Dash cams have become almost a necessity in Australia, since they give you the evidence you need if you’re in a car accident or need to contest a speeding ticket. They can also help to capture everything that goes on if you’re unfairly treated by law enforcement and can help to reduce your insurance premium.
But as with anything in the world of tech, some dash cams and in car cameras will be better than others, which is why we’ve sorted through the huge selection to determine the best dash cams Australia has to offer.
What to look for when buying a dashcam
Dashcams are constantly evolving, which is why you need to know what features to look for before buying one.
Some dashcams offer the extra protection of a rear-facing camera, along with the forward-facing one on the front. This can help to provide evidence if someone rear-ends you, and they claim you slammed on your brakes, for example.
You’ll also want to make sure your dash cam has HD (High-Definition) recording as a minimum for clearer images. Some dash cams have 4K recording for even clearer images. You also want to make sure your dashcam performs well at nighttime, just in case you get into a car accident when the sun goes down.
The viewing angle is also important to take note of: the larger the field of the view, the more area the dash cam can record.
The majority of dashcams will store video data on an SD card, so be sure you know which type of card you need when buying your dashcam. Naturally, the higher the amount of storage, the more video content you can record. You’d hate to run out of storage, only to then get into an accident and have no evidence.
Some dash cams now have the ability to work via voice control too, meaning you can ask it to play music, read the news or check the weather, with results returned on your smartphone. It might seem a little gimmicky, but could be a genuinely useful feature.
Garmin Dash Cam™ 57
Price: $299 AUD
Built-in Display: Optional
Garmin is a rather large company, founded in 1989, that produces several different products such as GPS Navigation systems, smartwatches, and, of course, dash cams. While Garmin is arguably best known for its GPS technology, they have been making quite a name for itself with their reputable dash cams.
A Garmin dashcam will give you peace of mind whilst driving thanks to its impressive features. All of Garmin’s dashcams are voice-controlled (except the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2), compact, extremely easy to use thanks to the Garmin Drive smartphone app, will record and save incidents in either 1440P or 1080P video quality, and have glowing reviews and recommendations.
Our pick would be the Garmin Dash Cam 57 as its the company’s best dashcam Australia has access to, which is an affordable small camera that’s capable of recording 1080P HD video with a 140-degree field of view, and has built-in GPS so you can accurately record when and where an accident took place.
Plus, when used with the Garmin Drive smartphone app, the Garmin Dash Cam 47 can give you forward-collision warnings and lane-departure warnings, and will automatically upload any incidents directly to a secure online vault.
Price: $599 AUD
Built-in Display: Yes
Founded in 1997, Thinkware began by manufacturing and selling GPS navigation systems for vehicles. However, in 2010 they launched their first dash cam and shortly after the company’s main focus shifted towards developing and producing more and more, due to global demand. Now, Thinkware is a leading brand in the global dash cam market, and is committed to producing reliable, award-winning dash cams that take advantage of their innovative technologies.
The T700 is one of Thinkware’s latest creations and, while it doesn’t offer quite the same full suite of features as the 4K-capable U1000, it’s offers everything you need from a dash cam in a slightly more affordable package. Perhaps the biggest selling point of the T700 is that you can insert a SIM card to connect it to the Internet, giving it access to Thinkware’s Advanced Connected Features. This allows you to connect to the dash cam whenever you’re away from your car, to view any impacts your car sustains while it’s parked, along with your driving history. Note: the Catch website says the T700 works on the Optus network, but Thinkware themselves say it only works with Telstra and Vodafone.
The T700 also adds advanced driver alert system features to your car, such as lane departure warning and a forward collision warning system, making it a great upgrade for older vehicles. Plus, thanks to additional camera input, you can easily connect a rear-facing camera to view any impatient drivers that get up your backside. It’s not the most affordable dash cam on this list, we’ll admit, but it offers all the bells and whistles to keep you fully protected and connected on the road.
Price: $229.95 AUD
Built-in Display: No
Founded in 2015, Nexar has been on a mission to develop and produce some of the best dash cams Australia has ever seen. With a slew of high-profile backers and a number of impressive dash cam releases under its belt, we’d say the company has certainly achieved that. Much of Nexar’s success comes by way of the community it creates for its drivers, with anonymous data taken from all Nexar dash cam users who pair it with the Nexar app, the company claims it is able to “develop a portfolio of vision-based data services for public and private sectors to make roadways safer and more efficient.”
The Nexar Pro is our pick as the company’s best dash cam, and is targeted at those who spend much of their time on the road. You get two cameras, both of which record at 1080p, to record outside and inside the car along with internal memory (you can specify from 32GB up to 256GB internal memory). This is a big deal, as it saves you having to spend extra on memory cards (which you could lose). Recordings and important events are also automatically uploaded to the Nexar Cloud for free. You also get built-in GPS to accurately pinpoint accidents and it’s powered via your 12v outlet, meaning you don’t need to hardwire it your car’s main power source.
Thanks to a connection with your smartphone, the Nexar Pro can even automatically send an SOS message to friends and family in the event you’re in an accident, and any recorded data from an accident can be easily sent to insurance companies in the form of a detailed collision summary.
Price: $550 AUD
Built-in Display: Yes
Nextbase is the world’s leading and one of the best dash cam brands. Founded in 1999, the British company originally produced in-car entertainment systems such as portable DVD players, but after releasing their first dash cam in 2009, turned their attention to solely dash cams.
Impressively, after campaigning for insurance companies to develop dash cam inclusive policies (which many did), a Nextbase camera can seriously help to reduce your insurance premiums and will support you when (and if) faced with driving-related false liability claims. Some of Nextbase’s higher-spec in-car cameras feature Alexa voice control, geolocation services, and will automatically call emergency services when involved in an accident.
For us, the Nextbase 622GW is the one you want to be installing in your car. It could be seen as a little pricey, but it’s jam-packed with features that will give you the ultimate peace of mind when on the road. Chief among its most appealing features is 4K recording at 30fps, which helps to capture license plates and other finer details that can help clear your name. You also get digital image stabilisation to reduce vibrations from your car ensuring smooth image quality, super slow motion playback capability to determine exactly what happened in a crash or incident, enhanced night vision, intelligent parking mode that’ll automatically record any bump or physical movement involving your car even when it’s left unattended, and so many other awesome features.
Price: From $377 AUD
Built-in Display: No
Specialising in dash and action camera design and development, Viofo is now one the world’s leading dash cam brands. Committed to producing reliable, trusted, and smart dash cams, Viofo achieve this with their inspired design and innovative technologies.
Founded in 2011, all of Viofo’s dash cams have high-quality video resolution, discreet & compact designs, and premium smart functions. Viofo dash cams are also well-known for their ability to withstand both extreme heat and cold conditions, meaning when in-car temperatures are very high (very common in summer) or very low, the cameras have superior temperature tolerance and longer service life.
We’ve selected the Viofo A139 as our standout in-car camera from the brand, predominantly because you can get it as a 3 camera package for not a huge investment. These 3 cameras record the front, rear and interior of your vehicle so you can have eyes literally everywhere. The front camera records in 2K 1440P video quality and is equipped with high clarity night vision ensuring rich details are still recorded even in low light conditions, while the rear & interior cameras will record in 1080P with the interior camera also featuring a 6 element infrared LED lamp ensuring it clearly captures cabin activity even in complete darkness.
Also featuring wide viewing angles on all three cameras, voice notifications, built-in wifi, 3 parking mode options, GPS tracker, Circular Polarizing Lenses (to reduce reflections and glare, resulting in improved image quality), and many more features, Viofo’s A139 is certainly a dash cam you should consider.