In the last quarter of 2015, road traffic in Great Britain increased by 2.2%—the highest it’s ever been with an estimated 317.8 billion miles travelled on the country’s roads. In the same year, dash cam sales skyrocketed, up 918% according to market researchers GFK. Now, even insurers nationwide are warming up to the idea, allowing drivers to submit dash cam footage when processing claims and offering notable discounts for owning an in-vehicle recorder.
So, what’s the craze all about? For one, dash cam footage serves as valuable evidence, protecting drivers from false claims and helping to prove fault in an accident—saving you thousands. Insurers benefit as well, as “crash-to-cash” type scams may be virtually eliminated, preventing over £1 billion of fraudulent pay-outs annually. Other driver benefits include: monitoring a new driver’s road skills, recorded proof of driving speeds to get out of tickets, safeguarding parked vehicles and even making you a safer, more aware driver.
Maybe you knew all this already, but are still on the fence. Maybe you’ve been entertaining the idea of outfitting your vehicle with a highly-rated dashboard camera for a while. Perhaps you’ve put off this purchase because you’ve been weary of what that device will mean to your wallet, or bank account. Well, sometimes you get lucky and find a gem of a product well within your reach.
Here at Car Dash Cam Reviews, we understand that researching product details and scouring through customer reviews can be intimidating, confusing and time-consuming. So, we’ve compiled a short-list of our Top 5 Best Budget Dash Cams to take the hassle out of the shopping experience. This shopping guide puts a premium on value—finding cameras that offer essential features (and a few surprising bonuses) at a price that is certain to make you smile. Not sure what you’re looking for? Looking for the best cheap dash cam under the £50 price range? Wish you had some honest, prosumer advice? No problem. Buckle up, our expert team has you covered.
Top 5 Best Budget Dashboard Cameras 2015 – 2016 In The uk (2017 Updated)
*GPS tracks coordinates for playback on compatible software, but does not offer directions to programmable destinations.*
- Highlights: E-Prance employs a powerful 5MP CMOS sensor to offer rich, Full HD recording that performs well in day, low light and nighttime driving. Night Vision technology assists with nighttime recording clarity. License plates and roadside details are clear when viewed on compatible computers and can serve as evidence when filing police reports and insurance claims. Its wide 140° field of view captures much of the road and peripheral roadside events for broader coverage, ensuring nothing goes unnoticed.
- Red Flags: While the optics are impressive given the price point, that is where your investment stops—don’t expect many extras from this modest unit. Also, buyers need to be aware of knock-off models. Ensure you purchase the G1W from Amazon, a fulfillment by Amazon seller or a reputable retailer.
- Our Verdict: Eyes Wide Open
NEXTBASE IN-CAR CAM 101 GO
- Highlights: Nextbase is the dash cam brand leader when it comes to devices accepted by UK insurers. The iN-Car Camä 101 Go is no exception. The F2.0 aperture lens lets in a fair amount of light for decent daytime recording at an adequate 720p HD. The item’s primary strengths lie in its no-frills, streamlined approach to design and creating a reliable, time-tested product that is guaranteed to perform when needed most.
- Red Flags: This is the Nextbase family’s most budget-friendly option—so, don’t expect anything but video recording. The lower resolution and imaging quality disappoint during nighttime driving. Combine low resolution with a narrow 120° field of view, and we’re left a bit dissatisfied.
- Our Verdict: Buying the Brand
- Highlights: Features typically found on higher-end devices can be checked off by this value-priced HP stunner. The incredible F1.9 aperture lets in a significant amount of light for vivid, Full HD recording that is guaranteed to impress. During low light or nighttime driving, an LED light can be activated to improve camera performance. Surprise extras include the following: Driver Fatigue, Speed Camera, Speed Limit alerts and more.
- Red Flags: The GPS is a bit of a letdown, only tracking coordinates for later playback when using the companion SuperCar software—not for real-time, in-vehicle directions. But, did you really think you could get everything? At this price?
- Our Verdict: Feature Rich Surprises
- Highlights: The satisfactory F2.4 aperture captures a decent amount of light for vivid, Full HD video during daytime recording. Two LEDs on either side of the AD118 activate during low and nighttime driving, creating adequate images that go a bit overboard when it comes to contrast. However, Ausdom delivers with an intuitive navigation menu and plenty of user-customized settings atypical to models at this price point, such as exposure and G-Force sensitivity. Photo Mode stands out in particular, with drivers able to choose from 1.3-12MP for quality still images that document the scene of an accident.
- Red Flags: Drivers may be disappointed by the narrow 120° field of view, which more or less captures scenes occurring directly in front of the vehicle—leaving out much of peripheral roadside events. Additionally, this camera requires manual on/off activation (unlike most models that automatically activate when they detect the vehicle’s power source).
- Our Verdict: Set Me Up
- Highlights: For those that like things in miniature, this is about as tiny as it gets. Amacam’s compact dash cam is designed for effortless, plug and play use. Its slight footprint not only gets the job done, but ensures ultimate discretion so you won’t have to worry about attracting unwanted attention while vehicles are left unattended. The innovative mounting system allows 90° of rotation, for custom placement suited to driver preference. Other highlights include Full HD recording and a remarkable range of still image resolution quality, 1.3-12MP.
- Red Flags: Again, the narrow 120° field of view leaves more to be desired. Even adjustments made by rotating the mount will not fully compensate for this narrow field of view, leaving out potentially critical events occurring in the camera’s peripheries. Also, don’t expect to view much on this tiny 3.08cm screen.
- Our Verdict: Small and Stealthy
Best Budget Dash Cam Conlusion
There is a huge market of dashboard cameras in the uk, with different price ranges to suit different types of driving needs and requirements. This review specifically targets the lower budget end of the market, focusing on finding and reviewing what cheap dash cam’s we could, and presenting our winners from 2015 -2016 in the uk as seen above.
We have tried to keep all the dash cams under £50 that we included in the review or thereabouts (As prices fluctuate all the time), so hopefully if you’re on a shoe string budget and need a quick, cheap driving recorder solution, we have made things much more straight forward for you. Every camera in our best cheap dashboard camera list should offer some sort of value for money in their own right, just because these devices are at the lower end of the market don’t assume they aren’t of any real quality, you couldn’t be further from the truth, as they are more than capable of being used for people who do need them for long term distance driving, or even being used to kit out company cars for professional use. Whatever the requirement just remember they are as expensive as you make them!
If you are after more best of reviews and are looking to spend more money for more functionality, check out our popular – The Best Front and Rear Dash Cam For Your Car.
You can also check out Our Top 5 Best Dash Cam UK Buyer Guide