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Motorists are increasingly recognising the advantages of fitting their vehicles with dashboard cameras. Besides furnishing indisputable evidence in the event of accidents and expediting more seamless insurance claims, dashboard camera footage can be utilised to contest traffic penalties and make claims for road damage caused by potholes. Remarkably, it has even played a part in aiding law enforcement in resolving significant criminal cases.
The surging popularity of this technology has also resulted in a decrease in prices, all the while enhancing the quality of the recorded footage.
For individuals new to dash cams or those looking to upgrade, the myriad features and technical terminology can be quite confusing. Devices priced under £50 may appear to provide comparable functionalities to those priced at £500. Queries about whether you require 4K resolution, the importance of WiFi connectivity, or the need for a polarising filter can be rather overwhelming.
To offer some clarity, we have assembled our favourite dash cams after a year of extensive testing and have also included a couple of newcomers to determine the top performer.
For those seeking the utmost in footage quality at a good price, the Nextbase 622GW still stands as the top-performing camera we’ve tested. However, it comes at a substantial cost, and we understand if you opt for a more budget-friendly camera that offers nearly comparable capabilities.
Our recommendation for most drivers is the Nextbase 222 Dash Camera, as it strikes the best balance between overall value for money and performance. Priced at less than £100, including a memory card, it may not be a substantial investment, but it incorporates all the features we deem essential in a dash cam.
The Thinkware F100 is an excellent choice for a dash camera for several compelling reasons. Firstly, it represents an updated and improved version of the Thinkware F50, offering enhanced overall performance. This makes the F100 not only reliable but also affordable, delivering exceptional value for money.
One of the standout features of the Thinkware F100 is its parking mode. When the ignition is turned off, the camera automatically enters parking mode. It remains in this mode until the battery voltage reaches a certain level or the vehicle is restarted. In parking mode, the camera saves footage only when it detects movement or an impact. Alternatively, you can activate time-lapse parking mode, which records at 1FPS throughout its parking mode duration.
The award winning Nextbase 322GW includes revolutionary new safety features, helping you enjoy a safer journey than ever before. The 1080p HD Model uses Emergency SOS to alert the emergency services to your location in the event of an accident. With a new IPS HD Touch screen, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built in, the Nextbase 322GW is an extremely well connected Dash Cam
The Nextbase 422GW stands as an upper mid-tier dash cam, delivering QHD resolution and GPS tracking capabilities while incorporating a few safety and convenience enhancements. This model represents a progression beyond the impressive 322GW; however, despite its heightened resolution and expanded aperture, it doesn’t yield significantly more detailed video footage. It lands the spot at number 3 on our list.
At £299 (or £399 if you include the rear camera too) the Thinkware U1000 is an expensive dash cam. You can spend half or even a quarter of the price if you want, but the U1000 has a lot going for it, from 4K video with HDR, to speed camera alerts, remote viewing, motion sensing while parked. It’s a feature-packed dash cam, in other words, and one that will suit buyers who want the very best, regardless of budget.
BlackVue’s latest flagship model upholds its esteemed reputation for exceptional image quality, courtesy of its cutting-edge Sony STARVIS sensors and premium lenses that deliver crystal-clear footage. With a 4K resolution camera that excels in low-light conditions, the BlackVue DR970x stands as the unrivalled choice for those seeking an uncompromising dash camera experience. For additional information, please click Here.
Dash cams commonly feature wide-angle lenses. A broader field of view enhances visibility at intersections and side streets, but distant objects may appear smaller.
4K recording offers exceptional clarity and more detailed images. However, it results in larger file sizes and demands greater storage capacity.
While some dash cams have batteries for wire-free installation, their battery life is usually limited (around 30 minutes). Alternatively, some models can be connected to a USB socket or 12V supply for continuous operation, albeit with visible cables. A tidier solution is hard-wiring…
Opting for a professionally installed, hard-wired dash cam costs more and restricts camera mobility between vehicles. Nevertheless, it offers a sleek appearance and can record events while the vehicle is parked, such as suspicious activity, attempted theft, or parking incidents.
Certain dash cams offer optional cloud services that can be valuable for fleet managers overseeing multiple vehicles or individuals who want remote access to their recordings. These services also automate backup of your footage.
Consider a rear-facing dash cam if potential hazards may arise from behind your vehicle. There are separate buying guides available for front and rear dash cams. Some front-facing dash cams even offer optional rear camera upgrades.
For drivers, especially those providing transportation services, who want to record the interior of their vehicle, our Uber dashcam guide recommends suitable options. If you need both front, rear, and interior coverage, explore our guide to the best three-channel dash cams.
In case of an accident, you might be unable to call for help. Some advanced dash cams can detect collisions and automatically alert emergency services. Those equipped with GPS can transmit your precise location to emergency responders as well.