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The best car security cameras: Protect your car even when you're not around

Car security cameras can come in handy if you're involved in a car accident.
December 15, 2021
Rove R2 4K

Car security cameras can come in handy if you’re involved in an accident, vandalism, or break-in. Many of these cameras offer 24-hour, constant recording on a loop. The same often have a gravity sensor that detects when your car is hit, letting you know exactly when an incident occurred. Either way a camera can protect you and your property, regardless of whether you’re even present. If it comes down to insurance claims or legal charges, footage can support your case with video and maybe even audio evidence.

There are a variety of car security cameras that to choose from. We’ve broken down the options into mini cameras, front-only cameras, or dual dash cameras that give you more angles.

Best car security cameras:

Mini camera options

Larger, front-only camera options

Dual dash camera options

Mini camera options

A mini or compact dash camera is perfect for you if you want the security of continuous recording, but want it to be a little more discreet. Let’s be realistic — if someone is intentionally looking into your car, they’ll probably see that you have a camera behind your rearview mirror. But these cameras are so small and inconspicuous that anyone simply walking by might be oblivious. As a bonus, the cams in this category are going to be cheaper than any others.

Garmin Dash Cam Mini

Garmin Mini Dash Cam

The Garmin Dash Cam Mini is the most expensive mini car surveillance camera. If you’re solely looking for a basic recording device that fits well within your budget, I’d go with the Apeman Mini below.

Read also: The best mobile car accessories you can buy

Despite its small size, this cam does a lot. It’s about the size of a car key and captures footage in 1080p with a 140° wide-angle lens. The neat thing is that it connects with the Garmin Drive app on your phone. This gives you access to a ton of cool features, including of course the ability to view, edit, and share dash cam footage that’s uploaded to your phone over Wi-Fi.

Plus, if you like the idea of a dual dash cam but don’t love their typically bulky designs, this device has you covered. You can use up to four Garmin Dash Cam Minis to capture video from all sides of your vehicle. The app then uses a feature called Auto Sync to match recordings and let you see footage captured from every viewpoint.

Apeman C420A Mini Dash Cam

Apeman Mini

The Apeman has a larger screen than Garmin’s offering, but it’s still only 2 inches wide, so it remains extremely small and lightweight. It’s highly user-friendly; it only takes about two minutes to unbox and install, and it starts recording as soon as you turn a car’s engine on. When you turn on loop recording and gravity sensor functions, the camera continually overwrites the oldest videos to ensure recording never stops. Until the camera detects a collision, that is, at which point related videos are flagged for protection.

See also: The best car chargers you can get your hands on

The Apeman records at 30 frames per second in 1080p, with a wide-angle 170° view. If you want a slightly larger screen than the Garmin Mini but don’t care for any of the latter’s bells and whistles, go with this one.

Larger, front-only camera options

If you want a camera that gives you the clearest possible recording, but you only care about recording what’s in front of your car, you should probably go with one of these two options. Bigger sizes enable crisper recordings because of the room (and budget) for more advanced sensors. Both of these options will be relatively discreet behind your rearview mirror, but they’re definitely not as small as our mini cam options.

Aukey Dash Cam

Ankey Dash Cam

With the Aukey Dash Cam, you’ll get loop recording, a gravity sensor for collisions, and video shot in 1080p with a 170° angle. This might sound similar to the mini cams we’ve highlighted, but Aukey’s footage is superior thanks to a Sony Exmor sensor.

A few unique recording features include options for in-car audio or time-lapses, the latter more of a luxury if you want to document a road trip. The super-capacitor in the Aukey Dash Cam can allegedly withstand extreme heat and cold, giving the camera a longer operational lifespan.

Rove R2-4K Dash Cam

Rove R2 4K

If you have the money to justify it, the Rove R2-4K Dash Cam is a great front-only option. It records in 4K, so your videos should be especially detailed and sharp. The product also has advanced sensors for night vision, so that crispness extends to low-light conditions. It’s equipped with a 150° wide-angle lens and supports microSD cards up to 128GB, ensuring you have plenty of storage — in fact, we’d encourage buying the most storage you can afford since 4K can swallow gigabytes in a hurry.

A built-in GPS tracker records your driving location and speed. You can even view your route and tracking in Google Maps using the Rove app. Via built-in Wi-Fi, the Rove app can also manage recordings on your phone.

Dual dash camera options

Dual dash cameras are just what they sound like — you get two cameras that record simultaneously. Here, the first three options have one camera that faces the front of your car, and a second that faces the interior. The last option, the Vava Dual Dash Cam, switches interior coverage for a camera that faces behind your vehicle. All of these options are going to be the most expensive, for obvious reasons, but if you ever get into an accident and need proof, you’ll have more angles while retaining quality.

Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual Dash Cam

Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual

Vantrue’s N2 Pro Uber records footage from the front of your car and inside your cabin. The front-facing camera uses an OV4689 sensor and an HDR system to help automatically balance light and dark areas. The interior camera, meanwhile, sports a Sony Exmor sensor and four LED lights.

Using both cameras simultaneously caps the resolution at 1080p, but if you choose to use the front-facing camera alone, you can bump the resolution to 1440p. It should also be noted that the front-facing camera offers a 170° lens, while the interior view is a narrower 140°.

Like some of our other recommendations, the camera features loop recording, a gravity sensor, a timelapse function, and audio recording through a built-in microphone. Video is saved on microSD cards sized up to 256GB, so if you want to be able to store more raw footage, this is a great choice.

Toguard Dual Dash Cam

Toguard Uber Dual

Toguard’s gear offers amenities like loop recording, audio recording, and a gravity sensor. The company also highlights the fact that it can be used as a parking monitor, which might catch people dinging your car when it’s stationary. 

See also: The best car apps for Android

Toguard uses Sony Exmor sensors, and adds that both cameras film in 1080p with 170° angles. It’s one of the cheapest dual camera options on our list, plus it has a 3-inch screen, so you can easily watch video footage.

Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

Garmin Dash Cam Tandem

This car security camera attempts to make dual more discreet. The product is pocket-sized, yet still has two 180° lenses, with a 1440p front-facing camera and a 720p interior shooter. The interior camera is equipped with NightGlo technology that promises quality images when it’s dark.

The Tandem does have a hefty price tag, but you get what you pay for with features like GPS and voice control. Garmin also includes a micro SD card, unlike a lot of other vendors that make you pay separately.

Check out: The best smart security cameras you can buy

Some features are shared with the Garmin Mini, such as the Garmin Drive app and Auto Sync. In fact, you could buy both and have them work together, getting as close as possible to whole-car surveillance.

Vava Dual Dash Cam

Vava Dual

As mentioned earlier, the Vava Dual Dash Cam splits its cameras between the front and the rear of a car, ignoring the interior. Each one records in 1080p, though like the Vantrue, you can switch to 1440p if you use the front camera alone.

Sony sensor technology is said to enhance low-light sensitivity while providing clean video. It’s enabled for loop recording and stores videos on 128GB micro SD cards. With built-in Wi-Fi and the Vava Dash app, you can view, download, and even livestream content.

One of the best things about Vava’s camera is something called the One-Touch Snapshot Remote. This is a button you attach to your steering wheel so you can easily capture photos and videos in high-stress situations. You press the button once to take a picture and hold it down for a short video clip.

Whether you’re wanting to set up a security system for your car to prevent theft or cover yourself if you get into an accident, any of these dash cams would be great. Choose one of the mini cameras if you want the most discreet car security camera. If you want video coverage of more than just the front, go with one of the dual dash options. If your preferences fall somewhere in between wanting a small product and crisp recording quality, choose one of the front-only cameras.