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Things You Should Know Before Buying a Dash Cam

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

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

What is a dash cam?

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

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primary function

As you drive, a dash cam records the road ahead. It can be plugged into the fuse box, a USB port, or even powered by the cigarette lighter line. Turning the ignition key starts an automatic recording for many dash cams. Some cameras can also continue recording even after the ignition is turned off. However, some of the more feature-rich dash cams may need to be connected to the car’s electrical system. Each video segment is recorded and can be stored on a micro SD card, while some also give you the option of automatic cloud upload and storage.


Additional benefitsthings-to-know-before-buying-dash-cam

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

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

what to look forthings-to-know-before-buying-dash-cam

Buying one of the best dash cams can be a great investment because it can help you maintain situational awareness, promote safe driving, and support your claims in the event of an accident. However, before you make a purchase, here are some basic things to consider.

  • Prices: Depending on the model and features, a dash cam can cost between $30 and $500. The average dash cam with the right features retails for around $100 to $400. How much you’ll need to spend depends on the features you expect to get from your dash cam.
  • Image quality: Dash cameras can include a variety of bells and whistles, but the quality of the camera itself may be the most important factor to consider. The best images are obtained with higher quality cameras, which are useful if you need to examine specific details after an accident or other catastrophe. Specifications for camera image quality include:
    • Resolution
    • Field of view
    • frame rates
    • night vision
  • Drums: Most dash cams work with your car, so they start recording when you start your car and stop recording when you turn it off. However, some dash cams include a built-in battery, so you don’t need to have your car running to use the dash cam. Some people may 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 made to last much longer. However, you can only record manually as they lack capabilities like G-sensors and auto-recording features.
  • Protection for image storage: Choosing a dash cam with ample storage space is essential because video recordings can take up a lot of space. You won’t have to bother managing extra storage if you don’t want to because some dash cams already have a small amount of storage. Dash cam storage typically starts at about 4GB, but if you plan on keeping footage older than a few days, you may need more. Most dash cams come with a MicroSD card port where you can put a MicroSD card to store your video. You may need to purchase a MicroSD card separately if your dash cam doesn’t come with one.
  • Wireless connectivity and GPS: 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 footage. And with GPS connectivity, you’ll be able to record your car’s speed and location and sync it up along with the footage, and that extra data could help settle a dispute.


A dash cam is crucial when driving because it gives you situational awareness and can help deter crime. It can also save you money. Find out more by reading our list of the best dash cams.

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