The Top 8 Best Dash Cams in the UK

Dash cams have quickly become an essential accessory for any car owner. From a simple way to document your road trips, they now provide evidence in case you got into a car accident and want to prove your claim to your insurance company. Evidence has also shown that it makes everyone (including you!) simply drive better.

Because of this, dash cams have seen a growth in terms of features and quality. While choices are always good, it can quickly overwhelm the first time buyer.

Confused about which dashcam to buy? Don’t fret! In today’s post, we’ll give our top recommendations for the best dash cams in the UK, plus a comprehensive guide on how to buy one.

The Best Dash Cam UK 2020

Nextbase 112

  • Video Quality: 720p
  • Viewing Angle: 120 degrees
  • Mounting System: magnetic Click & Go mount
  • Capacity: supports up to 32 GB micro SD card
  • LCD Screen: Yes (2”)
  • WiFi Enabled: No
  • Night Vision: No
  • GPS: No

Nextbase is considered as one of the best dash cam brands in the UK, offering fantastic video quality and outstanding features. While tending to be on the expensive side, they’ve made the Nextbase 112 to appeal to the budget-conscious car owner.

The Nextbase 112 is a reasonably compact and light dashcam, making it great as a discreet car camera. It has a bright 2” LCD screen for easy viewing and operation.

Mounting the Nextbase 112 is straightforward as well with the unique Click&Go system which uses suctions secured in place with a magnet. They’re quite stable and flexible at the same time, sort of combining both a traditional suction and sticker mount.

The Nextbase 112 brings the image quality the brand is known for, featuring 720p HD recording at 30 frames per second (fps). While on the lower end of the HD scale, the footage produced by this camera is surprisingly clear. However, the night recording does tend to produce darker footage. The 120-degree angle is at the minimum as most dash cams go, and is wide enough for most coverage purposes.

Inevitably, the low price and small size of the Nextbase 112 means that it lacks some essential features like WiFi support and night vision recording. That’s a shame since other dash cams in its price tier have them.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a reasonably good quality car camera from a reputable brand at a price that won’t break the bank, the Nextbase 112 is the best dash cam you can get.

Pros

  • Fantastic price for a Nextbase dashcam
  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Fairly good video quality

Cons

  • Night images can get too dark
  • Lacks essential features compared to other brands in its price range

Our Rating: 4.6 / 5.0

APEMAN C450

  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Viewing Angle: 170 degrees
  • Mounting System: suction
  • Capacity: supports up to 32GB SD card
  • LCD Screen: Yes (3”)
  • WiFi Enabled: No
  • Night Vision: Yes (WDR + HDR technology)
  • GPS: No
  • G-Sensor: Yes
  • Parking Mode: Yes

The APEMAN C450 is the cheap dash cam with a slew of essential features. For its price, you get full HD quality at 1080p with support for loop recording. It also has a G-sensor built-in, so it will automatically protect recorded footage in case of an accident.

But what sets the C450 apart is with its night recording capabilities. For the price, it’s one of the best dash cams with night vision. It supports both WDR and HDR combined with a wide f1.8 aperture. The result is that it lets more light in for brighter recording even in ultra-low light conditions. The C450 also offers a 170-degree super wide-angle lens so that you can record more of your vehicle (including the sides).

The C450 also has excellent features that are surprisingly present despite this model having an affordable price tag. Parking mode is notable here, allowing you to protect your car for up to 24 hours without any additional hardwiring (a separate kit allows you hardwire for a longer duration of parking mode).

Overall, the APEMAN C450 is the best dash cam in its price tier, both in terms of performance and features. It’s a compact car camera with excellent quality that’s even more impressive for night driving.

Pros

  • Amazing night vision
  • High definition video with wide viewing angle
  • Extra features like parking mode and g-sensor
  • Affordable price tag

Cons

  • Doesn’t always delete the oldest video during loop recording

Our Rating: 4.8 / 5.0

Nextbase 622GW

  • Video Quality: 4K at 30 fps
  • Viewing Angle: 140 degrees
  • Capacity: supports up to 128 GB
  • LCD Screen: Yes (3” IPS HD touchscreen)
  • WiFi Enabled: Yes
  • Night Vision: Yes (Enhanced Night Vision)
  • GPS: Yes

The Nextbase 622GW is one of the most advanced dash cams you can buy in the market. Rather than continuing the 522GW line, Nextbase treated the 622GW as a new flagship dashcam.

The 622GW is jam-packed with the best features you can fit in a dashcam. It shoots at 4K resolution, giving you incredibly crisp and quality footage. You can now easily recognize faces and plate numbers.

