Beginners Guide to Using a Dash Cam: Is a Car Dash Cam Necessary?

16 April 2024

Considering buying a dash cam for your car? They've become increasingly popular for a reason - they provide a vital record of your journeys. With this guide, we aim to offer a clear and concise overview of everything you need to know before selecting and installing a dash cam in your car. We will tell you why you need a dash cam for security, and even offer some of our favourite dash cams for your consideration.

What is a dash cam used for?

Quite simply, a car dash cam is mounted in your camera to keep a clear record of events, no matter where you travel. Car dash cams aren’t for vlogging or capturing scenic visions but for security purposes. You can keep your dash cam in your car, and it can even keep recording when your car is off, which is excellent for insurance purposes.

If you are on the road for long periods for work or travel, a dash cam fronts up whenever you have to, and with the increased risk of an accident due to your circumstances, a dash cam helps out when you need to tell your side of the story. There are car dash cams available that offer a rear view of your vehicle, while some dash cams even provide a cabin view, which is perfect for taxi or Uber drivers - this provides a bit of security, as you are opening your doors to strangers.

Beginners Guide to Using a Dash Cam: Is a Car Dash Cam Necessary?Beginners Guide to Using a Dash Cam: Is a Car Dash Cam Necessary?

Are dash cams easy to use?

Beginners Guide to Using a Dash Cam: Is a Car Dash Cam Necessary?Beginners Guide to Using a Dash Cam: Is a Car Dash Cam Necessary?

Are you wondering how a car dash cam works? Depending on the dash cam model, it will either be powered using a built-in battery, or it will run off your car battery, using a 12V cable. While people are automatically concerned that their dash cam will drain their car battery, many modern dash cams, such as the Nextbase range, feature automatic shut-off  - this cuts off the power supply to the dash cam when the car's battery gets below a certain charge level.

Dash cams commonly offer continuous loop recording, which means they constantly record footage while powered on. What happens when the memory card is full? The dash cam will delete older files and keep recording new footage. If an incident occurs and you need your footage, it is stored in manageable small files, rather than one long continuous stream. This makes it easy to pinpoint an incident. Remember, with a larger memory card more footage can be stored before your dash cam needs to record over it. So, check your dash cam's user manual for compatibility and opt for a high-capacity memory card.

Choosing the right dash cam for you and your car

Most car dash cams are incredibly simple and easy to operate and install, so you don't need a specific model for your car. When deciding which car dash cam is best for you, your choice should be based on your desired features.

Mounting your car dash cam should be simple and reliable while powering it on is quick as a flash. Look for features that are important to you, such as video resolution if you want to experience clearer footage on playback and a wide-angle lens that captures more of the road in front, which negates the risk of missing something important.

Dash cams with GPS add some additional measures which are great for insurance claims, such as your exact location and the travelling speed, while WiFi connectivity makes it possible to control settings and view recordings on your smartphone or tablet, which saves you connecting your dash cam or memory card to a computer. Some models also offer voice control, so you can make the most of your dash cam in a safe and timely manner.

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