Are you here looking for the best dash cam in the UK? Well, put it this way, you can be a great driver, but that doesn’t fully protect you from other road users who are more careless a driver than you. You can be the safest driver in the world with years of driving experience behind you and the perfect car insurance record to match. Still, all it takes is for another driver sitting on their phone, having a little too much to drink, or just generally driving carelessly, and then suddenly, through no fault of your own, you’ve found yourself in a car accident!
Regarding road accident liability, people tend to lie primarily if no witnesses are around and they believe they can get away with it (your word vs their word). So how can you combat this and ensure you’re not the victim of a motoring injustice? Simple, install a dashboard camera!
Nowadays, more and more people are acquiring dashcams, as the need for them becomes more necessary. Drunk drivers, careless speedsters, and even incidences of road rage can all be logged and saved for later reference. The UK is among the countries, along with France and Russia, which have been gaining the most dashcam popularity in recent years. It’s due to the simple peace of mind that they provide and a formidable card to pull out if you encounter drivers who won’t admit that they are wrong, even when they are.
If you are considering getting a dashcam, then make sure you buy the best one for your money. This article has reviews of the best dash cams in the UK on the market, with everything you need to know about what to look for when selecting the best dashboard camera for you. Each one has been placed on this list after extensive research and feedback and, depending on your specifications, will all do an excellent job catching everything on film. With that said, let’s take a closer look at our list.
Top 5 Dash Cams in the UK – Short View
|Model||Resolution||Viewing Angle||Parking Mode||GPS||Wi-Fi||Price|
|Nextbase 312GW||1080p HD||140°||Yes||Yes||Yes||£|
|Nextbase 412GW||1440p Quad HD||140°||No||Yes||Yes||££|
|MAISI HD 1296P m15||1296p HD||150°||No||No||No||£|
|Nextbase 512G Ultra||1080p HD||140°||Yes||Yes||No||£££|
|Transcend DrivePro 200||1080p HD||160°||No||No||Yes||£|
Some Popular & Best Dash Cam in The UK
Here is some popular and best dashcam you can also select for yourself or your friends.
1. Nextbase 312GW Full 1080p HD In Car Dash Cam Camera
- Easy to dismount and attach
- Offers quality HD footage day and night
- It has a range of superb features with it
- Simple and easy to use
- Comes with a 12-month manufacturer warranty.
- Fantastic price
- Photo mode doesn’t last long with the built-in battery
- Memory card not included
- Some buttons a little awkward to use
Our Verdict: A Near All-Round Masterpiece
Many still see us as the best on the market – the highly-advanced Nextbase 312GW. This particular dash cam has all the features for novice and professional motorists. It sports an updated, all-new design which is highly durable as it is innovative. It contains the state-of-the-art Powered Magnetic Click&Go Mounting system, which allows for fast and efficient mounting by way of magnets and power-driven touch points, eliminating the need for any annoying wires. Removal and attachment are quick and effortless so that you will be up and running, or should we say driving, in no time.
The 312GWalso features high-speed Wi-Fi, and with the brilliant Nextbase App, you can instantly review and share all your recorded footage on social networks with friends and your insurer. Thanks to high-resolution, full 1080 HD recording, information such as number plates and other vehicle details that may be required later will always appear crystal-clear and without blurs or blemishes. This is critical in avoiding any misunderstandings or complications at a later stage.
An additional feature and an all-important one for motorists, which is included is top-notch GPS. Using Google maps and an extremely accurate sensor, your speed, journey, and most importantly, your location is recorded. Moreover, in the case of an accident, all road names and types are logged, thus providing you with every detail of the incident.
Efficiency, security, and safety are the names of the game with the Nextbase 312GW, with all aspects of a supreme dash cam accounted for with creative ingenuity and hi-tech additions. It is easy to see why many still regarded this as the UK’s best dash cam in 2019.
2. Nextbase 512G Ultra
- Exceptional high-quality recording image in all conditions
- 140-degree wide-angle view
- Packed with lots of great features
- Photo mode allows for clear still images to be taken.
