How much am I going to spend?
Dash cams range greatly in price, with budget versions beginning at about £ 30 and going right up to GPS navigation systems that can cost as much as £ 300 with built-in cameras. Cheaper versions also remove luxuries such as a footage preview pad, but although this makes configuration a little simpler, it is by no means necessary. Charge extra and you should expect video and frame rates of better quality.
Nonetheless, if you're after anything a bit more elegant to capture track days or scenic drives, a dash cam is unlikely to cut the mustard-in that case, it's worth considering a more costly dedicated action camera, such as a GoPro, which will have dramatically better picture quality. For more, read our pick of the best action cameras you can find. Visit here edashcam for more information about best dashcam.
Is it worth a dual-camera dash cam?
With one camera filming through the windscreen and the other recording the inside of the cockpit and/or the view through the rear windscreen, some dash cams now provide a dual-camera configuration. For this, the value being that all front and rear collisions are protected by you. You can find other versions with a different rear-windscreen camera for a clearer view of what is happening behind your car, although other manufactures market these as an added extra. Only be mindful that this typically requires further cabling in order to link the rear camera to the front.
Do I need a card with a memory?
In order to store video, most dash cams require a micro SD card, and although some can come with one packaged one, they are always on the small side. This can be an issue, when they start saving new footage over old footage as most dash cams run out of capacity. They will normally lock all files where any sort of event is observed, though, and you can usually lock them manually by clicking a button on the dash cam when you know you're going to want the file.
We would not suggest that you purchase a card smaller than 32 GB, or you could end up running out of space. Depending on their resolution, today's high-resolution dash cams will use anything between 100MB and 500MB per minute, but even a 32GB card can only allow you up to four hours of recording before it begins to overwrite existing content. Think of a 64GB or 128GB card if you're purchasing a 1440p or 4K dash cam, and search for one with a longer warranty or one built for durability in continuous usage. In some machines, inexpensive micro-SD cards will work well, but dash cams require something that is designed to last.
Is there anything else to watch out for worth it?
Any of the best dash cams have built-in GPS of their own, allowing them to save the date, time and place of any reported occurrence or event. If your dash cam has a G-sensor or accelerometer, it is also useful, as this will recognize any abrupt pause or effect and activate a command to save and safeguard the appropriate video.
If you don't need it in a place where the sight of your dash cam is more likely to have your car broken into and the dash cam stolen, parking security to record what's happening around your car can be a bonus.
Finally, if you are unresponsive, an increasing amount of Bluetooth communication allows them to sync videos to your computer or even send an alarm in an emergency. Some companion applications also allow you to wirelessly synchronize several dash cams, so you could have one on the front and one on the back without a cable linking the two (as long as both can be powered).