The 7 Best Dash Cams With Parking Mode

If you want to keep your car safe from vandalism or hit-and-runs while it’s parked, you may be wondering which dash cam is best fit for this purpose. We’ve compiled an overview of the best dash cams for parking surveillance this year, which will make it a lot easier for you to decide which one to buy.

Below, we’ll explain in detail how parking mode works, and how to set it up. But first, here’s a quick overview of our favorite parking mode dash cams:

  1. Thinkware F800 Pro — Very good front & rear video, most versatile parking mode
  2. BlackVue DR750S-2CH — Watch video footage from your car remotely over cloud
  3. Mini 0906 — Cheapest front & rear cam
  4. Street Guardian SGGCX2PRO — Best forward video, best heat resistance, rear cam available separately
  5. BlackVue DR750S-1CH — Single channel version of DR750S-2CH
  6. Viofo A119v3 — Cheapest dash cam with buffered parking mode
  7. Anker Roav C1 — Easy to set up low-cost cam, but with limitations

Click the links to jump to the individual descriptions. If you’re curious how parking mode works, what the difference between buffered and time-lapse parking mode is, and (most importantly) how to power your dash cam properly without risking depletion of your car’s battery, have a look at the following sections:

For your convenience, we’ve also put a comparison table near the end of this article that lists the most important features of each camera.

So here’s the best parking mode dash cams of 2020:

Front And Rear Cams

1. Thinkware F800 Pro — Most Energy Efficient, 3 Different Parking Modes

Thinkware F800 Pro front and rear car cameraPrice: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AU (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 1920×1080 (front and rear)

Overall video quality: Very good

Reliability: Good

Memory capacity: 128GB (over 14 hours)

Parking modes: Simple (1s wake-up time), buffered, and time-lapse

Power supply: Hard-wiring kit (included) with low voltage cutoff, or battery pack

Other features: Wi-Fi, integrated GPS, overheat protection, capacitor, lock file button

Apart from recording very good video quality, the Thinkware F800 Pro (full review) also is the only dash cam that supports all three parking modes. Choose between buffered, time-lapse, or simple modes. Thinkware cleverly brand their simple parking mode as “energy-saving”. In energy-saving mode, the camera wakes up one second after an impact is detected, which should be fast enough to catch any potential perpetrator.

When you get back to your parked car, an audio alert will let you know if any events were recorded, and if so, how many of them.

The F800 Pro comes with built-in low-voltage cutoff as well as overheat protection. When the camera is connected to a Wi-Fi hot spot in the car (not included), 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. Thinkware’s cloud options do not work in parking mode though.

2. BlackVue DR750S-2CH — View Live Video Over The Cloud

BlackVue DR750S front and rear car cameraPrice: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AU (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 1920×1080 (front and rear)

Overall video quality: Good

Reliability: Very good

Memory capacity: 128GB (over 12 hours)

Parking modes: Buffered and time-lapse

Power supply: Power Magic Pro or battery pack BlackVue B124, both available separately

Other features: Integrated GPS, Wi-Fi, cloud connectivity, capacitor, lock file button

BlackVue’s most remarkable feature is their cloud-view system, which allows you to watch live video from your (driving or stationary) car from anywhere over the internet. For this to work, you’ll need an extra Wi-Fi hot spot in your car which is not included with the camera.

UPDATE: BlackVue have recently released their DR900S-2CH model, which records at 4K resolution forward, and at 1080p to the rear. The BlackVue DR900S has similar features as the DR750S. It records great video during the day, but doesn’t perform quite as well at night.

The BlackVue DR750S (full review) will automatically switch to parking mode whenever it detects that your car is stationary for more than five seconds. You can choose between buffered and time-lapse parking mode (we’ll explain the difference between the various parking mode below).

When you return to your car, the DR750S-2CH will give you an audio alert if any incidents were detected that triggered parking mode recording. The alert will let you know how many incidents have been recorded.