- Fully compatible with PC and Mac.
- Very simple and easy to use
- Does not come with Wi-Fi
- Difficult to dismount
- Memory card not included
Nextbase makes another entry with the unique and award-winning 512G Ultra. As with the 312GW, the 512G Ultra is jam-packed with an array of extra modes and features, taking the concept of the dashcam to the max. A notable feature is the Anti-glare Polarizing Filter which minimizes glare on your widescreen allowing you to obtain clear recordings, even if you are facing the sun. Furthermore, if you are already traveling in bright, sun-filled conditions, the 512G’s Wide Dynamic Range feature automatically adjusts brightness levels and guarantees capturing images of the utmost clarity and superiority.
The WDR also works just as effectively for night-time driving with up to ISO 3200. Recordings are further enhanced as a result of the ground-breaking Sony Exmor Sensor which delivers brighter, more colorful images during the day and night.
Yes, as already mentioned, the 512G Ultra comes with a comprehensive range of hi-tech features and they cannot all be discussed here. But, let’s look at one more which rounds it off as a winner – the peerless 2.7 inches 16:9 LED screen. In terms of a dashcam screen, this one is substantially better than most and allows you to capture every intricate detail over a wide-range with clear-cut quality. It also has an easy-to-use playback option.
The Nextbase 512G Ultra couples revolution with the well-being of the consumer in mind, thus earning itself a well-deserved spot on this list.
Also Read: Nextbase 512G Ultra Review
3. maisi M85 Full 1296p HD In Car Dash Cam Camera
- Ultra HD crisp clear recording in all conditions
- Excellent price
- Slim and lightweight at only 181 grams.
- 150° viewing angle
- Supports microphones and speakers
- Hi-tech Ambarella A7 hardware enhances the camera’s speed and stability
- No Wi-Fi or GPS
- Does not include a Micro SD card
- Only supports a maximum of 32GB
When it comes to resourcefulness and convenience, the MAISI HD 1296P m15 does not compromise. To start off with, it has one specifically distinct feature that differentiates it from alternatives – the 1296P Super HD lens. The resolution outdoes 1080p by a long-run and the definition delivered is unmatched. Complimenting this is its high-speed photography capabilities of 30 frames per second, promising crisp, flawless imagery. This advancement alone makes it ideal for anyone, but there is more.
By way of auto ignition, as soon as you start your engine the camera will automatically start recording and stops upon turning your engine off. It also provides unlimited recording time thanks to the loop recording addition. At night, the High Dynamic Range function makes sure that in poorly-lit areas your visibility is as sharp as a wolf’s, therefore safeguarding your well-being on even the darkest of roads.
Anything can happen on the road, but when bad weather strikes, the chances of an accident occurring are higher. The MAISI HD 1296P however, is unaffected by weather due to its six-layer glass lens which also exhibits F/2.0. Whether you are driving through a heavy thunderstorm or a sub-zero blizzard, the 1296p is able to draw out the highest level of quality images possible. Its 150-degree wide-angle covers a large area without image distortion.
Upgraded, fresh features and a number of accessories including a car charger, handy start guide, and a lithium-ion battery, make the MAISI 1296P m15 one-of-a-kind and a wonderful addition to the dashcam market.
4. Nextbase 412GW – Full 1440p QUAD
- Sharp recording quality with Quad HD
- Easy to dismount and attach
- Simple to set up and use
- Includes a nice 4-metre long power cable and clear instructions
- Built-in battery life like the 312GW is poor
- Does not include an SD card
- Some models a bit of a hit and miss with reliability
- No photo mode
Yes, that’s right, another Nextbase dashcam and a superb one at that. Its slick and slimline design boasts new-age QUAD High Definition 1440p footage which provides ultra-clear, sharp recordings at 30 frames per second. Downloading and sharing footage is quick and easy with the renowned Nextbase Cam Viewer app which is available for the iPhone and Android.
The Nextbase 412gw has parking mode built into it, allowing it to operate and record even when your car engine is off and you are not in your car, as long as it has a continuous power supply, you can do this by getting the camera hardwired to your car.
