Getting into an accident that’s not your fault is bad enough, but being unfairly blamed for it can be downright traumatic. This is why everyone really needs a dashboard camera for their car – it’s not just a fashionable accessory.
Technological advances have brought owning one of these must-have devices within the reach of nearly everyone. You may still be surprised, however, by just how wide a range of dash cams there is to choose from. While Full High Definition (1080p) recording is now almost a prerequisite, there are plenty of other bells and whistles you may want, need, or specifically shun.
How about one or more cameras in addition to that on the windscreen itself?
Being alerted to an incident while your car is parked?
Real-time location sensing?
Only you can make the final decision about which dash cam suits your needs best, but we’re willing to bet that you’ll find your final choice in the table below.
Good: This dash cam offers 4K recording, wi-fi connectivity, and built-in GPS at a low price. Excellent video quality even at night.
Not so good: With no rear camera, there will be no record of your car being rear-ended or bumped into while parked.
Bottom Line: The Rove R2-4K definitely wins out in terms of price, ease of use, and resolution. If you don’t need a rear camera, this is the dash cam to buy.
Good: Although not 4K, it provides clear footage of front and rear views in all kinds of lighting conditions. Can rotate to face side.
Not so good: No wi-fi, so exporting videos takes a few minutes because you have to remove the micro SD card and plug it into a computer.
Bottom Line: Nothing special as far as features go, but comes at a very attractive price for a dual-channel dash cam and offers high-quality video both front and rear.
Good: Three separate camera views (front, back, inside) provide a full record of any trip or incident. Good nighttime footage.
Not so good: Retrieving the video is a little time-consuming, making this system less useful in practical terms.
Bottom Line: Although the lack of wireless connectivity may be a concern for some, it offers clear images and has almost all the other features you might ask for.
Good: Touchscreen operation and a large screen makes this one of the most user-friendly dash cams money can buy.
Not so good: Though not really a drawback at this price, the exact same dash cam but with GPS and a phone app would have been great.
Bottom Line: Not everyone needs route mapping or wi-fi connectivity. If you prefer gadgets that are easy to operate, this one should be on your shortlist.
Good: Uncomplicated and economical, this dash cam is easy to remove and can swivel through 360°. Includes a GPS logger as well as a rear camera.
Not so good: Narrow rear field of view, so there’s a chance it will miss the license plate of someone who caused a fender bender while parking.
Bottom Line: At this price point, the camera’s shortcomings are totally forgivable. The video quality is very good and its clever design increases usability.
Good: One of the cheapest quality dash cams you can buy, the Apeman Mini provides good picture resolution at a low price.
Not so good: Don’t expect any frills like wi-fi capability or even a rear camera.
Bottom Line: Not the very best dash cam you can buy, but still pretty impressive at the price.
Good: Competitively priced, this dash cam does everything you might need except for displaying a rear view.
Not so good: The GPS monitor has to be purchased separately.
Bottom Line: Although the lack of a rear camera will automatically disqualify this dash cam for some people, it costs little and does much. At 2160p resolution, the images are exceptionally clear.
Good: Rather than being just another dash cam, this gadget replaces your rearview mirror for easier reversing.
Not so good: Considered just as a dash cam, it falls somewhat short in terms of image quality and other features.
Bottom Line: Killing two birds with one stone is rarely a bad idea. This dash cam is an excellent option for vehicles with poor backward visibility.
Good: One of the best economy cameras for public transport drivers, it does everything you need in that role. The inside views are pretty good.
Not so good: The designers skimped on many of the features not required in a rideshare or taxi, like a large screen and wi-fi capability.
Bottom Line: If you transport passengers for money, this dash cam is a great choice. If not, you’ll want to look at some of the other dash cams on this page.
Good: This dash cam is capable of sending event notifications to your phone, saves video to the cloud, and even allows live viewing and GPS tracking.
Not so good: These features all require an internet connection to work, which drives up the price.
Bottom Line: It’s certainly an impressive piece of hardware, but probably not worth getting if you don’t have reliable internet in your vehicle.
Good: Small and easy to operate, this dash cam’s app allows you to network up to four cameras.
Not so good: Requires an external display, but some mobile devices seem to have trouble connecting.
Bottom Line: If you need a simple camera with wi-fi connectivity that doesn’t cost the earth, Garmin has you covered.
Good: High resolution, reliability, and a parking mode that records 15 seconds prior to an incident are all good points.
Not so good: Between a small screen and no wi-fi connectivity, viewing footage instantly isn’t easy.
Bottom Line: Not everyone needs a rear camera or instant replay, and this dash cam is a strong contender in terms of value for money.