Dashcam on vacation: protect yourself legally and avoid high fines of up to 10,000 euros


But what about usage abroad? We show what is allowed in the most popular holiday destinations for Germans and give tips on how drivers can avoid sensitive penalties.

Many devices have a so-called loop function. The recording is continuously overwritten. Only when the camera registers a shock, e.g. from an accident, is the video permanently saved in a file. In Germany this loop function is a prerequisite for using the camera system in the car, in many European countries it is also very useful. There are also models that have a motion sensor and GPS. These then only start recording when the brakes are hard, such as shortly before an accident.

Spain is still one of the most popular holiday destinations for Germans. The use of a dashcam is permitted in Spain. However, drivers must respect personal rights. So you can’t publish videos with people on the Internet. The driver must also ensure that the device is not accessible to unauthorized third parties.

Tip: A device that is easy to dismantle is recommended so that thieves do not steal it in the event of a break-in.

In Italy, the use of a dashcam for private purposes is permitted and is therefore not a problem in a private vehicle. However, drivers should make sure that the device does not obstruct their view.

Tip: For Italy, a compact device that does not obstruct the view is recommended. Otherwise there are no major problems.

In principle, the use of a dashcam is allowed in Turkey. The responsible judge decides whether the pictures can be used. The device must not impair the view in the vehicle when in use. When deploying, drivers must observe data protection regulations. Anyone who publishes videos must ensure that neither people nor license plates can be recognized.

Tip: Drivers should mount the camera so that it does not obstruct the view. We advise against the publication of videos on which people or identifiers can be recognized.

The use of a dashcam is problematic in Austria. This is due to the fact that video recordings in public spaces are generally prohibited in the Alpine republic, as they are viewed as surveillance activities. Anyone wishing to film in public needs express permission from the Austrian authorities. Under no circumstances should drivers publish records of people or license plates of other vehicles.

The authorities in Austria can impose severe fines – up to 10,000 euros and for repeat offenders even 25,000 euros are possible. A temporary recording of the landscape from a vehicle is theoretically permissible if it is not used to monitor others. Further Information on using a dashcam in Austria is made available by the Ă–AMTC.

Tip: We can only advise against using it in Austria if there is no authorization. If you still want to film the alpine panorama, you should make sure that no people or license plates can be recognized.

The use of a dashcam in Greece is extremely vague in legal terms. Although these are in principle permitted for private use, the publication of the film material and use for insurance purposes is illegal. In general, video recordings in public spaces are not permitted. The footage is only admissible as evidence in court if another person is accused of a crime.

Tip: We advise against using it in Greece.

The use of a dashcam is permitted in our neighboring country – as long as the recordings are only made for private purposes and do not obstruct the driver’s view. Video recordings are permitted in court to clarify the course of the accident, but the judge decides on this. The driver must inform the other parties involved. If you want to use the material as evidence, you have to hand it over to the police beforehand.

Tip: Immediately after an accident, you should inform other parties involved before handing the records over to the police.

The use of a camera in a car is permitted in Croatia. Other regulations apply as in many other countries: The device must not obstruct the driver’s view. People or license plates must not be recognizable when posting records.

Tip: The dashcam should not restrict the driver’s view. You shouldn’t film at border crossings.

In Poland, drivers are allowed to use a dashcam. However, the camera must be easy to remove. The videos need to be overwritten regularly. The device should not obstruct the view, recordings with recognizable persons or license plates may not be published.

Tip: In Poland, drivers should use a model with a loop function, as is also permitted in Germany. The device ideally has a holder from which it can be easily removed.

In the Netherlands, drivers are allowed to use a dashcam for private use. The camera should not obstruct the driver’s view. The EU data protection regulations apply: People or license plates must be illegible when you publish the videos.

Tip: As long as the cam does not obstruct the view, it is not a problem. However, you should not publish clips that show people or a license plate.

The use of a dashcam is problematic in Switzerland. The situation is legally controversial. In principle, its use is not prohibited. However, the driver needs a valid reason to film. In addition, the owner must inform every person filmed about it. As in Germany, permanent filming without cause is prohibited. The ADAC expressly advises against using a dashcam in Switzerland.

Tip: We generally advise against using a dashcam in Switzerland. If you don’t want to do without it, you should use a device with a loop function and set it as short as possible.

In addition to Austria, Switzerland and Greece, you should also do without a dashcam in Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg. Ownership is already forbidden in Portugal. In Luxembourg, recording videos while driving is a criminal offense.

When driving through Belgium you can use a recording system for private use, but the ADAC advises against it. Drivers must inform everyone on site about existing video recordings so that they can be used as evidence. Publication of the videos is prohibited in any case.

In most EU countries, use is permitted under certain conditions. In addition to Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France and Croatia, this also includes Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Hungary and the Czechs. Almost everywhere, the use of the dashcam is strictly private and you are not allowed to publish recordings that show people or license plates.

In addition, in France, Finland and Denmark, those involved must be informed about the existence of the video recordings. In Sweden, drivers need to be able to easily remove the device and delete video clips on a regular basis. In Hungary and the Czech Republic, use is only permitted with a low resolution. Here you should rely on an HD resolution rather than Full HD or higher. The recordings must be deleted after 5 days at the latest. Outside the EU, dashcams are also permitted in Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Georgia, Iceland, Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Serbia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Under certain conditions, the use of a dashcam abroad is permitted in most European countries. A loop function, which is mandatory in Germany, is recommended. Almost without exception, it is not permitted to publish recordings that show people or identifiers. Use in Luxembourg and Portugal is illegal. We also advise against using it in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Greece.