Driving would be great if it wasn’t for other drivers, right? Swerving in front of your car, braking suddenly, switching lanes without warning… The right dash cam will help you take back control on the road. Here’s our beginner’s guide and our all-important pick of the best.
Dash Cam FAQ
Why should I use a dash cam?
In the event of a collision – especially one that isn’t your fault – a dash cam could be your best friend. It removes the need for disputes over liability if you can provide video footage proving exactly what happened.
Surely a GoPro would work just as well?
It is possible to fit a forward-facing GoPro or similar video recorder to your windscreen and record the whole journey, but what if the memory card runs out of space before you arrive at your destination? Dash cams split the video into small sections of around one to three minutes. They delete the oldest file when the memory card is full, so there’s always room to record. (You can protect important files from deletion if necessary.)
What if I watch the dash cam screen while I’m driving? That sounds dangerous!
The screen must be switched off while you’re driving.
How much should I spend on a dash cam?
There are plenty of cheap dash cams available ($50 and under), but we don’t recommend these. The video quality tends to be poor, with missing segments between recordings. Also, if it’s extremely warm or cold, they might not work properly. The more money you spend, the more features your dash cam will have (wifi, parking mode, discrete design). If you’re not interested in extras, mid-price point dash cams have great video quality.
Should I get a single or multiple lens dash cam?
Single lens dash cams are the most common and inexpensive type of dash cam. They can be plugged into the 12V socket easily. But, there is a danger of missing a collision on either side or behind the car, a problem solved by multiple lens dash cams. Professional installation might be required, as you will need to hardwire this type of device in.
What features are useful?
Aside from high quality recording, parking mode is especially useful. This feature automatically starts recording if it detects a collision while you’re parked. You’ll be able to prove who scraped or bumped your car while you were away from it. G-force sensors save moments of high G-force – such as a collision – and protect these from being automatically deleted.
The TRED Dash Cam Pick
We’ve researched the dash cams available right now, and these are some of the best on the market.
What we love: This dash cam is faultless in terms of image quality and usability. It doesn’t have GPS and wifi, so if you’re into top-spec gadgets this mightn’t be the best choice for you. But, if you’re looking for a superior quality, reliable piece of equipment, this is the dash cam for you.
What we love: This discrete dash cam fits snugly behind your rearview mirror. The daytime recordings are high quality, with no fuzzy areas. If you have a tinted windscreen, this isn’t an issue, as you can adjust exposure to suit your requirements. Audio is also unbeatable quality, though you can switch it off if you prefer.
What we love: This dash cam produces great quality video – number plates on the vehicles in front and beside you, nighttime footage, even footage inside the car. The extra USB port is a nice touch for anyone who wants to charge a phone while using the dash cam.
What we love: For starters, this is amazing value. Full HD 1080p recording, clear playback that’s easy to access, a 120° WDR picture, and anti-shake function. It doesn’t come with a micro SD card, but cards up to 64 GB are supported.