Novice Dash Cam Questions Answered

Our 2024 Dash Cam Recommendations and Top Picks can be found by clicking here


When it comes to Dash Cams, there are no silly questions. With the amount of models and information available, we understand novice buyer confusion. Some questions are very basic and some more complex. Either way, it is positive when customers ask questions because it tells us that people are doing their research and comparing specs/reviews before buying a Dash Cam. There is now much higher awareness about the benefits of using a quality Dash Camera. We understand Australian drivers want the best performance and reliability while recording out on the road or while parked. We understandably get many repetitive questions, so to assist buyers find quick and easy answers to some common questions, we have put together this list of the most common questions we receive (in no particular order). Hopefully they will answer a few of yours:  


Q: What is the best Dash Cam?

A: Tough question to answer as the best Dash Cam is different for every customer. The best Dash Cam depends on the customers specific needs and budget. As a starting point, take a look at our 2024 Top Pick Dash Cam Guide – click here


Q: Do I need a 4K Dash Cam?

A: 4K resolution is currently the highest resolution you can get in a Dash Cam. However, there are many factors other than resolution that produce good video quality. All our units will provide high quality footage but we say that our 4K models will give you the best chance at picking up clearer details on the road. No Dash Cam brand or model guarantees their footage will pick up everything, but our higher resolution models will provide you a better chance. Click here to check out our 4K Dash Cam range


Q: Are Dash Cams wireless?

A: Dash Cams are not wireless. They always need a power supply from the vehicle. Reason is that Dash Cams do not have large rechargeable batteries like a smartphone.  Batteries do not survive in the heat of a hot car as the batteries heat up and can swell and leak acid. So therefore Dash Cams do away with batteries. All our Dash Cams are heat stressed and tested and survive the heat of Australian summers.


Q: How are Dash Cams powered?

A: Dash Cams are generally powered in one of 3 ways.

Cig lighter socket – all Dash Cams can plug into a 12/24V cig lighter socket (or now called an accessory socket). The Dash Cam will automatically turn on and record with the engine and turn off with the engine.

Fusebox – Dash Cam installation to the fusebox is known as hardwiring. Hardwiring provides power to the Dash Cam while driving and also while parked for those cameras that have a park mode feature. All our park mode Dash Cams will shut down at a set voltage so they dont run the vehicle battery flat.

External battery pack – these are used to power Dash Cams while parked for extended parking mode recording. They charge up while you drive and then provide external battery power to the Dash Cam while parked. There is no power draw on the car battery while parked. We sell two tried and tested Dash Cam battery packs for extended park mode recording: Cellink NEO and BlackVue B130X.


Q: Can I power the Dash Cam with a USB cable?

A: Generally not. USB ports do not provide the right voltage and amps to power up a Dash Cam. If a USB cable is connected to most Dash Cams, they only operate like a USB stick for data transfer to a computer. Always power the Dash Cam with the manufacturer power cord into a cigarette lighter socket.  Using anything else might not provide the specified volts and amps thereby damaging the Dash Cam and potentially voiding any warranty.  


Q: Do Dash Cams automatically turn on and start recording when the car is turned on?

A: Yes. All our Dash Cams automatically power up with the car engine and start recording and power down with the car engine and stop recording = set and forget.  


Q: Do Dash Cams record when the car is off?

A: Yes, Dash Cams with a parking mode feature and hardwire kit will record when the engine is off. When the engine turns off the Dash Cam will enter motion/impact detection recording. 


Q: Will a Dash Cam drain my car battery?

A: When Dash Cams are in park mode, they do draw power from the car battery via the fusebox when the engine is off. High quality Dash Cams are designed to shut off at a set cut off voltage so they don’t run your battery flat.


Q: Do Dash Cams loop record?

A: All our Dash Cams operate on a looped recording system meaning when the Micro SD card fills up, it automatically re-writes/loops over the oldest files one by one to ensure you always have the latest files at hand. If you don’t need to access an incident file, then you leave it – set and forget. The only files that won’t be looped over are SOS button/”event” protected files (brand/model dependant).  The larger the Micro SD card capacity, the more files are stored before filling up. Our rule of thumb is to have enough storage to cover you for the longest day you drive. That way, at the end of the day you can refer to any important files and save a copy off the card.


