Best dash cam 2016: kit out your car, record idiot drivers, and save on your insurance

Save money and record your rear ends with these best dashcams

Dash cams, dashcams, little cameras that live on your dashboard - they’re all the rage at the moment.

They play a part in creating hilarious YouTube videos, but they also have a more serious, practical use, mainly by recording traffic incidents so you don’t get blamed (if it isn’t your fault).

These are a selection of the best dash cams available in the UK, they all automatically record footage when they sense a collision, but some of them have a few extra abilities.

They’re certainly a worthwhile investment, and could end up saving you a lot of money in insurance premiums (for example, Adrian Flux will give you a 15-percent discount car insurance with most of these cameras).

Let's start with a little background info on dash cams. All (bar one) of the ones we've included here have screens, because we believe ones without a display aren't as useful.

It's also important to note, that while these are battery powered, we've found they all have sub-one hour battery lives. That means they're going to require a power cable, similar to a sat nav.

In no particular order...

1. ProofCam RAC 05

Camera: 150° FOV, Super HD 1296p | Screen: 2.7-inch LCD TFT | GPS: Yes

Proofcam RAC 05

Simple with excellent features
Lifetime speed camera warnings
Battery life
Safety features not great

The RAC 05 is a pretty straight forward dash cam, but it’s also one of the most fully featured we’ve seen.

The 05 comes with GPS tracking, lifetime safety camera and speed alerts (in over 80 countries), as well as forward collision and lane departure warning.

We were super impressed with the image quality of the RAC 05, and for £149.99, it’s reasonably well priced considering the number of features it packs in.

RAC Insurance customers can also save £30 on the annual cover.

2. Thinkware F770

Camera: 1080p Full HD | Screen: No Screen | GPS: Yes

Thinkware F770

Parking Time Lapse and Night Modes
No screen

The Thinkware F770 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 F770 is fixed to your car windscreen with 3M tape, and as there's no screen, it means you can essentially hide it behind the rear view mirror. We think that's the best place for them.

The F770 comes with GPS tracking, lifetime safety camera and speed alerts, as well as Safety Warnings such as forward collision and lane departure awareness.

The HD video quality is good, and the Night mode is very impressive. There's built-in Wi-Fi so you can connect to your smartphone, and a Time Lapse Mode which records your parked for 48-hours. That's great if you're worried about the vehicle being vandalised while left at night.

3. NextBase Duo TwinCam

Camera: 14MP, 720p x2 | Screen: 2.7-inch LED | GPS: Yes

NextBase Duo TwinCam

Records two directions
Auto-sync cameras
Only 720p

The NextBase Duo TwinCam, as the name suggests (twice), has not one, but two cameras. One facing forward, and one facing rearwards, each recording at 720p.

The rear facing camera isn’t wide angle, it looks through the rear window (no diving selfies for you!) It does synchronise footage and play it back simultaneously.

The major selling point with NextBase dash cams is that Swiftcover will give you a 12.5-percent discount on car insurance, which could be massive, as long as you qualify and meet all of the terms and conditions etc.

4. Mio MiVue 688

Camera: 140º, Full HD | Screen: 2.7-inch touchscreen | GPS: Yes

Mio MiVue 688

Sony Image Sensor
Quite expensive

The Mio MiVue is a really neat little device, but despite the dinky body, it manages to squeeze in a reasonably sized 2.7-inch screen on it.

The Mio MiVue is one for tech fans amongst us, featuring GPS tracking, lifetime speed limit notifications, and WiFi to connect directly to your phone. This means you can view and share footage on your smartphone.

Footage is captured in Full HD at 30fps, and Mio uses Sony's optic sensor so it looks really impressive, especially in low light. The one button/touch screen combination is intuitive, but it features a 3-axis G-sensor to automatically record in the event of a collision.

5. Garmin Dash Cam 30

Camera: Full HD 1080p | Screen: 1.4-inch LCD | GPS: No

Garmin Dash Cam 30

Reliable brand
No nonsense

The Garmin 30 is one of the more basic cams on this list, but it’s also one of the cheapest, which is a bonus.

The 30 doesn’t feature GPS, but it does record HD content, and it’s small and unintrusive.

If you want GPS you can plump out a little more for the Garmin 35, but if you want a no-nonsense camera which gives you peace of mind, we’d suggest the 30.

6. ProofCam RAC 03

Camera: 16MP, 150º FOV, Super HD 1296p | Screen: 4.3” TFT LCD | GPS: Yes

ProofCam RAC 03

Cool idea
Safety implications?

Another device from the ProofCam / RAC alliance, and it’s a really nice idea. Instead of taking up precious windscreen-real-estate, it simply clips over your wing mirror.

It matches our favourite RAC 05 in terms or image quality as well, with 150º lens and Super HD recording.

RAC Insurance customers can also save £30 on the annual cover.

7. NextBase RIDE

Camera: Full HD 1080p | Screen: 1.5-screen LED | GPS: Yes

NextBase RIDE

For motorbikes
Small screen

Of course, dash cams aren’t just for cars, NextBase also sells a weatherproof bike camera.

This is actually the first dash cam developed specifically for motorbike riders, it has a waterproof IPx6 housing, records in full HD with WiFi and GPS included.

It has a built-in battery which lasts around an hour, and it’s RAM mount and handlebar mount compatible.

8. Cobra CDR 900E

Camera: 160º, Super HD 1296p | Screen: 2.0-inch LCD | GPS: Optional

Cobra CDR 900E

Live streaming
Wide angle camera
GPS not standard

The Cobra is an all-bells-and-whistles dash cam, with live streaming - meaning your mum can watch at home while you knock a cyclist off their bike (not fatally). Such larks.

Of course, it still manages to do everything else, including recording Super HD footage.

It's compact, and links via Wi-Fi directly to an iOS or Android device, meaning you can instantly view and share footage, as well as control settings in the menu.

9. Garmin NuviCam

Camera: Full HD 1080p | Screen: 6.0-inch touchscreen | GPS: Yes

Garmin NuviCam

Sat nav as well
Easy to use
Very large

We really like this multi-tasking device. The NuviCam is both sat nav and dash cam, which is a really clever idea, as it makes both devices relevant, rather than having two separate gadgets suckered onto your windscreen.

The large 6-inch display is great for viewing footage, but it can be a bit distracting (as it’s so large). As well as navigation, it’ll also provide forward collision and lane departure warning.

It’s the most expensive device on this list, but it’s also the most talented. Certainly worth consideration if you’re not fully sold on a standalone dash cam yet.

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