More categories
More categories

Smart Shopper is reader supported. When you shop our picks, we may receive a commission.

On the hunt for the best dash cams? Shop our top recommendations

Even the safest drivers could use a dash camera in their cars. Browse our picks for the best dash cam to keep you protected on the road.

Published Jul 25, 2023
6 min. reading time
Dash cams hero image

We’ve all seen the social media videos depicting the wildest driving and wrecks through dash cam footage. While these videos are amusing, car cameras aren’t just for capturing social media fodder. Who knew? (Just kidding.)

A good dash cam for cars can act as a silent witness if you find yourself in an accident or the victim of theft. Many also now have GPS tracking, so you’ll always know where your vehicle is, whether it was stolen — or you just have a teen driver taking the car out for a spin.

Our editors have scoured the market and dash cam reviews to find the options that make up our list. It has everything from top HD and 4K models to cameras with all the bells and whistles. There are also simpler, more budget-friendly options. Whatever your needs, we’re sure we have found the best dash cam for you.

Read more: Browse editor-recommended car cleaning products

The top dash cams, at a glance

Black dashcam with an app
Our top pick overall
Rexing - R4 4 Channel Dash Cam
$299.99 at Best Buy
DKK mini dual dash cam with screen
Best budget-friendly model
DKK Mini Dual Dash Cam
$59.95 at Amazon
Photo: Amazon
Our favorite front and rear dash cam
REDTIGER Dash Cam Front Rear, 4K/2.5K Full HD Dash Camera for Cars
$149.99 at Amazon
Black dash cam with lense and logo on front display
Best 4K dash cam
Nextbase 622GW 4K Dash Cam
$344.95 at Walmart

Our top pick overall

Pros & Cons
  • Handle up to four channels

  • Collision detector

  • CPL filter

  • The hardwire kit is difficult to install

  • Some WiFi/connectivity issues

If you’re looking for all-around coverage for your dash camera for car, then this model by Rexing is one of the best dash cams. It comes with four channels, meaning you can have not only front and rear view, but also two more cameras to use in-cabin or on the sides. 

The unit has built-in WiFI and GPS. You can mark the date and location of all your saved footage and share it via WiFI with your mobile device. You can also use this to upload the footage to cloud storage.

It does come with loop video recording, meaning once the SD card is full, it will overwrite older recordings. However, when the G-sensor is tripped by a collision, that footage will be locked so that it remains saved. 

The camera also has parking mode which keeps alert while your vehicle is parked. The CPL filter will block out glare from the sun, headlights and street lights, keeping the image clear.

You can connect the camera using an adhesive mount or the suction cup mount to the windshield and you won’t need to worry about it sliding off due to high temperatures.

Best budget-friendly model

Pros & Cons
  • Auto-adjusts lighting

  • Easy installation

  • Lifetime warranty

  • No GPS

  • Doesn’t support app to view playback on mobile devices

Though it’s one of the chunkier options on our list, this car dash cam by DKK is a good budget option. The video quality isn’t as crystal clear as some of the pricier dash cams, but it does come with a lot of the same features.

It still has full HD, a built-in G-sensor that will lock footage of collisions and a parking monitor for any dents while you’re in the store. It also has a front and rear camera - the front has a 170-degree lens while the rear has a 140-degree lens.

The camera also has easy installation. You can just plug it into the car’s cigarette lighter, though it needs to be plugged in at all times. If you only have that one charging port, this can be a bit of an inconvenience. There are also two ways to mount it - suction or adhesive.

One unique feature is the WDR function which will auto-adjust the lighting. You’ll get a clear look at license plates and signs no matter how dark it is outside. It’s the best dash camera for the price.

Pros & Cons
  • Real-time vehicle tracking via Google Maps

  • Control through smart app

  • 24-hour parking monitor

  • Hardwire kit needed for all features

  • Some reviews say it’s not user-friendly

This small dash cam by REDTIGER packs a lot of punch and is the best dashcam for its price. It has 4K resolution with the front camera and 1080p with the rear camera. Pair that with the HDR/WDR tech, and you’ll be able to clearly see plates and signs in all your footage, no matter the time of day. The front camera also has a wide angle of 170 degrees with 140 degrees in the rear.

Other extras include built-in GPS which can record your driving route, real-time speed, and more. You can easily track your vehicle on Google Maps. There is also a 24-hour parking monitor with time-lapse to keep your car safe wherever you park.

Like other dash cams, it has a G-Sensor which will record and save collision footage. You can also control everything through the smart app and WiFI.

