The 10 Best Car Dash Cameras

We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth millions, especially in the event of an automobile accident. Now, you can keep your eyes on the road and trust that these car dash cameras are doing the same, while recording all they see in high-quality video in case you need evidence after a collision. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.

10. Papago! Gosafe 535

If you’re worried you might not have usable footage in bad lighting, the Papago! Gosafe 535 will give you crisp, clean images, no matter the time of day or weather conditions. It has an excellent field of view as well, giving you a clear look at anything in your way.

  • Comes with 2 different dash mounts
  • Can handle sd cards up to 64gb
  • Poor battery life

Model GS5358G
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Z-Edge Z3

The Z-Edge Z3 captures full-HD video footage and has a three-inch display, so you can see exactly what it’s recording and where it’s pointing — while the car’s safely stopped, of course. It also boots up automatically when you get in your car and turn the key.

  • Usb and battery power options
  • Intuitive menu layout
  • Performs poorly in direct sunlight

Brand Z-EDGE
Model 2124544
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Rexing S300

The Rexing S300 records video with a wide dynamic range, which produces a more balanced and vivid image, making it is easier to see fine details like license plates. It also comes with a 16 GB microSD card, so it’s ready to install and use right out of the box.

  • Fog-resistant lens
  • Rotatable in all directions
  • Housing is somewhat bulky

Brand rexing
Model S300
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Yi Technology

If you’re wanting to buy a few units to pass out among family members, this little number from Yi Technology is a good bet. It’s cheap enough that you can buy several, but the video quality isn’t top-of-the-line, so don’t expect to be able to read fine details.

  • App allows for downloading clips
  • Flimsy mount leads to shaky footage
  • Not suitable for hot climates

Brand YI
Model 89006
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. ITrue X3

The simulated leather housing on the ITrue X3 helps reduce glare while you’re driving. It can function in temperatures ranging from 10 to 140°F, so regardless of where your travels take you, you’ll have clips of the horrible drivers you encountered along the way.

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Suction cup holds it firmly in place
  • Often need to reset time and date

Model ITRUE-X3
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Mobius Action Mini

While a dash cam can save you big bucks in the case of an accident, that doesn’t do you any good if you can’t afford one in the first place. The Mobius Action Mini is priced to meet any budget, but that won’t stop you from getting some sweet 1080p video.

  • Fits snugly behind rearview mirror
  • Looped recordings and stills
  • Doesn’t have playback monitor

Brand Spy Tec
Model mobius_regular_lens
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Rexing V1LG

The Rexing V1LG sports a built-in GPS logger, which can come in handy if you need to retrace your steps — or if there’s a dispute about vehicle locations during an accident. Plus, if the camera’s G-sensor feels an impact, it will immediately save and lock your information.

  • Six-layer wide-angle glass lens
  • Automatic exposure adjustments
  • Offers timestamp data

Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. KDLinks DX2

If you’re worried you aren’t tech-savvy enough for a dash cam, the KDLinks DX2 is simple to program. You only have to set up the front-facing camera, as the rear monitor is ready to go out of the box. Now, if you could just remember how to change the time in your car …

  • Fast aperture excels in low light
  • Includes a polarizer filter
  • Easy to install in vehicle

Model DX2
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Pruveeo C2

The Pruveeo C2 has both front- and rear-facing cameras, making it a must-own for anyone who drives for Uber or Lyft. Not only can you keep track of bad behavior on the road, but you can also keep an eye on the drunk partygoers who’ve been eyeing your tip jar.

  • Can be charged by cigarette lighter
  • Has a small footprint
  • Excellent audio pickup as well

Model C2
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Vantrue N2 Pro

If you’re afraid you’re going to miss something important due to a full SD card, the Vantrue N2 Pro records over old footage when it reaches maximum capacity. This ensures it’s always rolling, but sadly you may lose the evidence that you know all the words to “Cherry Pie.”

