Dash cam

Should you buy a front and rear dash cam?

The vast majority of dash cams on the market are a single device, designed to sit above or behind your rear view mirror to film the road ahead. However, there are some that are packaged as a front and rear camera – one camera to face forwards and the other to film behind you.

These front and rear dash cams are usually expensive, considering there are technically two of them. But paying more doesn’t always guarantee you a better model – our tests have found that front- and rear-facing dash cams aren’t necessarily always your best bet for staying safe on the road.

At best, we found front and rear dash cams that record smooth, crisp footage throughout the day. At worst, we’ve seen front and rear dash cams with images so low-resolution you can’t make out license plates or road signs.

Only connected Which? members can check out our exclusive front and rear dash cam reviews and verdicts below. If you are not yet a member, you can join Which one? to get instant access to our results, below, and all of our online reviews – from cars to sat nav apps.

Front and rear dash cameras

  • Nextbase is a very established brand in the dash cam market. Following the launch of its full Series 2 range in 2019, the manufacturer launched the 222X dash cam – it’s the same as the 222, with an additional rear camera attached. The brand name may carry weight, but does Nextbase’s new dash cam tick all the boxes in our tough road and lab tests? Read our independent Nextbase 222X review to find out.

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  • Vantrue Ondash N4

    The Vantrue N4 dash cam is rather expensive. Although instead of being a single front-facing model, it comes with forward, rear and inward cameras, which might help justify the price. But are three cameras really better than one when it comes to image quality? We took it to our test lab to find out, so read on for the full Vantrue N4 3-Channel review to see how it fared.

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  • Transcend DrivePro 550

    The Transcend DrivePro 550 looks like a compact camera, but it’s a high-end dual dash cam with infrared LEDs for night recording and a Sony sensor for capturing photos. Do these fancy features mean great performance or are they just gimmicks? We put this dash cam through our lab tests and bring you a full review of the Transcend DrivePro 550.

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  • Garmin Tandem Dash Cam

    If you’ve ever been tempted to buy both a front and rear dash cam, this Garmin model will definitely catch your eye. This dash cam’s dual lenses have a 180 degree viewing angle, so you get a 360 degree view capturing the road ahead and inside your car, thanks to its rear “inner lens”. Did this model live up to expectations when we put it to the test? Read our Garmin Dash Cam Tandem review to find out.

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  • Motorola MDC500GW

    This dual dash cam is one of the best we’ve tested – while undercutting all other dual dash cams with its price. Video quality is very good, with crisp daytime recordings while nighttime footage also shows some detail. Although the rear camera records throughout the interior of the car, it still provides detailed images.

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Prices, recommendations and test results are correct as of November 2021.

You have not found the model that suits you? Browse all our dash cam review.

Video: How to install a front and rear dash cam

If you don’t know how to install a front and rear dash cam, watch this quick video tutorial:

Advantages and disadvantages of front and rear dash cams

Before choosing a front and rear dash cam, consider whether this type of dash cam is the best choice for you. Here are the main factors to consider:

Advantages:

  • Full coverage of the road behind you. It’s the main draw of a front and rear dash cam, but it bears repeating. If your vehicle is in the back, you’ll rarely need to prove it wasn’t your fault, but it can never hurt to have images that support you.
  • Greater coverage of the area around your parked vehicle. Dash cams aren’t just useful when you’re driving – they also help capture instances when you’re parked. If someone rams or vandalizes your vehicle while it’s parked, a front and rear dash cam setup is more likely to get a picture of the culprit.

The inconvenients:

  • Front and rear dash cams are expensive. There’s no denying – dual dash cams will cost you money, and lots of it. It’s not uncommon for models to cost £200 or even more, all because you’re essentially buying two dash cams. You might be better off spending half of it on just one Best Buy Dash Cam.
  • A front and rear dash cam is only as strong as its weakest lens. It is not uncommon for manufacturers to record the rear-facing unit at a lower resolution than the front-facing unit. The quality of recorded footage is paramount and you should never compromise on quality just to record more of the road. If images captured by a rear camera are too blurry or pixelated to be readable, they may as well not exist.