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6 October 2020

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.
Front and rear facing dash cam
LM
Louise Muyanja


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

Transcend DrivePro 550

Transcend DrivePro 550

£139.99
Reviewed

This is the best dual dash cam 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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Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

£237.99
Reviewed

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

£131.40
Reviewed

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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Road Angel Halo Pro

Road Angel Halo Pro

£159.99
Reviewed

Recording in an impressive 2K HD on the front camera and HD on the rear camera, this front and rear dash cam is also able to produce valuable telematics data to track your journey history. We found that daytime footage was good on both the front and rear cameras. But, as with most dash cams, night footage was weaker, suffering from street light glare and less clarity than daytime recordings. All of that said, it is very expensive compared to our other higher-scoring dual models.

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Chortau Mirror Dash Cam B-T006

Chortau Mirror Dash Cam B-T006

£39.00
Reviewed

This dash cam is a good example of when too much innovation can go wrong. Not only does it have a rear facing camera but it also doubles as a rear view mirror. While the footage from its main camera is average, rear camera recordings lack a lot of detail. It’s also very difficult to mount and demount so, on the whole, it’s more hassle than it’s worth.

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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.

View all Dash cams