Looking for the best dash cam for your vehicle? Whether you drive a car, van, or truck, you’ll find the best dash cams for every motorist in the list below. We’ve reviewed, rated, and ranked all of the top in-car cameras, so whatever you drive, you’ll find your ideal option in this buying guide.
10 Best Dash Cam In UK 2021
The best dash cams offer you protection and security for your vehicle. A dashboard camera really is like having ‘CCTV for your car’. Dash cams come in a range of types and prices, and many include additional safety features that go beyond simple video capture. You can have dash cams professionally installed with hidden wiring, or choose a dash cam you can fit yourself and move between vehicles.
How we tested them
To ensure the test was fair, we mounted all of the cameras on our windscreen so that they were capturing footage in exactly the same situations. We then drove in the most challenging conditions for cameras, including bright sunlight and darkness, and we also tested how they coped with tunnels, which are a challenge for processors. The footage was then downloaded using the manufacturer’s own app or desktop program, if possible, to see how easy it was to find and edit the footage. Points were also awarded for useful features and value for money.
1. Nextbase 622GW Dash Cam
Rather than being a replacement for the more affordable 522GW (see below), the 622GW is simply a new flagship dash cam. It brings much-improved video quality, better stabilization, and the inclusion of what3words geolocation services, which make it possible to pinpoint a stricken vehicle within a three-meter radius.
Opting for 4K at 30fps sees the resulting footage look almost cinematic in its presentation, with extremely crisp definition and great detail, even in poor lighting situations. This makes it much easier to pinpoint registration numbers or pick out hard-to-see elements of an accident.
A built-in polarizing filter on the front of the camera can be rotated to reduce glare from windscreens, while digital image stabilization is another first for the dash cam market and helps smooth out those bumps and shakes caused by potholes and poor road surfaces.
Like its 522GW sibling, this model can be controlled via your voice with Alexa Skills, but it requires the accompanying smartphone app to work, which isn’t the best. Despite the new dual 2.4GHz + 5GHz Wi-Fi, it still has trouble connecting with phones to transfer images and video clips.
Thankfully, the 3-inch rear touchscreen is crisp, clear, and very easy to use, while the inclusion of what3words combines well with Nextbase’s emergency SOS feature, which you get a year’s free subscription for with this dash cam.
2. Nextbase 522GW Dash Cam Front and Rear Camera
If you’re not convinced you need 4K image quality, then the Nextbase 522GW offers most of the features of a more expensive camera, but at a more affordable price. Like the 622, the 522GW has a magnetic mount, plus easy-to-use applications for downloading and editing footage and tagging information, including GPS location data, speed, and timings.
This cheaper model also has Amazon Alexa compatibility, which means you can use voice recognition to access some features, including asking it to protect footage after an incident. This is far safer than trying to search for a specific button while on the move.
With a 140-degree lens, the footage is usefully wide, too, and even though it ‘only’ records at 1080p resolution, the quality is pretty good in all light conditions.
3. Garmin Dash Cam 66W
The Garmin Dash Cam 66W is the replacement to a previous favorite dash cam of ours, the Garmin 55. It retains its predecessor’s compact size and ease of use, but increases the field of view from 122 degrees to 180 degrees, giving a far broader view of the front of your car and the road ahead. Also new is HDR (high dynamic range) video recording, to help retain detail in high-contrast lighting, while a Wi-Fi connection to your smartphone and the free Garmin Drive app means that you can connect up to four cameras at once and synchronize the video they shoot, giving a 360-degree view around your car. Battery life is just 30 minutes without plugging into your car’s power socket, but if you opt for a hardwired professional install the camera (or cameras) will stay on when parked, then record if someone carelessly bumps into your car while parking or driving past.
4. Aukey 1080p Dash Cam: The best dash cam for video quality
Buying dash cams for less than £100 is something of a minefield, but Aukey’s 1080p model stands out from the crowd. The compact unit is designed to lurk behind your rear-view mirror, with the click-on, click-off mount adhering to the windscreen using one of the two adhesive pads supplied.
The 2.19-megapixel Sony sensor captures footage from a wide 170˚ angle, giving you clear Full HD footage in the daytime and decent video after dark. While it’s no competition for the best 1440p dash cams, the Aukey punches above its weight.
There are telltale signs of a budget dash cam, such as the lack of any smartphone connectivity or GPS, and the small 1.5in the screen, cramped buttons, and lengthy menus hamper ease of use – although there’s nothing here that’s very tricky.
