More and more of us are realising the value of having a dual dash cam installed to provide evidence in the case of an accident and reduce the chances of damage and theft. They can also get you a reduction in your insurance premium.
Even a budget front-facing cam will provide footage of the view of what's happening on the road ahead, but what about behind you? New research shows that rear-end collisions account for 27% of traffic incidents in the UK, accounting for roughly 400,000 bumps annually.
The best dual dash cams at a glance:
Editor's pick: Nextbase 522GW Dash Cam Front and Rear Camera - Buy now from Amazon UK
Best budget dash cam bundle: Orskey CameraCore S900 Dual Dash Cam - Buy now from Amazon UK
Best basic dual dash cam bundle: Navitel-R250 Dual Dash Cam - Buy now from Amazon UK
In this article, we take a look at dash cams, specifically those that come with a rear cam. We look at why they are useful, what features are important, and which front-rear dash cam bundles are worth your investment.
The best dual dash cams
While this bundle gives you the wired rear camera that goes in the back window, you can also buy
- Great value
- Easy interface
- No suction cup
Best budget dash cam bundle
In terms of bang for buck (or punch for pound if you prefer nationalistic alliteration), you can't
- Rear cam can be mounted externally
- Easy set-up
- Maximum SD Card size is too small for long journeys
Best dash cam bundle for safety features
This is the only dash cam here that can take on the Nextbase 522GW to some degree. While the 522GW
- Good safety features
- Flat shape for easy fit
- Smartphone required for set up
Best for 4K front, FHD rear recording
- Good picture quality
- Compact design
- Set-up can take a little time
Where to mount your dash cam?
All the dash cams here are easy to set up. Instructions will show you the best placement for your dash cam. For the front camera, this is hidden behind the rear view mirror, and for the rear, adhered to the window but make sure the position allows for a good view for the lens.
Wires and cables can be hidden in the headlining and various gaps if you want to hardwire the dash cam – instructions will inform you of the best way to do this for individual cameras.
While the video quality of your dash cam may be great, it will become instantly not great when windscreens and rear windows are grubby. Grab a microfibre cloth and keep them clean.
You may want to consider hardwiring your dash cam rather than using the 12V plug. This is a little more fiddly but will allow you to take advantage of the camera's parking monitor software. Hardwiring kits can be bought instead of a 12V plug or separately, depending on the model. You can always opt to get your dash cam professionally fitted for a fee if you wish.
Why a dash cam is important
Before you even get down to the business of choosing a dash cam, naturally, you will be wondering whether a dash cam is worthwhile at all.
The first and strongest argument for having a dash cam in your car concerns money. Fitting your car with a dash cam can reduce your insurance premiums, depending on your insurance provider.
For example, renowned dash cam brand Nextbase has partnered with a number of insurance companies, offering chunky discounts on insurance premiums to Nextbase dash cam owners.
Another reason for getting yourself a dash cam is that it acts as a deterrent to other road users guilty of unsavoury and unsocial driving habits. Dash cams are discreet, but they aren't invisible. Other drivers can spot your dash cam and tend to respond accordingly. And the other thing is that dash cams are so popular now it's safer to assume any given car has one.
Important features in a front-rear dash cam bundle
There are several important dash cam features that you don't really have to be concerned about because they come as standard on every dash cam you'll find. They are G-sensor (automatically saves the footage if the sensor feels a jolt), loop recording, and parking monitor.
For the front camera, you'll want a minimum of Full-HD 1080p recording quality with a reasonable frame rate of at least 30fps. The angle width of the lens is important, too, because it determines how much the road the camera can capture. You'll want at least 140 degrees.
For the rear camera, things vary a bit. Some rear cameras are internally mounted, and some externally. And naturally, if you get one that is external, it needs to be robust and properly waterproof. Rear cameras don't usually have the same quality of video as the front cameras, but 720p should be an absolute minimum.
From there, you can have as many or as few additional features as you wish. Wi-Fi and GPS are both useful, the former allowing you to quickly access files on your phone, the latter giving more precise information on your location and speed.
**Chris Williams is an Automotive Content Writer for Parkers and CAR Magazine, but he also contributes to Live For The Outdoors and What's The Best. He trained as an automotive journalist in New Zealand, prior to which he studied International Relations and History.**