If you don't have one of the best dash cams, now's the time to change that. Heading out on the open road always has its inherent dangers, and a dash cam can help you with insurance claims should anything go wrong.
Whether it's your fault or someone else's, the best dash cams ensure that it's never your word against theirs' – and your insurance company will thank you for it. The only issue is deciding which one is right for you, since the are numerous dash cams to choose from.
Each will have its own set of features. For example, some have built-in storage, while others requite a memory card. You'll also find dash cam kits with both front and rear cameras, so you can keep an eye on the road behind you too. You can also stand to benefit from built-in GPS, since this will be able to record the exact location an accident occurs.
So, with so much to think about, buying a dash cam isn't necessarily as simple as it seems. Fortunately we've tested some of the latest and greatest models to help you decide. These are the best cash cams currently available in Australia.
If you have money to burn, then the Nextbase 622GW has all the features you could ever want from a dash cam, and more. The design certainly won't set the world on fire, but it has an unparalleled feature set that offers some of the best video quality of any dash cam currently on the market.
The 622GW can record video in 4K/120fps, built-in image stabilization to ensure you have silky-smooth recordings, an extreme weather mode, and a polarizing filter that will minimize reflections that would otherwise spoil your film.
But on top of that it also packs in Alexa voice controls, enhanced night vision, a parking mode that senses collisions when you're parked up, and an emergency SOS service that contacts first responders in the event that the driver is unable to do it themselves. What3Words integration also ensures they know exactly where you are, down to a three meter area.
The 622GW also connects to Nextbase's rear-view camera (sold separately) to see what's going on behind you. Though the fact that this camera costs so much and doesn't offer two way recording by default may irk the more price-conscious among you.
Read our full Nextbase 622GW review
Don't be fooled by its size, the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 packs an awfully powerful punch for something so tiny. It may not have features like a display or GPS, but it does produce great image quality and has voice controls in case you need the camera to do something mid-drive.
Plus like other recent Garmin Dash Cams it can smarten up your car with features like forward collision warning, lane departure warnings, speed camera and stop light notifications, and more. And there's the Garmin Vault, a cloud storage that automatically stores all your recordings in the cloud for safe keeping.
But the biggest strength is its design. The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is so dinky you probably won't even notice it on your windscreen. Which means far fewer distractions when you drive.
Read our full Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 review
If you're looking for solid features at a less stomach churning price, there's Garmin's Dash Cam 57. The Garmin Dash Cam 57 packs in all the usual dash cam features, as well as a few more that enhance your recording capabilities and smarten up your car in the process.
If you don't have a a newer car with driver assistance features, this is where the Garmin 57 shines. It packs in a number of safety features including forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, and alerts when you're coming up to stop lights and speed cameras. It'll also tell you when you're too absent-minded to notice traffic has started moving.
The Garmin 57 also packs in a parking guard, a live view, and an automatic cloud backup that securely stores your recording in the cloud for safe keeping. Tie that in with voice controls, built-in GPS and 1440p video resolution, and you should be able to record all the important details should the worst ever happen.
Plus, like all Garmin dash cams, the Garmin 57 can connect to an additional four cameras to cover other directions.
Read our full Garmin Dash Cam 57 review
Miofive is a relatively new brand to the dash cam scene, having found its footing on Kickstarter. Entering a world dominated by a handful of major players would normally be intimidating territory, but Miofive has persevered and produced one of the finest dash cams on the market.
Offering 4K video recording, a built-in display, 64GB of internal storage and fast 5GHz Wi-Fi for transferring footage to the companion smartphone app, it's everything you could need and more. What's more, it performs incredibly well. We haven't tested the Miofive 4K Dash Cam ourselves here at Tom's Guide, but our colleagues over at Digital Camera World have put it through its paces.
Read the full Miofive 4K Dash Cam review at Digital Camera World
If you'd rather save the hassle of having two dash cam modules to cover your front and rear, the Vantrue N2 Pro might be a sold option for you. Not only does it feature an additional lens to cover your rear, it lets you adjust the angle of that lens to better suit the interior of your car.
