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Speed Camera Detector and In-Car Technology Buyer's Guide

Buying a speed camera detector? This guide helps you decide the best type of speed camera detector for your needs.

Driving with a speed camera detector can help save points being added to your licence and the new higher £100 fine hitting your pocket if you are caught speeding.

On the UK's roads today there's an network of fixed and mobile speed enforcement devices, using different technologies, but all with the same objective - to catch speeding motorists.

You might think the answer is simple, which is not to speed in the first place. But the truth is a roads speed limit can change in an instant, miss the new speed limit sign and if you're on one of Britain's many roads policed by a safety camera you face points and a penalty in another instant.

Did you know? Britain's top 10 most lucrative speed cameras raked in £12million in just 3 years - issuing more than 200,000 fines.

The answer is to buy and drive with a dash or windscreen mounted device which warns of speed cameras locations.

Also available to buy there are dash cams that will record events in the road ahead.

There are SIX different types of systems available these are:

1. GPS speed camera detectors
2. Radar and Laser speed camera detectors
4. Sat navs with speed camera locations
5. Smartphones with apps and or Point of Interest (POI) database
6. Dash cams

GPS Speed Camera Detectors

A standalone speed camera detector or locator provides by far the best alerts to speed camera locations. Why? Simply because the in-car device is designed to do exactly that and only that.

Windscreen or dash mounted, most devices these days utilise GPS satellite technology and a GPS database. This is crucial as newer types of speed cameras e.g. SPECs average and Truvelo are totally undetectable with the earlier radar and laser only detectors.

As well as alerting you to all types of cameras, the GPS database and detector can be programmed to additionally provide further essential information such as camera type e.g. Gatso, road speed limit, and a precise countdown to the cameras locations. Providing accurate information without any false alerts.

Read more about GPS speed camera detectors

Radar and Laser Speed Camera Detectors

As an alternative to GPS based speed camera detector you could consider a radar and laser speed camera detector instead. The disadvantage of this type of speed camera locator is that it will not warn you to ALL fixed speed cameras found on UK roads today.

Back in the early 2000's almost all fixed speed cameras on UK roads were radar based Gatso cameras (as pictured right). When approaching a fixed Gatso with a radar detector the driver would receive an audio/visual alert on the screen or via the speaker of the radar detector.

However, these days fixed Gatso speed cameras are the exception rather than the rule. Truvelo, Truvelo D-Cam, SPECS, VECTOR and many other fixed cameras these days DO NOT use radaror laser technology. Therefore, you will ONLY receive alerts to these fixed cameras via an up-to-date and accurate GPS speed camera database.

Read more about radar and laser speed camera detectors.

Sat Navs with Speed Camera Locations

A sat nav coupled with a downloaded GPS database of speed camera locations is as good as a lot of the standalone GPS only detectors. However there are databases and then there are databases. Whereas with a dedicated speed camera detector where the GPS database is updated at least once a week or more, third party databases which you can download to your sat nav (sometimes free) may be updated far less frequently.

It's all very well to have a database, but if that database isn't up-to-date and you come across a camera that's not included, then the database hasn't served you well at all.

Some speed camera detector companies such as Snooper, have in recent years added satellite navigators to their product range. These devices have the same databases as their standalone detectors.

The Snooper S6800 sat nav (pictured left) additionaly features MY-SPEED XL. This new feature from Snooper displays in large format your vehicles speed and the speed limit of the road on the 7-inch display.

It is also worth noting that sat navs won't provide alerts to radar and laser mobile sites as there aren't any units equipped with radar/laser detection. You would either need to consider buying a standalone radar or laser detector or a GPS based speed camera detector with radar and laser.

Read more about in-car navigators with speed camera locations.

Smartphones and Speed Camera Apps/Databases

Just like in-car satellite navigation devices, it's also possible to download and drive with speed camera apps or databases on GPS enabled smartphones like the Apple iPhone.

Speed camera apps or points of interest (POI) databases can provide alerts to both fixed and mobile speed camera sites. Some display the camera locations on Google Maps while others use a graphic which takes over the complete screen of your android or smartphone.

While most apps or databases are simply that and don't provide any form of detection to live mobile or fixed Gatso speed cameras, there is an exception, which is the Snooper Cobra i-radar. This device couples an app to use on a compatible smartphone or android phone with a plug in radar and laser detector. So it's possible to turn your smartphone into a dedicated speed camera detector which is as good as the real thing!

Read more about smartphones with speed camera locations.

In-Car Cameras

An accident camera can be mounted on your vehicles dashboard or to the windscreen. You will then be able to continuously record events in the road ahead. Plus some car cameras will also record events behind your vehicle.

Some car cameras such as the Snooper DVR-5HD (pictured left) also feature a screen. The advantage of having a screen is that you can playback video that you have recorded at the roadside to use as evidence to prove who was at fault in the event of an incident/accident.

With some insurance companies you will also save money by using an in-car camera. Read more here.

Read more about dash cams.

Last updated: 11th September 2023