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12 July 2021

Should you buy a front and rear dash cam?

It can be tempting to buy a front and rear dash cam that will give you all-round footage of your car in case of an incident. As opposed to a single dash cam, which will only show you the footage of the front. However, a front and rear dash cam may not be as good a deal as it sounds.
FW
Felix Wilson
Front and rear facing dash cam

The vast majority of dash cams on the market are a single device, designed to sit over or behind your rear-view mirror to film the road ahead. However, there are some that come packaged as a front and rear cam - one camera to face forwards and the other to film behind you.

These front and rear dash cams are usually expensive, given that there are technically two of them. But paying more doesn't always guarantee you a better model - our testing has discovered that front and rear-facing dash cams are not necessarily always your best bet for staying safe on the road. 

At best, we’ve found front and rear dash cams that record smooth and sharp footage throughout the day. At worst, we’ve seen front and rear dash cams with such low-resolution footage that you can’t make out number plates or road signs.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive front and rear dash cam ratings and verdicts, below. If you're not yet a member, you can join Which? to get instant access to our results, below, and all of our online reviews - from cars to sat nav apps.

Front and rear dash cams

  • Nextbase 222X

    Nextbase

    222X

    £99.00View retailers

    Nextbase is a very established brand in the dash cam market. After the launch of its full Series 2 range in 2019, the manufacturer launched the 222X dash cam - it's the same as the 222, with an additional rear camera attached to it. The brand name may hold weight but does Nextbase's new dash cam tick all of the boxes in our tough road and lab tests? Read our independent Nextbase 222X review to find out.

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  • Transcend DrivePro 550

    Transcend

    DrivePro 550

    £195.00

    This is among the best dual dash cams we’ve tested. The front camera produces clear and sharp daytime footage and this dash cam stands out most for how easy it is to use and the brilliant safety features it comes with, including a driver fatigue alert. The rear camera is definitely weaker - though it's possible to see cars, glare made it hard to read car registrations.

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  • Vantrue N4 3-Channel Dash Cam

    Vantrue

    N4 3-Channel Dash Cam

    £229.99View retailers

    The Vantrue N4 dash cam is on the pricey side. Although instead of being a single, forward-facing model, it comes with forward, rear and interior-facing cameras, which could help to justify the price. But are three cameras really better than one when it comes to picture quality? We took it to our test lab to find out. So read on for the full Vantrue N4 3-Channel review to see how it fared.

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  • Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

    Garmin

    Dash Cam Tandem

    £279.95View retailers

    If you’ve ever been tempted to buy both a front and rear dash cam, this Garmin model will undoubtedly catch your eye. Both of the lenses on this dash cam have a 180-degree viewing angle, so you’re getting a 360-degree view capturing the road ahead and the inside of your car, thanks to its rear ‘interior lens’. Did this model live up to expectations when we put it to the test? Read our review of the Garmin Dash Cam Tandem to find out.

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  • Motorola MDC500GW

    Motorola

    MDC500GW

    £109.99View retailers

    This dual dash cam is one of the best we’ve tested - whilst undercutting all the other dual dash cams with its price. Video quality is very good, with sharp daytime recordings while night time footage also shows some detail. Despite the rear camera recording all the way through the car’s cabin, it still delivers detailed footage.

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Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of July 2021.

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

Video: how to install a front and rear dash cam

If you’re not sure how to install a front and rear dash cam, watch this quick video tutorial:

Front and rear dash cams pros and cons

Before you go ahead and choose a front and rear dash cam, ask yourself whether this type of dash cam is the best choice for you. Here are the key factors to consider:

Pros:

  • Comprehensive coverage of the road behind you. It's the main draw of a front and rear dash cam, but it bears repeating. If your vehicle is rear-ended you'll rarely need to prove it wasn't your fault, but it can never hurt to have footage backing you up.
  • Greater coverage of the area around your parked vehicle. Dash cams aren't just useful for when you're driving - they help capture instances while parked, too. If someone crashes into or vandalises your vehicle while parked, a front and rear dash cam set-up is more likely to get a shot of the culprit.

Cons:

  • Front and rear-facing dash cams are expensive. There's no denying it - dual dash cams will cost you money, and lots of it. It's not uncommon for models to cost £200 or even more, all because you're essentially buying two dash cams. You may be better off spending half that on a single Best Buy dash cam.
  • A front and rear dash cam is only as strong as its weakest lens. It's not uncommon for manufacturers to make the rear-facing unit record in lower resolution than the front-facing one. The quality of recorded footage is paramount, and you should never compromise on quality just for the sake of recording more of the road. If the footage captured by a rear lens is too blurry or pixilated to be legible it may as well not exist at all.

We reveal our top five dash cams.