I have been considering getting a dashcam

I have been considering getting a dashcam for some time to record car journeys. Some of the elderly drivers around here really should not be driving I don’t think. Having one in a car I feel makes one more aware of speed as it can be set to record your speed if you want

Why bother?

my thoughts recently have been along the lines of a child running out betwen parked cars as well as recording speed and an accident should it occur. Having been hit and push backward into a deep ditch by a speeding driver on ice who could not stop, his insurance eventually admitted it was their clients fault after 15 months and a pending court case

So how did I go about choosing one out of the many on the market?

First of all was price

Having read more reviews and watched more youtube videos than can remember the general concensus is “don’t get a cheap one”

Second where to buy?

I decided to purchase from a store near to where I live incase it was faulty and i could take back to. This boiled down to PCword/Curry’s or Halfords. Halfords offered a proctective bag for the camera as well

Which Make?

wow this was a real concern, not only for features but picture quality day and night. Like most electronic items different manufactures have slightly different menus
Eventually I decided on a Nextbase 312GW as it has good reviews and the videos seem to back this up. within this decision I went for the 32 gig micro SD card with SD adapter and camera bag. Total cost £124

This dashcam has a magnatic contact mount so can easily be removed leaving just the suction cup and plug in unity

I could have gone for the hard wire setup but on my car it meant removing the parcel shelf to get to the fuse box, and to be honest I don’t trust anyone to remove and replace the door seal strips to hide the cable as the strip are a tight fit. So I forgo that for the cigar plug option.

Some insurance companies offer a reduced insurance rate if a dashcan is fitted

One of the videos that pursuaded me to go for this one. The night shoot at the end I though was very good.

Now ordered one and waiting for delivery

Sold !

I have just got a cheap one but it does the job - cost about $100 (£50). The most important thing is whether it records readable number plates when you are travelling (it is easy when you are stationary). Mine does at 1080p but they are indistinct at 720p.

It’s a Transcend 100 but is adequate, no bells and whistles like GPS.

This video was taken at 720p and further degraded by Youtube but you can see what I mean by number plate recognition, I stick to 1080p now.

Already a thread on dashcams

See here



Sorry didn’t research to see if the subject had already been posted. Still giving my reasons for getting one is still valid if anyone is considering getting one.
One thing I forgot to mention is the cigar lighter needs checking to make sure it switches off with the engine.

I have had this little gizmo for more years than i can remember


All I have to do is plug it in to test. my cigar sockets are always live so it does mean unplugging when not using car

Leave it plugged in on the drive, you now have a security camera as well, just make sure the car is locked.

I have the Nextbase 402G. Did a short drive to test it, put the card into my new PC but the sound was weird. Anyway, I had to adjust the PC internal speaker output but haven’t yet tried to view the card since. I also have a recording of when sister and I went to Suffolk a few months ago, but again not looked at it.
Haven’t done any long drives since then but hope to put it to good use soon.
I won’t have mine hard wired also.

They’re a good idea realspeed. Effective in helping with insurance claims in the event of an accident, particularly helpful in those cases where someone in front deliberately brakes with the intent of causing an accident.

Decided to hard wire the dashcam leaving the socket available.

Question is do I piggyback into a live fuse feed or one that is only live with the ignition on.
The kit instructions say the dashcam auto comes on when the ignition is switched on, from what I have read which means I can piggyback off the car seat heating circuit if the spare is always live

fuse layout


Halfords can fit them for you for about 20/30quid, or you can buy a specific piggyback fuse holder that just fits in the existing fuse holder but has a take off for the dash cam

Correct the piggyback comes with the hard wire kit. With my car I have to physically remove the glovebox (unusual yes). This means squeezing a retaining pin to release the retaining bar then getting hold of the glovebox and pulling it away . This also has to be done in a certain way and I don’t think Halfords technicians would know the proceedure and damage part of it.
it has taken me some research to find out how and that was on a Nissan Qashqai which is very nearly the same as my Nissan X trail. Have to say one of the most stupid places to put a fuse board. Nissan I think only want their people to have access and charge the earth for a fuse change

this is what I found which is basically what I have to do

And hard wire kit

As you can see I have done a lot of reasearch on this

I had mine professionally fitted but I have front and rear cameras

Why get a dashcam? here’s why (includes bad language)
Many more like this on youtube

Just my 2penneth on dashcams.

Priority No 1 - Size

Buying a sizable dashcam with built in screen (e.g. Nextbase kit) is imo a waste of time.

Unless you’re particularly dim, you’ll be having to remove the camera every time you leave the car and re-fitting/re-positioning the car every time you get back in. That’s hassle.

Equally who wants to be carrying what is essentially a digital camera around with them everywhere you go? It’s bad enough with a mobile phone.

Leaving a dashcam in your car is just an invitation for the local scallies to break in and nick it, which they will do in seconds. Then you’ll have the aggravation of an insurance claim (which you will be on shaky ground with for leaving it in the car) plus the repair to the window/door etc.

