(Photo Credit: Thinkware Dash Cam)
Owning a car camera, or dashcam, is really important for drivers in Singapore. In this article, we’ll cover the importance of owning one and the things you should look out for when purchasing one for your car.
Believe it or not, but a car camera is a vital, and almost necessary, tool to have in your vehicle. It not only protects you and your loved ones, but also your vehicle while you're out driving.
Although Singapore roads are fairly easy to navigate, it doesn't mean accidents won't occur. And if one happens, you will need to rely on your car camera to provide video evidence to help you with your insurance claim. Otherwise, it will be a classic case of shifting the blame between the parties involved.
In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about a camera camera, and why you should own one in Singapore. We'll also highlight some pointers when picking up a dash cam for your vehicle.
What is a Car Camera?
(Photo Credit: Car Magazine)
It is basically a small in-car camera that you can attach to your dashboard (or windscreen). It automatically starts recording once you switch on your car, and records whatever is in front of you. There are also some cameras that come with 'Parking Mode'. These cameras will continue recording even when your vehicle is parked.
There are also rear cameras that are essentially the same, except that they’re located at the back of the car.
These days more and more drivers are affixing dashcams to their vehicles. In fact, it's almost rare to see a car without one.
Let's take a look at the reasons why it's vital to have one in your car.
They Help to Record Accident Footage
(Photo Credit: The Straits Times)
This one is a given. It’s the main reason to own a car camera!
If you ever get into an accident (touch wood!), the recorded footage would come in handy when you’re filing your accident report as it gives the authorities a clearer idea of what happened.
Additionally, when your insurer can see who really is at fault for the accident, it will help greatly when you’re making your claims. Also, if you’re less than 20% at fault for the accident, you can keep your No Claim Discount (NCD) from reducing.
There also might be instances when you become a witness of an accident. If you have clear footage of the incident, you could assist the affected parties. Not only would it help settle any dispute, but it can also assist them with their claims.
By the way, did you know we launched a side project called mWitness? It is an initiative that encourages drivers to share video evidence of road accidents. You can do this through the Motorist App or through our website.
They Record Even When Your Car is Parked
(Photo Credit: Mothership)
Parked cars aren’t safe from danger either. There have been multiple reports of hit-and-run accidents in parking lots, but how can car cameras help?
Some cameras have 'Parking Mode', where it records even when your car’s engine is not running. Some brands even have “night vision”, which allows you to record clear footage even in the darkness of the night.
If your camera detects an impact to your car, it’ll start recording, and you’ll have an easier time finding the person who hit your vehicle.
The presence of a car camera can also deter thieves from breaking into your car, since they know they’ll be caught on camera committing the felony.
They Help to Save You Money
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You’re probably wondering how a car camera can save you money, when they already cost a fair bit in the first place.
Reiterating the point of insurance claims, you’d have to pay an excess when you get into an accident, unless your liability for the accident is below 20%. If your insurers know that the accident wasn’t your fault, they wouldn’t ask you to pay any money for the damage, thereby saving you cash.
Also, some insurers actually give you a lower premium if you own a car camera. For example, Direct Asia actually gives you a 4% discount off your premium if you have (minimally) a front car camera.
What to Take Note of Before Buying a Dash Cam
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Of course, there are quite a few factors that you’d have to consider before purchasing a car camera. It’s all up to personal preference, so you should think through it before confirming the transaction.
Probably the most obvious factor on the list is your budget. There are some basic dash cams that cost below S$100, while superior models can skyrocket to S$600.
It goes without saying that the more expensive cameras would come with more features, but that’s another factor. However, if you’re okay with the basic use of recording footage, a cheaper model will suffice.
Some reputable car camera brands in Singapore are Thinkware and Blackvue, but their products tend to be on the costlier side. Cheaper alternatives are Xiaomi and YI Technology, which are better for those on a budget.
If you’re willing to fork out a bit more for a better model, here are some features you could consider before the purchase:
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Night Vision
- Parking Mode (Overnight Recording)
- Polarising Filter
- 4K Resolution
- Alexa (Voice Control)
Usually the more expensive models would have these extra features, but more basic dash cams will consist of the following:
- Loop Recording
- G-sensor (Collision Detection)
- HD Resolution (720p/1080p)
- Speed/Date Stamp
Some car cameras come with screens, while others are small and compact with just the camera. Of course, if it came with a screen, it would cost more, but sometimes it’s worth paying extra to see the footage that your camera is recording.
On the other hand, some drivers may find the screen distracting and blocking their vision, so they may choose to settle for a camera without the screen.
All in all, a car camera is a great investment for motorists
out there. It will not only help you, but fellow drivers as well. We believe
that every driver out there should install a car camera, and remain aware that in
this day and age, everything can be caught on camera.
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