Dash cam are small, forward-facing cameras that will record video footage from behind your car’s windscreen. If you’re unlucky enough to be in an accident this footage can be useful as evidence for insurance claims or court proceedings.
The cams plug into a car’s 12v socket and record on a constant loop as long as the engine is running. They store the footage on a MicroSD card which you’ll generally have to buy separately. A 32GB card will hold about around four hours of action and then start to ‘write over’ (ie re-record over) the earliest material .
Even cheap dash cams often have sensors that will detect any big changes in g-force, such as might be experienced in an accident, and will store the important footage immediately before and after the crash in a separate folder to protect it from unwanted over-writing or deletion.
Not all insurance companies offer a ‘dash cam discount’ but some will knock up to 20% off your premium as long as the camera is permanently fitted in the car and linked into its fusebox.
The least expensive dash cams start at around £45 but you can spend over £300. We’ve tested a selection of cameras that come in under £150 because for that price you can get good value equipment that will do a good job on the basics and throw in some desirable extra features. The best cameras in this bracket will record in 1080p ‘high-def’ resolution and will include wi-fi, sat-nav, motion detection and smartphone apps.
The prices shown here were the best we found online. They don’t include postage.
7. Garmin Dash Cam 30 (3 stars)
Garmin’s ‘no frills’ 30 dash cam looks pretty swish, but its 1.4in screen is very small and the safety features that appear in the dearer 35 model aren’t present. Recording is crisp in 1080p resolution and you can adjust the settings using the buttons on the side. The unit will take MicroSD cards of up to 64GB capacity but overall we felt that other, more…