We get a lot of our customers asking us as they are negotiating their lease contracts on whether or not dashboard camera recording equipment (dashcams) are mandatory or recommended for their vehicle, as technology gets better and better and dash cams are becoming better quality and more reliable when they are recording and when you need to play it back we're realising that perhaps we should write an article on our advice regarding dashcams and leased cars.
What is a dashcam?
For the uninitiated, a dash cam is a small camera that has been designed to continuously record the view through a person's front windscreen (and sometimes with more expensive models, the back). The very basic dash cams record at a wide angle and save the footage to a small SD card which is plugged in. The dash cam is usually powered by a cable attached to the vehicle's USB port, 12V port, powered directly by the car's battery or powered by stand alone batteries.
The camera itself can either be attached via a sucker which attaches to the windscreen, it can be attached to the back of the rear view mirror or it can be propped up on the dashboard itself. The most common method is at the back of a rear view or via the sucker. As long as it gets a clear view in front of you it doesn't matter.
Dashcams to come in all shapes and sizes and the quality can vary from one to another so it's worth shopping around to find the one which suits your needs, vehicles and budget. Some may be in a much better resolution and some may have additional anti-glare lens to ensure the recording is as crisp and clear as possible.
What is a dashcam for?
A dashcam is designed to record what the driver can see this includes driving accidents or other events which can occur on the roads. The most common use for a dashcam is to record road traffic accidents (RTAs) to be used for insurance claim purposes or to prevent fraudulent claims.
Recorded footage of an accident can put it beyond any doubt who is at fault making a legal claim much easier and smoother for the victim and can completely eradicate the possibility of anyone successfully claiming against you if it wasn't your fault or if they were trying to commit a crash for cash crime.
Dashcams can also be used to capture events around the car and doesn't necessarily need to happen in transit, however this would not be the primary use of a dashcam. Some dashcams can have motion sensors and may record people trying to steal your vehicle or an RTA while your car was stationary.
Should I get a dashcam for my lease car?
Getting a dashcam for a leased vehicle is not a must and it's not something that is actively pushed by us - we do not endorse any dashcam over another or make any comments regarding specific insurance companies or policies.
That being said, we can make general comments on the benefits of a dashcam in regard to a leased vehicle to help you make an informed decision based on your own research and judgement.
Benefits of a dashcam for a leased vehicle
Evidence of a RTA
Leased vehicles have a fair wear and tear policy attached with them based on which finance company you used, this means that any damage outside of this policy will need to be repaired at cost to yourself, if this damage was caused by another person and you have recorded video evidence of the person(s) at fault then this will make it much easier to potentially claim against the driver at fault so that you do not have to pay for it. If that event happened without video evidence then on some occasions this may not have gone your way.
Keep an eye on how the vehicle's driven by others
If you've leased a vehicle in your name on behalf of someone else, perhaps a child, then a dashcam can help put you at ease how they are treating the car and perhaps give you an opportunity to discipline them and offer guidance if they are not.
As we've mentioned previously, a dashcam can help prevent fraud committed by using you and your car as a victim or perpetrator. Common incidents of fraud are pedestrians throwing themselves in front of your vehicle feigning injury and of course the classic brake check forced rear end shunt. A dashcam can really make the difference here.
As a theft deterrent
If you have a dashcams which has a 360 degree camera and a motion sensor then it could act as a deterrent for potential thieves, this is only on the condition though that they are aware of it before or during an unsuccessful attempt. However, some modern dashcams can upload footage via 4G so that even if the thieves manage to steal the actual dashcam then the footage is still safe.
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