The overall footage isn't the best quality, with some graininess and lens flare, you'll still end up with crisp, clear videos to keep tabs on what's happening on the roads around you. Of course it's missing a lot of important things, like wireless connectivity of any kind, which will make accessing your videos a little bit more difficult.
But with all the basics on board, and a secondary camera included in the price, then this is a dash cam well worth considering. Especially for the AU$300 price tag.
Read our full Vantrue N2 Pro review
While it isn't perfect by any means, the Vantrue S1 offers a relatively affordable dual-view dash cam setup, with solid video recording capabilities. Day time video recordings are clear and detailed without any coloring issues, and while fuzzier night time footage is pretty commendable.
While there are several thing we'd change about the Vantrue S1, including certain design features and the lack of more advanced features, all the important things are there. Solid video and audio, GPS, incident detection, and a 24/7 parking guard. Likewise the menu system is an absolute breeze to use, and features a number of context-sensitive buttons.
So if you're looking for an affordable dual-view dash cam that isn't absolutely terrible, the Vantrue S1 is one to check out.
Read our full Vantrue S1 review
if you're looking for something that offers crisp video footage, a discreet and compact design, all for a low price, then the Nexar Beam GPS dash cam might be the one for you. Not only is it a solid and affordable dash cam, it also comes with unlimited access to Nexar's cloud storage platform — so you don't need to worry about preserving your footage after an incident.
The companion app isn't great, and it can be tricky to access your cloud space, at first. But as imperfect as it might be the Nexar Beam is still a sold choice that does everything you need out of a dash cam.
Read our full Nexar Beam GPS review
Standing out as one of the most feature-packed dash cams on the market is the Thinkware U1000. It can record whatever's in front of you in super sharp 4K video, and the optional rear camera can even shoot in 2K resolution at 30 frames per second. Beware, though, the file sizes can be huge. Another slight niggle is that the Thinkware U1000 can only be hardwired; there's no 12V socket power option. But, once it's installed, you'll be in ownership of one of the best dash cams around. Our colleagues at Digital Camera World have given the U1000 a thorough review, if you're keen to find out more.
Read the full Thinkware U1000 review at Digital Camera World
The relatively compact Vantrue E1 can be neatly mounted on your windscreen via a magnetic mount and remain practically out of your field of vision. It's capable of recording 2.5K video at 30fps, or Full HD video at a smoother 60fps. You'll probably want to invest in the optional polarising filter to help limit dashboard reflections. GPS tracking is built-in, as is Wi-Fi connectivity and you even get a remote included to make saving footage a breeze. If you want to know more, you can find a full review over on our sister site, TechRadar.
Read the full Vantrue E1 review on TechRadar
What to look for in a dash cam
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You may not need a dash cam that comes with 4K resolution or various smart features. But at the very least you're going to want a camera that records good quality video and can automatically detect whenever you get into an accident.
Thankfully the vast majority of them do this, so it's all about asking yourself what extras you need — and whether they're worth the additional cost. GPS is one feature you might think about skipping, though it can still be useful. After all GPS can log exactly where an accident took place, and how fast you were moving at the time. Knowing both things can work in your favor under the right circumstances.
Likewise voice controls can be invaluable if you need to be able to control your camera mid-drive. After all not all incidents lead to collisions, and it's useful to be able to record evidence of wrongdoing without having to mess about with your camera.
Lastly you may want to check whether the dash cam you have can connect to other cameras. After all cars come from all directions, and it helps to be able to keep a log of things coming at you from different directions. Especially from the rear, where you probably won't see danger coming.
How we test dash cams
Every dash cam you see in this list has been tested and reviewed to ensure that the best dash cams really are the best. We look at every step involved in owning a dash cam, from setup all the way to actually having to pull your footage from the memory card.
The testing begins by setting up the camera, and judging it depending on how easy or difficult the whole process is. We also spend extensive time on the road, day and night, to collect footage and make an informed judgement on how each camera performs in a variety of real world conditions.
We also assess each camera's design and companion software (if it has any) throughout this process, and asses what impact it has on day to day use. Finally we collect the footage from the camera, which can be via a companion app or by manually transferring the microSD card to a different machine. The ease or difficulty in which this happens also factors into our final score, as do any additional features the camera may or may not have.