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Dash Cam Price Guide: How Much Is a Dash Cam?

Updated at: Jun 16, 2022

Modern dash cams are candid, clever car accessories that are becoming increasingly indispensable for drivers. They “tell the whole truth and nothing but” to anyone with access to their footage, including drivers, insurance companies, law enforcement, and business owners. At a minimum, they record the road in front of you, illustrating the unbiased truth about what is happening or what has happened on the road. The video evidence that they provide offers protection from hiked-up insurance premiums that result from collisions caused by other vehicles or staged accidents, removing the burden of proof from the consumer. Simply put - people lie, cameras don’t. Likewise, if falsely accused of any kind of road misbehavior by police, dash cams provide time-stamped, video evidence of innocence against mistaken allegations.

As the technology has continued to evolve, dash cams have become more sophisticated and affordable.  At the same time, consumer demand for dash cams is growing along with increasingly common distracted driving, road rage, and extreme weather.  Formerly used primarily by law enforcement, dash cams are now being purchased by daily commuters, rideshare drivers, truckers, and parents of teenage drivers. So, how much is a dash cam? As with any product, you pay for the quality and features that you pick.


How much is a dash cam?

Reliable dash cams usually cost anywhere from $90-$500. These price points reflect the large range of features available, such as video quality, the number of cameras, connectivity, and more. Perhaps, the most immediate decision to make is what you want to be able to see, i.e., how many cameras you need. The more cameras, the more angles, and coverage you have. Models with front-facing cameras only, usually run between $90 and $240, while dual dash cams with one camera for the front and one for the interior, typically fetch between $150-$300. Dash cams that provide all three viewpoints in the form of one unit with three lenses grant a 360-degree field of vision and range between $250-$500.
Aside from the number of cameras you want, there is an array of additional features available, and not every feature is a must for every consumer. With such an abundance of models to choose from, drivers must carefully prioritize their needs and match them up with their budget, because, as when buying anything, the more features, the bigger the price tag. We’ve made a convenient, straightforward list of factors to consider when making your dash cam purchase. First, we’ll take a deeper look into front-facing vs. rear-view and interior cameras. Before we do though, visit our guide on how to choose a dash cam and consider all your needs before you buy.

Factor #1: Number of Lenses

How many cameras do you need? While all dash cams currently on the market today have front-facing cameras, many companies sell dual-dash cams that provide an interior lense allowing you to see inside your vehicle as well. These dual-facing dash cams cover you against events from both inside and outside. Interior cameras, sometimes called cabin cameras, record the inside of the car, including the driver and passengers. Parents of teenage drivers are often very compelled by this feature as they can monitor exactly what is happening while their teenager is out on his or her own. They can see who’s driving, and watch his/her behavior along with each and every passenger. There’s no fooling a camera, especially one that has live-streaming, but we’ll get to that later. Rideshare drivers often use cabin cameras because they silently inform passengers that they are being recorded, knowledge that deters all sorts of trouble that hired drivers prefer to live without. Lastly, you can also consider a rear-facing camera since many collisions happen from behind.

Factor #2: Connected Dash Cams

The finest advanced smart dash cams available today are those that are “connected.” Connected dash cams have cutting-edge, 4G LTE capabilities. This means that they are constantly streaming footage, have live alerts and remote streaming capabilities. Most advantageous, connected dash cams provide remote streaming, a facility that other smart dash cams do not have. Remote streaming allows users access to the dash cam’s footage from anywhere, and at any time, providing 24/7 protection. Users see what each camera lens sees, in real-time. Connected dash cams also give live alerts, a special feature that notifies users whenever a break-in, collision, or parking incident is detected. Live alerts are an example of innovative damage protection that is made possible by premium LTE technology. Moreover, while many dash cams available today feature GPS location, connected dash cams allow for GPS tracking, which means that users can track a vehicle’s progress on a map, and know exactly where it is in relation to other streets and landmarks.


Factor #3 Functionalities

Dash cams come with a variety of functionalities that are very beneficial for drivers.

  • Recording quality: Dash cams record in High Definition that includes qualities of 720p, 1080p, and 4K Ultra-High Resolution. A minimum of 1080p quality is needed to reliably capture traffic signs and license plate numbers.
  • Parking Mode: Some dash cams have G Sensors that detect impact when parked. They activate your camera in the event that your car is vandalized or bumped into while parked.
  • Night Vision: Cameras that have Night Vision capabilities utilize infrared technology, providing clear video when lighting is poor either outside or inside of the vehicle. This way, everything is captured vividly before dawn and after dusk.
  • Emergency alerts/hand-free services: In case of an accident, emergency contacts are notified right away. Higher quality dash cams have services that include notification of an incident, the location, instant access to the dash cam video, and a one-tap link to dispatch 911. Voice-controlled dash cams allow you to use Siri or Alexa to call for help without having to move or touch a button.

FAQ

How do I get the best dash cam deals?

Like many other tech products, there are often sales around Christmas and Black Friday or other major occasions. Special discounts can often be found for professional drivers such as truck drivers, rideshare drivers, and fleets. Check out Nexar’s special deals.


Is a dash cam worth the money?

Dash cams provide services and protection that can only be provided by video evidence. The statistics show that for every 1,000 miles driven, odds are 1 in 366 of a car accident. Having video evidence of exactly what happened provides indisputable proof.

Will a dash cam reduce my insurance?

While having a dash cam won’t reduce your insurance premiums, time and time again, they will save you money from an increase if it is clear that you are not at fault in an accident. They will also exonerate you from unfair, costly traffic tickets or citations. In some cases, insurance companies will offer specific businesses or groups insurance discounts.

Overall

The variety of choice of features and capabilities that dash cams offer can be overwhelming for consumers. The two chief things to consider are what you need to be able to see and whether you want the ability to access footage remotely. While the cost of dash cams varies widely based on features, for individual drivers and businesses alike, the protection that a dash cam affords is priceless.