One thing to note, you will need a hardwire kit for installation to use all of these features. If you only want to plug it into the cigarette lighter, these features - namely the 24-hour parking monitor - are not usable.

Best 4K dash cam

Black dash cam with lense and logo on front display
Photo: Walmart

Nextbase 622GW 4K Dash Cam

You save $3.04 (0.87%)
Pros & Cons
  • Voice control

  • Image stabilization

  • Emergency SOS response

  • Some reviewers report intermittent freezing

  • Doesn’t come with an SD card

If you want a dash cam with crystal clear resolution, check out this model from Nextbase. It has 4K video in the front-facing camera and night vision. It also has an image stabilization system to make sure that the video isn’t shaking so you can make out all the details. You won’t need to worry about driving in rain or snow as there is also a built-in defogging feature.

It’s compact and comes with tons of safety features. There is an emergency SOS response so you can location-share with emergency responders. The dash cam also allows voice control so you won’t be distracted by using the touchscreen while driving. It also comes with an intelligent parking mode to protect your car when you’re not there.

It will auto-start with your car and has easy installation. It’s also WiFI and Bluetooth enabled. You can easily personalize your setup to fit your car and driving style.

Top wireless option

rectangle-shaped Garmin dashcam in black
Photo: Best Buy

Garmin - Dash Cam Mini 2

You save -$20.00 (-18.18%)
Pros & Cons
  • Compact size

  • Can access remotely with WiFi and app

  • Voice control

  • Need constant power for some features

  • Some pairing issues with iOS devices

Garmin is a leading brand when it comes to GPS technology, so it’s no surprise that they have a dash cam on the market. This reasonably priced model is our top pick for wireless options.

It uses WiFI to save footage in Garmin’s cloud storage, the Vault, and allows live-view monitoring remotely. You can also control it through the Garmin Drive app and use GPS tracking.

The camera also has HD resolution and high image quality with Garmin Clarity HDR optics and a wide 140-degree lens. Even better, it comes with a dual USB charger, so you won’t lose any charging ports. It also has a compact design, so it will easily fit behind your rearview mirror. It’s roughly the size of a car key.

You can also use the Parking Guard feature, however, it does need constant power, so you’ll have to hardwire the system to use it.

Why do I need a dash cam?

You might be questioning whether it’s really worth it to spend hundreds on a car dash camera. Or why you might need one. Even if you’re a safe driver or don’t drive that often, there are ways that a dash cam can benefit you. Here’s how:

  • It can save you money. Some insurance companies will give discounts to people who have dash cams installed.  It can also save you from paying for an accident you didn’t cause.

  • It can help you dispute unfair traffic tickets. What better way to fight an unfair ticket at traffic stops than with dash cam footage? It’s completely submittable in court. 

  • It can protect you from insurance fraud. We all know that there are people out there who will cause accidents to get the insurance payout. A dash cam can help keep you from falling prey to this.

  • It can make you a safer driver. Some models come with Advanced Driving Assistance, which can give audible warnings to prevent some potential accidents. It can keep you from changing lanes or colliding with another car when you’re tired or distracted. 

  • Monitor the real-time whereabouts of your car. Whether you have teen drivers or your car is stolen, a dash cam with GPS tracking can give you a real-time location. It can also help emergency services find you if you’re unsure just where you are.

  • Stay safe while doing rideshare. If you are an Uber or Lyft driver or drive a taxi, having an in-cabin dash cam can provide extra protection. In fact, it’s highly recommended for rideshare drivers.

Which of these devices get our vote? 

We’ve given you some of the best options on the market and any of the dash cams on our list would be a good choice. However, if we had to pick our favorite models, we would choose these options:

  • Nextbase 622GW 4K Dash Cam: While it is the most expensive option on our list, you’re definitely getting what you paid for. We like the emergency SOS options that will help first responders find you fast - even if you’re not sure where you are.

  • Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2: You can’t go wrong with Garmin. This dash cam is a more affordable model and so compact you won’t even realize it’s there. It also comes with all the features that we love from Garmin like WiFI connectivity and GPS tracking.

Prices updated on 07/25/2023. We are not responsible for any changes to the prices mentioned above.

Written by
Emma Kalka

A former music writer, Emma Kalka works to help customers find little ways they can save at their favorite brands. Emma previously worked at The Korea Herald and Groove Korea. Today, she lives in Florida and writes murder mysteries in her free time.

Specialized topics