A couple of years ago Sat Navs were THE No1 reason for car break-ins in the UK. That will likely still be the case but dashcams will be up there high on the list.

Therefore THE No 1 consideration for me would not be price, but size.

A dashcam needs to be tiny. Small enough that it is not visible from outside the car and preferably small enough so that it can be mounted permanently into the car with nothing more than a tiny lens point visible.

Priority No 2 - Hard Wiring

A dashcam needs imo to be a “fire and forget” system. It needs to be in the car permanently and switch on and off automatically when the engine is switched on and off.

This being the case it is very important to have the right power components. Hardwiring a bog standard dashcam as it comes out of the box is NOT a good idea. That’s because dashcams will come with rechargeable batteries which are not meant to be constantly plugged in being used and charged at the same time. The batteries will get hot and will wear out in no time.

When you are hard wiring, you need to swap out the rechargeable batteries in the dashcam for special capacitors. These will provide storage for power whilst the device is on and recording but will be empty shortly after it is switched off.

Hard wiring also guarantees that the dashcam is always set up and pointing in exactly the right direction. If you have a large dashcam that you are removing every time you leave the car then it needs to be checked every time you plug it back in, even if it has it’s own mount/holster. And then there’s the issue that you’ll likely be pluggin the power cable in and out constantly which will eventually weaken the socket and/or lead rendering it defective. So again, hard-wiring is the way to go imo.

Priority No 3 - Reliable Loop Recording

There are lots of dashcams to choose from but many suffer problems with loop recording. There are also huge problems with which specific Micro SD cards work with which dashcams. It’s clearly not straight forward nor an exact science as you will see if you read plenty of real reviews of dashcam users.

Some dashcams offer a facility to permanently protect specific bit of recordings when a built in shock sensor detects a collision. This seems a sensible feature, guaranteeing that if you have an accident then the relevant recording will not get overwritten when the CD cards loops around. In practice however, the shock sensors of many of these dashcams are far too sensitive and result in large areas of the SD card being permanently secured and users then complain that the device misses subsequent recordings.

It is vital therefore to determine (preferably from real users) which is the best SD card to use with a given dashcam and that the loop recording is wholly reliable.

Price for me comes in at 4th or more place. Given that owning a dashcam could save you £000s in proving what happened during any accident, price shouldn’t be a limiting factor if at all possible.

Requirements such as being able to read number plates and having good recording visibility at night time are imo expected factors. I wouldn’t consider any dashcam without those abilities.

All the above taken into consideration, there are actually very few dashcams on the market at the moment that fit the bill. Most are pretty much full sized digital compact cameras the like of which people have taken on their holidays for years. I personally think these cameras are useless but each to their own.

At present the best option I have seen is the Mobius Action Cam but its manufacture now looks in question.

I have a cheep one, my main reason is it has a rear camera as well and as my car is a long estate and old I got it for reversing, the first day I got the car I bumped into a stationery car the driver was sat in side, opps.
I have only tried it temporally so far need to tidy up the wires.

Realist has made a lot of valid points which I accept with exceptions

1 the dashcam ordered has a magnatic mount contact and easy to disconnect if leaving a vehicle. therefore no target for vandels

2 Hard wiring avoids plugging in/out therfore harder to steal the whole unit

3 loop recording is a consideration I took into account and the shock sensor on the one I bought has different impact settings.

If I had a dashcam fitted to my Lexus RX SE-L 4x4 when I was hit it would have saved 18 months of legal arguements as to who was to blame.

Apart from some insurance companies now reducing policy costs if one is fitted in a vehicle I have to say I still think they are a good idea.

What i would like to see in the future is motor manufactures installing them as standard equipment.

Take my car for example, it has 5 cameras which not only show front/back but an overhead/reversing view as well. We used to have a passanger reading a road map on a lap, now Sat Navs are common vehicle equipment

Technology has advance tremendously recently in fact too much information in my car. Self parking- automatic breaking-compass- speed signs read from the road /satalite displayed-even down to CO emmissions with stop/start showing how much saved. That is without the breaking-cruising -acceleration fuel saving guide displayed as per day or week. Warning of white line crossing . close proximity and so much more, too much to have posted. Don’t even need a key to unlock the doors, all done by remote. even down to transferring destinations from home computer to car satnav wirelessly. That is even including train and ferry information

Why I ask myself do I want a turntable display of different colours available? but it is included in 1 of the 2 information screen, yes they have even included that

Years ago I can remember in my lifetime how fantastic it was if a car was fitted with a heater let alone one that blew out hot air.
My first car a Ford Anglia 100e 1954 even the wipers were powered of the engine vacuum system. Accelerate to hard and they stopped working
As i said before I did weigh up evey option and consideration and as in Realists case may not suit a lot of people.

All one can do is study on youtube peoples thoughts on different makes and what they think of them, avoiding company blurb, who have fitted them and come to a decision.

If we didn’t try out new ideas and gadgets we would still be digging fields by hand and no washing machines-tumble dryers- dishwashers-vacuum cleaners and the like.

