Are backup cameras required on new vehicles?

As of May 2018, all new cars are required to have backup cameras.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 19, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • All vehicles in the United States are required to have backup cameras installed as of 2018
  • There are currently no insurance discounts for having backup cameras installed
  • It’s predicted that backup cameras save dozens of lives every year, especially those of children and seniors

If you own a vehicle, you might have heard that a law was passed in 2018 involving backup cameras in vehicles. As a result, beginning May 1, 2018, all new cars in the U.S. must come equipped with backup cameras.

The backup camera law was likely put into place because of the many accidents involving children and seniors who’ve been killed by people operating vehicles in reverse without a clear line of sight. That’s why the safety features in vehicles should be constantly reevaluated to ensure that the most up-to-date solutions are being used.

Because cars have blind spots where the rearview mirrors can’t see, backup cameras add a layer of protection that ensures you have a full view of your surroundings.

Read on to learn more about backup camera laws and how they affect you.

If you’re driving a car, you need insurance, and you need it at a fair price! Compare quotes today right here to find the best coverage at the best price.

What is the backup camera law?

The backup camera law went into effect in May 2018 and requires that every new vehicle has a backup camera and video display. This means that even the least expensive vehicles on the market are now required to have backup cameras.

The goal of making backup cameras mandatory is to save the lives of children and seniors in particular. 

Some have criticized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for not acting sooner, but now that this law is in place there should be far fewer fatal accidents related to reversing a vehicle.

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If I get a backup camera will I get a discount on car insurance?

The short answer is no, you won’t. Currently, there are no car insurance discounts for having a backup camera.

However, you might pay lower premiums if you have a backup camera because, technically, it does make your car safer, which some companies reward with a discount.

The same goes for anti-lock brakes. Many insurance companies give a small discount for them. Cars made after 2012 were legally required to come equipped with anti-lock brake systems so any newer car will have them as well.

Can I install my own backup camera?

So, do you have to install a backup camera on your vehicle if it does not already have one? 

No, you don’t have to have a backup camera on cars built before the law went into effect. But you can have one installed if you’d like. 

Installing a backup camera in a vehicle that doesn’t have one can be an alternative solution to getting a whole new car. If you already own a car that doesn’t have a backup camera, you can have one installed for a decent price.

However, if you’ve purchased your car in the last few years, it should already come equipped with one. If you don’t know how to use it, ask your car dealer or look up a video on YouTube.

What are the best backup cameras?

For those wanting to add a backup camera to their older vehicle, these cameras are some of the best models on the market:

  • Auto-Vox CS2. Rated best overall
  • DoHonest S4. Rated best wireless rearview mirror model
  • Auto-Vox Solar1
  • LeeKooLuu LK3B. Best for a savvy DIYer
  • Garmin BC 30. Best for drivers who use a Garmin GPS Navigator 

Do some research and figure out which one would be best for your vehicle.

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How will a backup camera improve my line of sight?

The backup camera on many new model vehicles, such as those on Cadillac models 2015 and higher, can help improve the field of vision by 300% compared to a traditional rear-view mirror.

Also, these cameras can eliminate any obstructions in vision caused by pillars, passengers, or seats that typically cause blind spots for drivers when they’re backing up. 

Many backup cameras offer high-definition displays designed to increase the line of sight for rear lanes and maximize visibility at night or in adverse weather conditions. Most modern backup cameras also combine high-definition video with rear automatic braking systems which helps increase safety even more.

Rear-View Technology for the Sake of Safety

While backup cameras are a cool technological advance that makes our cars and pedestrians safer, they won’t get you a discount on your car insurance.

However, things change all the time, and comparing quotes can help you save the most money on your car insurance.

Comparing quotes has the potential to help you see how to save more money than any discount available. Enter your zip code into our free quote tool below to see how much you could save.

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