There are several reasons that we buy car cameras but the main one is so that we can prove our innocence in the case of an incident; in particular, those that result in damage to our vehicles. With even cosmetic repairs running to hundreds, or even thousands of pounds, being able to show, irrefutably, that it wasn't your fault is crucial. And that's exactly what I managed to do recently, thanks to the footage from my trusty Mini 0801 dashcam.

Last November, my car was parked in a busy service station car park and, while I was inside getting some food, someone reversed into my car and decided to drive off. The impact had been significant enough that some kind Samaritan parked a few spaces away heard the crash and made a note of their registration number, but they had already been captured on my dashcam!

I had recently installed a Mini 0801 car camera and was putting it through its paces for a review, and this was to be the acid test. I checked the footage on its screen and I had captured the driver returning to their vehicle, reversing into my car, pausing to view the damage and then driving off.

The damage wasn't extreme, some paint had been scraped off my front bumper on the passenger side, but I'd only just bought the car, and as you can image, I wasn't too pleased! So what next? I had incriminating evidence, but what were the next steps towards contacting the driver and getting my car fixed? And should I be involving the police?!

I decided that considering the extent of the damage, I'd rather try to contact the driver of the vehicle directly to reach an amicable conclusion. So I did consult the police, but only to get advice on how to go about this. They advised that I should contact the DVLA, with details of the incident and see if they deemed it serious enough to divulge the other driver’s details. After some searching online, I found out that it was a V888 form that I needed to complete so I duly filled in the form, including details of why I wanted to contact the driver and shipped it off with a £2.50 postal order.

After a week or so, I received my form back, with a letter to say that they required further information about the damage and quotes for carrying out the repairs. Thankfully, several local garages and body shops were able to give approximate quotations based on photos so a few phone calls and emails later and I had a handful of quotes. I also printed off pictures of the damage to help the process along.

I'll be honest, when I received my next letter from the DVLA and I could tell before opening it that they hadn't returned my form, I thought "GOTCHA!!". I was excited as I opened the letter and was expecting to see the name and address of a total stranger who, although he didn't know it yet, would be receiving a strongly-worded letter from me soon. However, it turned out that the car was registered to a company, which changed the complexion of my plan of attack!

Damage to my vehicle

If anything it made things slightly easier, as I could contact the company by phone and try to speak to someone about the issue straight away. Within minutes I was speaking to the company's fleet manager and he confirmed that the vehicle was one of theirs. He seemed sceptical at first as I told him that one of his vehicles had caused damage to mine but he was interested to see the footage I'd captured. I managed to extract a short video clip that was of a file size that could be emailed and sent it over to him.

Within minutes, such is the undeniable power of video, he'd replied to say that the business would cover all costs!! No quibbles, no negotiation, just immediate acceptance of responsibility.

If I’m honest, I’d have liked to have spoken to the driver as it was their poor driving and their decision to drive off that caused this whole mess, causing me frustration and effort. However, under the circumstances, and after a heartfelt apology from the company, I felt satisfied. The car was booked in at the garage and when I picked it up the day after it looked as good as new.

So after purchasing my car camera, for under £100, I was saved an expense several times that, thanks to the footage it captured. If I hadn’t had the camera, I might still have been able to get in touch with the driver thanks to someone who decided to jot down their registration plate, but that’s not always going to happen and can’t be relied upon. Also, would the driver, or in this case company, have been so willing to pay if it was just my word against theirs? Probably not. They hadn’t noticed any damage on their car so why would they believe me?

We always knew that car cameras could help drivers to prove their innocence in the case of any accident and now we have the proof and we wouldn’t be without our dashcams nowadays. And with cameras like the Mini 0801, Mobius and G1W, among others, offering superb video quality for as little as £49.99, the peace of mind they offer is easily affordable and they can pay for themselves in no time at all.

Have you used your dashcam footage to successfully prove your innocence in the case of an incident? We’d love to hear from you if you have! Comment below or email us at sales@carcamerashop.co.uk.