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By: Kathryn Parkman & Chris Davies | Updated Oct 5, 2021

Having a camera on your car can help you deal with traffic accidents, insurance claims and many other situations. But how do you know which to buy? Compare our favorites for 2021 below. Prices range from around $35 to $460, so there’s a cam for most budgets.

Read our dash cam buying methodology to see how we rated each company.

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Top Dash Cams

Rove R2-4K Dash Cam

Rove R2-4K Dash Cam

4.5/5.0

Pros

  • 4K camera
  • Built-in GPS
  • 360-degree rotating suction mount
  • Screensaver with live speed

Cons

  • Manufacturer recommends using a premium SD card
  • Some inconsistent product info

The Rove R2-4K dash cam is a color dash cam that comes with a 2.4-inch LCD display. This dash cam records in 4K ultra-high definition with a resolution of 2160p. It also features Super Night Vision technology to get clearer footage in low-light conditions.

The built-in GPS records your location, and if you have the speed function turned on, it will display your speed on the video while you drive. The camera uses an f1.8 aperture to allow more light into its sensor.

Additional features include motion detection, a parking mode, a G-sensor, emergency video lock, time-lapse video and slow-mo video. The dash cam comes with a full one-year warranty. While this camera’s Amazon listing has conflicting info on its maximum SD card size, Rove’s website lists it at 512GB.

You can find this dash cam on Amazon for around $120 at the time of publishing.

Vantrue N2S Dual 2.5K Dash Cam

Vantrue N2S Dual 2.5K Dash Cam

4.5/5.0

Pros

  • 4K front camera
  • Records cabin and exterior
  • External GPS mount
  • Voice recording

Cons

  • Rain can trigger the motion sensor when parked
  • Black and white night vision

The Vantrue N2s Dual 2.5K dash cam has the ability to record in the front and rear simultaneously at 1440p, but it captures 4K video if you only use the front camera. The camera also has an f1.8 aperture and four infrared LEDs for low-light performance.

With its 24-hour parking mode, the camera will start recording as soon as it senses movement. The device also features collision detection, which enables the front and rear cameras if it detects a crash. Once the camera detects a crash, it automatically locks the current video and saves it as an “event.” The included external GPS mount helps record your route, speed and location. However, you must use a class 10 or higher micro SD card, which does not come with the camera.

You can find this dash cam on Amazon for about $220 at the time of publishing.

BlackVue DR900X-2CH Dash Cam

BlackVue DR900X-2CH Dash Cam

4.4/5.0

Pros

  • 4K front camera
  • BlackVue Cloud service
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Micro SD card included

Cons

  • Rear camera only 1080p
  • Reviews report problems with parking mode

The BlackVue DR900X-2CH camera has a 162-degree viewing angle with high-efficiency video coding (HEVC). The HEVC supposedly gives you 4K videos without a decrease in recording time versus HD dash cams.

You can hardwire the dash cam to your vehicle’s fuse box for parking mode, which the camera switches to automatically when you turn the ignition off.

The camera also features Live View and push notifications for your phone, and it allows you to back up important videos to cloud storage. That means you can play and download those videos remotely.

The BlackVue DR900X-2CH is available on Amazon for around $460 at the time of publishing.

Toguard Dual Dash Cam

Toguard Dual Dash Cam

4.3/5.0

Pros

  • Front and rear cameras
  • Motion detection
  • Loop recording
  • Wide-angle view

Cons

  • SD card not included
  • 1080p and 720p resolutions

The Toguard Dual dash cam records in 1080p with its front camera and 720p with its rear camera. Both cameras can record at the same time. The front camera has a 170-degree view, while the rear camera has a 140-degree view. Additional features include a G-sensor, motion detection, a parking mode, seamless loop recording and a screen saver.

It’s worth noting that this camera uses a smaller aperture — f2.0 instead of the f1.8 apertures you can find on many other dashboard cameras. It will still allow for low-light recording, but the videos might not be as clear as those cameras that use f1.8. However, this also means you have less chance of overexposure during daylight hours.

The Toguard Dual dash cam is available on Amazon for about $50 at the time of publishing.

CHORTAU 3-inch Dash Cam

CHORTAU 3-inch Dash Cam

4.5/5.0

Pros

  • Front and rear cameras
  • Loop recording
  • Heat- and cold-resistant
  • Voice recorder

Cons

  • Low (32GB) SD card capacity
  • 1080p main camera

This CHORTAU dash cam features a 3-inch screen and records in 1080p in the front, but it doesn’t have as many unique features as our other picks. It arguably makes up for this in value, though.

Like many other dash cams, this model starts recording when you start your vehicle. When the SD card reaches the storage limit, the camera automatically records over the oldest footage. However, if its built-in G-sensor detects a crash, it automatically saves and locks the current video. This system also comes with a parking monitor, which turns itself on when it detects someone bumping into your car.

