If you don’t have a dash cam installed in your car, you can still check out these Amazon Prime Day deals even though Prime Day just ended, as well as great deals from other retailers on basic and advanced cameras. Keep reading for our picks of the best dash cam deals you should grab now along with some advice to help you purchase the right camera for your car.
Prime Day may be over, but you can still find discounts on Amazon and other retailers right now. If you’re in the market for new tools for your home or car, now’s the time to check out the best Prime Day power tool deals. Meanwhile, if your preferred method of transportation is a bicycle, check out the best Prime Day cycling deals or the best Prime Day electric bike deals.
If you’re planning any summer road trips and don’t have a dash cam installed in your car or RV, pick one up with the ongoing deals this year and score significant savings in the process.
Prime Day might be over this year, but competing sales from major retailers like Best Buy and Walmart still are open to all shoppers. Thus, if you don’t find the dash cam deal you want at Amazon, you can avail yourself of discounts from other sales taking place right now.
While shopping for dash cam deals, it’s important to have a budget in mind. Entry-level devices cost as little as $40, while premium models can fetch $200 or more. If you have a job that keeps you on the road often, like food delivery or rideshare driver, a dash cam with advanced features can be a worthwhile investment, even it’ll command a higher price tag. (Of course, don’t spend beyond your means!) On the other hand, if you only use your car to drive to work and the grocery store, you’ll be fine with an inexpensive device that is still capable of capturing decent video.
Speaking of decent video, camera quality is the most important spec to consider when purchasing a dash cam. Keep in mind that any dash cam video you record can be submitted to your insurance company as evidence and possibly help prove your innocence in an accident. Thus, you want something that is capable of capturing clear details like license plate numbers and faces. A dash cam with a 1080p resolution should suffice, although there are affordable 4K cameras on the market for drivers who want the crispest picture possible.
With higher-quality video comes the need for more storage. A dash cam with a memory card slot is one way to ensure you have enough space, although many models have a loop function that automatically overwrites old footage when onboard memory is full. One flaw of this otherwise handy function is the possibility of losing crucial video, which is why it’s worth finding a dash cam with a G-sensor that’ll trigger the camera upon sudden motion and automatically save all associated footage, regardless of how much memory is left.
Other dash cam specs to consider include night vision and field of view. Night vision is useful for driving in low-light conditions — think country roads that are prone to deer and other animals jumping onto the road. As for field of view, the standard range is between 120 and 140 degrees. Anything below that won’t capture much activity around your vehicle, and while you can go for a dash cam with an ultra-wide 190-degree field of view, it’ll make your video files much larger.
Bluetooth, GPS, automatic start, and compatibility with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa are examples of advanced dash cam features. There are also dash cams that have a time-lapse setting, which could make for some awesome share-worthy clips of road trips and other travel adventures. Unless you have the budget for it, each of these bells and whistles is more of a “nice-to-have” than a “must-have” — especially if you regularly travel with a smartphone connected to your car stereo via Bluetooth.
Dual- and triple-channel dash cams provide an expanded view of what’s happening in and around your vehicle. Rear-view cameras can capture footage of a fender bender and help drivers see what’s behind them when backing into a parking space. Interior cameras are useful for rideshare drivers who want to keep a closer eye on passengers, as well as parents who want to make sure their young drivers are practicing good habits. Note that multi-channel dash cams tend to have a more involved installation process than single cameras; if you’re not comfortable with hardwiring yourself, seek help from a local mechanic.
Dash cams are legal in the United States, but how you install them may not be. Windshield dash cams, in particular, are illegal in states with laws against obstructed car windows. Check your state’s driving laws carefully before purchasing a dash cam to avoid getting something you may not be able to use.