If you’re a safety-conscious driver, a dash cam can be a great way to buy peace of mind.
Not only do dash cams provide you with evidence when it comes to accident disputes, but some insurers will offer discounts of up to 15% off your premiums if you fit a dash cam, offsetting any initial outlay.
What’s more, thanks to advances in camera technology you can get a decent dash cam without breaking the bank these days.
The only issue is that, with so many on the market, knowing which to get can be fairly difficult. Here to help clear up the confusion, we’ve tested every dash cam we could get our hands on to offer you a definitive list of the best currently available.
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Best dash cams – Buying advice
As with all technology, dash cams come in a variety of forms. Some feature a single, forward-facing lens, while others include both forward and rear-facing cameras. These are the type you’ll want if you are worried about being rear-ended.
Others feature multiple lenses capable of recording various angles or have a wide-angle lens that gets in almost as much as you can see with your eyes. You can even get cameras that incorporate GPS technology that are able to measure your speed.
So what makes dash cams different from other mountable cameras such as GoPros? First, most dash cams ensure you don’t run out of memory by splitting recordings into small chunks. Although the camera will be recording continuously, the stored files will be broken up into 1-3 minute recordings. This allows the camera to record over the oldest file once the memory becomes full, ensuring you don’t miss any important events or fiddle around with deleting unneeded footage
Many dash cams will record to a microSD card, so you can install a larger card to record more footage. Factor in the cost of a memory card, because many dash cams won’t come with one in the box. Some dash cams make it easy to access this footage through a smartphone or tablet, too, so you don’t have to take the card out of the dash cam.
All dash cams should support at least 720p resolution as the quality of the footage needs to be as high as possible to ensure it can be used to determine blame in disputes over accidents. Grainy grey blobs that aren’t clear won’t help you win a case.
The same goes for night vision: you’ll want to make sure that footage recorded during low-light driving is as good as the day time.
Related: Best sat nav
More sophisticated options might include a G-sensor, which can detect when you’ve been involved in an accident due to a sudden change in movement. This could be an impact or heavy braking. This will then tell the dash cam to record the event and save it to a protected section of the memory card, ensuring it doesn’t get overwritten, safeguarding your precious evidence.
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No matter what you’re looking for we’ve got the dash cam for you. We’ve reviewed dozens and picked the very best dash cams available to buy right now.