Another interesting feature of the BlackVue dash cams is that you can select which areas of the field of view should trigger an event when motion is detected. This is to reduce unnecessary recordings that might be triggered by trees moving in the wind, etc. Check out this graphic that explains the concept:

BlackVue's region-based motion detection

BlackVue’s region-based motion detection feature

There’s also a single channel version of this camera (without the rear camera). The single channel version is called DR750S-1CH, and it is about $100 cheaper than the DR750S-2CH.

As of mid-2019, BlackVue are the only dash cam brand that allows you to watch live video footage from your parked car remotely over the internet.

3. Mini 0906 — Best Budget Dual Cannel Dash Cam

Product photo of the Mini 0906 front and rear dash cams, with CPL filterPrice: eBay US / AUAliExpress (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 1920×1080 (front and rear)

Overall video quality: Fair

Reliability: Good

Memory capacity: 128GB (over 11 hours)

Parking mode: Time-lapse, switches to normal recording for 15s when impact detected

Power supply: Hard-wiring kit (not included) or battery pack

Other features: 1.5″ screen, integrated GPS, CPL filter, capacitor, lock file button

The Mini 0906 (full review) is a tiny Chinese camera is relatively new, but has turned out to be quite reliable so far. Being the cheapest dual-lens cam of the lot, it only supports time-lapse parking mode.

This camera comes with a CPL filter for the forward-facing lens, reducing reflections on the windshield when recording in bright sunlight.

In parking mode, the Mini 0906 records at a reduced frame rate. When an event is detected, the camera will temporarily switch to normal recording (at 30fps) for 15 seconds, then revert to the reduced frame rate.

Single-Lens Cams

4. Street Guardian SGGCX2PRO — Best Single Channel Video With Optional Rear Cam

Street Guardian SGGCX2PRO front dash camPrice: Amazon US / CAeBay US / AU (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 1920×1080 @60fps (30 fps with rear cam)

Overall video quality: Excellent

Reliability: Excellent

Memory capacity: 512GB (over 63 hours)

Parking modes: Time-lapse

Power supply: Hard-wiring kit (not included) or battery pack

Other features: Comes with CPL filter and external GPS antenna included, fits vertical windows, great customer support, capacitor, 1.5″ screen. Optional rear camera available separately.

The SGGCX2PRO (full review) is an excellent mid-price camera that can be upgraded with a rear camera at a future data. Released in late 2018, this camera records the best video quality of all the cameras listed here, on par with the Vico-Opia2 that used to be featured in this spot, but much more elegant and stealthy.

While this camera might not look like a huge deal, it comes with a CPL filter and an external GPS antenna in the package, along with a large number of other accessories such as various cables, adhesive pads, and tools for mounting and removing the camera. The SGGCX2PRO supports connecting an optional rear camera, either now or at a future date if your budget is limited.

You’ll need Street Guardian’s hard-wiring kit to operate this camera in parking mode, which is called SGDCHW and available for an extra $30. Only time-lapse parking mode is supported.

An interesting feature for truck and bus drivers: The SGGCX2PRO features a lens can be swiveled by a full 90 degrees, making it fit for vertical windows.

Last but not least, Street Guardian’s customer support are known to be outstanding and highly responsive. Their cameras continuously get the highest customer ratings, making them one of our favorite dash cam manufacturers of all time.

5. BlackVue DR750S-1CH — Single Channel Version With Cloud-View Option

BlackVue DR750S-1CH single channel dash cam with cloud.view option

Price: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AU (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 1920×1080 @ 60fps

Overall video quality: Very good

Reliability: Very good

Memory capacity: 128GB (over 23 hours)

Parking modes: Buffered and time-lapse

Power supply: Power Magic Pro or battery pack BlackVue B124, both available separately

Other features: Integrated GPS, Wi-Fi, cloud connectivity, capacitor, lock file button

The DR750S-1CH is the single-channel version of the BlackVue DR750S series, with the same features as the dual-channel version described above.

