According to data from the Western Australia Police Force, vehicle theft from 2020 to 2021 went down nearly 40%, with 3,188 cases reported versus 5,349 in the previous year. And if you consider this study done by Allianz Insurance in 2019 stating that more Australians are seeking to install dash cams, it’s easy to see why the statistics have gone down.
Dash cams can provide irrefutable evidence in the event of theft, vandalism and accidents. They can also help improve your driving. However, knowing which one is right for you can be challenging with so many different dash cams on the market.
If you’re thinking about getting a dash cam installed, here’s how you can be sure to choose the right one.
Consider the Basics
Not all dash cams are created equal. When selecting a dash cam, it is crucial to consider the basic features you need, such as:
What is your purpose for getting a dash cam? Do you just want one for peace of mind, or do you need one to provide evidence in the event of an accident? You’ll be better equipped to find a dash cam that meets your needs by answering these questions.
Field of View
Most dash cams have a wide field of view, but some offer a narrower view.
If you only want to record the road in front of your car, a dash cam with a narrow field-of-view may be all you need. However, if you need footage of the sides and rear of your car, go with a wider field of view. But the catch here is that since the pixels are more spread out, wider fields of view may have lower resolutions.
Video quality is important for two reasons. First, you want to clearly see what is happening on the road. Second, if you need to use the footage as evidence in an accident, you will want it to be clear and easy to understand. Look for a dash cam that records at least 720p resolution, but if you can afford it, go with 1080p or higher.
The frame rate is the number of frames per second (fps) that the dash cam records, which is typically 30 fps. A higher frame rate, such as 60 fps, means the footage will be smoother, but it will also take up more space on your memory card.
If you plan to use the footage as evidence in an accident, look for a dash cam with at least 30 fps or more.
Most dash cams are designed to be durable and weather-resistant. However, some models are more durable than others. If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, you will want to choose a dash cam that can withstand the elements.
Dash cams can range in price from $50 to $500. Setting a budget before shopping around and sticking to it is essential. But remember that price does not always equate to quality, so look at the features you need and compare products to find a dash cam that fits your needs.
Other Factors to Look Into
Aside from the basic features, there are other factors you’ll want to look into before buying a dash cam. These include:
Some dash cams can record audio and video, which can be helpful if you need to provide evidence in an accident and want to hear what was said afterward. In this case, you will need to find a dash cam with a built-in microphone, such as the Vantrue N2 Pro Dual 1080p Dash Cam.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Capability
Most dash cams today come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability, enabling you to view and download footage from your dash cam without removing the memory card. This means you can check the footage through your smartphone or tablet.
Memory Card Capability
The larger your microSD card, the longer you can record video footage from your dash cam before it loops. A good rule of thumb is to get at least 64GB of external storage if you want 10 to 20 hours of footage since most dash cams record at 720p resolution and can take up a lot of space.
Considerations for Installation
How discreet do you want your dash cam to be? Models like the MKD Premium Invisible Dash Camera are less noticeable than others, and some can even be hidden behind the mirror.
If you want your dash cam to be as discreet as possible, look for one you can mount behind the mirror.
You also need to consider where you will be mounting your dash cam. Most models come with a suction cup mount, but if you want to attach it to your windshield, you will need to find one that has an adhesive mount.
Get Your Dash Cam Professionally Installed
Although installing a dash cam is not rocket science, it may be best to get a professional like Seven Smart Auto to install it for you. This way, you can be sure that it is installed properly and will not come loose in a crash.
Seven Smart Auto is a team of expert mechanics and retrofitting specialists who combine the latest car technologies with full-service installations. Contact us today to schedule your dash cam installation needs.