Fancy cutting off your auto insurance? Check out our guide to purchasing the best dashboard cams, from budget models to 1080p stunners.
Britain’s streets can be a dangerous Place, and with the ever-increasing cost of car insurance, video proof of any scratches and shunts will help set your mind and wallet at ease. 2017 has seen the dashboard camera marketplace go from strength to power — after all, shelling out #100 or so on a dashcam is significantly preferable to paying thousands of pounds for an accident that was not your fault.
Some countries — Russia, for one — Have seen countless motorists adopt dash cams in an attempt to stem the rise of crash-for-cash strategies and hit-and-run scammers. With a notable upward tendency in similar scams hitting on the UK — crash-for-cash schemes cost carriers approximately #340 million annually according to the Insurance Fraud Bureau — it pays to be careful. And even in the event that you don’t get into any scrapes, some dash cams will even see your insurance cut by over 10%, so it’s well worth investing in one if you would like to safeguard your no-claims premium.
How to buy the best dash cam for you
How much should I spend?
Dash cams vary hugely in price, with Budget models beginning around #20 and working directly up to GPS navigation devices with built in cameras which can cost as much as #300. Cheaper models often do away with luxuries like a display for previewing footage, although making setup a bit more straightforward, it is by no means essential. Pay more, also you may anticipate higher-quality video thanks to greater recording bit rates and higher sensor resolutions — fundamental cameras can offer just middling 720p HD video, whereas the best use 1080p detectors to offer you a large leap in picture quality. However, if you are after something a bit fancier to movie track days or scenic drives, then a dashboard cam is unlikely to reduce the mustard — at that case it’s well worth considering a pricier dedicated action camera, including a GoPro, which will provide vastly enhanced picture quality.
How to match a dash cam
Similar to a satnav, most best dash cam have suction mounts which allow The device to be securely fixed onto the car’s windows. Smaller versions make it easy to attach a dash camera just behind the rear-view mirror, but it’s advisable to place any dashboard cam near the top of the windscreen rather than the underside, if at all possible, since this will allow the camera to receive a excellent, high profile view of the street. This usually means that monitoring cables obscuring your vision may be potential hazard, but so you’re going to want to check into purchasing sticky pads (or gaffer tape, even if you are less fussy about looks) for routeing the cables where they don’t obstruct your view. When you’ve got a particularly large vehicle or are looking to install a rear-facing dashboard camera, then it is worth assessing how long the supplied power and extension cables are, as you might need to find a bit creative with cable routeing.
The best way to power a dash camera
Dash cams have built-in batteries that will only last a few hours On a full charge, so in case you are just driving up the road, it will need continuous power from a USB port or 12V accessory socket. These have a tendency to draw power from the fuse box, meaning the camera will power up at ignition. If this all sounds like a lot of trouble, it’s worth looking to see if any retailers in your town will put in a dashboard cam for a fee.
Can I take my dash camera on holiday and put it to use in a hire car?
The Solution is normally yes — countries who prohibit the usage of Dashboard cams due to privacy and data-protection issues, for example Austria, are in the minority — but regulations do vary broadly as you cross boundaries. While you are going to find a substantial fine in Austria just for having one set up, you will find countries which place less stringent limitations upon their usage. As an example, you can use one in Germany, but the footage can not be submitted to YouTube or alternative societal sharing solutions — you can only provide it as proof to a German court. In Luxembourg, meanwhile, it is not illegal to possess one, but recording any footage using one could land you with a fine or potentially a jail term. If you’re unsure, it is worth it to check online prior to packaging one in your luggage.
The best dash cams to purchase
Nextbase 512G: The Most Effective all-round dash cam
Nextbase revamped its Dash cams not too long ago and besides the dual-camera Duo version (that we review lower down the page), the more 512G sits directly on top of the company’s current lineup. The Sony Exmor sensor displays crisp 1080p video in a frame rate of 30fps; the good-quality lens ensures that images are sharp and comprehensive from corner to corner, and the detector’s wide dynamic range allows the Nextbase to capture good-quality footage at night time. An incorporated anti-glare polarising filter reduces glare against the windscreen, and also the 140-degree field of view ensures that it will catch everything happening in front of your bonnet. To get a fully featured dash cam at a sensible price, the 512G is hard to beat.
Nextbase 101: The best budget dashboard cam
The 101 is among the You receive a camera capable of recording 720p video using a 120-degree area of view — apparently less wide than that of pricier components — and small enough to almost disappear supporting the rear-view mirror. Unlike some budget models, Nextbase has built the 101 using a small color 2in display, making it feasible to look at footage and adjust settings a little more readily. At this cost, however, the Nextbase 101 is a steal.
Garmin Dash Cam 55: Stunning video quality with a slew of GPS choices
Garmin might be better Known for its satnav systems, but its own top-of-the-range dash cam is something special. The 55’s 1440p detector records supremely crisp video footage that places 1080p competitions in the shade, and you can quickly sync videos to your mobile via Wi-Fi with Garmin’s Virb app. In the event of an accident, the Dash Cam 55’s 3.7-megapixel sensor lets you take decent-quality pictures of this scene, and though the voice control is somewhat gimmicky, it is handy for snapping a fast photo without taking your hands off the wheel. GPS location recording and collision detection are correct and present, and the clear, straightforward menus and glowing 2in display make it simple to establish and play straight footage. Some of the more premium features comprise lane-departure and forward-collision warnings in case you swerve out of your lane or drive too tightly to the car in front.
Mio MiVue 658: Sterling picture quality and superior features
Of the pricier dashboard cams out there, but it pays its dues by packaging in a plethora of premium features. Image quality is superb in the daytime and nighttime settings, as a result of the light-gathering abilities of the f/1.8 lens, and the Extreme HD setting displays video at higher-than-1080p resolution. The integrated three-axis accelerometer automatically stops video footage from being overwritten when it finds an impact, along with the in-built GPS monitors your speed and place and embeds it to the movie clips. The secondary microSD slot is a beautiful touch, too — it backs up your recordings in case the initial microSD card fails. The large 2.7in touchscreen is really a boon, which makes setup and video playback superbly straightforward, and it also pops up security camera warnings and warnings when you go over the speed limit.
Nextbase Duo: A great-value dual-camera dash camera
The Nextbase Duo packs In 2 cameras for the price of one high-end dash cam. Twin 720p cameras have been positioned on either edge, each of which swivel back and forth to have the best view of the street. The rear camera has a zoom lens which focuses in on what’s happening behind your automobile rather than inside it, and both lenses have a 140-degree field of view that covers all the action front and rear. One quibble is that the lower-resolution sensors can battle to pick up number plates during night, but the motion-sensing attribute is a great touch — it automatically begins recording if it finds something moving near, even when your vehicle is parked. Each of the crucial features such as GPS logging and crash-sensing exist and correct, too, so clips are automatically saved in the event of an accident. If you can’t be bothered faffing with installing different cameras front and rear, then the Duo is a solid alternative. Snooper DVR-4HD: Feature-packed, however, the speed alarms are iffy Been knocked down the positions by Nextbase’s offerings, but this is still a Solid dash camera for a reasonable price. The good-quality lens and 1080p detector Provide strong, sharp picture quality, and only start to battle in darker conditions, The built-in Accelerometer adds crash detection to the feature list, letting the DVR-4HD to automatically save footage from the case of an accident. Wi-Fi Support means that you can stream footage direct to a smartphone or tablet, too. There are a few niggles: it can be tricky to unclip from the windshield Mount if you need to eliminate it, and the speed camera alerts are patchy at best. If You’re Able to find it for a Fantastic price, however, then it’s well worth considering.