Driving instructors contact us on a daily basis for advice in choosing and installing a dash camera. In this article we will share our opinion and experience in helping you decide which camera is right for you.
Firstly, one of the most common questions we get asked is- Can I keep the camera in the car on test day? In short the answer is yes. The DVSA published new guidance in September 2014, they say:
Cameras fitted for insurance purposes will be allowed providing they:
- are external facing and do not film the inside of the vehicle
- do not record audio from inside the vehicle
Read the DVSA’s full article on dash camera guidance
BlackVue Vs Thinkware
With that out of the way we can now explain why we we think that the ideal dash camera for a driving instructors is either the very popular BlackVue DR650GW-2CH or the slightly newer Thinkware F750-2CH. The table below shows the spec and features for comparison.
Side by Side Size Comparison
BlackVue DR650GW-2CH Dash Camera
The BlackVue DR650GW-2Ch has been our most popular camera among driving instructors because it offers:
- Great recording quality on both the front & rear cameras (front 1080p, rear 720p)
- Audio recording can easily be switched off
- Footage can be quickly reviewed by using the iOS, Android or Windows app
- It is relatively discreet
- All sounds can be switched off for silent operation
- Low maintenance, the SD card can be formatted by holding down a button on the camera for 12 seconds
If the dash camera is hardwired using the power magic pro you will also benefit from the parking mode feature. This means that the dash camera will continue to record and protect your vehicle when the ignition is off. Potential very useful if something occurs whilst you’re pulled over in conversation with a pupil. Also great for catching supermarket bumps!
The other great thing about the BlackVue is the shape and size. As you well know there are numerous mirrors and speed displays fighting for windscreen space. These pictures highlight how well this camera can slot into life in a driving instructors car without causing additional obstruction or distraction to the pupil.
We can offer this front & rear dash camera fully installed with a 64GB SD card and power magic pro for £484.96.
If you would rather install yourself we can provide the same package for £350.00 we will also include piggy back adapters and fuses if you would like to install from the fuse board.
Thinkware F750-2CH Dash Camera
The second option is the Thinkware F750-2CH dash camera, released this year it offers some serious competition to the BlackVue DR650.
**Note – At the time of writing the Thinkware F750-2CH does have a number of issues when using the iPad app to playback and download footage. The iPhone app however has been much improved and although we are still testing it now appears to be very stable. Thinkware are aware of the iPad issue and will hopefully correct this problem with a future app update. **
As seen in the pictures it’s a different shape to the BlackVue DR650. It is short and stumpy and mounts directly to the windscreen. It also has features that make it ideal for a DI:
- Fantastic footage, front & rear cameras record in full 1080p HD
- Easy to switch of the audio recording
- Footage can be reviewed on iOS and Android devices.
- Can also operate silently
- Is relatively discreet
- Low maintenance, the F750 also has a button which can be pressed for a few seconds to format the SD card.
The Thinkware F750-2CH has the parking mode features built into the camera, this means that as long as the camera is connected with the Thinkware hardwire kit you will benefit from additional protection when the ignition is off.
The Thinkware F750 also has a few other interesting features, it has built-in speed camera alerts and will play an audio message if you approach a speed camera. It also has lane departure and front collision warning systems that will trigger if you stray lanes or get to close to the vehicle in front. In our experience these haven’t been features used by DI’s and they can be disabled but it is worth knowing.
The other fantastic thing about the Thinkware F750-2CH is the price, for an advanced full HD front & rear dash camera system it is one of the most competitively priced cameras on the market.
We can offer the Thinkware F750-2CH professionally installed with the hardwire kit and a 64GB SD card for £414.97.
Alternatively if you are happy to install yourself we can supply the F750-2CH with the hardwire kit & 64GB SD card for £279.98 we will also include piggy back adapters and fuses if you would like to fit directly from the fuse board.
If you have any other questions feel free to give us a call, use the online chat (normally available in the bottom right of the screen) or fill in the form below and we’ll respond ASAP.