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Which dash cam brand to buy in 2019

By Tom Morgan

We help you choose a dash cam brand that lasts with our unique survey of Garmin, Nextbase and Transcend dash cam owners.

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Knowing which dash cam brands develop the most faults means you can avoid buying a dash cam that's likely to let you down. 

That's why each year we ask more than 10,000 Which? members to tell us whether they are happy, or have experienced problems, with their computing products in our unique reliability survey.

Our survey data takes into account the fault rates reported by their owners, plus the severity of these faults and the speed with which they occurred after they'd been bought.

In our latest analysis we've looked at the performance of the biggest dash cam manufacturers – Garmin, Nextbase and Transcend. We've calculated a reliability rating for each dash cam brand so you know which brand to choose, and which to avoid.  

In this article:

Difference between the best and worst dash cam brands

As you can see from our graph above, there's a noticeable difference between the best and worst dash cam brands when it comes to average score, reliability rating and customer satisfaction.

Our best-performing dash cam brand sits in the top spot with an average Which? test score of 64%, while the worst has a less impressive 56%.

The most reliable dash cam brands 

The table below summarises this year’s reliability results. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to whether their customers would recommend it. The more stars for reliability, the fewer the problems reported.

Only logged-in Which? members can view which brands achieved the ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

 
Brand Reliability rating Reliability score Customer score
71% 81%
85% 75%
81% 66%
Table notes
Data based on a survey of 1,231 Which? members June-July 2018.

Key

Member Content

Common dash cam problems 

Our survey shows that if you experience an issue with your dash cam, it's likely to be a fault that prevents the device from powering on. Almost a third (29%) of respondents in our survey reported that their dash cam wouldn't turn on, or the battery stopped charging without warning.

  • 29% - dash cam wouldn't turn on or the battery stopped charging without warning
  • 13% - stopped recording footage on the road
  • 6% - unresponsive dash cam display
  • 4% - not connecting to computer or mobile device
  • 3% - broken buttons or touchscreen.

Our most reliable dash cam brand ages well - only 9% of dash cam owners reported a fault with this brand's products after six years of ownership. However, the least reliable brand identified in our survey didn't fare so well - 9% of owners reported a fault on one-year-old devices, with that figure rising to 12% for two-year-old dash cams.

The top-performing dash cam brand in our survey finished up with a reliability score of 85%, while the worst performer has a score of 71%.

Which dash cam brand stays fault-free for longest? 

The graph above shows how the brand that stays fault-free for the longest compares with the worst brand and the overall average. Which? members can see how brands compare for faults over a five-year period in the table below.

Only logged-in Which? members can view which brands achieved the ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

 

Brand name % faults after one year % faults after five years
9% 14%
9% 14%
0% 9%
Table notes
Data based on a survey of 1,231 Which? members June-July 2018.

Key

Member Content

How we measure faults and reliability in dash cams

The table data takes into account minor, major and catastrophic faults:

  • Minor A fault that doesn't affect the product's performance significantly or a fault that only occurs occasionally with minimal impact. This issue may be irritating or annoying but it isn't frequently problematic and you can easily work around it. For example, slow connectivity.
  • Major A fault that has a noticeable effect on the product’s performance. This fault affects how you use the product and can be problematic. For example, a broken dash cam lens causing footage to become distorted.
  • Catastrophic A fault that renders the product unusable, with the fault needing to be repaired or parts replaced before it can be used again. For example, a dash cam failing to turn on.

Dash cam brands rated 

Choose a brand from the list below to find out more about its performance in our survey.

Garmin dash cams overview
Number tested in the past three years 5
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (at 10 October 2018) that are still available. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey in June-July 2018 of 1,231 dash cam owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 10 October 2018.

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how well Garmin dash cams score for reliability, and how Garmin fares against rival dash cam brands Nextbase and Transcend.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Garmin dash cams as users report on a range of faults, including battery problems, display issues and hardware failures.
  • See how Garmin fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Garmin dash cams, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Nextbase dash cams overview
Number tested in the past three years 8
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Loyalty score
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (at 10 October 2018) that are still available. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey in June-July 2018 of 1,231 dash cam owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 10 October 2018.

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how well Nextbase dash cams score for reliability, and how Garmin fares against rival dash cam brands Garmin and Transcend.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Nextbase dash cams as users report on a range of faults, including battery problems, display issues and hardware failures.
  • See how Nextbase fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Nextbase dash cams, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.
Transcend dash cams overview
Number tested in the past three years 6
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (at 10 October 2018) that are still available. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey in June-July 2018 of 1,231 dash cam owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 10 October 2018.

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how well Transcend dash cams score for reliability, and how Garmin fares against rival dash cam brands Garmin and Nextbase.
  • Discover the most common issues found with Transcend dash cams as users report on a range of faults, including battery problems, display issues and hardware failures.
  • See how Transcend fared based on its customer score – we asked those in our survey how satisfied they were with Transcend dash cams, and how likely they were to recommend them to others.
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Head to our dash cam reviews

Know which dash cam brand you want? Use the links to go straight to our reviews and find your ideal model:

How we calculate the best and worst brands 

Which? has a wealth of information on Britain's favourite computing brands. Every year we ask Which? members to tell us about the technology products they own – from how likely they would be to recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once they get them home. This year nearly 10,000 Which? members told us about more than 20,000 devices. We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey.

Our reliability surveys, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean we can recommend the best dash cams you should buy.

This data is crucial for our testing, too. If a brand falls far below the category average, we take away the manufacturer’s Best Buy status and won’t recommend any of its products unless a marked improvement in reliability is shown.

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