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Top five dash cams for 2017

By Hannah Walsh

We’ve rounded up the very best dash cams from our testing, so you can pick a model that combines great footage and handy features.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

The differences between a Best Buy and a Don't Buy dash cam should not be understated. We've found plenty of Don't Buy dashboard cameras in our testing, with models that are very difficult to install and provide unusable video footage. With so many dire dash cams around, it's important to choose wisely. That's where we can help.

It can be almost impossible to know which dash cam is the best simply by looking at the box. All sorts of numbers and specifications are proudly shown off, but how can you know how well it really performs without taking it out on the road first?

In the table below we reveal the very best models from our testing. Every dash cam goes through our rigorous lab tests, so you can be sure that any model we recommend offers top-quality footage with useful features and will be a breeze to use.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by taking a £1 trial to Which?.

Top five best dash cams for 2017

Nextbase iN-CAR CAM 312GW Deluxe
Today's best price £88.95
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Jun 2016
Best Buy
Video:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 5

This Nextbase model has a 6G lens, 140-degree wide-angle view, and built-in wi-fi so you can view your footage on the go. It's affordably priced, and our best-scoring dash cam to date. Sign up or log in to find out what it is.

Nextbase iN-CAR CAM 512G Ultra
Today's best price £124.99
Which? score 71%
Reviewed Dec 2015
Best Buy
Video:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 5

This dash cam is packed with tip-top tech, including a 6G lens and an anti-glare polarising filter. It also comes with the usual range of handy features, including a G-force sensor, motion detection and GPS.

Nextbase iN-CAR CAM 212 Lite
Today's best price £61.95
Which? score 71%
Reviewed Jun 2016
Best Buy
Video:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 5

At less than £70, this is definitely a cheaper option than other big-name models. Does it have the combination of features and footage to make it worth buying? Log in or sign up to find out.

Nextbase iN-CAR CAM 412GW Professional
Today's best price £108.95
Which? score 70%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Best Buy
Video:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 5

This is the first dash cam we've tested to film in Quad HD, which helps it reach our Best Buy benchmark.

Nextbase iN-CAR CAM 402G Professional
Today's best price £79.95
Which? score 70%
Reviewed Jun 2014
Best Buy
Video:
4 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 5

This may be a new name to you, but it's rapidly become one of the biggest brands in the dash cam sector. This model is one of its most expensive dash cams, but its performance matches its price tag.

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct at July 2017.

Not found the product for you? Browse all of our dash cam reviews.

And here are three dash cams to avoid

The very best dash cams are a huge asset to you. The dash cam market is one of the fastest growing tech markets around the world, thanks to more and more motorists realising its virtues. But it's not all smooth sailing.

It should come as no surprise that there are also some poor dash cams out there, but what may surprise you is just how poor they really are. In the table below you'll find the absolute worst of the worst - these models are not worth buying under any circumstances. They will be of no use to you whatsoever in the event of an accident or court case.

Three dash cams to avoid

Super Legend HD Video Car Dash Vehicle Recorder
Typical price £11.00
Which? score 23%
Reviewed Jun 2014
Don't buy
Video:
1 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 5

A dash cam for as little as £15? Incredibly, it exists. But should it? Find out in our full review.

Streetwize SWREC1
Typical price £24.00
Which? score 28%
Reviewed Jun 2015
Don't buy
Video:
1 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 5

Here we have one of many budget dash cam options available on Amazon. It has a 2.5-inch screen and motion detection. We put it through our tough lab tests to see whether this cheap choice is a surprise bargain or a straight-up waste of money.

Binatone DC200
Typical price £40.00
Which? score 30%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Don't buy
Video:
1 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 5

When you're a small company you need a hook to steer customers away from the big-name brands. In the case of this dash cam, it's the price. Can this £40 device compete with more expensive rivals? We ran it through our comprehensive dash cam test to find out.

Top five things to look out for when picking a dash cam

  • Recording resolution: Make sure it films in Full HD at least - that's 1,920x1,080 pixels. This will ensure a minimum level of sharpness to its footage.
  • GPS tracking: This attaches an exact location to your footage. Without it you may have a hard time proving you were in a certain location when the accident occurred, which means the perpetrator could get away with it.
  • Power cable length: It may seem silly, but a cable that's too short can be a real pain - and even put you in legal trouble. Our reviews will let you know if a dash cam's power cable is too short, meaning you would have to let it hang down directly from behind your vehicle's overhead mirror to its cigarette lighter socket, obscuring your view of the road.
  • Loop recording: Almost every model has it nowadays, but it's still important to check. Loop recording automatically overwrites old footage with new recordings when the memory card fills up, saving you the time and effort of deleting files to free up space.
  • Screen or no screen?: This can be a matter of personal preference, although a dash cam with a screen is usually more advantageous as you can see the footage being filmed in real time. Models without a screen are smaller and more discreet, but it does mean you'll need a computer or companion smartphone app to see what's being recorded.
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