You should fit it so that it is within the area of the windscreen which does not impede the drivers view in any way whatsoever. This is a legally defined area and care must be taken to examine the law regarding obstructions on the windscreen – you may find yourself breaking the law if you fit this incorrectly.
Due to the complexity of the law around this issue, you are advised to take legal advice.
Having said this there are a number of things we can highlight without giving you any bad advice!
- Choose a dash cam which is right for your vehicle. This means one which will fit snugly, possibly out of view, and not compromise your field of vision. It is important to identify the location you want to place the camera on your windscreen (front and/or rear) BEFORE you buy it. Some dash cams are quite large, in particular those with a built in screen, and these can take up more space than you legally have available.
- Again, in advance of making a purchase, take note of how the camera adheres to the glass. Generally there are two type, suction mounted or stuck fast with adhesive double sided tape. The suction mounted devices tend to take up quite a lot of space with the mount alone due to the diameter of the sucker itself – so take this into consideration when measuring up!
- Remember that if you use a navigation device such as a GPS mapping system like a Tom Tom, it will need its space at some point too.
- Some cameras can be removed from their mount for security. To avoid attracting thieves to your property, this can be a very handy element for consideration. Do you park your car where there are likely to be undesirables loitering and peering at your car? If so, in order to help them keep their thieving hands of your camera – remove it and take it with you. This brings us to the original point, take note of how the camera will actually detach from the mount itself – as for adhered mounts – the mount will remain. The cam will need room to slide off the mount and depending on where it is legally placed, the mirror may get in the way.
- It is illegal for you to be able to view the cam’s screen whilst in control of the car. This is either by direct vision or reflection. So if you cannot turn of the screen (if there is one), make 100% certain it is compliant with the legal requirements when positioning it.
Wiring a dash cam
When it comes to fitting the camera, many people use the lighter socket. Always carefully check the input voltage of the cam, and the output voltage on your lighter (or other type) of power socket so that you don’t cause damage to the car or the cam itself.
Hard wiring is covered elsewhere.
Make sure you do not lay the cable where it will be caught, pinched, worn or even tripped on. You may have this cable in your car for years – and it will erode if placed incorrectly.
Lighter socket splitters are available and relatively low cost too if you are on a budget, these can convert one socket into two or even four, allowing you to connect multiple devices at the same time. Ensure you take professional advice on the use of these splitter. Do not try to use one without first speaking with a professional qualified vehicle electrician to ascertain whether or not it is safe to do so with both your car AND the camera. In addition, if you are not entirely happy with the information you get – take a second opinion.