Top five dash cams for 2021
It’s hard to overstate the gulf between the best dash cams and our Don’t Buys. It’s not always obvious from the price either. Our rigorous tests have uncovered even well-known brands with tedious installations, confusing instructions and, worst of all, unusable footage. When it comes to finding the best dash cam, a little research goes a long way. Fortunately, our experts have already done it for you.
It can be almost impossible to know which dash cam is the best simply by looking at the box it comes in. 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?
Below, we reveal the very best models from our testing – as well as the dash cams you should avoid. 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.
Recommendations updated January 2021
And here are three dash cams to avoid
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.
Below, you'll find the absolute worst of the worst in our tests. These models are simply not worth buying.
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of January 2021.
Six things to look out for when picking a dash cam
- Recording resolution: Make sure it films in Full HD at least - that’s 1,920 x 1,080 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.
- Parking mode: This great feature activates recording on your dash cam if it detects a collision while your car is parked. This allows it to capture footage in your absence that will potentially help in a claim.
- Power cable length: It may seem obvious, but a cable that’s too short can be a real pain. It could even put you in legal trouble - as it will have to hang directly from behind your rearview mirror to your cigarette lighter socket. Our reviews will let you know if a dash cam’s power cable is too short.
- Loop recording: 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. Almost every model has it nowadays, but it’s still important to check.
- 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.