The value of a dash cam cannot be overstated; criminals are a camera-shy bunch, so the mere presence of a recording device might be enough to prevent them even targeting you in the first place and if you are unlucky enough to be a victim despite everything, having footage of an incident or accident could be the difference between losing your no-claims bonus and retaining it, or even whether you face prosecution.
Here are five of the best dash cams on sale today, with something for every need - and pocket!
1. Snooper DVR-4HD
The Snooper’s relatively high price is more than off-set by a packed feature list that includes high-definition recording, a 2.7-inch touchscreen, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, driver fatigue alert, a comprehensive speed camera database and alerts, and a free Smartphone app that enables you to share footage online, giving you an instant backup copy in the event of an accident.
The DVR-4HD comes complete with a 16GB Micro SD card and will automatically protect footage – including sound - in the event of an incident, something the onboard G-force and shock sensor detects.
It also stamps the video with the time, date and GPS co-ordinates to provide a fully independent and reliable third-party witness.
Snooper DVR-4HD Dash Cam, RRP: £149.99
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2. Cobra CDR855BT Drive HD
The Cobra CDR855BT is a more basic dash cam than the Snooper but still features a 2-inch screen and a huge 160° viewing angle that covers the entire road ahead.
The Bluetooth-enabled GPS records the location and time of an incident, protecting it automatically to prevent it being accidentally overwritten.
Instead of a static database that is updated at fixed times, the Cobra’s speed and traffic light camera alerts – including the location of impromptu police speed traps – are submitted by motorists via iRadar, helping keep you up-to-date with high-risk locations as they change.
The Cobra comes with a 8GB Micro SD card.
Cobra CDR855BT Drive HD Dash Cam,
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3. Cobra CDR835 Drive HD
The Cobra CDR835 features the same High-Definition 160° viewing angle and built-in microphone as its larger brother the CDR855BT, and comes complete with collision detection and recording protection in the event of an accident, making sure that you’ll never lose that vital independent footage. It also comes with a 8GB Micro SD card.
The CDR835 is ideal for the motorist who only wants a basic dash cam and doesn’t need a speed camera database or driver warning systems and alerts.
Cobra CDR835 Drive HD Dash Cam,
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4. Nextbase Dashcam DUO
The DUO has not one, but two video cameras: a 140° wide-screen front-facing lens to capture the road ahead and a backwards-facing zoom lens to record the details of the car behind. The latter gives you protection in the event of an accident or road-rage incident involving a following car.
The 2-inch screen displays both the front and rear views simultaneously and the built-in collision sensor automatically protects the recording if you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident.
Interestingly, the Dashcam Duo’s website has a variety of footage of incidents and accidents uploaded by users, showing how useful a dash cam can be. It also has the opportunity to register your dashboard camera via Nextbase with PoliceWitness.com.
Nextbase Dashcam DUO, RRP: £199
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5. Garmin Drive Assist 50LMT-D
The Garmin cleverly combines the two most useful add-on gadgets of the 21st century, bringing together a sat-nav and a dash cam in one windscreen-mounted unit.
Boasting a huge 6-inch touchscreen, the Drive Assist 50LMT-D comes complete with collision detection and footage protection, full European mapping with free lifetime updates, traffic updates, forward collision warning, driver fatigue alert, and lane departure warning.
It also pairs with your smartphone to give you hands-free calling and visual text messages, along with voice-activated navigation input.
If you can stomach the not-inconsiderable cost, the Garmin might be every in-car gadget you ever need.
Garmin Drive Assist 50LMT-D,
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