Installing one of the best dash cams in your car can prove to be invaluable. If you're ever in a car accident, and it wasn't your fault, having dash cam footage showing the events that occurred can save your bacon if the matter is taken to court.
Having a dash cam installed in your car could also bring your car insurance premium down, although this may change from insurer to insurer.
But which is the best dash cam in Australia? We've tried and tested countless models, looking at the quality of footage recorded, how easy they are to install and use and if they have any extra features such as secondary cameras or voice control.
For our money, the Nextbase 622GW is the best dash cam you can currently buy. It nails the basics, with outstanding image quality and solid smartphone connectivity, while also offering features that aren’t too common in in the dash cam world.
That said, it’s never just a ‘one size fits all’ answer to which is the best dash cam in Australia. It all depends on how you plan to use the camera, what specific features might be useful to you and, more importantly, which model fits into your budget.
So we went ahead and found a few more options for you. Whichever dash cam you choose, you'll want to also read our guide on fitting a dash cam – it’d be an annoyance to get home and find you’ve filmed the roof of your car for 12 hours.
Here are T3’s picks of the best dash cams in Australia.
The best dash cams you can buy today
Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The Nextbase 622GW boasts high video quality, excellent stabilisation and the inclusion of the delightfully clever What3Words geolocation services. There is also integration with Amazon Alexa for voice control and app usage.
With the ability to capture 4K/30fps video, the resulting footage is detailed, vibrant and smooth when viewed on a laptop or PC. You even have access to a Super Slow-Mo mode (1080p at 120fps), meaning it’s now easier than ever to see exactly what happens during an accident, or registration plates on fast-moving vehicles.
The image stabilisation is a first within the dash cam market, and it really does work, helping to iron out any bumps and shakes during travel. Nextbase has also integrated a polarising filter to help reduce glare from sunlight through the windscreen.
The 3-inch rear touchscreen is crisp and clear, while the inclusion of What3Words is clever, as it can alert the emergency and breakdown services of an exact location, even when there is no Wi-Fi or mobile data available. Australian emergency services' recent adoption of the What3Words standard is a testament to its effectiveness.
Our chief niggle with the Nextbase 622GW is that the companion app can be a little clunky to use, primarily in the sense that it can struggle to connect to the camera when you want to transfer images and video.
Otherwise, it's easy to setup and can be a breeze to operate for the majority of the time. Ultimately, the Nextbase 622GW is our top pick, doing everything that's required of a dash cam and doing it well, but also offering some useful additional features.
Read our full Nextbase 622GW review
As Garmin's flagship dash cam in Australia, the 67W does an awful lot, awfully well, but for a premium price. If you're familiar with Garmin's dash cam naming structure, you'll notice this one features a W in the model name, and it refers to the fact this little camera has a wider field-of-view compared to other models in the Garmin range, at 180 degrees.
Footage is recorded in 1440p HD quality and any incidents are automatically saved into what Garmin calls Vault Storage, where they are saved for free for 24 hours (you can pay extra to increase the time they're stored for). Footage is also stored on a microSD card, but you do need to supply your own.
The 67W is also fitted with a range of driver assistance systems, such as lane departure warning or collision warnings, which work well and can be useful in day to day driving. What we do like about this Garmin cam is that GPS is included too, so you don't need to rely on the companion app for location tracking.
The Dash Cam 67W is a little pricey, and we still think the Nextbase 622GW is the one to go for if you are prepared to spend big on a dash cam. But for simple installation and ease-of-use, you can't go wrong with this Garmin.
Read our full Garmin Dash Cam 67W review
This is BlackVue's flagship front-and-rear dash cam package, with a price tag to match. The front-facing camera records in 4K resolution with an 8MP sensor, while the smaller rear camera captures footage in Full HD (1080p). The front-facing field-of-view is 162º, while the rearview is a little tighter at 139º. Both cameras record video at 60 frames per second.
Wi-Fi and GPS are both included, and BlackVue also sells an optional 4G module to give the camera system a constant connection for remote notifications and live viewing. The data connection also enables two-way voice calls, where you can speak with whoever is in your car remotely.
There’s a parking mode that uses motion and vibration sensors to detect events and record footage in a bid to catch evidence of vandalism or a parking incident. Both cameras feature a cylindrical design that makes them more compact than some others, though this saving in size comes at the sacrifice of a screen.
With dual cameras, connection between the two can be a concern, but BlackVue provides a long cable to connect them. So, unless you're pretty handy and can install the camera system yourself, we'd recommend getting it professionally installed for the neatest result.
