Thinking about adding a dash cam to your car interior? It might not be as easy as you think.

We’ll walk you through the rules, regulations, and products you’ll want to know about before you get started.

Here’s what you need to know to find the best dash cam for you.

How We Choose Our Ratings

We take our ratings very seriously. Honesty and transparency are both extremely important to us, and as a result, we pour over all the evidence before declaring a verdict on any product we review.

You can trust that we’ve reviewed testimonials, reviews, data, and the brand reputation of every product that we feature.

Dash Cam Rules and Regulations

Before we get to the fun part, you need to know whether a dash cam is a good fit for you. First of all, dash cams are regulated and even restricted in some states.

Windshield Obstruction Rules and Regulations

 

(4 out of 5 stars)

Here are the states that have prohibited any form of “windshield obstruction”: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Don’t see your state? Good, then we can move on. Here are the states that have some level of restrictions but aren’t completely forbidden: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, Vermont.

If you live in one of these states, you’ll need to look up the specific laws and regulations in your state to make sure your new dash cam purchase is implemented to the letter of the law.

And here are the states that simply don’t care about what you place in the vicinity of your windshield: Missouri and North Carolina.

Two-Party Consent Laws

 

(4 out of 5 stars)

Now that you’ve got your windshield obstruction issues figured out, it’s time to turn to the potential legal obligations of recording devices in the United States. Obviously, we are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice, but we can tell you what different states require in terms of consent for audio recordings.

Most states either have one-party consent laws for recording or two-party consent laws. If you have a one-party consent law in your state, you only need consent from one party (that’s you) to make an audio recording for a conversation in which you are a participating party. But if you live in one of eleven two-party consent states, you cannot record another person or group of people without their express consent to do so.

Here are the states that require two-party consent: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.

What does this mean for your dash cam purchase? If you live in a two-party consent state, you’ll need to make sure that your dash cam does not include audio capabilities. And you might even need to do the same if you live in a one-party consent state. For the general purposes of a dash cam, audio is not an essential feature, so we recommend bypassing it or disabling it entirely.

Overall, dash cams are much more regulated than you would think. So, it makes sense to weigh your desire to have one against the investment of time you’ll need to research whether it is allowed in your area and to what degree.

Who Is a Good Fit for a Dash Cam?

(4 out of 5 stars)

Dash cams are especially fitting for rideshare drivers, especially the kind that have both front and cabin video recording capabilities. That way, ride-share drivers are afforded the extra security and insurance that video documentation provides in case of incident or emergency. Safety can be a huge concern, especially for female drivers in the ride-share industry, but these devices are used by a variety of ride-share drivers.

If you’re a rideshare driver, be sure your passengers are aware of the video and the purpose of using it.

And you’ll want to check with the policies of your ridesharing company on this issue. A rideshare driver was recently fired from two major companies because he not only recorded his passengers but live-streamed their interactions for his followers to watch in real-time. It was legal because he operated in a one-party consent state, but deeply unsettling to his prior passengers.

Dash cams can also be used for documentation in the case of a car accident.

Some drivers even use dash cams for recording scenic road trips. Others use them to record memorable moments both outside the car and among passengers inside the car.

Ultimately, you’ll be the one who decides whether a dash cam is a good fit for you. Just be sure to review the laws and regulations in your state before making the investment.

Top 5 Best Dash Cams

Now that you’ve gotten a better sense if dash cams are a good fit for you, let’s get down to business.

1. Dash Cam, Trekpow by ABOX HD 1080P

Dash Cam, Trekpow T1 HD 1080P Car DVR Dashboard Camera with...
448 Reviews
Dash Cam, Trekpow T1 HD 1080P Car DVR Dashboard Camera with...
  • Crystal Clear Footage: At 1080P HD resolution and 30 frames per second, Trekpow Dash cam captures the clear detail of a...
  • Zero Blind Spot: The large aperture and 170°field of view provides wide-angle coverage so you can see up to four lanes...
  • Automatic Detection: Video files will be automatically locked and stored in case the built-in G sensor detects an...

(4.9 out of 5 stars)

With an affordable price point and a bevy of attractive features, this dash cam has great options for a first-time dash cam buyer.

