Dash Cams: UK Legal Guide

Dash Cams: UK Legal Guide

More drivers are choosing to install Dash Cams in their vehicles, from cars to taxis to lorries, to protect themselves against incidents that might occur on the roads. Depending on the model you choose, you can record what’s happening on the road ahead, as well as what’s going on behind you and inside the car. Because of this, many people are left wondering whether there are Dash Cam laws that they need to adhere to.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at the legalities around installing a Dash Cam in your car, from the legal placement of a Dash Cam in the UK to the Dash Cam Warning Sticker law.

Dash Cam Laws UK: Are Dash Cameras illegal?

So, what is a Dash Cam? Dash Cameras, commonly referred to as Dash Cams, record what’s going on around a car, including in front, behind and sometimes inside the cabin. They are not illegal and drivers do not require any special permissions to use them on UK roads. There are some Dash Cam laws in the UK, however, around where they can be placed on the windscreen. We’ll take a look at this below. 

Are Dash Cams allowed in the UK?

Yes, Dash Cams are allowed in the UK, and it is perfectly legal for anyone to install and use one in a vehicle on UK roads. More and more UK motorists are either buying them or seriously considering doing so because of the many benefits they bring.

These benefits include protection from unwarranted blame in the case of being involved in an accident or ‘crash-for-cash’ scam, as well as saving money on car insurance simply by having one installed. Other benefits of using a Dash Cam include being able to capture evidence of dangerous driving or excessive speeding and share it directly with the police forces across England and Wales through Nextbase’s national Dash Cam safety portal.

Legal placement of Dash Cams in the UK

Dash Cam laws in the UK state that a Dash Cam must be installed safely, and not obstruct the driver’s vision of the road ahead in any way. Specifically, the Highway Code states that nothing should intrude more than 40mm into the area of the windscreen swept by the wiper blades. Failure to follow this legal requirement correctly could result in a fine, and any footage recorded on a Dash Cam that is not legally placed could become inadmissible. Read our guide to find out how to install your Dash Cam correctly.

Dash Cam warning stickers: What are they?

Dash Cam laws in the UK state that if you share your car with other passengers and it’s not just solely for personal use, you’ll need to let the passengers of your car know that you’re recording. This is because Dash Cams record footage and some can even record sound inside the car, which can result in a breach of privacy.

For fleet and commercial vehicles like taxi drivers, minicab drivers and coach drivers, the Dash Cam sticker law in the UK means you can keep your passengers informed easily by placing a sticker inside your vehicle. This lets passengers know you’re recording for your safety while also showing you’re adhering to Dash Cam laws in the UK.

Are Dash Cams illegal in Europe?

The situation in the UK, where Dash Cams are not illegal, is different to some other countries, and so it pays to carefully check the rules for each new destination you plan to visit.

Dash Cams are legal in most countries in Europe, but not on all roads everywhere. The only countries which currently forbid use of a Dash Cam are Portugal and Austria. Using a Dash Cam also used to be illegal in Germany, but the law has changed and they are now not only legal there, but also becoming increasingly popular too.

While most countries don’t ban Dash Cams outright, it is important to check whether there are any local regulations or restrictions governing their use before you drive overseas, as some have rules about who can view Dash Cam footage, or where it can be shared, which could result in fines if they are broken.

Is it legal to have a video camera in your car?

Yes, it is perfectly legal to have a video camera in your car. There is no law at all against fitting and using a Dash Cam in your car on UK roads. Additionally, there are no obstructions to filming roads in the UK and sharing any footage with the police or insurance companies.

The only legal requirement is to make sure that the camera is fitted on the front windscreen in a way that does not obscure the driver’s vision or block the view of any part of the road ahead. The best way to achieve this is to fit it in the top centre of the windscreen, behind the rear-view mirror, so that it doesn’t hamper the driver’s view and can record what is happening on both sides of the road.

Fitting and using a Dash Cam actually makes the roads safer for both you and other drivers. If you’re involved in an accident, or any other kind of incident on the road, it can be used to prove to both the police and your insurance company that you were not at fault. If you are going on holiday, it’s a great idea to buy one for additional peace of mind and another layer of protection as you drive on unfamiliar roads, possibly in a country where you don’t speak the language.

Having a Dash Cam fitted often also results in lower insurance premiums, saving money. And if you capture any dangerous driving, it is also possible to share footage with police. But do remember the Dash Cam is not just capturing other drivers – the police can also request it, or use it in evidence if you are suspected or accused of an offence such as speeding. Tampering with the footage in such circumstances can also be an offence.

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