The 522GW previously held the top spot in this guide, but even though it's been superceded, it's still a massively impressive dash cam. It not only nails the basics (such as recording with outstanding image quality), but also offers some nifty features that can put you at ease when in the car.
While it's now not the only dash cam to feature it, the Nextbase 522GW was one of the first to come with Alexa built-in. This functionality allows you to play music, find parking, control Alexa-enabled smart home devices and make calls whenever you want, without taking your eyes off the road. We found it surprisingly useful.
There’s also impressive safety features, such as Emergency SOS, which will alert the emergency services to your location in the event of an accident. This feature – or similar iterations of – can be found on other dash cams too, and can prove to be lifesaving.
That's not all, however, the 522GW also packs an 'Intelligent Parking Mode' that records any bump or physical movement on the vehicle when left unattended.
It's not just the impressive list of features that means this is the best dash cam, however, as we previously mentioned, the Nextbase 522GW is also a master when it comes to the basics. It records incredibly crisp, perfectly lit 1440p video, the Click&Go mount is a really neat solution, and its smartphone app, MyNextbase, is the most polished experience we've encountered.
Read our full Nextbase 522GW review
If you’re looking for the smallest dash cam possible, then you'll want the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2, which really is mini by name and exceptionally mini by nature. Seriously, it's tiny, and will fit comfortably out of sight behind you rear view mirror.
As a result of its small size, you do have to forego a few features, most notably of which is a screen. But, not having a screen shouldn't be a dealbreaker, and you can connect the Dash Mini 2 to your phone via the companion app to see the view the camera has out of your windscreen. Once it's setup, you should be keeping your eyes on the road anyway, and you can leave the dash cam to do its job.
And what a job it does. It 'only' records in full HD 1080p, but that should be expected from a camera of this size, but overall quality is still good and you can see what's going on in the frame when viewing footage back. You don't get GPS built-in unfortunately, but your location can be tracked when you connect the Mini 2 to your smartphone and the Drive app.
You can also make use of a parking mode, which will record footage when the car is parked, but this does require you to buy and install the optional Constant Power Cable.
As affordable, easy-to-install dash cams go, though, the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is one of the best around.
A more affordable option from Blackvue, this is the company’s lowest-priced dual-camera system. It has a similar, cylindrical design to other Blackvue dash cams and records in Full HD 1080p resolution to the front and rear. The footage is captured at 30 frames per second and there is a night vision mode to improve low-light recordings.
The front-facing camera has a 139-degree lens and the rear is slightly narrower at 137 degrees. These are a light tighter than some other options out there, but should still be enough to capture a good outward view from most vehicles.
The camera system has Wi-Fi for connecting to your smartphone or tablet, where the Blackvue app is used to set everything up, and GPS can be added as an optional extra.
There is no display on either camera, but some drivers will prefer this as it makes for a more subtle and less distracting design. Each camera attaches to the windscreen with an adhesive pad, and can be rotated on its mount to point at the right angle to match the rake of the screen.
The Nextbase 222 is a well-priced and smartly designed dash cam which gets the basics right. It is small enough to fit neatly behind your rear view mirror, has a good-sized screen for adjusting settings and viewing recorded video, and comes with a smart magnetic mount.
Those wanting more from their dash cams - like Bluetooth, GPS, driver assistance features and a more useful parking mode - will want to look elsewhere, but in doing so they will invariably spend more. If you want a simple, no-fuss dash cam with Full HD video recording, the Nextbase 222 is a solid option.
Read our full Nextbase 222 review
Viofo doesn't have the same brand recognition as some of the others on this list but that's no reason to dismiss it, because its 4K resolution Pro Duo model represents phenomenal value for money. It's no way near as sleek as some of its more recognisable rivals but this package comes with both front and rear cameras.
That does mean plenty of trailing wires to stash underneath headliners but it also adds further peace of mind for all-round coverage. There's the option of glorious 4K (3840 x 2160p) video recording up front, with the resulting footage offering a great amount of detail and Wide Dynamic Range serving up rich colours in all weather conditions.
The fact that you get night vision, a parking mode, motion detection, automatic emergency recording, GPS tracking and dual channel 1080p makes this a package well worth considering if you cover a lot of miles and want total camera coverage that doesn’t cost a small fortune.
Miofive could be a brand you've not heard of before, and that's understandable because it only came to be on the dash cam scene by way of Kickstarter. And we're pretty happy the 4K Dash Cam has seen the light of day, because it really is rather good.