Many customers bought this dash camera after unpleasant experiences with another purchase and were impressed by the significant improvement in both quality and functionality. They rave about the ease of use as well. Some customers complained that the night vision capability was good but could be better. They also voiced interest in a bigger memory card for the device.

Included Features:

  • 1080P HD Resolution & 30 Frames per Second
  • Zero Blind Spot
  • Automatic Accident Detection
  • Night Vision
  • Front & Cabin Recording Capability
  • Option to “Lock-In” Important Footage
  • 170 Degree Angle

We think this dash cam is a solid investment at an extremely reasonable price point, so we’re giving it a 4.9 out of 5 stars.

2. Cansonic UltraDash C1 Dash Cam

UltraDash Dash Cam, Full HD 1080P@30fps, Magnetic Charging Mount, HDR...
139 Reviews
UltraDash Dash Cam, Full HD [email protected], Magnetic Charging Mount, HDR...
  • 【Patent-designed Magnetic Charging Mount】It allows you to place and remove the device quickly and easily.
  • 【1080p @30fps Full-HD resolution】 H. 264 mov compression. UltraDash C1 is the combination of the finest quality...
  • 【2 inch TFT LCD display】It provides vivid color with F1.8 large aperture 6-layers glass lens and 140° viewing angle

(4.8 out of 5 stars)

Another affordable dash cam option is the Cansonic UltraDash C1 Dash Cam.  It has a simple magnetic charging and mounting system for ease of use. It takes good quality video at any time of day and can detect when your vehicle has encountered an accident. And the price is almost unbeatable

Included Features:

  • Patented Magnetic Charging Mount Design
  • 1080 Pixel Resolution
  • 140 Degree Angle
  • Automatic Accident Detection
  • Night Vision
  • Supercapacitor
  • Loop Recording
  • Parking Mode

For this combination of pricing, features, and unique design, we’re giving this dash cam 4.8 out of 5 stars.

3. Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam 2.4″ LCD FHD 1080p

Rexing V1-4K Ultra HD Car Dash Cam 2.4' LCD Screen, Wi-Fi, 170° Wide...
8,910 Reviews
Rexing V1-4K Ultra HD Car Dash Cam 2.4" LCD Screen, Wi-Fi, 170° Wide...
  • ULTRA HD DISCREET DESIGN DASH CAM: Top OV4689 image sensor captures beautiful 2160p video even while driving fast....
  • 170 DEGREE ULTRA WIDE ANGLE LENS & WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE: The 7 layer glass lens opens up to capture a sweeping view of...
  • SUPERCAPACITOR & PARKING MONITOR: The dash cam uses a supercapacitor which can withstand extreme temperatures from -20...

(4.6 out of 5 stars)

Worried about windshield obstruction restrictions?

If you live in a state that doesn’t completely forbid dash cams but allows them if they don’t create a large windshield obstruction, this might be the best dash cam for you. It has a sleek and minimal design to ensure that it takes up as little space as possible while still getting the job done. It provides high-quality video and can withstand extreme temperatures.

Customers are overwhelmingly positive about their experiences using this product. The shape and design of the product are popular as well, as customers often chose this product for the discreet placement of the device in most vehicles.

Many reviewers share stories and even video of accidents that occurred while using the device in their vehicles, especially noting the money they have saved by recording those accidents with the dash cam.

However, if you want a camera that provides front and cabin recording, this isn’t the device for you. This dash cam only has front facing functionality.

Features:

  • Minimized Windshield Obstruction
  • HD Recording
  • 170 Degree Wide Angle Lens
  • Loop Recording
  • Automatic Accident Detection
  • Extreme Temperature Resistance
  • Supercapacitor
  • Night Vision

We think this dash cam deserves 4.6 out of 5 stars.

4. Rexing V1P 3rd Generation Dual 1080p Full HD Front and Rear

Rexing V1P 3rd Generation Dual 1080p Full HD Front and Rear 170 Degree...
729 Reviews
Rexing V1P 3rd Generation Dual 1080p Full HD Front and Rear 170 Degree...
  • FULL HD DUAL CHANNEL RECORDING: Front and rear cameras each record 1080p video @ 30fps. WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE allows each...
  • WI-FI CONNECT: View, save, and share dash cam recordings wirelessly on your mobile device with the use of an app...
  • SUPERCAPACITOR: Power is delivered by a supercapacitor, a premium alternative to a lithium-ion battery which features an...

