Dash cam

What you need to know before buying a Dash Cam

From audio and video recording quality to battery life and cloud upload capability, there are a lot of things you need to know before buying a dash cam.

If you are wondering what is the best dash cam buy for your vehicle, here are some things to know.

What is an on-board camera?

A dash cam, commonly referred to as dash cam, is an on-board camera that continuously captures the view through a vehicle’s front windshield. However, some of the best dash cams also allow you to record events beside and behind your vehicle.

Primary function

While driving, a dash cam records the road. It can be plugged into the fuse box, a USB port, or even powered from the cigarette lighter line. Turning the ignition key starts an automatic recording for many dash cams. Some cameras may also continue recording even after the ignition is turned off. However, some of the heavier dash cams may need to be hardwired into the car’s electrical system. Every video segment is recorded and can be stored on a micro SD card, while some also give you the option to automatically upload and store to the cloud.


Additional Benefits

One of the benefits you can get from a dash cam is saving on insurance premiums. Many insurers now offer annual savings of up to 30% to drivers who use a dash cam, which can be significant with rising premiums. Other benefits you get include:

  • Parking mode to protect your vehicle while you are parked
  • Deterrence against crime and reckless driving
  • Faster dispute resolution after events
  • Promotion of safe driving

What to look forthings-you-should-know-before-buying-dash-cam

The purchase of one of best dash cams can be a great investment as it can help you maintain situational awareness, promote safe driving and safeguard your claims in the event of an accident. Before you make a purchase, however, here are some basics you need to consider.

  • Pricing: Depending on the model and features, a dash cam can cost between $30 and $500. The average dash cam with adequate features sells for $100 to $400. How much you will need to spend depends on the features you expect from your dash cam.
  • Image quality: Dash cams can include a variety of bells and whistles, but the quality of the camera itself may be the most crucial factor to consider. Better images are produced by higher quality cameras, which is handy if you need to examine specific details after an accident or other disaster. Camera image quality specifications include:
    • Resolution
    • Field of view
    • Frame rates
    • Night vision
  • Battery: Most dash cams are powered by your automobile, so they start recording when you turn on your car and stop recording when you turn off your car. However, some dash cams include a built-in battery, so you don’t have to run your car to use the dash cam. Some people might want a dash cam to continue recording after leaving their vehicle in a public parking lot. Unfortunately, the vast majority of dash cams have poor battery life. Using a sports camera as a dash cam offers an alternative. GoPro batteries are designed to last much longer. However, you can only record manually, as they lack features like G-sensors and auto-recording functions.
  • Protection for image storage: Choosing a dash cam with sufficient storage is essential as video recordings can eat up a lot of space. You won’t have to worry about managing extra storage if you don’t want it, as some dash cams already have a small amount of storage. Dash cam storage typically starts at around 4GB, but if you plan to keep more than a few days worth of footage, you may need more. Most dash cams come with a MicroSD card slot where you can insert a MicroSD card to store your video. You may need to purchase a MicroSD card separately if your dash cam does not come with one.
  • Wireless and GPS Connectivity: If your dash cam has Bluetooth and GPS connectivity, that’s an added bonus because with Bluetooth you can manage your dash cam settings and images. And with GPS connectivity, you’ll be able to record your car’s speed and location and sync it to the footage, and that extra data might help settle a dispute.


A dash cam is crucial in driving because it gives you situational awareness and can help deter crime. It can also save you money. To find out more, read our list best dash cams.