Q: Can I install a Dash Cam myself?

A: Yes. Straight out of the box Dash Cam installation is DIY. Mount the camera on the windscreen and plug it into the cigarette lighter socket. Wires can be hidden around the roof liner and door trim. Most power cords are 4m long so you have plenty of length to feed it around your trim. Dual cameras are slightly more tricky because of the front to rear camera connection cable.

There are thousands of online videos and guides on where to tuck the wires so a quick online search is all you need to get started.

If you are not a DIY’er, the trade to use is a qualified auto electrician with Dash Cam installation experience.

If hardwiring your Dash Cam with a hardwire kit to the fusebox (for parking mode), we highly recommend this part of the install be done by a qualified installer. Have a read of our installation page by clicking here.  


Q: How are the front and rear cameras connected on a 2-channel Dash Cam?

A: The two cameras are connected via a connection cord. The connection cords are generally 6 metres long to give you plenty of length to hide it around door or roof trim. Only the front Dash Cam plugs into the cigarette lighter socket which then powers the rear camera. The Micro SD card is only inserted in the front Dash Cam.  


Q: Where do you stick a Dash Cam?

A: Dash Cams should be mounted as close to the top and centre of the windscreen as possible. This provides the best footage of the road ahead. If a Dash Cam cant fit behind the rear view mirror, it is normally mounted to the left of the rear view mirror away from the drivers view.


Q: What is the Dash Cam GPS?

A: The GPS function in a Dash Cam is to track speed and coordinates of the vehicle. It is not a navigation system to give you directions. The GPS data is imprinted on the video files and can be viewed during video playback. The coordinate data can be used to visualise the vehicle location on a Google Map when post reviewing the videos in the manufacturer’s software player. The GPS feature also allows various driver safety assist features (like lane departure warning) to operate on selected models.  


Q: How much does it cost to install a Dash Cam?

A: If installing the Dash Cam yourself, nothing!

If using a qualified installer like an auto electrician, the going rate is up to $200.00 for a front and rear Dash Cam system.


Q: Are Dash Cams legal in Australia?

A: Dash Cams are legal to use while filming on public roads and in public places. Police call up on the public for Dash Cam footage so issues there. They must be securely mounted to the windscreen and not obstruct the drivers view.


Q: Will a Dash Cam reduce my insurance premium?

A: At the moment unfortunately not. Insurance companies highly recommend using Dash Cams but it wont bring down your premium. Reason is there is no evidence that Dash Cam use reduces or prevents accidents. However, Dash Cam footage comes in real handy if an incident does occur and is recorded.


Q: What is the point of having a Dash Cam if it doesn’t reduce my premium?

A: Dash Cam footage can spare you from paying your excess if you are involved in not at fault accident. You can also keep your rating one driver rewards. If involved in “he said-she said” incident, Dash Cam footage can show the insurer undisputed liability. Also, if your car is hit while parked in a hit and run, police can track down the offender via the license plates. A not at fault claim can then be made against the offender saving you from otherwise paying your excess.


Q: How do I choose a Dash Cam for my car?

A: Dash Cams do not know the brand or model car they are installed into and there is really only one way to install a Dash Cam so you can pretty much use any in our range. Customers need to consider if they want to record front only or front and rear. Another consideration is whether the customer wants to record while driving only, or while driving and parked. This will determine whether you want a purpose made park mode Dash Cam or not.


Q: Is a front and rear Dash Cam better than front only?

A: Front recording Dash Cams tell most of the story, however the rear camera adds that extra level of evidence. Eventhough there is no rear camera, front camera footage still shows the circumstances. For example, if you are stationary at a red light and rear-ended, the front footage will show that you were doing nothing wrong. The other driver cant say that you suddenly broke or reversed into them. Of coarse having the rear camera adds to your story but the front footage would be enough in this scenario. Rear cameras really come in handy when recording while parked. If a car pulls into a park bay behind you, hits your car, and then drives off without leaving details, the rear cam will most likely pick up their number plate. The police and insurance company would then be able to track them down and make a not at fault insurance claim saving you from paying your insurance excess.


If you have any further enquiries or would like more assistance please do not hesitate to contact us on (03) 9350 2605 or or on our Live Chat tab on the site. We are more than happy to answer any questions or assist you with a Dash Cam recommendation.  

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