(4.5 out of 5 stars)

Want your dash cam to do everything? Then this dash cam might be the solution for you.

Wi-fi? You got it.

Front and cabin facing camera? Check.

This dash cam claims to have it all. But is that true?

Most customers liked this product, but a few complained that the Wi-Fi was difficult to set-up and not very useful. Other users did not like that this device did not come with built-in GPS but had to make an additional purchase to incorporate GPS, unlike some previous models.

Aside from some complaints, most users found this device to be dependable and worthy of the price tag.

Included Features:

  • HD Dual Channel Recording
  • 170 Degree Wide Angle Lens
  • Loop Recording
  • Built-In Wi-Fi
  • Automatic Accident Detection
  • Extreme Temperature Resistance
  • Wide Dynamic Range of Exposure
  • Supercapacitor
  • Night Vision
  • Optional GPS accessory at an additional cost

With the combination of cost and features, we decided this dash cam would delight most buyers. And for that, we’re giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

5. THINKWARE F770 Full HD 1080p Dash Cam with Built-in WiFi & GPS

Cobra Electronics CDR855BT Full HD 1080P Dash Cam with Bluetooth Smart...
129 Reviews
Cobra Electronics CDR855BT Full HD 1080P Dash Cam with Bluetooth Smart...
  • 1080P Full HD - Records the road ahead in 1080P Full HD Video.
  • iRadar Community - Bluetooth enabled alerts to Red Light Cameras, Speed Cameras, Live Police Locations, and Shared Radar...
  • Bluetooth Enabled GPS - Embeds exact location and time into video recordings. Free PC software allows you to view video...

(4 out of 5 stars)

If you’re ready to drop some serious dough to really get everything you could ever want in a dash cam, here’s your best option. Unlike the Rexing V1P, it comes with built-in GPS that works in both the United States and Canada.

Included Features:

  • Extreme Night Vision
  • High-Powered Wi-Fi Connection
  • Corresponding Phone App for Enhanced Functionality and Control
  • Speed & Red Light Camera Alert System
  • Rear Camera Compatible with Additional Purchase of Accessory
  • Time Lapse Functionality with Additional Purchase of Accessory
  • 140-degree viewing angle

Many users suggested having professionals install this expensive device. While popular with most users, some complained of the cost of additional accessories, which could make a simple purchase turn into hundreds of dollars spent on a dash cam with complete functionality.

For the tech-savvy buyer, this one’s a no-brainer – you’ll love it. But for someone looking for the basics, this dash cam is almost going overboard.

All told, we’re giving this dash cam a 4.0 out of 5 stars.

Buyer’s Guide to Dash Cams

(4 out of 5 stars)

When deciding between dash cams, you’ll need to think about what features are essential for your purchase. This will save you time and money from buying any unnecessary functionality that you won’t regularly use or need.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying

  • Can I legally use a dash cam in my state?
  • Am I willing to research state laws before every road trip across state lines?
  • Are there restrictions on how and where I place the dash cam in my vehicle?
  • Do I need the highest video recording quality or something simply good enough to clearly establish fault in an accident or to record a license plate?
  • Do I want or need Wi-Fi in my vehicle, or do I already have that functionality in my car already?
  • Do I want to record activity inside the vehicle, or simply what’s happening in the road in front of my car?
  • Do I live in a state with extreme temperatures?

As you can tell from our scoring system, having the most features and fixings on your purchase doesn’t exactly mean you’re getting the best value for your money.

For most buyers, the best dash cam is going to be the one with the best value for your investment, and the cheaper options get the job done just fine. But if you really need special features like Wi-Fi or a compatible phone app, then the more expensive options make sense for you.

Final Thoughts on the Best Dash Cams for You

Whatever you choose, be sure you stay within the limits of the law and use the device safely.

Remember, a dash cam only protects you from a fault in an accident only if you weren’t actually at fault! Drive carefully and enjoy using one of the best dash cams on the market.

Keyword: Best Dash Cam