleets, safer driving saves lives, and money.

What is an external camera dash cam?

An external dash cam is mounted outside of the vehicle to remove any blind spots, providing a wide angle recording which is usually fed straight onto a screen within the cabin. These cameras are ideal for large and wide vehicles, or for vans that don’t have a back windscreen.

Are there 360-degree view dash cams?

360-degree view dash cams are the cream of the crop. They exist, but aren’t particularly common. A dual facing dash cam should suffice for most fleets, and you can always purchase an exterior rear dash cam to provide an even wider, safer view of the road behind.

Find out more about how a dash cam can benefit your business and start comparing quotes today by filling in the form at the top of this page


Why get a dash cam? The benefits for business

Man using dash cam

Installing a dash cam will protect both your drivers and your vehicles. They can save you time and money on insurance claims by proving who was at fault, and encourage safer driving by monitoring any hazardous behaviour. A dash cam can also protect your vehicles from theft – provided it has parking mode.

Save time and money on insurance claims

With dash cam footage, you can prove who was at fault after an incident, which can save you paying out on insurance claims unnecessarily. With such clear evidence, you can also save your business months of hassle dealing with the claims process, getting your vehicles back on the road far more quickly.

 Encourage safer driving

Just think – if your journey is being recorded and monitored by a fleet manager, are you likely to speed, brake harshly, or swerve through traffic? We doubt it. Dash cams will encourage drivers to maintain a safe level of driving, which can also save your business money on fuel consumption.

Insurance discounts

Some insurance providers will offer discounts – usually between 10% and 15% – to businesses that have dash cams installed. Naturally, this can save your business plenty of cash down the line.

Want more peace of mind for your fleet? Vehicle tracking software allows you to monitor whether your vehicles are being driven safely and efficiently. Find out more in ‘What is vehicle tracking?


How much does a dash cam cost?

Like most tech products, dash cam prices will vary depending on how many features or cameras you need, and the overall quality of the camera(s). Naturally, you want to avoid the cheaper products – which can cost as little as £20 – because they won’t have the specs to support a modern-day business.

Dual facing dash cams are the perfect partner for most modern-day fleets, providing front and rear footage which can keep your drivers safe and save your business money in the long run. For these devices, you’ll usually pay anything between £250 and £400 per camera.

What features does my dash cam need?

Dash cams come with a wide range of features to help your fleet’s drivers stay safe on the road. But what are the most important dash cam features?

What is a wifi dash cam?

A wifi dash cam is connected by, well, wifi. This means you can instantly download the cam’s recorded footage to your smartphone or tablet. You can then easily share that footage to insurance providers, the police, or simply to your friends and family. This feature gives you lots of flexibility when it comes to reviewing footage.

Dash cam with GPS

These particular dash cams will keep track of the vehicle’s speed and location, and can sometimes provide real time updates to the fleet management system. This particular feature is ideal for planning efficient routes, which can also save you money on fuel.

You can save even more money on fuel using fuel cards for small businesses. Find out more and compare quotes. 

What is parking mode on dash cams?

Not to be confused with parking sensors, parking mode on dash cams is used to record footage while the vehicle is left unattended. When turned on, the parking mode feature will record any physical movement from outside which can help to identify thieves or vandals.

Also, if your dash cam has a G-Sensor (also called a motion sensor), it can detect whenever the vehicle has been hit, even when no one is around. Parking mode is a useful feature if you are concerned about the safety of your vehicle when it’s parked, or if you are working in an area with high vehicle-related crime rates.

Some dash cams also come with night vision. These cameras provide high-quality footage around the clock, which can prove useful for long-haul drivers. On top of that, some dash cams come with motion sensor features, which means they can detect and automatically start recording whenever your vehicle is hit – even when you are parked with the engine off.


Next steps: be informed before you buy a dash cam

It’s always a good idea to compare your options before making a final decision. As you can see, there are many types of dash cams out there, offering a variety of features which could all benefit your business.

The best way to find the perfect dash cam for your business is by talking to the dash cam experts themselves.


FAQs

Are dash cams legal?

Yes – dash cams are completely legal to use on roads across the UK. However, there are some restrictions to think about. For example, the dash cam cannot obstruct your view while driving, and you’ll need to verbally notify other people if you are recording the vehicle’s interior.

What is a dash cam video?

The dash cam video is the footage that has been recorded. Depending on your fleet management software, you can view this video on your phone or tablet via the Cloud or wifi, or you can download the footage to your computer using the dash cam’s memory card.

What is loop recording on a dash cam?

Loop recording allows your dash cam to continually record footage even if it runs out of memory. It does this by replacing old footage with new footage each time the SD card reaches its file size limit. This means you don’t need to worry about constantly replacing your memory cards.

Do you already use a dash cam? Compare quotes today

Dan Barraclough

Dan writes about business products and service for B2B site Expert Market, earning the moniker Dash Cam Dan for his contributions to its dash cam section.

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