The screen can also be turned off while recording and constantly films from the moment the power is activated. It also records audio, so you can hear as much as you can see perfectly. As with the previous Nextbase models, it contains the Click & Go Powered Magnetic Mount, allowing for a wire-free camera and simple attachment. Adding to this is its lightweight, at under 300 grams, and durability ensuring that it isn’t affected by any bangs and drops. Nothing more needs to be said about Nextbase, who are clearly pioneers of the dash cam arena in the UK. However, this model does come with its problems.
For Details: Nextbase 412GW Review
5. Transcend DrivePro 200
- Crystal clear recording day and night
- Huge 160° viewing angle
- Emergency button that activates emergency recording mode
- Includes a 16GB Micro SD memory card
- Nice and compact
- Well priced
- G-Sensor a bit sensitive
- Manual activation
- Date and time settings don’t save
- No suction cup provided
The Transcend DrivePro 200 is a neat, compact dash cam with a range of exclusive highlights. In fact, it’s hard to believe that a camera of its size could support so many features. Its screen is only 2.4 inches with 1080p high-definition recording and a rate of 30 frames per second. Image quality is taken up a notch with seven glass lenses delivering superbly well-defined images. The DrivePro 200 also provides a massive viewing range thanks to its 160 degree viewing angle.
Now for the best part – Emergency recording. The DrivePro 200 has a Motion G-Sensor that instinctively safeguards recordings by sensing impact. In the event of an accident, this sensor will instantly prompt the camera into emergency recording mode, therefore preventing all vital moments before the accident from being overwritten. When evidence is needed for insurance companies and police to ensure that you are compensated accordingly, this feature really pays off.
Besides all of the above mentioned first-class extras, the DrivePro 200 can also be operated wirelessly which is both a convenience and beneficial plus. By and large, the Transcend DrivePro 200 is certainly one of the most reliable UK dashes cams reviewed on our best dashboard camera guide.
What Are Dashboard Cameras and Typically How Do They Work?
Dashboard cameras (or dash cams for short) are a rising trend in the UK with more and more people choosing to use them, sparking a new wave of interest and searches for the best in car camera recorders, and for what our research team believe good reason!
These are simple cameras installed in the vehicle and protect road users from liability issues when involved or witnessing an incident, allowing footage to be sent directly to the police or car insurance provider. They can also protect the user from other things such as insurance fraud – or what people are referring to as ‘cash-for-crash’ incidents- and instances where their car may have been damaged or ‘keyed’ when parked. Please scroll down to check out our more detailed breakdown of all the advantages they can offer. They are typically installed behind the rearview mirror, ensuring a distraction-free, safe environment for the driver. The power lead typically runs from the cigarette lighter to the camera, ensuring the cable is as hidden and safe as possible, as illustrated below.
*A Typical Dashboard Camera Installation*
The recorders come in all different sizes and have a whole range of different features varying from model to model, with plenty of manufacturers to choose from in the UK marketplace. Whether you are a young or old driver, with little or lots of experience behind you, or even simply looking for one to fit your budget (they are only as expensive as you make them!), we have researched them inside out to present our best dash cams in the UK reviews, and hopefully, answer the big question “what is the best dash cam to buy for my needs?”
A common question that hangs over these dash cams is whether or not they are legal. The consensus is that they are excellent to use as car camera recorders in the United Kingdom, providing they do not present a distraction to the driver. However, rules and regulations may vary from country to country, state to state, and city to city, so always check your local laws to be precise.
With road policing numbers being significantly reduced over the past few years in the UK and car crime on the rise as well as car insurance premiums, it seems inevitable they will play a vital role in all cars in the distant future.
Rise In UK Car Insurance
Here we can see a car insurance graph put together by consufed.com, which shows the rise and fall of the average car insurance price from as far back as 2011 – when the average hit an all-time high of £858. The data is based on the analysis of over 4 million car insurance quotes in the UK, with this particular graph running up until the 2nd quarter of 2016. The findings show that the average price is up to £715 for an annual comprehensive car cover policy, which is a 19% or £115 increase over the past 12 months. Without being too pessimistic, going by the data presented and speaking to other sources, it seems inevitable that the average car insurance quote will continue to rise. Check out confused.com’s complete comprehensive analysis of UK car insurance.
