Important Dash Cam Features

A dash cam (short for dashboard camera) is a small camera that records what’s happening on the road ahead (or behind, depending on the model).

Dash cams are designed to provide drivers with peace of mind, leaving them safe in the knowledge that police and insurers can find out exactly what happened in case of a collision and then make a decision on who was at fault. Choosing a dash cam can be a bit of a minefield, so what are the most important things to look for when purchasing a dash cam?

The most important Dash Cam features


Video quality will dictate how much you’ll actually be able to make out from the images captured. High Definition (HD) is the thing to look out for, as this will provide clear, sharp video, but Ultra High Definition (UHD, where videos are twice the resolution of HD) and 4K dash cams (where videos are four times the resolution of HD) are becoming more popular.

The reason for needing such clear pictures is that it allows you to see the smaller details, such as the number plate of the car that's just collided with you and driven off or the face of the person who's just tried to break into your car.

Viewing angle

The viewing angle refers to how much of the road ahead (or behind) can be recorded. Dash cams sold at Halfords start at about 120 degrees, and go up to a full 180 degrees.

In comparison, the human eye has a field of vision of about 140 degrees, so a 180-degree camera will capture more of what’s going on at the sides of your car – important for collisions that happen at the side or corners of the vehicle.

Night-time recording

Every dash cam that we sell is capable of night-time recording, so accidents that happen at night will still be recorded clearly. Some of our dash cam models even have a full night vision mode, such as the BlackVue DR900S, which is capable of catching crystal clear 4K video even on unlit roads.


Dash cams with built-in GPS will automatically add a location to any important video clips, letting viewers know exactly where any incidents took place. This is particularly handy if the police or insurers are trying to link up your footage with CCTV images or witness information.


This feature is very handy if you want to view saved clips on your phone or smart device. By connecting your smartphone to the dash cam’s Wi-Fi, videos can be transferred without the need to remove the SD card and connect it to a PC.

Parking Mode

Many customers ask us: do dash cams work when the car is off? The answer is yes! Some dash cams come with an additional parking mode that can capture footage even if the vehicle is stationary.

This is very useful if someone drives into your car when you’re not in it, or even for capturing thieves who could cause damage to your car during an attempted break-in. Advanced dash cams can be set up to send video footage directly to your phone or connected device, giving you crucial evidence to support an insurance claim.

Still image capture

There may be rare instances where you need to capture a photo with your dash cam (i.e. if you’ve witnessed a crime and want to grab a shot of the number plate of the car involved). Some dash cam models have this feature built in, so consider this if you feel this function is important.

Voice activation

Avoid taking your hands off the wheel to capture a still or lock a video clip by getting a dash cam that can do all of this with a few simple voice commands – it's much safer!

The Nextbase 422GW522GW and 622GW all come with Alexa as standard, making them perfect for staying safe while capturing important images or footage. They also give you all the additional features of Alexa, such as playing music, seeking directions, connecting with your home’s smart devices and more!

The best dash cams


Nextbase is a market-leading, best-selling brand. They’re very popular with our customers thanks to an impressive range of design features and functions that include Wi-Fi connectivity, HD video recording and some impressive sensor technology from Sony in selected models.

Shop Nextbase Dash Cams


Garmin has built a reputation for creating quality sat navs and travel technology, and this now extends to their dash cam range. Some Garmin dash cams even warn drivers of potential obstacles, if they leave their lane when driving on the motorway, if there are red lights ahead and if there are speed cameras in the area, which are great features for making driving even safer.

Shop Garmin Dash Cams


BlackVue dash cams are our top-level dash cams, featuring high-quality video recording up to 4K, sleek designs, Wi-Fi and even cloud connectivity on certain models.

Keep an eye out for BlackVue dash cams with Sony STARVIS technology as they provide exceptional footage even on the darkest roads.

Selected BlackVue dash cams are also long-term evolution (LTE) compatible or have LTE technology built in. This makes connecting to the cloud both fast and hassle-free and means that you can view your footage from anywhere in the world at any time.

Shop BlackVue Dash Cams

Now that you've got more of an idea for the kind of things to look out for you’ll want to check out our wide selection of models! Just remember that you can also ask one of our in-store dash cam experts if you need any further help and advice.

Shop Dash Cams

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