You can also choose to record at 1440p and 1080p HD resolution, which are still above average compared to what other dash cams can achieve. Shooting at 1080p HD opens up an exciting new feature – super slow motion. This technique slows down footage significantly, allowing you to read license plates during high-speed car crashes or hit-and-run incidents.

Supporting the incredible camera is a slew of unique features. One is image stabilization, one of the first dash cams to do so. It reduces the effect of vibrations and shakes significantly, giving you smooth video even during fast or rough motion. It can also operate in Extreme Weather Mode, allowing to capture clearer images even during less-than-ideal weather conditions like fog or heavy rain. Not to mention, the Enhanced Night Vision of the 622GW is one of the best in a dashcam.

The 622GW also offers more features that go beyond camera tech. Exact Location Recognition, using the what3words service, is one of the more exciting. It allows emergency services to locate you, in case you get into an accident and don’t know where you are. Alexa support gives you access to functionalities like making calls or listening to music, essentially turning your dashcam into a smartphone!

There is more to be said with the Nextbase 622GW. Bottom line, this is the best dash cam money can buy.

Pros

  • Packed with lots of advanced features
  • Incredible video quality
  • Image enhancements like stabilization and extreme weather mode
  • Alexa support

Cons

  • One of the most expensive dash cams in the market

Our Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

  • Video Quality: 1440p HD (front), 720p (interior)
  • Viewing Angle: 180 degrees
  • LCD Screen: No
  • WiFi Enabled: Yes
  • Night Vision: Yes (NightGlo technology)
  • GPS: Yes

The Garmin Dash Cam Tandem is a compact, pocket-sized dash cam that’s so named because of its dual-camera system. One is your conventional front-facing camera that shoots at crisp 1440p HD. The other is a 720p HD camera that records you and the passengers inside the car. Both feature a viewing angle of 180 degrees, capable of wider coverage compared to most dash cams in the market.

Footage quality wise, the Dash Cam Tandem is somewhere on the decent range. The quality is enough to record the more critical aspects of an incident. However, the plate number can be a challenge to read in foggy weather or low light.

One notable feature of the interior camera is the NightGlo technology, which is essentially Garmin’s night vision mode.

The Dash Cam Tandem also supports voice recognition so you can control the unit hands-free. The built-in microphone is sensitive enough to pick up your commands clearly, without letting background noise get in the way. The same microphone also records sounds inside the car clearly (which may or may not be a good thing for you!)

This dashcam doesn’t have a built-in screen but instead allows seamless viewing through a smartphone via the Garmin Drive app. The same app also enables you to manage, share, and download footage.

Overall, the Garmin Dash Cam Tandem is the best dash cam if you’re considering interior recording (useful for cab drivers) as well as voice recognition support. Aside from these, it’s a pretty decent performer.

Pros

  • Voice recognition
  • Interior rear cameras
  • Wide viewing angle

Cons

  • A few minor bugs here and there (mostly when integrating the Garmin app)

Our Rating: 4.4 / 5.0

Mio MiVue C330

  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Viewing Angle: 130 degrees
  • LCD Screen: Yes (2”)
  • WiFi Enabled: No
  • Night Vision: Yes
  • G-Sensor: Yes
  • GPS: Yes

The Mio MiVue C330 is the best dash cam if you’re looking for something compact and lightweight. Weighing just under 60g, it’s something that you’ll barely notice while driving.

The compact size does have some drawbacks. – the screen, buttons, and batteries are tiny as well, making operation a bit harder. Thus, it’s easier to view footage on your computer versus on the dashcam itself. Unfortunately, there’s no WiFi support so you can’t download footage to your smartphone.

Quality-wise, the camera of the C330 is above average, shooting at 1080p HD (30 fps). Number plates can be easily read due to the clarity, surprisingly even during darker conditions. The viewing angle is a bit narrower (130 degrees), though, so number plates can appear smaller unless you’re really close.

One of the highlights of the MiVue C330 is its safety features powered by GPS technology. It can tell you if there are safety cameras along your route and when one is coming up (via a countdown), so you can drive below the speed limit. GPS integration also logs your speed and route data.

Other than that, there isn’t much going on with the MiVue C330. If you’re looking for a compact dash cam that records good quality video, this is a good buy – if you don’t mind the lack of WiFi support and largely outdated interface, that is.