One may not like the new electronic horizons but they are here now or on the way. Computers have altered our lives. I remember having to use a slide rule, now we accept electronic calculators as the norm as are mobile phones.

So like them or not dash cams are here and will be used just as common as Satnavs in a car

The Nextbase models are recommended by Which? magazine.

I have been using a RoadHawk dashcam for years now, and it has proved quite adequate. I take it out when I park my car up at home and, depending upon location, I either take it out or hide it in the car when out elsewhere.
This is quick and easy to do and I find it no hassle at all.

I have it in case of incidents in order to prove liability to my insurers. In fact, some time ago that is exactly what I did and succeeded in proving the fault of another driver. No penalties on my insurance.

If I should witness an incident in which I am not involved, I’d be perfectly willing to offer the video evidence to the police, if requested, or the innocent party for their own benefit.

I have been trying to persuade my wife to have a dashcam in her car, but she continues to poo poo the idea. Sadly, one day she might find she should have listened to me!

One advantage I can see is if an accident is my fault then my dashcam evidence never comes to light. If it is the other drivers fault then it will.
As i said before it is not going to actually cost me very much and if it doen’t work out at least I can say I have tried using it.

before i made my decision I set my camcorder on my dash, hand held, and it was really weird with my wife driving, recording a short video of a local road.

Of course. Your dashcam, your footage. It’s up to you whether or not you show it to anyone!


Your dashcams wouldn’t be suitable for me as I would most certainly not want to be carrying a digital camera around with me everywhere. Especially those the size of Nextbase units.

Also, the necessity to plug the unit back in everytime you get in the car, then power it up, then ensure that the unit is pointing in exactly the right direction, is just going to be a major hassle over time which will lead you, imo, to becoming lazy and just leaving the camera in the car instead.

It’s true that technology has advanced, but right now, the manufacturers are playing catch up with dashcams. What they are doing is exploiting a cheap as chips option of taking what is essentially an existing digital camera (of which the markets are flooded) and rebadging it as a dashcam. All they have really done is enabled loop recording on it.

This is NOT a real solution to the requirements a motorist has regarding filming driving footage. No solution should involve bulky electrical units fixed to a dashboard that are constantly plugged in, unplugged, set in place, removed, set back in place and so on. It’s cumbersome, outdated and just plain silly.

Technology has had tiny discrete cameras for years nad years now. As Realspeed highlights, many modern cars have reversing cameras which are simply tiny discrete lenses attached by long wires to control units.

A dashcam should be no different. It should comprise of separate parts. One part should be the lens itself attached to a decent length of wiring. That lens should be able to be installed almost anywhere, ideally inside the mirror housing at the top of the windscreen. The other part should be the control unit with the recording media and electronics. This part should be able to be installed elsewhere.

All an end user needs is the ability to put in and take out a Micro SD card. The footage can be reviewed later using any laptop/PC or digital camera.

There is absolutely no requirement to my mind, to have a dashcam with a built in screen. It’s a distraction whilst driving and having it means the entire device has to be big and bulky and therefore can not be properly hard wired and done so covertly. I realise you can turn the screens off whilst driving but the main issue is the size of the unit and inability to install in an integrated way.

In short the manufacturers are currently just pandering to a relatively non tech savvy audience and producing products that give everyone an “easy life” or at least seem to. In practice they are anything but, because of the need to keep removing the devices everytime you leave the car.
They know people are lazy and won’t bother.

It’s the same with Sat Navs. I mean seriously, how many people with TomToms and Garmins actually take those devices away with them every time they leave the car?
Answer, extremely few people. It’s just a major hassle.
They just throw the unit in the glove compartment and of course thieves know that’s what they are doing. Many of those people even leave the suction unit attached to the windscreen so it’s blatantly obvious that the car is a Sat Nav car.

The technology for a “proper” dashcam is already out there being used in different applications. We just need manufacturers to stop pandering to the Sheeple and start building proper devices.

There ARE a few contenders. The Mobius Action Cam was certainly one of them. Very small, very discrete. Could be bought with long cables to separate the lens from the main unit for covert installation. Had the option to replace rechargeable batteries with capacitors (which is essential for any dashcam imo).

There’s another tiny device, can’t remember the name, but it’s a tiny cube the size of a cube of snooker chalk. Has a magnetic attachment so it can be simply stuck anywhere.

Overall the place to be looking for the ideal dashcam is actually the Radio Control Hobby market. i.e. the sellers of radio controlled aeroplanes, helecopters and of course drones which are on the increase. These toys/hobbycraft require excellent HD cameras that can record well and which are tiny, very light and reliable.

The Mobius Action Cam was one such camera. Used extensievly by radio control enthusiasts for a long time with great success. The manufacturer hadn’t realised how great the device would be as a dashcam, but the public were catching on.

So my recommendation for those thinking about a dashcam is to ignore the mainstream nonsense which just offers bog standard digital cameras and start looking at the radio controlled action cameras that can loop record.