The best dash cams you can buy in the UK for under £150 including models from Nextbase, Transcend, Mio and Silent Witness
Dash Cams have in the past couple of years gone from being a staple of Russian YouTube videos to one of the hottest products in the UK consumer electronics market.
Usually mounted on a suction cup behind the rear-view mirror, the modern dash cam continually records video to an SD card in small chunks. The larger the SD card, the more footage can be recorded – most dash cam can use cards up to 64GB, which will store 5-6 hours of video.
Video quality is the prime factor when buying a dash cam – grainy footage where number plates are indecipherable is next to useless.
Most dash cams in 2017 record in HD quality – 1920 x 1280 – or higher: although it’s not just the resolution that matters. The quality of the lens, the focal length, the type of sensor and the width of the field-of-view also play a part.
Another key component of the modern-day dash cam is GPS. This provides vital information about the car’s speed and location which can be crucial when footage is reviewed for an insurance claim. All the dash cams featured here have built-in GPS – we consider it essential.
So here are our best dash cams you can get in the UK for £150 or less. Let the battle commence!
Silent Witness SW006 Dash Cam
Silent Witness may not be as big a dash cam brand as Garmin or Nextbase, but the SW006 happily competes alongside its more famous rivals. The Silent Witness camera lens has an exceptionally wide field-or-view at 180° – wider than any of the other dash cams featured here.
The video quality – delivered in 1080p HD – is very good, and remains so even when the light is lower. Dash cams really have benefitted from the quantum leaps made by image sensors in the past few years.
Like all the other models we’ve recommended the Silent Witness features GPS with the aerial built-in to its mount. This means all footage recorded features accurate speed information as well as longitude and latitude co-ordinates.
Build quality is not quite as good as we’d like, but the healthy feature set and – crucially – the crisp, clear video means we would happily recommend the Silent Witness SW006.
Transcend DrivePro 220 Dash Cam
While most people buy dash cams as a way of avoiding blame when an accident happens, the devices can also help prevent accidents in the first place. The Transcend Drive Pro has pro-active safety features that alert the driver when he is drifting into another lane or when the car in front is too close.
The latter we found to be a bit too trigger happy for our liking, sparking alerts at passing cars or road signs, but some drivers may like the reassurance on longer journeys.
Footage from the DrivePro 220’s camera was good, although not as stunning as some of the other dash cams we tested, especially in darker conditions. The field of view from the camer was not as wide as some, but we fount it perfectly acceptable as it make the distance of cars more realistic.
The DrivePro 220 also has full GPS and on-board WiFi which allows you to download footage to an iOS or Android device. It can be useful if you are away from your computer but remember that the video files can be very large and can take a good while to transfer.
Thankfully Transcend supplies a 16GB SD card in the box, which means that this device is genuinely ready to use as soon as it arrives. I wish the sa
Nextbase 402G Dash Cam
The Nextbase 402G was a Which? Best Buy Award winner in 2014 and it’s still a contender despite the imminent release of its successor, the 412GW. That’s because it’s main appeal isn’t necessarily the feature set, but the sheer quality of the video footage recorded.
Whether in daylight or night time, the 402G records crisp, clear video that compares with that generated by much more expensive devices. That’s not to say it skimps on functionality either, as it has built-in GPS, collision detection and a reasonably wide field-of-view. And now that you can find it quite heavily discounted because of the upcoming 412GW it’s as good a deal on dash cams as you can find at the moment.
Mio MiVue 658 Dash Cam
The Mio MiVue 658 is another golden oldie – despite coming out in early 2015, it’s still going strong and picking up awards and acclaim along the way. The MiVue 658 also stands out for its exceptional video quality particularly in the low-light conditions where many dash cams struggle.
The 658 can record at up to 2304 x 1296 – which Mio labels ‘extreme HD’ – but it’s the lens quality and video encoding software that make the footage so good, not just the pixel count. The other key feature of the MiVue 658 is its built-in WiFi which means you can connect the dash cam to your smartphone or computer wirelessly which is convenient.
However the sluggish transfer rate does take some of the shine off the functionality. Other key features such as GPS, collision detection and wide field-of-view are all present and correct, making the Mio MiVue 658 a great all-rounder.
Nextbase 512G Ultra Dash Cam
The 512G is one of the flagships of the Nextbase dash cam fleet and its sleek looks and solid build quality reinforce the premium product feel. The 512G sports a top-of-the-range Sony Exmor sensor which means that the footage it delivers, while still only in 1080p resolution, is bright and clear in all lighting conditions.
This Nextbase dash cam is also the first to feature a polarising filter on the lens which reduces glare and screen reflections and can make it a lot easier to read licence plates. It’s normally price beyond the upper price range of this article – but Amazon has been offering at a bargain £144.99 in the run up to Christmas so we’ve included it as an option.
As you would expect, the Nextbase 512G features GPS and crash detection, although sadly there’s no WiFi. One nice point is that the power lead supplied is very long, which makes it easier to tuck away along the A pillar and beneath the carpeting. It’s the little things that matter, sometimes.