Dash cam sales are soaring, with a reported ‘one in four’ motorists now using a dash cam as an extra pair of eyes on the road. If you shop around, you’ll be able to pick up a brand new HD dash cam for a surprisingly low price.
A small investment today could make a big difference if you ever have to deal with an insurance claim, so there’s no reason not to buy a cheap dash cam. You have loads of cameras to choose from, too. Major brands including Garmin, Mio, Motorola, Nextbase, RAC and Transcend all have their own dash cam line-ups.
If you’re shopping for a cheap dash cam that you can rely on time and time again, see our top picks below.
What is a Dash Cam?
A dash cam is a small camera that attaches to the inside of your car.
These brainy gadgets are constantly recording the road ahead of you, saving video evidence to a memory card if you have an accident on the road. That footage is invaluable when it comes to dealing with your insurance company and is a proven defence against infuriating ‘crash for cash’ scammers.
The best cheap dash cams can record crystal-clear footage that helps you make out licence plates from a great distance.
How much does a Dash Cam cost?
Depending on what sort of features you’re after, you can get a dash cam for as little as £25. Top-of-the-line dash cams will cost you closer to £400.
Cheap vs Premium Dash Cams: what’s the difference?
Without doing your research, you might end up with a cheap dash cam that struggles to capture clear footage. You’ll be able to make out what’s going on when you watch the video back, but finer details such as license plates might be tough to make out.
Most premium dash cams arrive with built-in GPS. This means your footage will come stamped with information on where you were when the video was filmed. Details like this are brilliantly useful when filing an insurance claim.
The dash cams we’ve rounded up below can capture HD footage without fuss. After all, there’s no point in buying a dash cam if it can’t help you in making an insurance claim.
Best Cheap Dash Cams 2019
Price: £94 (RRP £149.99)
We think this Garmin sat nav is great value for money. It was originally priced around £150, but if you shop at the right time you can land a real bargain under £100. The Dash Cam 55 has a 2-inch display and a 3.7 MP camera that Garmin promises will work well on evening drives. It records at a glorious 1440p.
Support for voice commands means you can bark orders at this dash cam without taking your eyes off the road. You can have the Garmin Dash Cam 55 take a picture or start a video recording, for example.
The Garmin Dash Cam 55 is always on high alert. You’ll get a notification when stopped traffic ahead of you starts moving again. The camera will also cry out when you stray from your lane.
Other features include a bundled 8GB microSD card (a nice bonus) and automatic incident detection. As the Garmin Dash Cam 55 has a G-Sensor inside, it’ll detect abrupt breaking and save your recordings right away.
Verdict: A great list of tricks considering the price. The Garmin Dash Cam 55 is very easy to install, too – just use the magnetic mount.
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This Orskey dash cam is an absolute steal at around £30. It has a chunky 3-inch LCD display and a 170-degree super wide-angle lens for recording 1080p video.
Like the pricier Nextbase 312GW, the ORSKEY dash cam has a parking monitor to keep an eye on your vehicle while you’re away. Its G-sensor will also automatically detect a collision and save that footage to an event folder that can’t be deleted until you’ve seen it.
To save on storage space, this dash cam uses seamless loop recording. It can record 5-minute clips and automatically overwrite your oldest clips with more recent footage.
Once you’ve got the ORSKEY dash cam configured and ready for action, it’ll get to work automatically every time you turn on the ignition.
Price: £149.99 (RRP £189.99)
The Mio MiVue can effortlessly film and store 1080p video at a silky smooth, lag-free 60fps. It has a 2.7-inch screen and starts recording your journey as soon as you turn on the ignition.
As it’s rocking a 140-degree wide-angle lens, the Mio MiVue 792 gives you a broad view of the road ahead. To watch that footage back on your smartphone, you simply connect to the dash cam’s wi-fi signal and go from there. Easy peasy.
To keep you protected on your road trips, this dash cam uses a trio of superpowers – a Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and Fatigue Alert (FA).
As the Mio MiVue 792 has built-in GPS, the video clips it records will have location stamps attached to them. That’s vital information for insurers.
If you’re looking for a rear-facing dash cam to compliment this one, Mio recommends the £60 Mio MiVue A20 Rear Camera. Install this second camera and you’ll have 1080p video capturing the car’s behind you.
Verdict: Mio is one of the biggest names in dash cams and it’s easy to see why. The Mio MiVue 792 WiFi Pro is an effective eyewitness on the road.
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Grab this Nextbase dash cam bundle and you’ll get the camera, cigarette lighter charger, hardwire charging kit, 32GB memory card, window screen mount and case.
The Nextbase 312GW is an extremely popular choice on Amazon. It has a 2.7-inch screen, 140-degree viewing angle and support for 1080p HD video recording. Saved footage is labelled with information on your vehicle’s speed and location at the time of filming.
With this Nextbase dash cam stuck to your window, you’ll also know if somebody bumps into your car while you’re away from the wheel. ‘Parking mode’ will activate the dash cam if the Nextbase 312GW senses a knock, which means you’ll hopefully have the details of the person who caused the commotion.
Pair the Nextbase 312GW with the Nextbase Cam Viewer app on your smartphone and you’ll instantly be able to share videos with family, friends, insurance providers and police.
Verdict: A top-rated dash cam on Amazon. The Nextbase 312GW is both affordable and capable, serving up high-quality footage for any insurance claim.
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Price: £63.48 (RRP £99.50)
Head to Amazon and you’ll spot thousands of complimentary reviews for this Transcend dash cam. At just £63, you can trust this 1080p dash cam to be your around-the-clock driving guardian.
The Transcend DrivePro uses a Sony sensor to snap high-resolution pictures and videos with impressive colour accuracy. It has a built-in battery, and so your footage will continue to be recorded even if you switch off the engine. There’s also a dedicated snapshot button on the front of the DrivePro, which lets you take a picture while video is recording at the same time.
If the Transcend DrivePro’s G-sensor detects an impact, the dash cam will enter Emergency Recording mode and prevent your recordings from being overwritten.
As an added extra, the Transcend DrivePro comes packed with a microSD card.
Verdict: A cheap dash cam that owners can’t recommend enough.
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