  • Infrared leds improve night vision
  • Sensor detects collisions
  • Parking monitor for added protection

Model N2 Pro
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

If Your Car Had Eyes

Anyone who’s been driving for more than a few weeks has a story to tell. It usually involves another driver on the road doing something so mind-bendingly stupid that it takes all of your will power not to pull off to the side of the road and scream endless strings of profanities at the innocent dandelions growing there.

Sometimes those stories end with something more tragic than a flash of road rage. Sometimes people’s cars get smashed; sometimes people get hurt. You can try to explain what happened to the police, but they’re liable to arrive on the scene after you’ve moved your cars out of the way of traffic, and then it’s your word against that of the other driver.

Having a dashcam installed in your vehicle can do wonders for bringing the truth of an accident to the forefront of its investigation. That can save you a tremendous amount of money in legal fees and insurance hikes, and it’s as easy as applying a suction cup to your windshield and plugging the device into your AC port or cigarette lighter.

Once plugged in, most dash cams will power on and start recording to an internal SD card as soon as your car’s engine starts. That recording is a well-compressed high definition feed that can make sense of almost any event on the road, drinking in light through a simple, low-element lens that can often double as an infrared recorder for night footage.

It’s like giving your car its very own set of cat’s eyes without that creepy cataract reflection.

The Law’s Not Always On Your Side

Currently, insurance companies in Russia and the UK actually offer insurance discounts to drivers who install dashcams in their cars. Not only is it their thinking that the footage can save precious man hours during a dispute or investigation, but both of those regions deal with a much higher rate of insurance fraud than the companies stateside, and dashcam footage makes that kind of grift much harder to perpetrate.

There are no such discounts currently in the US, and the use of dashcam footage in claim investigations and disputes is currently without any defined policy from the top five insurance providers. So, you aren’t liable to see a ton of savings coming your way unless you get a tech-savvy claims adjuster on the line who’s interested in using the lack of a policy as permission to utilize dashcam footage to help a customer. When was the last time you got customer service that thorough from an insurer? Yeah, I thought so.

Where the footage from your dashcam might prove indispensable, though, is in a criminal case. In the unfortunate instance where you find yourself on the business end of a vehicular litigation, be it a reckless driving allegation, vehicular manslaughter, or some such nightmare, the only proof of your innocence (provided you are innocent) could lie in your dashcam footage.

Be careful where the law’s concerned, though. Each state has its own unique statues regarding audio and video recording of police and citizens. Be sure to review your state’s statutes before installing your dashcam, lest you find yourself under arrest for an illegal wire tap.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys…

I watched a lot of bad television growing up, especially when I was home sick from school. Fox had the most notorious lineup of trashy mid-day talk shows and bleeding lead news. But it was their reliable airing of one show that kept me tuning in. That show was COPS.

COPS came about in an age before reality TV, and yet it proves that the age of reality TV had already begun. Harsh lighting, bad acting, staged arguments, and absolute train wrecks of human beings–in short, the necessary ingredients of a good reality show–were all accounted for.

One source of footage of which the show took sporadic advantage, was the police dashcam. The first of these cameras came along in the 1980s, and both their size and their reliance on VHS tapes made them poor, bulky options for inclusion in a police cruiser.

Over the intervening years, however, more and more citizens came to own video recording equipment, and it became imperative for the police to adopt a practice that could protect them from doctored or biased video that could wrongfully incriminate them. Into the 90s, dashcams were ubiquitous in most police cars, and the footage they recorded was a part of the public record, accessible to the producers of COPS with the filing of some relatively simple paperwork.

That show burned the perspective of the dashcam into our collective unconscious, and as the technology got smaller, smarter, and cheaper, manufacturers saw an opportunity in the market for everyday people to make good use of the cameras.

As noted above, the trend exploded in Russia and around Europe, and is becoming more popular in the US. In recent years, public outrage over police abuses caught on municipal dashcams, citizens’ cell phones, and other surveillance equipment has increased the gulf of trust between police departments and the neighborhoods they patrol. Community leaders and citizens alike hope that devices like dashcams can bring greater parity and accountability to corrupt systems and broken communities.