Overall, it does all the basics, comes supplied with ample cable, and can even be found in a dual pack with an equally good rear-view camera for less than £110. It’s a cracking budget buy.
Key specs – Max video recording resolution: 1080p, 30fps; Field of view: 170°; Display: 1.5in; Extra features: Accelerometer, time-lapse recording
5. THINKWARE F800 PRO
The Thinkware F800 Pro is probably the dash cam that we’ve used for the longest amount of time – mainly because it’s so low profile you just forget about it (which is kind of what you want with these devices).
The F800 is fixed to your car windscreen with sticky 3M tape, and, as there’s no screen, you can essentially hide it behind the rearview mirror. We think that’s the best place for them.
The F800 comes with GPS tracking, lifetime safety camera, and speed alerts, as well as Safety Warnings such as forward collision and lane departure awareness. Although, while these are marginally useful on dash cameras with screens, they are of zero use without a screen.
The HD video quality is good, and the night mode (now on its second generation) is very impressive (it’s surprisingly sharp and there’s next to no noise). There’s built-in Wi-Fi so you can connect to your smartphone, although we did experience some connection issues, and it looks very dated.
Time-Lapse Mode records your parked car for 48-hours. That’s great if you’re worried about the vehicle being vandalized while left at night.
That final feature requires the camera to be hardwired into the car. We think that’s what you’d want to do with the Thinkware. It’s not too difficult and also the neatest looking option, freeing up the 12V port.
The most interesting capability bundled in with the F800 Pro is Thinkware’s new Cloud service. This includes the ability to get notified when your car leaves a geofenced area, or when an impact occurs to your vehicle. You can also use it to locate your vehicle when parked.
These are potentially very useful features, but we found it very difficult to get them working, and from reading other online reviews, we’re not the only ones.
6. Kenwood DRV-830
This powerful dash cam’s included MicroSD card and internal memory provides massive storage capabilities.
Most of the best dash cams don’t come with a memory card, which is annoying. The Kenwood DRV-830 dash cam comes with a MicroSD card and internal memory, providing you with massive storage capabilities.
It’s also easy to install, with decent image quality and a wide viewing angle. It is lacking some of the most advanced features, but this straightforward device delivers where it counts.
Some users aren’t big fans of the way this dash cam looks, but are any dash cams actually attractive? We really don’t think it matters.
7. Kenwood DRV-A501W Bundle
You will really get value for money with this bundle – a quality camera that will record at up to 1440p with GPS, wifi, and a magnetic mounting system, a rear camera module, micro SD card and hardwire kit are all included as standard and we love it.
The main unit is fairly big compared with rival products, with the control buttons arranged along the sides of the bright three-inch screen, making it a good choice if you find some cameras fiddly. The main camera offers high dynamic resolution (HDR) recording which enhances images by evening out contrasts between very bright and very dark lighting conditions. We liked the phone app which allows you to download footage, change camera settings, or even view live images while it’s recording – obviously, you should not be doing this while driving.
8. Garmin Dash Cam 55
One of the more advanced dash cams Garmin offers, you get a polarizing filter to reduce glare and extra features and alerts to help you – such as lane departure. This dinky dash cam also includes wi-fi, so you can easily view footage on your phone.
9. Azdome GS63H
The Azdome GS63H comes with an impressive specification for the price with GPS, WiFi, motion detection, and a Sony sensor camera. There’s also a companion app – called rather, unfortunately, ‘LuckyCam’ – which lets you view any footage, plus save it to your phone, share it, or email the file to someone.
While Azdome may not be a familiar name to many, the GS63H is a superb camera for the money. Given the price, it outperforms more expensive dash cams from many well-known brands, both in terms of features and the footage it captures. Yes, it may not technically be 4K, but it’s very sharp and clear nonetheless.
10. Garmin Mini
The Garmin Mini captures 1080p HD footage with a 140-degree lens in a dash camera about as small as a car key. The Mini also offers Wi-Fi connectivity to upload saved footage to your smartphone via the Garmin Drive app and Bluetooth.
The dash cam accepts micro SD cards from 8GB to 256GB (class 10), which is sold separately. Considering the tiny dash cam is £99, it could be argued that it doesn’t offer a whole lot for the outlay – however, if you have limited windscreen space (say, a convertible) or don’t want a dash camera obstructing your view at all, the Mini is ideal as it attaches directly onto the back of your rear-view mirror. Review coming soon.
Whenever we get a new dash cam review in, we’ll update this list with more of the best we’ve tested. Keep reading to find out which rank among the best dash cam 2021.