What Features To Consider When Looking For The Best Dashboard Camera in the UK
These cameras offer a whole host of different features and qualities differing from model to model, though you will notice that some features are present across the entire range of devices. Although all these features are worth considering, some features are more or less desirable than others, depending on your specific needs and requirements.
Our team will list all the features you should consider when looking for the best camera on the UK market. An excellent, easy-to-understand summary helps you get a better picture of your requirements and tick all the boxes to find that perfect camera!
- Video Quality / Resolution – The essential feature of these devices is video quality/resolution. You want to ensure the image is clear and as stable as possible up on playback; otherwise, why bother with a camera? Most modern manufacturers in the market these days come with 1080p HD as standard, which generally offers excellent quality recording and playback. Of course, the quality can still vary from model to model, so check out video quality reviews for the device you are considering first.
- Night Time / Low Light Recording – An essential feature to consider for all potential and current dash cam owners, especially if you do or intend on doing a lot of nighttime / low light condition driving. Not all models come with a built-in night vision feature. However, all or most recorders should have at least some basic level of low-light recording functionality. Therefore don’t assume that if a camera is stated as not having night vision, it cannot perform well at night, this is not the case, and you should always check out review footage at night from that model.
- G-Sensor – All or nearly all models have g-force sensor technology. If the model in question doesn’t, then it’s probably some ultra-cheap nasty recorder you should avoid! The technology detects any events that may occur, such as the impact of a crash or a bump. It marks that part of the footage to keep safe, ensuring that any incidents captured by the g-sensor are not recorded or deleted. This is imperative for loop recording.
- Loop Recording – Another feature must and would be expected to be present in every model. The loop recording function ensures that the camera can keep recording with the same memory card even when it gets to the storage end by recording the oldest footage first, keeping all the newest footage available for playback. You can still set your camera to protect any incidents/accidents you wish to keep safe and not record, so don’t worry!
- Date and Time Stamp – A handy feature, especially if the video is being handed over as evidence to an insurer or the police, it’s essential to accurately display the date and time on the playback video to reference the incident more accessible.
- GPS – Some of these cameras come with GPS features which can come in handy in an incident or accident. The GPS feature is not used as a navigator but can record your coordinates, speed and route details for reference. Most dash cams GPS data output can be used with google maps, allowing you to see street and road names, which is great for recalling the details of an event, especially if it is required as evidence.
- Wi-Fi – Most modern ones these days have a built-in Wi-Fi option on them. With a wide range of apps to download, a passenger can log on to the app for the cam on their phone and control the camera/settings by checking or even uploading some footage online straight away. The Wi-Fi feature makes uploading footage to a smartphone and sending it to a car insurer or even the police easy and convenient.
- Auto Power On/Off – Some cameras will automatically power on / off by the car ignition system thanks to detection technology. This feature can be handy to some users as it allows them to jump in the car and go without the worry of having to turn the camera on for recording. It eliminates the fear that you may have missed a critical incident. Not all devices come with this feature.
- Emergency Lock File Button – This feature is not present in all models but should still be considered. The emergency button should be easily accessible on the device and be used in the event of an incident occurring while recording. This button’s purpose is to ensure that the part of the recording where you have signalled as an emergency will be safeguarded and stored, ensuring it is not lost or overwritten. This unit typically works by marking the seconds leading up to the pressing of the button, and several seconds after press, as the signalled emergency.
- Front and Rear Dash Camera / Dual Dash Camera – This feature is becoming more and more desirable in the market. You can default record your viewings from whatever end you choose to point it. However, there are devices with built-in front and rear recording capabilities (or what some people refer to as dual cameras) in the UK market. These devices can offer viewings from both angles of the car simultaneously and can come as one single unit or a two-part camera – one camera for each end. This feature may be cost-effective if you want both the front and rear covered, as it may save you money on having to purchase two separate cams.