Pros

  • Compact form factor
  • Good video quality
  • GPS features

Cons

  • No WiFI support
  • Overall feels outdated

Our Rating: 4.3 / 5.0

Thinkware F800

  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Viewing Angle: 140 degrees
  • Storage: supports up to 128 GB)
  • LCD Screen: No
  • WiFi Enabled: Yes
  • Night Vision: Yes (super night vision 2.0)
  • GPS: Yes

The Thinkware F800 is an intelligent dashcam that can rival the Nextbase 622GW in terms of next-gen features. That’s no surprise because Thinkware makes cameras for both the casual and professional motorsports crowd.

The first thing you’ll notice about the F800 is its discreet, compact design. It’s a shape that fits snugly into the contours of your windshield. The design of the F800 sacrifices the screen, however. Fortunately, you can use your smartphone to access dashcam footage via the Thinkware app.

The F800 features both front and rear 1080p HD camera that shoots impressively clear and crisp footage. It can shoot at both normal or low light conditions well, thanks to the Super Night vision 2.0 system using Sony Starvis Image sensors. It can also correctly account for sudden changes in lighting with Wide Dynamic Range technology, avoiding overexposed areas on your footage. The F800 also has a polarizing filter to reduce glares and reflections.

On its own, the F800 is already a great dashcam. But where it really shines is the load of innovative features, essentially turning the F800 into a smart dashcam. One of these is Thinkware Cloud, a collection of GPS-based, cloud services. You can, for example, set up geofencing to notify you when your vehicle leaves a pre-determined boundary. You can also use GPS to track your vehicle in semi-realtime or send out a distress notification when the car encounters a collision.

The only drawback of the F800 is that it’s pretty expensive for a dashcam, even at the high-end price range. Still, it’s a dashcam that’s well worth the money for the quality and advanced features that you get. Overall, the Thinkware F800 is easily the best front and rear dash cam for professionals and motorsports enthusiasts.

Pros

  • Advanced GPS features
  • Crisp and clear video quality
  • Dual camera (front and rear) system

Cons

  • Very expensive

Our Rating: 4.8 / 5.0

ORSKEY S680

  • Video Quality: 1080p HD
  • Viewing Angle: 170 degrees
  • Capacity: supports up to 32 GB
  • LCD Screen: Yes (3” LCD)
  • WiFi Enabled: No
  • Night Vision: Yes (Super Night Vision)
  • GPS: No

The ORSKEY S680 is an impossibly cheap dash cam that performs surprisingly well. Its video quality and features are at par, or sometimes even rival, that of dashcams that are triple its price tag.

The S680 features a 1080p HD camera powered by a Sony chip and CMOS sensor. Combined with a 170-degree lens and HDR technology, it gives impressive crispness and clarity to the video output. The S680 excels at night recording. It uses the combo of 6 IR sensors, WDR technology, and a wide aperture (f2.0) that allows more light into the CMOS sensors.

As for extra features, the S680 has G-sensor technology to help protect footage when an accident happens. It also has a parking mode to protect your vehicle from car thieves while it’s parked. It has a user-friendly interface thanks to the vivid 3” LDC screen.

The form factor of the S680 is sleek and compact. The build quality is also there, and everything looks well put together. Overall, the ORSKEY S680 is a great dash cam with a price that’s bordering on the impossible.

Pros

  • Excellent night recording
  • Exceptional video quality
  • One of the most affordable dash cams on the market

Cons

  • The user interface can be difficult to figure out in the beginning

Our Rating: 4.8 / 5.0

VANTRUE N2 Pro Dual

  • Video Quality: 1440p HD (front), 1080p HD (interior)
  • Viewing Angle: 170 degrees (front), 140 degrees (interior)
  • Capacity: supports up to 256 GB
  • Mounting System: suction
  • LCD Screen: No
  • WiFi Enabled: No
  • Night Vision: Yes
  • GPS: No (optional purchase)

The VANTRUE N2 Pro Dual is the best dash cam for cab drivers, Uber drivers, or any other operator of a public vehicle.

The N2 features two cameras – one forward-facing, and another interior camera. Both cameras record simultaneously at HD quality and with wide angles, giving your vehicle full coverage at all times.

Night vision recording is also exceptional with the N2 Pro Dual. The front cam is powered by Sony IMX323 sensors with six F1.8 aperture lenses. The back cam, on the other hand, has four IR lights with an F2.0 aperture. When low light conditions are detected, night vision kicks in automatically.

The N2 Pro Dual includes some of the essential dashcam features like loop recording, g-sensor technology, and parking mode. On top of this, it also has its own unique functionalities, like a time-lapse function. This mode takes snapshots at regular intervals instead of recording video continuously. You get a video that’s much faster than real-time and takes up fewer space on your SD card, yet still captures the essential parts of the footage.

