Do you have someone on your shopping list who loves gadgets and cool tech? Or someone who has a new car and is eager to keep it safe? In both cases, a dash cam could make a great gift this Christmas.

Why Get A Dash Cam?

A dash cam is a video camera that you can mount on your car’s dashboard or windshield to record the details of your driving. By recording your drive, you’ll have hard evidence that could work in your favour in the event of a collision, which could help you when you make a claim to your car insurance provider, or if you are involved in a criminal investigation or lawsuit. For example, footage from your dash cam could help identify the license plate of a car involved in a hit and run, or could prove that you were not at fault in a collision.

If you’re in the market for a dash cam this holiday season, you’ll want to consider the following features in your purchase.

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Must Have Features

  • You’ll want your camera to have a high video resolution to ensure any footage is clear enough to make out things like the make and model of a car or its licence plate. Many video cameras will offer a resolution of 1080p, which will offer you sharp footage.
  • Keep in mind, the higher your video resolution, the more storage capacity you’ll need for your camera. When buying your camera, make sure you have enough storage to match its resolution.
  • Unless you’re only driving in the day, you’ll want your camera to have night vision so that you can capture footage when it’s dark.

Nice To Have Features

  • An Automatic On/Off function will turn your dash cam on when you start your car, and turn it off when you’re engine shuts off. Your dash cam is only useful when it’s on, so if you think you’ll have a hard time remember to switch it on and off, this might actually be a must-have feature.
  • Loop recording means that your camera will automatically record over old footage when it runs out of storage, meaning your camera won’t stop recording if you’re out on a long drive. You do risk erasing vital footage if you don’t transfer it out of the camera right away – so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you’re in a collision.
  • An impact sensor is another automatic feature that can come in handy, as it immediately saves footage if you’ve been in a collision and can even turn the dash cam on if it detects impact.
  • A dash cam only helps if the action you need to record is in the front of your vehicle, which is why you might want to consider an option that comes with a rear-facing camera. In these cases, you might need to sacrifice some of the video resolution in order to accommodate both cameras.

Bonus Features

  • Are you worried about protecting your car when it’s parked? If so, you can find cameras that come with a buffered parking mode that records footage while you’re away from your vehicle, and only saves the footage if an impact is detected.
  • Adding GPS to your dash cam can provide additional evidence in the event of a collision, such as confirming where an accident happened or your speed just before an accident (or even a ticket!).

Final Considerations

  • Your dash cam should make driving safer for you, so you don’t want a camera so large that it obstructs your view out of the windshield.
  • Look into how the camera you’re choosing will mount on your car. Does it come with its own mounting mechanism? Do you need to buy one separately? Or, can you lay it on your dashboard?
  • You’ll also want to know how your camera will be powered. Will it be connected to your car’s fuse box or internal wiring so the cables are out of site, or to the power adapter in your dashboard, meaning you’ll have some wires hanging down?

A dash cam could be an invaluable gift if it records vital footage that helps someone support their claim in the wake of a collision or unfair ticket. And even if the camera never needs to be used for legal reasons, it still might catch some cool footage on the road!

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