More than one million dash-cams are now used in cars – ‘spying’ on what other motorists do in a bid to drive down car insurance.
According to retail analyst GfK, sales have risen six-fold in just three years with the dash-cam becoming the latest must-have gadget for the car.
Over the next two years, the popularity of the gadget could be such that one in five of the 30 million motorists in Britain will have a dash-cam installed in their car.
The gadgets, that cost anything between £50 and £200, usually come with a suction pad that attaches to the windscreen behind the rear view mirror. Most record what is going on in front of your vehicle.
More than one million dash-cams are now used in cars – ‘spying’ on what other motorists do in a bid to drive down car insurance (file photo)
The camera can be used to help with an insurance claim if you are involved in an accident where the other driver disputes blame. The device usually records on an hour-long loop and for each new journey automatically starts recording.
Motorists are already routinely paying more than £800 a year for fully comprehensive car insurance, but this can double if you are found responsible for a crash.
Comparison website uSwitch says a quarter of innocent drivers are unable to prove an accident was not their fault. But if you fit a dashboard camera, establishing proof is easier.
A spokesman for motoring organisation the AA says: ‘Many car accidents are not clear-cut. A dash-cam can be the answer in settling insurance disputes and claims. If the footage proves the other driver was at fault you can avoid paying any insurance excess. Evidence can also be used to protect a no-claims discount and deter car thieves.’
Research by the AA indicates that more than 10 per cent of its our 3.3million personal members in Britain now use a dash-cam – up from one per cent four years ago.
Its analysis also suggests the same number of drivers would like one fitted. It says: ‘There may soon be a day when they become a standard fitting for your car, much like the Sat-Nav is today.’
According to retail analyst GfK, sales have risen six-fold in just three years with the dash-cam becoming the latest must-have gadget for the car
Some insurers are now offering discounts if you are willing to put a dash-cam in the car – with providers such as Swiftcover, SureThing! and Adrian Flux cutting premiums by between 10 and 20 per cent.
Samantha Cowan, 31, from Camberley in Surrey, has a £130 Nextbase Dash Cam installed in her Volkswagen Golf. Although it has not cut her £600 annual insurance with Admiral she believes it has helped stop motorists driving dangerously.
The account manager says: ‘If someone tailgates or cuts me up I simply point to the camera when they pass and it has an immediate effect – they often give a friendly wave and drive on carefully, aware they have been caught on camera.’
In Wales the police are starting to use dash-cam footage recorded by the public to investigate driving offences, such as jumping traffic lights. If successful it may eventually be rolled out nationally.
• Start collecting for your free dash cam in this weekend’s The Mail on Sunday.