Not only is footage recorded in 4K quality, but you get 64GB of internal storage upon which to store it. You can view and download footage from the camera onto your phone via the companion app, if you need to free up space on the camera. And, to be honest, you might need to as 4K files can become quite large.
All in all though, this is a thoroughly impressive dash cam that certainly takes the fight to the big boys.
The cheapest, smallest unit here, the 122 packs a 120-degree camera and smooth brushed-plastic casing. The two-inch screen is a little fiddly in this touchscreen era, rivals have sharper images, and extremes of light and shade throw it a little, but the 122 does the job and records to the 32GB SD card in three-minute chunks.
There’s also a mic, and a battery for 30 minutes of post-smash recording – the camera doesn’t switch off when the car does. Consider that a dash-cam is for emergencies, not something you interact with daily, and the 112 is a great budget choice, although we'd suggest spending a little more on the Nextbase 222.
Read our full Nextbase 122 review
The DriveCam 76 is the latest version of Garmin's all-in-one dash cam and sat nav system. This is exactly what it sounds like and offers drivers two products in one neat package. Admittedly, we expect the majority of road users will now either use integrated sat nav systems in their car, or will get directions from their phone.
But for users who still prefer a dedicated sat nav unit, perhaps for drives in completely unknown locations where clear visibility is required, it's a compelling option.
Fortunately, the large 7-inch display is incredibly clear and easy to read when out on the road and the Garmin interface is a doddle to move through. There is some internal storage, but you'll also want to think about adding your own microSD card for additional storage to save any recorded footage.
Video quality is good, although it can get a little shaky at times, but for the most part, it's an impressive unit.
We haven't personally reviewed the Garmin DriveCam 76 here at T3, but you can read the expert opinion of our colleagues at TechRadar, here.
How to choose the best dash cam for you
You want at least 1080p recording, 720p doesn't quite cut the mustard, and while 4K is a nice option to have, the file sizes are very large and older computers will struggle to play them.
Next, you'll have to decide whether you want a dash cam with a screen or a model without. Dash cams with screens are easier to set up and view footage on, but ones without screens are a lot less intrusive. Both are useful, but we'd choose one with a screen for occasional recording (track days and scenic drives), but one without a screen for 'set and forget' everyday driving.
Mounting type is also important. Most stick on the windscreen with a suction mount, the same a sat nav, whereas some more permanent cams have sticky 3M mounts.
The key feature to look out for is a Wi-Fi smartphone connection, this makes it so much easier to view, download and share footage.
There are also gimmicks such as lane departure and forward collision warning – while these are potentially interesting inclusions, in practice, they don't work very well, so shouldn't sway you're buying decision.
One feature which isn't a gimmick is GPS – this allows the car to record your speed and direction of travel, which could be used as extra evidence in an insurance case.
It's also important to note, that while these are battery-powered, we've found they all have minuscule, sub-thirty-minute battery lives. That means they're going to require a power cable.
All companies include a charger that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter, while some offer kits which allow you to hardwire the dash cam into your car's fusebox.
How we tested the dash cams
These are a selection of the best dash cams available in Australia, the majority of them will automatically record footage when they sense a collision, and some of them have a few extra abilities thrown in.
They're certainly a worthwhile investment (especially in the winter), and could end up saving you a lot of money, either in the event of an accident, or in insurance premiums (for example, some companies will give you a 15-percent discount car insurance with most of these cameras).
There are several things to consider when buying a dash cam, but the most important factor is image quality. These devices are absolutely pointless if, when it comes to reviewing the footage of an accident, it looks like the lens has been smeared with Vaseline and you have difficulty telling whether you were cut up by a grey Ford Focus or a baby elephant.
Most of the reviews conducted by T3 were done so in the UK, where our colleagues on the other side of the world enlisted the help of a brand new Land Rover Discovery to throughly put some dash cams through their paces. Cameras were tested with the same lighting conditions, in a number of different, challenging scenarios, such as driving towards the sun and at night.
If we weren't happy with the image quality, they didn't make it in this list.
Here is everything you need to consider when buying a dash cam:
- Mount type – permanent or suction cup
- Design – screen or no screen
- Installation – cigarette lighter or fusebox
Here are a list of dash cam features you should look out for:
- 1080p video
- Voice control
- Compact design
- Parking mode
And here are the dash cam features you can ignore:
- Lane departure warning
- Collision warning
- Any other superfluous features