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What is the best dashcam for Uber drivers?

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Protecting your income with a dashcam is a no-brainer but the choice can feel confusing. Here’s exactly how it works for private hire drivers and why Otto Car is finally able to give everyone this peace-of-mind.   

As a PCO driver, the biggest worry is that your car is involved in an accident or you get frozen out of an operator app if an unfair complaint is made against you. Even a simple misunderstanding with a rider can lead to your account being paused and this might prevent you from working for several days.  

One reason that private hire driving is such a great way to earn a living is because it is safe for both the riders and the drivers – so it’s only right that these things are investigated properly. 

Thankfully, you can now protect yourself against these tricky situations with a dashcam. These provide video evidence of what happened on the road and easily help you to resolve the problem. 

The challenge is that dashcams vary hugely in terms of quality and the way they work. The rules for PCO drivers are also not the same as the general public and so it pays to fully understand your options.    

If you want a no-fuss option that you can rely on to work as hard as you do, the good news is that Otto Car has partnered with Uber to offer a fully TfL-approved dashcam service – previously only available to members of the Otto family – to every PCO driver from £5.99 per week. All your headaches are over. 

But first, let’s cover the basic information so that you can make the sensible decision that’s right for you. 

What exactly is a dashcam? 

Put simply, it’s a CCTV camera in your car that automatically records the road ahead so that, in the event of an accident, there is footage. Some models also have a driver-facing camera to capture what occurs inside the car. A few record the rear of the vehicle, too, but this is less relevant to PCO drivers.    

 

Are dashcams allowed for Uber drivers?

Yes – but there are rules. Some cover every type of car, while others are specific to PCO vehicles. One general rule is that The Highway Code says a driver’s view of the road must always remain unblocked. The Code describes this as any object, including mobile phones, which covers more than 40mm of the area cleaned by the windscreen wipers. This is why dashcams are fitted behind the rearview mirror.  

TfL has its own rules about CCTV (i.e. dashcams) for PCO drivers. These are far stricter, especially for driver-facing cameras, as they also record the public. For instance, there must be clear stickers to inform the riders – and no audio capture, unless it’s activated by a ‘panic button’ if the driver feels threatened. 

 

Which dashcams are approved for PCO driver

These TfL rules don’t say much about the tech specs of dashcam – other than it must be an ‘approved model’ with no viewing screen. They are much clearer on how the footage is stored, due to privacy laws. 

Most consumer dashcams only record video onto a memory card and TfL says these cards must remain  secured inside the camera and also be encrypted. Dashcams have to overwrite their older footage on a continuous loop once the card is full. The problem is that these off-the-shelf models tend to have a 32GB card, which only records about 2-3 hours at full quality. This is not long enough for a full-time PCO driver. 

By contrast, the Otto Car dashcam wirelessly uploads its footage into the cloud and the recording loop lasts a full week (depending on the hours you drive). So if a rider dispute occurs, you are far more likely to be covered and there is an emergency back-up drive inside the car, which meets all TfL regulations.   

   

Can Uber drivers fit a dashcam themselves? 

In theory, yes. Once again, the TfL rules for private hire drivers are tough and your car will fail its PHV inspection if you do not satisfy these properly. For instance, the camera must be fully secured with no loose cables – and TfL says that “temporary fixing methods such as suction cups will not be permitted”.  

 

Put simply, unless you really know what you are doing, installing a dashcam yourself is a risky idea and even many professional installers are not aware of all these TfL regulations. Why take a chance? 

How do I access the dashcam footage?

With a consumer dashcam (i.e. the type you buy in shops) you must look through the footage manually to find the right clips if there is ever a problem. Some models will let you do so on a phone – and others automatically create a flag if there is a physical accident but that won’t help you if it’s just a rider dispute.

 

However, Otto knows that for PCO drivers, time is money. This is why our team is on standby to give you its full support every step of the way. Simply tell us the approximate time and location of an incident and we’ll find the exact footage you asked for and supply this packaged-up with all the right information.  

 

This is the exact service that thousands of Otto Car drivers have enjoyed for several years – and now it’s available to every PCO driver for a small monthly fee. Whether it’s a serious insurance claim or merely resolving a rider dispute, we’ve got your back. You even get a panic button to capture audio snippets. 

What quality of dashcam do you need for Uber driving?

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by technical stuff and there are some shockingly bad models out there. The truth is that any dashcam that is TfL approved will be up to the job. In fact, models that are too high quality create their own problems. For example, cameras that shoot in 4K will fill memory cards faster. 

 

The Otto Car dashcam has two high-definition cameras that work in pretty much every type of lighting. It also goes the extra mile with several excellent features that are genuinely useful for PCO drivers:

 

  • Ultra wide-angle 160º lenses to capture road signs
  • 7-day cloud storage plus emergency backup drive*
  • Panic button for audio capture if driver is threatened
  • Automatic operation whenever car is switched on
  • Camera hardwired to car battery with no loose cables
  • Infra-red illumination for low-light conditions

*Approx loop estimate. Exact timescale depends on driving usage.

Will I get help if there is a problem?

Yes. The biggest advantage is not what’s in the box but that you will get the same support as our own drivers. With Otto Car, you are never alone because our people are here to help. Solving problems is what we do – and it’s a pleasure to welcome you to the Otto family, no matter what type of PCO car you have.

 

  • Protect your income 24/7 
  • Fully TfL-approved service
  • Expert installation with signage stickers
  • Small camera that’s super discreet 
  • Otto Car support to resolve rider disputes
  • Free downloads of dashcam footage**

 

**Subject to fair usage policy of up to five downloads per year. After that, a small fee applies.  

How does the Otto Car Dashcam scheme work?

You can join this exciting new service from just £5.99 per week with a £25 upfront installation fee (to secure the booking). Drivers can even get the dashcam moved between PCO cars for free once per year and you are free to cancel the whole thing with 30-days notice. 


To book an appointment at our Hendon hub click here or see the Otto Car website FAQ for more details.

Want to learn more?

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