***credit to Car Camera Shop Ltd channel for this video***
Here you can see the advantage of having a front and rear dashboard camera / dual dash cam option. You can see what has happened out the front windscreen of the driver that has been hit and why they had to bring their car to a stop. It also shows the accident in full from behind and displays driving negligence, with the offender failing to break in time. Check out our guide to choosing the best front and rear dash cam.
- Parking Mode – Another prevalent feature of Car dash cams is that parking mode works with motion detection technology. That allows you to continuously record what happens to your car when you are parked and not around, capturing any vandalism or damage to your vehicle. This feature is not present in all models and can have different settings to adjust to ensure you capture any incidents. This feature can appeal to people who often park their cars in public places or unfamiliar areas.
*Note: continuous recording with parking mode requires a constant power source, so a hardwire installation is required in almost every case.*
- Viewing Angle – Wider viewing angles allow you to capture more of the road or cover a larger radius when recording, reducing the chance of blind spots and missing vital footage. Most large viewing angle. The more peripheral vision. The recording has; however, this does not mean the more significant the viewing angle, the better the cam is, as some devices can struggle with the image quality due to capturing too much with the viewing angle. Always check out the review footage of the model in question to see its viewing angle in action and the quality of its recording output image.
- Size / Discreetness – Dash cameras, by nature, are not large but do, of course, vary in size from model to model, with many different sizes to consider. The most sought-after size for vehicles is, of course, you guessed right, it’s small. Large models have some appeal to them and may offer a larger playback screen or viewing angle. However, people mainly look for small dash cameras because of their discreetness. For example, when you have parked in a public place and have parking mode activated and running. You do not want your recorder to draw unnecessary and unwanted attention to your vehicle, especially if you leave it parked in an unknown or very crime-prone area. Also, being a small, discreet and well-hidden dash cam is very important for driving safety. The device should not cause a distraction or impair/obstruct your driving vision, as this can be both dangerous and illegal.
- Power Cable – The length of the power cable that comes with the camera should be considered. You don’t want to end up with a power lead that’s too short to run along the inside of your vehicle, leaving you with a stupid-looking cable that runs from the cigarette lighter straight up to your recorder. The cable should be long enough to run along the inside of your vehicle, making it hidden and out of view while ensuring that no cables are hanging around. You can buy separate third-party power cables for most models on the market. However, add more money you have already laid out, so the price should be considered when judging a model.
What Advantages Do Car Cameras Offer?
There are many different advantages that these recorders offer. That’s why you should ensure you have the best dashboard camera to fit your needs, as it will maximize the benefits you reap from the device.
- Help Lower Your Insurance – Some UK car insurers these days are offering a discount on their car insurance policies if you have a dashboard camera installed in your car. They can be used as proof/evidence in an accident which was not your fault, helping to keep that special no claims discount. Some of these policies come with specific terms you must comply with to receive their discount. You should always check out what each car insurance company has to offer.
* Check out our article on how to get a car insurance discount with your dash cam*
- Protect You From Insurance Fraud – With vehicle insurance fraud still very common these days in the UK, you can protect yourself from this ongoing illegal activity, by having the whole incident/accident on camera. This vital evidence puts the user in a much stronger position when it comes to an insurance claim, and can protect you from any driving injustices that occur.
***credit to Dash Cam Network for the video***
You can see in the video what looks to be a blatant car insurance fraud act committed or what people are referring to as ‘Crash For Cash’ scams. The driver, in this instance would be able to use the video as evidence of fraud, protecting their car insurance. It could have been a very different story, though, if the driver did not have this vital proof. The other driver in question could have just claimed they had driven into the back of their car, acting as though it was a genuine accident, and the crash victim driver would be stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came down to an insurance claim.
