If you want to keep your car safe from vandalism or hit-and-runs while it’s parked, you may be wondering which dash cams are best fit for this purpose. We’ve compiled an overview of the best dash cams for parking surveillance this year that should make it a lot easier for you to decide which one to buy.
We’ll go into more detail below, but here’s a quick summary:
- Thinkware F800 Pro — Best front & rear video, most versatile parking mode
- BlackVue DR750S-2CH — Best cloud connectivity to watch footage remotely
- Thinkware X500D — Decent and reliable mid-price front and rear cam
- Mini 0906 — Cheapest dual-lens cam
- Vicovation Vico-Opia2 — Best video quality (single lens only)
- Anker Roav C1 — Cheap and easy to set up, but has limitations
For a general introduction to what parking mode is and how it works, you may want to have a look at last year’s article, then come back here. That article also explains the different options to hard-wire your dash cam to the car’s battery without risking depleting it.
Let’s just quickly recap the 3 different types of parking mode here:
Simple: When the camera detects an event, either with its G-sensor or through motion detection, it “wakes up” and starts recording. If it takes too long to wake up, you may lose important evidence though.
Time-Lapse: The dash cam records continually, at a reduced frame rate. All time-lapse footage is saved to the memory card.
Buffered (recommended): The camera records continually at the normal frame rate, but without saving the footage. Only when an event is detected (again, either by the G-sensor or by visual motion detection) is the video saved to the memory card, for example from 10 seconds before to 10 seconds after the event.
So here’s the best parking mode dash cams going into 2018:
|Thinkware F800 Pro||$450||Yes||Yes||Yes||Very Good||Very Good|
|BlackVue DR750S-2CH||$320||Yes||-||-||Very Good||Good|
|Thinkware X500D||$250||Yes||-||-||Very Good||Good|
|Anker Roav C1||$90||-||-||Yes||Good||-|
Dual Lens Car Cameras For Front & Rear Parking Protection
Thinkware F800 Pro — MOST VERSATILE PARKING MODE: Apart from recording the best video quality of all dual-lens dash cams we’ve reviewed, the F800 Pro also is the camera with the most versatile parking mode. Choose between buffered, time-lapse, or energy-saving (simple) modes. When you get back to your parked car, an audio alert will let you know if, and how often, events were recorded.
The F800 Pro comes with built-in low-voltage cutoff as well as overheat protection. If the camera is connected to a Wi-Fi hot spot, Thinkware’s new cloud feature allows you to locate your vehicle and can notify you when an impact is detected, or when your car leaves a pre-defined geographic area.
BLACKVUE DR750S-2CH — BEST CLOUD CONNECTED: BlackVue’s over-the-cloud feature lets you view your camera’s video footage remotely over the internet, provided your dash cam is connected to a Wi-Fi hot spot of course.
The DR750S supports buffered parking mode only. Just like the Thinkware, it will give you an audio alert if, and how many, incidents were detected that triggered parking mode recording.
UPDATE (July 2018): BlackVue have recently released their DR900S-2CH model, which records 4K resolution front and 1080p rear. However, after comparing video quality we are confident that the DR750S actually performs better.
Thinkware X500D — GOOD MID PRICE CAM: A time-tested, fairly popular front and camera whose video footage is roughly comparable to the DR750S-2CH in quality, however the Thinkware X500D costs about $150 less.
Supports buffered parking mode, but won’t alert you whether an impact was detected so you’ll have to check for that manually if you suspect something happened.
Mini 0906 — BUDGET OPTION: This tiny Chinese camera is relatively new, but seems to be quite reliable so far. Being the cheapest dual-lens cam of the lot, it only supports time-lapse parking mode.
When running in parking mode, the Mini 0906 records at a reduced frame rate. When an impact is detected, the camera will temporarily switch to normal recording (at 30fps) for 15 seconds, then revert to the reduced frame rate.
Single-Lens Car Cameras With Parking Protection
Vicovation Vico-Opia2 — BEST VIDEO QUALITY: The only camera in this selection able to record at 1440p resolution, this camera produces excellent quality footage, better than any of the other dash cams we’ve reviewed so far.
The Vico-Opia2 supports simple and time-lapse parking modes. In time-lapse, you can set it to take a picture every 1, 10, or 60 seconds. In simple parking mode, it will wake up within a second or so of whenever motion is detected in front of the camera.
Anker Roav C1 — CHEAP & EASY TO SET UP: Unlike most other dash cams, the Roav C1’s simple impact-triggered parking mode is fully powered by an internal battery. Thus, no hard-wiring or extra battery packs are required.
On the down side, batteries make a dash cam more susceptible to heat, so the Roav C1 is not ideal for use in a hot climate.
This camera is the only one on this list available for below $100. However, be aware that it takes about 7 seconds to start recording after an event is detected, so it offers a lower level of protection than the other devices listed here.