Our neverending desire for all of the latest technological gadgets can be a major drain on our finances. But certain bits of gear can actually save you money and in some instances turn a profit as well.
Dashboard cameras – commonly know as “dashcams” – are wired into your car and set up to automatically turn on and start recording when the car is started. They come with built-in memory and record on a continuous loop, ensuring that you never miss an accident. Better dashcams record in HD and feature G-force sensors that automatically save moments of high G-force – generally during a collision or another impact – and protect these from being overwritten.
In November last year, insurance giant Aviva reported that the level of organised fraud was already 21% higher than in the whole of 2014. It said that more than 50% of its fraudulent motor injury claims were being made by organised gangs. According to the Metropolitan Police, these scams could be adding an extra £50 to £100 to the annual premiums of honest drivers.
High quality dashboard cameras produce high resolution footage and are simple to set up and use. A dashcam can prove who was at fault in a collision beyond reasonable doubt or protect you from false claims. Some insurers offer up to 12.5% off your insurance premium if you have a dashcam fitted.
Buyers guides like Which, Consumer Reports as well as Amazon reviews can help you choose a good piece of kit for your budget.
But one thing that dashcam buyers guides don’t tell you is that you can make money from your dashcam footage.
We’ve all seen “clip shows” like ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’, ‘Tosh.0’, ‘Ridiculousness’ and ‘Caught On Camera’. Clip shows are a very reliable genre in televised entertainment all over the world. They’re easy to produce (because all the footage is captured by regular people) and wildly popular.
Companies like Raw Cut Archive specialize in providing clips to these shows and need new material every day. There is a high demand for every fail, fender-bender, jaywalking mishap, insurance scam, and epic crash. The best clips are often licenced multiple times year after year, in several different countries. This licensing income can add up. If you capture the right clip you may never have to pay for petrol or maintenance again.
If this Russian driver hadn’t installed a dashcam, the world would not have born witness to this clip. A clip that has been sold a dozen times, each time netting licensing fees to the owner.
GPS: GPS location tracking will allow you to pinpoint your exact location at the time of the crash. It will also show the route you have traveled, and the speed you were going. This could be useful in building up a picture of exactly what happened in a crash.
Parking mode: a parking mode will allow your dashboard camera to automatically start recording if it detects a collision or impact while you’re parked. This can be very useful for seeing who bumped your car or left a nasty scrape on your door while using a busy car park.