- Act As Legal Evidence – They can be a great way of providing legal evidence in driving cases that may involve you, other drivers, cyclists or even pedestrians. You can provide evidence for incidents/accidents such as a crash or hit and run. You are making it easy to prove the correct people to be prosecuted or protected in what would otherwise be a tough, expensive, stressful and long ongoing battle for yourself or someone else. Also, suppose there is a dispute over an incident such as speeding, parking, driving standards, other drivers, or with the authorities. In that case, you can cover yourself entirely with these cameras where ever you have to defend yourself. Always check your local laws and regulations on filming/recording people with your recording device, as you may violate the law in some places.
- Capture Any Damage To Your Car When You Are Parked. Suppose you choose to get a dash cam with parking mode features. In that case, your camera will continue recording when you are parked, making it easy to prove any vandalism or damage to your vehicle that occurs when you are not around, giving you the ultimate peace of mind.
***credit to BBC news for this video***
Here is an example of someone ‘keying’ a costly motor, oblivious to the fact that they were caught red-handed in the act by an in-car camera recorder. Unfortunately, this act of ‘keying’, where a person runs their key along the side of a motor, mostly trying to be discreet, is still too common these days. It doesn’t matter the value of your motor. No one should be subject to this criminal damage. In this instance, the driver could correctly identify and prosecute the offender with the protection of a dash cam. Imagine where the driver would be with no evidence in this instance. They would be forking out a lot of their own money for repairs!
- Record Those Great Car Journeys – These devices are not just a source of capturing all the doom and gloom accidents of the day. You can capture those special scenic road trips or family holiday drives that you always big up but no one believes, creating a video memory you can always watch and cherish forever.
- Help Improve Your Driving Standards – An RAC study found that one in four or 24% of the drivers they asked believed that installing a car camera would improve their driving standards. With the playback features that these devices come with, you can watch your clips back and view your driving objectively and see it from a different perspective. You may be able to see areas where you should have taken more care or regard, such as not leaving a cyclist enough room when overtaking or even driving too close to the pavement, for example. You can also get a second pair of eyes to look at the footage and point out anything obvious in your driving that You could improve.
- Capture Random Moments – With the rise of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, random and funny videos can potentially become viral in a matter of minutes due to the ease of uploading videos and the vast reach that these networks have. When recording, you could witness a random event you didn’t expect that’s worth sharing. It is straightforward to upload your recordings from your device to YouTube, especially with a Wi-Fi-capable device. And who knows, you might end up being the next big thing on YouTube!
How Can They Benefit Other Road Users?
Although we primarily do reviews of the best in-car cameras in the UK, they have a use and can benefit other road users such as:
- Taxis – Can use a dual camera model to record the road and passengers in the back of their taxi. This can help the driver if there is an incident involving a passenger where evidence is required—however, there are strict laws in place for taxi drivers regarding passenger privacy. Always be sure to check out your local laws first.
- HGVs – Usually covering lots of miles, an HGV cam should be considered for installation by the company, as in the instance of an accident, the footage can be referred to quickly by the company.
- Cyclists – In car dashes, cams are used for cyclists even though the cyclist doesn’t have a camera. The car cam recorder can capture incidents of motorists driving too close to a cyclist, driving in a cycle lane or not leaving a cyclist enough room when overtaking. They can work the other way, protecting the driver from a negligent cyclist, who may be putting other drivers at risk with bad or careless cycling. However, similar to a car’s system, the cyclist could use a helmet recorder for the same sort of protection.
- Motorcyclists – Again, like cyclists, even though the motorcyclist does not have a cam on their motorcycle, other road users still have a role in protecting motorcyclists and themselves from them. Again, as a cyclist, You can wear a helmet recorder for similar protection.
Final Word – On The Best UK Dash Cam
There you have it, folks: all the ins and outs, information and recommendations you need to make your decision-making a little easier. Either way, you are reading, this means taking a step that will prove priceless in the unfortunate case of an accident.
Accidents are dreadful, and the last thing anyone wants is to have more dread piling on them. Dash cams eliminate all unnecessary headaches, and investing in one is one of the wisest moves you will make. You can be sure of that. Hopefully, our best dash cam UK reviews provide you with all the knowledge you need to ensure you spend your money on the right camera for you and your needs. Thanks for sticking around, and always remember to drive safely and responsibly. Take care!