This CHORTAU dash cam is available on Amazon for about $40 at the time of publishing.

CHORTAU Dual Dash Cam

CHORTAU Dual Dash Cam

4.3/5.0

Pros

  • Front and rear cameras
  • Backup parking guide
  • G-sensor
  • Built-in lithium-ion battery

Cons

  • 1080p and 720p resolutions
  • Low (32GB) SD card capacity

The CHORTAU Dual dash cam comes with night vision and a waterproof rear camera. The front camera has a 170-degree view, while the rear camera has a 130-degree view.

Like many other models, if its G-sensor senses a wreck, the camera saves and locks the current video so that you don’t accidentally overwrite it. When the SD card fills up, the loop recording features overwrites older videos first. This camera also comes with a parking mode, which powers on automatically when it detects an impact with your parked vehicle.

The CHORTAU Dual dash cam is available on Amazon for $54 at the time of publishing.

Apeman C450 Dash Cam

Apeman C450 Dash Cam

4.4/5.0

Pros

  • G-sensor
  • Loop recording
  • Motion detection
  • 3-inch screen

Cons

  • 1080p main camera
  • SD card not included

The Apeman C450 features a 3-inch LCD screen and a 170-degree wide-angle camera. It also features a G-sensor, parking monitor, motion detection and loop recording. However, many of these features are available on our other picks.

Its camera also only records in 1080p. However, its f1.8 aperture, high-dynamic range and wide-dynamic range help ensure clearer night video.
You can find the Apeman C450 dash cam on Amazon for about $45 at the time of publishing.

Innosinpo Dash Cam

Innosinpo Dash Cam

4.4/5.0

Pros

  • Motion detection
  • G-sensor
  • Parking mode
  • Loop recording

Cons

  • 1080p main camera
  • Some inconsistent product info

The Innosinpo dash cam features a 3-inch LCD screen with a 170-degree wide-angle sensor and night vision. The built-in G-sensor senses when you are in a wreck and locks the current video so you don’t overwrite it by mistake.

Some reviews complain about this dash cam’s night vision, and the Amazon listing has conflicting info on its aperture. We weren’t able to confirm the correct aperture size.

You can find the Innosinpo dash cam on Amazon for about $35 at the time of publishing.

How We Found the Best Dash Cams

We looked at a variety of dash cams across several price ranges, choosing models based on their screens, prices and reviews. Our choices include products that have built-in Wi-Fi, 4K technology, wide-angle views and GPS. However, we also chose dash cams with very few features so that we could find options in lower price ranges.

Compare Dash Cams

Compare our top picks by model, resolution, cost and customer rating below.

Model Max capture resolution Price* Star rating*
ROVE R2-4K 4K $119.99 4.5
Vantrue N2S Dual 4K $219.99 4.5
BlackVue DR900X-2CH 4K $459.99 4.4
Toguard Dual 1080p $49.99 4.3
CHORTAU 3-inch 1080p $39.98 4.5
CHORTAU Dual 1080p $54.95 4.3
APEMAN Dash Cam 1080p $45.99 4.4
Innosinpo Dash Cam 1080p $35.99 4.4

*On Amazon, as of publishing date

What to Know About Buying Dash Cams Online

Here are a few tips for shopping for a dash cam online:

  • Check reviews: Before purchasing a dash cam, always read its reviews. A product’s stats aren’t always representative, so it helps to see firsthand reports.
  • Consider your driving habits: If you drive a lot at night, find a dash cam with good night vision. If you’re in a lot of bumper-to-bumper traffic, prioritize systems with front and rear cameras.
  • Check the SD card compatibility: Most of our picks recommend using class 10 or higher SD cards, but some do not accept anything larger than a 32GB card. A smaller SD card capacity will limit the amount of video your camera can store before it loops.
  • Plan out the installation: Check to see how difficult it is to install your chosen dash cam, and make sure you can set it up or know someone who can set it up for you.

Bottom Line: Who Really Needs a Dash Cam?

Dash cams aren’t generally mandatory in the U.S., but they’re still useful in a broad array of applications. They can help protect you from liability if someone else causes an accident or blames you for something you didn’t do. They can also help if you are a witness to an incident and someone involved lies to the police. Basically, if you want video evidence for events like these, a dash cam can help.

Dash Cam FAQ

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Some dash cams use battery power, while some need to be hardwired into your vehicle. In most cases, cameras with parking monitors must be hardwired to the fuse block or to the battery.
Yes, if they have a parking mode. This feature means the camera has a sensor that turns it on when it detects motion or an impact.
Dash cams are legal in all states, though many have laws about restricting the view from your windshield and/or rear window. Also, some states require you to get permission to record passengers if you have a cabin camera.
As long as the vehicle is on, they should be recording. Models with a parking mode can also record at select times when the car is off.