In the event of a road accident, a dashboard camera (or dashcam) might provide evidence to help smooth over your insurance claim or identify an uninsured driver or rider.
Why buy one?
Road accidents happen, and they are never our fault because we’re all perfect drivers, right? Dashcam footage could provide proof of fault, or dangerous driving, to your insurer or the police. If the other party isn’t insured or leaves the scene, the recording could be all you have to identify them.
However, they aren’t cheap and to justify the outlay you have to think when you were last involved in a road accident, or the last time you could have used a dashcam recording?
Our buying advice
Here are some features to consider before you go shopping.
Built-in display: This lets you check the camera alignment and review recordings without a computer. Some models use your smartphone as a display, via an app.
GPS: Automatically adds your location, speed and time to the video footage.
Power/battery: Most dashcams plug into your car’s 12V power socket, so they work when the car is on. Some can be permanently wired into the car, allowing them to work when the car is off. An internal battery lets the camera run without an external power connection, but usually for not much longer than an hour.
Continuous loop recording: A bigger, faster memory card allows more video to be stored, we recommend a Class 6 or 10 card of at least 16GB for HD and 4K recordings.
Impact detection: Sensors in the camera detect impacts or heavy braking. Some models automatically save this video as a separate file that won't be deleted, while some also record data about the impact's force and direction.
Parking mode: Some cameras can keep running and detect impacts when the car is parked. Recording time is limited by battery capacity, unless the camera power is permanently wired into the car.
Where to position a dashcam
To get the most from your dashcam, it must be positioned to have the broadest possible view of the road ahead. Dashcams come with either a suction mount for sticking to the windscreen, or an adhesive mount for sticking to the dashboard.
Wherever you place it, it shouldn’t obstruct your vision - especially not the “critical vision area” defined in WOF guidelines. The rules allow “radio antennae”, to be placed wholly within 100mm of any edge of the windscreen.
We've tested 27 dashcams.
Find the right one for you.