The N2 Pro Dual is also heat and cold resistant with durable ABS housing. This further makes the dash cam perfect for professional drivers who drive out all day and expose their car to the elements.

The only big caveat with the N2 Pro Dual is the lack of a WiFi option, which means you need to use a computer (via USB or SD card) to copy and share your dash cam’s footage.

Nevertheless, if you’re a cab or Uber driver, the VANTRUE N2 Pro Dual is the best dash cam to help protect the safety of both you and your passengers.

Pros

  • Durable and temperature-resistant
  • Exceptional night vision
  • Dual camera system

Cons

  • No WiFI support

Our Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Dash Cam

Buying a dashcam can seem like an overwhelming exercise, as they come in a variety of sizes and features which can confuse you. Do you actually need all of them or not? Here are some of the more critical factors to watch out for:

Front and Rear Dash Cam Systems

Dash cams come in two varieties: single-camera and dual system. A single-camera dashcam uses one camera, often located in your dashboard facing forward (hence the name). For most drivers, this might seem enough as it records the majority of accidents that happen in front of you.

However, for the best protection, you’re better off with a dual dash cam system that has an additional camera pointed at your car’s rear. This is useful for several situations, such as registering the plate number of the car that rear-ended you. The footage can also be used to prove if they drove recklessly or were tailgating right before hitting you.

Some dual-camera systems also have an interior camera instead of a rear camera. These are best suited for professional drivers, like cab drivers or Uber drivers, who need to record the inside of their vehicle for security purposes.

In most dual dash cam systems, the front camera contains all the image processing and functionalities of the unit, while the smaller, secondary camera as the extension. Hence, the rear/interior camera has inferior image quality compared to the front. If you want to capture the best detail at your rear, consider getting a single camera system for your rear.

Mounting System

For the best coverage, dash cams should be mounted on your windscreen, towards the edge near your rearview mirrors. They need to be secured firmly while withstanding the constant motion of the car.

There are two ways to mount a dashcam – either through a sticker or a suction. Of the two, stickers offer more stability and stick more securely to your windshield. The downside is that they stick a little too well, so they’re more of a permanent solution. It’s much harder to move your dashcam from one vehicle to another. Fortunately, most cameras can be separated from the base whenever you need to download or review footage, or change settings.

Suction mounting is more flexible, as you can quickly move it from vehicle to vehicle, and even around your windshield for the best viewing angle. However, they’re generally much less adhesive than using a sticker, especially if the car gets warm during the summer. They also tend to lose suction the more you move them around.

A small number of dash cams use a clamping mechanism that attaches at the back of your rearview mirror. While both stable and removable, they’re less flexible in terms of placement, so finding that right angle isn’t always possible.

Wiring and Charging

The most common way to charge your dashcam is through your car’s 12V or cigarette lighter socket. This option offers the best flexibility and compatibility, especially with very old cars. Most dash cams nowadays also feature a USB connection as more cars have USB slots as standard. Either way, having an external connection is an easy way to charge and use your dashcam. However, it can be troublesome to deal with dangling wires.

The other option is to hardwire the camera to your car’s fuse box, effectively hooking it up directly to the battery. The advantage of this route is that it frees up your USB or 12V socket for your other devices, such as a mobile phone or GPS nav unit. Some dashcam features like parking mode also require constant power even when your car is parked, something that hardwiring neatly solves.

Without dangling wires to deal with, hardwiring can also make your dashboard less cluttered. The drawback is that it’s a semi-permanent connection, so you can’t move your dashcam from car to car. It’s also slightly more complicated to set up.

Video Quality

Video quality is one of the most crucial considerations when buying a dashcam since it will determine how clear the recorded footage is. This is vital so you can read the plate number of the car that bumped you, or the face of the driver who rear-ended you.

Going for the highest quality dashcam is ideal, although there a few caveats you need to keep in mind. First, higher definition cameras tend to be more expensive. Second, and much more important, is that higher quality footage eats up more storage space. Thus, you need to invest in SD cards with bigger capacity, which of course bump up the cost.

With that being said, it doesn’t take a cinema-quality resolution to give you reasonably clear and usable footage. HD definition (720p and 1080p) are good enough for most purposes. A UHD or 4K dash cam gives 2x and 4x the resolution, respectively, and are best used for the most demanding, professional use.

Camera Angle

The camera angle, or viewing angle, tells you how much your dashcam can “see” in front of it. The higher the viewing angle, the wider the coverage, allowing you to capture the sides of your vehicle as well. Dash cams have viewing angles of around 120 degrees to 180 degrees on average.

