Best dash cams 2023

We take a good look at the best cams from the past year

More drivers than ever are realising the advantages of having a dash cam. Besides giving unarguable proof in the event of an accident and helping to avoid insurance wrangles, the footage can be used to dispute motoring fines, and make claims for pothole damage. It has even been used to help solve serious crime.

The growing popularity of the technology also means that the cameras are getting cheaper while the quality of the footage is getting better. 

If you’re new to dash cams or even upgrading, the features and jargon can be confusing, with devices that cost less than £50 seeming to do a similar job to those at £500. Do you need 4K? What’s the point of WiFi? Is a polarising filter vital?

To help you see clearly, we have gathered our favourite cameras from the past year of testing and added in a couple of newcomers to see which comes out on top. 

How we tested them

How you use your camera will influence which features you value most, but for all cameras the quality of the footage gathered will be a major factor. The best devices will be able to store images that allow you to make out crucial details, such as registration numbers, in all weather conditions. 

For our test, we attached the cameras to the front windscreen and drove in bright sunlight, through tunnels and at night in rain.

We noted how easy it was to save clips while driving and download the footage to view, either through an app or on a computer. Finally, we took value for money into account, and looked for additional features and upgradability. 

Verdict

​​If you want the ultimate in footage quality, then the Nextbase 622GW is still the best camera we have tried. But there’s no doubt it’s expensive, and we wouldn’t blame you if you decided to save money and choose a camera which has almost as much capability, but is better value. 

It’s the Ring RSDC3000 that we think offers the best combination of overall value for money and performance for most drivers. At less than £100 including a memory card, it won’t seem like a huge investment, but it has all the features we think are worth having in a dash cam. 

  1. Ring RSDC3000
  2. Nextbase 622GW
  3. Kenwood DRV A601W

Reviews

Ring RSDC3000

  • Price: around £85 (plus SD card)
  • Rating: 5 stars  
  • Resolution: 1296p
  • Contact: ringautomotive.com

Our winner may be quite controversial, because it doesn’t offer the best-quality footage here – for that you’ll have to pay more than its £85 price tag. But tot up the points and it becomes clear that the Ring is a winning overall package.

The RSDC3000 might only have 1296p resolution, but it dealt well with changing light conditions and bumpy roads. It also has a two-inch screen, GPS tracking data embedded in the images and a WiFi connection to access menus and download files from the Ring app. Our only disappointment was the lack of a hardwire accessory.

Buy now from Amazon

Nextbase 622GW

  • Price: around £250 (plus memory card)
  • Rating: 4.5 stars  
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Contact: nextbase.com

Nextbase’s top model has been around for a few years, but it still sets our benchmark for footage quality. Clever tech, high-quality lenses and a polarising filter that removes glare mean that it consistently returned the most detailed images in all conditions.

It also has some hi-tech features that appear to lift it above rivals, with extras such as Alexa voice activation and integrated what3words location data. But you’ll pay for them with a much higher price. An SD card and other accessories are expensive, too.

Buy now from Halfords

Kenwood DRV A601W

We’re generally fans of Kenwood’s cams, because they offer the features we like at a price that’s temptingly low. The A601 costs nearly £50 less than the Nextbase 622GW, yet it includes a memory card, which would add £35 to the price of its rival. Kenwood also offers bundles of accessories to make it even better value. 

The trade-off comes in quality, because the image stabilisation isn’t as sharp on rougher roads. You also have to make do without the Nextbase’s extra electronic features, such as Alexa. 

Buy now from Amazon

MIOFIVE 4K Dash Cam

  • Price: around £150 (including 64GB memory)
  • Rating: 4 stars   
  • Resolution: 4K
  • Contact: amazon.co.uk

The MIOFIVE brings some much-needed innovation to the market, with built-in memory rather than a separate SD card. This is said to be faster and more reliable, and it also makes the device more compact. But it does make getting footage off the camera trickier and you can’t upgrade the capacity if you regularly go on long trips.

Once the camera is set up and you’ve disabled the infuriating beeps and voice announcements that come through the app, the MIOFIVE captures impressively clear images, especially in good weather. The price is attractive, too, especially for a 4K camera with a screen.

Buy now from Amazon

DDPAI Mola N3 

  • Price: around £58 (plus SD card)
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Resolution: 1600p
  • Contact: store.ddpai.com

The bargain-priced Mola N3 looks modern and is small enough to hide behind a rear-view mirror and forget – if you remember to turn off the comedic voice announcements. There’s no built-in screen, so the menu can only be accessed via the DDPAI app, which works well, but is a little baffling at times. 

The version we tried had GPS data stamping to monitor speed and location, and 1600p video capture – a useful step up from the 1440p or 1080p you’d expect at this price point. Only a poor video performance in low light lets it down. 

Buy now from Amazon

VIOFO A229 

  • Price: around £170 (plus SD card) 
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Resolution: 1440p
  • Contact: amazon.co.uk

Looking at the A229’s specifications, it’s difficult to see the attraction, because there are better-specified cameras available for less money. Its advantage comes when you add a rear camera – which increases the cost to £260 – because the footage coming from the back of the car is recorded at an unusually high 1440p. 

We like the uncommon wedge shape of the unit, which makes it easy to fit discreetly onto windscreens, and how easy it is to download files on to the app. However, the quality of the video files gathered from the front-facing camera is nothing special and it looks expensive. 

Buy now from Amazon

Thinkware X800 

  • Price: around £150 (including 32GB SD card)  
  • Rating: 3 stars   
  • Resolution: 1440p
  • Contact: thinkwaredashcam.eu 

While most of the cameras here try to look modern, the X800 has a distinctly retro style, which might appeal to some drivers. Unfortunately, the specification is a little old fashioned too, especially at this price.

Although an SD card is supplied, you’ll need to pay £24.99 more to add GPS data to the footage. There’s no app or WiFi connection to view files, either – you can only watch on the camera’s 2.7-inch screen or remove the SD card from the car.

When you do watch it, the quality is only acceptable, especially because it struggles to cope with glare in bright conditions.

Buy now from Amazon

Now that you can record the road ahead, make sure you can see it clearly with the best headlight bulbs....

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