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Does having a dash cam lower my car insurance costs? (UD2-49 test)

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  • Certain providers may offer a car insurance discount if you have a dash cam, but it isn’t guaranteed, so always check beforehand
  • Dash cams may be able to help you prove an accident wasn’t your fault when making a claim
  • You can send your dash cam footage to your insurance provider in the event of a claim

With premiums regularly hitting record highs, now more than ever it’s worth taking every step you can to get cheap car insurance. And may include installing a dash cam in your car.

Below we take a look at when a dash cam can lower your insurance costs, how you can send your footage to your provider, and what to be aware of before buying one. 

What is a dash cam?

A dash cam is a small camera that is usually stuck to the top of your windscreen, or mounted on your dashboard. It makes time-stamped audio and video recordings as you drive around, meaning you can prove exactly when and how an accident happened in the event of a car insurance claim.

There are different types of dash cams you can choose from:

  • Front view dash cams: these record the road in front of you as you are driving, and are usually the cheapest models
  • Rear view dash cams: these record the road and vehicle behind you as you are driving
  • Front and back view dash cams: these record both the road in front of your, and vehicles behind you, giving you the fullest overview of any incident
  • Cabin view dash cams: these record inside the cabin, and may give you extra insight into your own driving habits, while also proving you were following the rules of the road in the event of an accident

How much does a dash cam cost?

The cost of dash cams can vary wildly depending on the make and model of the device. 

For example, it is possible to get cheaper models costing around £15, as well as high-end brands that come in at close to £800. 

Can I get a discount on my car insurance if I have a dash cam?

Whether or not you can get a dash cam discount on your car insurance depends completely on the provider, and the dash cam itself. 

For example, specialist insurer Adrian Flux offers a discount worth up to 15 per cent on your premium if you have an in-car camera installed in your vehicle. But only if you install a dash cam from the provider’s pre-approved list.  

MyFirst – which specialises in cover for young drivers, new drivers, learner drivers and convicted drivers – also offers discounted dash cam insurance policies.

Similarly, dash cam manufacturer Nextbase has partnered with providers such as Ageas, Axa, KGM, and Aviva to offer a discounted insurance policy for its customers.

However, were you to purchase a policy with Aviva directly, for instance, you wouldn’t receive a discount for your dash cam.

Does my insurer need to approve my dash cam?

Normally, providers will specify which dash cams are eligible for any discount. For example, a cheap, low-quality dash cam is less likely to receive a discount than a more expensive camera that records in high definition. 

Therefore it’s always worth checking with an existing or prospective insurance provider before purchasing a dash cam to make sure it meets any requirements. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of dash cams?

Even if your provider doesn’t offer a dash cam discount, there are still reasons to install one in your car. At the same time, it’s wise to be aware of the disadvantages before purchasing an in-car camera. 

Dash cam advantagesDash cam disadvantages
It may be possible to get a discount on your car insuranceIf you were at-fault, your dash cam footage could be used against you
Dash cam footage can help you prove an accident wasn’t your fault, potentially helping you maintain your no-claims bonusExpensive models may attract thieves, as they are easy to steal
Dash cam footage can help claims resolve more quicklyIf installed incorrectly, the placement of a dash cam can be distracting when driving
Helps prevent car insurance fraud and ‘staged’ collisionsSome countries have a ban on dash cams
Can encourage both you, and the cars around you, to drive more safely
Dash cams can potentially help deter thieves
If you drive a scenic route, a dash cam can capture those memories

How do I send dash cam footage to my car insurance provider?

If you have an accident, it can be beneficial to send your dash cam footage to your car insurance provider as evidence of what happened. 

When making a claim, you can inform your provider that you have footage of the accident. You’ll normally be directed to a page where you can upload your videos. The provider can then review the footage and decide the next steps of your claim.

How you get the footage from your dash cam will depend on its make and model:

  • SD card: almost all dash cams store footage on an SD card (or microSD card). So, to upload your footage, you’ll need to remove the SD card from the camera and insert it into your computer. Depending on your computer, you may need an external SD card reader
  • USB cable: you may also be able to connect your dash cam to a computer using a USB cable, and then access your files that way
  • Wifi: if your dash cam is wifi-enabled, you’ll be able to download footage directly from your camera to your chosen device

Frequently asked questions about dash cams and car insurance

In the UK, it is completely legal to have a dash cam installed in your car. However, you should be aware if you take your car abroad that not all countries allow for dash cams, including Cyprus, Luxembourg and Portugal.

It is possible to install your dash cam yourself. However, you may choose to pay for it to be installed professionally if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, or if you want your dash cam hard-wired into your car.

By having your dash cam hard-wired, it means the camera will be recording whenever your engine is on, and any wires will be tucked away. A hard-wired dash cam can also allow you to get the most out of Parking Mode – that’s when your device records video when it detects movement, or an impact or collision, despite the ignition being off.  

Connor Campbell

Finance Writer

Connor Campbell is an experienced personal and business finance writer who has been producing online content for almost a decade. 

Connor is the personal finance expert for Independent Advisor, guiding readers through everything they need to know about car insurance and home insurance. From how much it costs to the best insurance providers in the UK, he’s here to help you find the right policy for your needs. 

In his capacity as writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, Connor explored a number of topics close to his heart, such as the impact of our increasingly cashless society, and the hardships and heroics of British entrepreneurs. His commentary was featured in sites such as The Mirror, the Daily Express and Business Insider

At financial trading firm Spreadex, meanwhile, his market commentary was featured in outlets such as The Guardian, BBC, Reuters and the Evening Standard

Connor is a voracious reader with an MA in English, and is dedicated to making life’s financial decisions a little bit easier by doing away with jargon and needless complexity.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.