Size

The size of the dashcam needs to be considered for several reasons. A smaller camera is preferred since it will not hinder you as much when you drive. Thieves also won’t spot it as quickly, and therefore, won’t go out of their way to avoid it. However, smaller dash cams will have fewer features and inferior camera quality.

In the end, it all comes down to a trade-off that you can live with. If you value a discreet dash cam more, go with a smaller model. But if additional features like WiFi and bigger LCD screens are essential, then you might need to sacrifice compactness.

Capacity

Like any consumer device, your dashcam’s storage capacity determines how much footage it can store. The only difference is that a dashcam will continue to record even when it runs out of space – it will merely overwrite old footage. This is known as looped recording. All dash cams don’t have an internal memory and instead rely on an SD card so you can easily upgrade or downgrade your memory as you see fit.

The good news is that you actually don’t need the largest storage capacity, since most of the things that dash cams record are uneventful (long stretches of your daily commute, for instance). Collisions are relatively rare occurrences, and footage of these are automatically protected from being deleted anyway.

On average, a 32 GB SD card (which can record up to 4 hours of HD footage) is enough for most purposes. The only time you’d consider getting a larger capacity is if you’re recording at UHD or 4K resolutions. However, before buying, make sure the large capacity SD card is compatible with your dashcam.

Motion Sensor Technology

The majority of dash cams in the market are equipped with motion sensors that automatically detect for any significant movement, such as sudden braking or collisions. When this happens, the dashcam assumes an incident and protects the recorded footage during that time from being overwritten or deleted. Motion sensor technology is also used when the car is in parking mode (see next section).

Parking Mode

A dashcam with parking mode enables you to capture footage even when your car is turned off. This is particularly useful to protect you from, or record evidence of, any attempted break-ins on your vehicle. It can also solve the mystery of a scratch or bump on your car, as it can show you who the culprit is.

Parking mode usually kicks in a few minutes after you switch off your car’s ignition. However, some require that you manually press a button. The way parking mode works is that the car is equipped with a motion sensor and g-sensor that starts recording only when it detects any considerable movement or shock in its vicinity (to prevent unnecessary footage from being recorded).

For parking mode to work, however, the dashcam needs to be hardwired directly to your car’s battery, so it has a permanent source of power. Some have internal batteries, but they can limit how long you can record.

Low Light Recording

Night recording is vital for most city drivers, but it’s much more crucial if you’re driving in low light conditions with minimal street lights. For regular night driving, consider getting a dashcam with High Dynamic Range, or HDR (this is also called Wide Dynamic Range in some products). This technology digitally enhances the footage so that darker areas brighten up for better clarity.

Some high-end dash cams also have a night vision mode, which automatically boosts exposure if low light conditions are detected. This is not to be confused with true infrared night vision, which is unfortunately impractical to be used in dash cams.

GPS Support

Mid to high-end dash cams will have GPS support built-in to enable several useful functions. For one, the dashcam will be able to tag video clips with the location of the incident, which is helpful for law enforcement agencies. GPS also allows your camera to detect your speed at the time of an incident (although this might not be a useful feature for everyone; fortunately, it can be disabled).

While nice to have, GPS should rarely be the sole factor for your purchase decision (it’s a dashcam, after all!) If you need more robust GPS functionality, getting a dedicated sat nav unit might be a better alternative. (Luckily, we’ve run through some of the best trucking sat nav options)

WiFi Support

WiFi functionality gives you the ability to access your dashcam using your tablet or smartphone. You can review and download footage, change settings, or even make your device into a live feed for your dashcam. Using this feature, you won’t ever need to remove your SD card or dashcam to access your footage.

Insurance Discounts

Some UK insurance companies also offer a discount (anywhere from 10% – 15%) if you use a dashcam in your car. Some require you to use specific brands (like Swiftcover with Nextbase dash cams), but most will be fine with any dashcam, as long as you have it installed properly.

Other Nice (but not Dealbreaker) Features to Consider

Voice activation is a feature that can make driving safer by allowing you to control your dashcam through voice commands, so you keep your eyes on the road.

Still capture is a feature that allows you to take a single photo, instead of video footage. While it might not seem useful at first, it’s indispensable for taking a quick snapshot if you’ve witnessed a crime.

Lastly, an LCD screen is an easy way to operate your dashcam, as well as view footage. If your unit lacks this feature, however, you can easily use a smartphone or tablet (just make sure your dashcam supports WiFi).