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Using CCTV in the motor trade

This is a subject very close to our hearts. We set up CCTV42 because we were unhappy with the equipment we bought and installed for our Porsche car sales business. If ever there was a company that understands CCTV for the motor trade we are it.

The basic ground rules are the same for the motor trade as they are for any CCTV installation. Think carefully about what you want your CCTV system to achieve and ensure each camera is specified to undertake a particular job. If you need help then give us a call during office hours. We can look at your site using internet imagery whilst talking with you on the phone and advise on the correct equipment for your individual needs.

CCTV might be used within the motor trade for the following reasons.

  • Stock protection
  • Employee protection
  • Protection against third-party claims such as damage in a car park or whilst work was being undertaken
  • Identification of individuals following incidents of fraud or other crimes
  • Staff location within the business premises
  • Staff training

You may have other tasks you want your CCTV to perform, the above are just some ideas.

CCTV Camera selection

Correct camera selection is essential don't just machine-gun your site with wide-angle cameras which capture little or no detail. This is the single biggest mistake we see people making particularly when covering parked cars. Have a look at the section about optical range in the camera buying guide.

The size of a motor trade premises means you are unlikely to be able to cover every square inch of the property and record detail, but that doesn't necessarily matter. Concentrate on key areas. A doorway, service counter or desk are typical places where you could zoom a camera in to record detail.

Indoor CCTV cameras

All our outdoor cameras are suitable for indoor use and will include built-in infrared lighting which allows them to film in complete darkness. Indoor cameras tend not to have this facility. Workshops and other high-traffic areas are probably best covered with outdoor cameras which will be more resilient to damage. There is also a high chance any malicious damage or theft of tools and equipment will take place at night.

Outdoor CCTV cameras

With outdoor cameras, it all depends on how far away the subject matter is and how much detail you wish to record. Consider whether the camera can easily be tampered with. Something like our large open-faced vandal dome cameras can be mounted lower down because they are resistant to tampering. This style of camera is limited in terms of the maximum lens that can be fitted but opting for an HD1080P CCTV system will increase the effective range.

PTZ cameras

PTZ cameras (pan tilt zoom) are rarely the solution unless you have a full-time CCTV operator. They are much more expensive than fixed cameras and only see one view at a time. When they are moving the image will be blurred, particularly at night and built-in infrared is often not as effective as that of a fixed camera.

Far better to spend the same amount of money on more fixed cameras.

Number plate recording

Given the nature of the motor trade being able to identify number plates can be an important consideration when planning your CCTV system. During the daytime, it is simply a matter of zooming insufficiently during installation so that the number plate can be seen. At night the reflective nature of number plates can cause complications. We sell a number of ANPR cameras such as our HD 1080P ANPR camera designed specifically to record number plates both day and night.

CCTV in high-risk areas

In the motor trade, high-risk areas could be key safes, MOT certificate storage areas, cash storage areas, tool cabinets and so on. Remember to include these areas in your CCTV system and possibly allow for these areas to be filmed in total darkness using infrared-equipped cameras.

Remote access to your CCTV system over the internet

This is very useful within the motor trade and easily achievable. You can access your CCTV system using a computer or mobile devices such as a phone or iPad. Our DVRs allow you to see live footage, and previously recorded footage and even make settings changes remotely. There is a bit of technical IT work involved but we offer a remote access set-up service which allows us to do everything using a screen-sharing session, it's like having an IT boffin sitting next to you.

Good CCTV is a worthwhile investment within the motor trade given the value of items being protected. If you are going to fit CCTV then spend a bit of time to ensure the equipment you choose meets your needs. Don't waste time fitting dummy cameras or wide-angle cameras which record no detail. A good CCTV system should quietly work away in the background and provide detailed images when you need them.

If you are planning a CCTV system get in touch so that we can view your site via internet mapping whilst chatting through requirements. This will allow us to put together a solution and email over a list of equipment together with prices. We make no charge for this and you are under no obligation. We have a lot of knowledge, feel free to use it.