Note that the forward camera is able to record at 60fps and records better quality video overall than the rear camera (mainly because the rear camera records at a lower bit rate, and because at night it’s harder to record to the rear of the car without the help of headlights). This is why we’ve rated the single channel version’s video quality better than the dual channel version’s.

Just like with the SGGCX2PRO, you can also get the rear camera to the DR750S-1CH separately if you’d like to buy it later. This is great for people who are on a limited budget and would like to have a high-end dual channel camera at some point, but can’t afford the 2CH version right now.

6. Viofo A119 v3 — Cheapest Dash Cam With Buffered Parking Mode

Viofo A119 v3 dahs cam with GPS and CPL

Price: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AUAliExpress (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Max. resolution: 2560×1600

Overall video quality: Good

Reliability: TBD (expected to be good)

Memory capacity: 256GB (over 18 hours)

Parking mode: Buffered, time-lapse, low bit-rate

Power supply: Hard-wiring kit (not included) or battery pack

Other features: 2″ screen, capacitor, lock file button. Optional GPS and CPL filter

Released in summer of 2019, this is the first dash cam outside of high-end brands like BlackVue and Thinkware that supports buffered parking mode. Accessories like the GPS mount and CPL filter are optional and come at an extra price, as well as the hard-wiring kit that you will need to use the A119 v3 in parking mode.

Viofo are one of the most renowned Chinese dash cam manufacturers, and their A119 series has been a huge success. Just like its predecessors, the A119 v3 records great video quality for its price. While it’s only just been released, we are expecting this to be a reliable dash cam just as the A119 and A119 v2 that it is replacing.

Full review of the Viofo A119 v3

7. Anker Roav C1 — Low-Cost Dash Cam With The Easiest-To-Use Parking Mode

product photo of the Anker Roav C1 dash camPrice: Amazon US / UKeBay US / AU (affiliate links) – see all vendors

Resolution: 1920×1080

Overall video quality: Fair

Reliability: Very Good

Memory capacity: 128GB (over 11 hours)

Parking mode: Simple (impact triggered, 7s wake-up time)

Power supply: None needed (internal battery)

Other features: Wi-Fi, 2.4″ screen

Unlike most other dash cams, the Anker Roav C1’s (full review) simple impact-triggered parking mode is fully powered by its internal battery. Thus, no hard-wiring or extra battery packs are required, making this camera the easiest on this list to set up.

According to the manufacturer, the cameras internal battery holds enough charge to record up to 30 parking mode videos, each of them 30 seconds in length.

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. Also, it takes about 7 seconds to start recording after an event is detected, so the Roav C1 offers a lower level of protection than the other devices listed here.

While this camera’s parking mode is obviously a bit limited, its low price and simple setup make it an okay low-cost option to finish our list with.

UPDATE: We just completed a review of the Vava Dash Cam, which also has a parking mode powered by an internal battery. The Vava wakes up much faster, but unfortunately its video quality isn’t as good as the Anker Roav C1’s.

What Is Parking Mode?

Parking mode allows you to keep your dash cam running while your car is parked. That way, you’ll have video footage in the case of a hit-and-run or vandalism incident.

In order to not fill up its memory card with useless files in which nothing is going on, the dash camera should only save files when it detects an event. An event can either be an impact that is detected by the camera’s G-sensor, or a motion that is detected visually in the camera’s field of view.

Note that while virtually all modern dash cameras have a G-sensor that can detect impacts to your car, only some of them additionally support visual motion detection. Keep in mind that using motion detection makes sense when you’re parking in a quiet spot. On a busy street however where people are walking by all the time, it may lead to your camera recording all of the time, wasting precious battery power as well as storage space.

Different Kinds Of Parking Mode

1. Simple parking mode: If an impact or motion is detected by the camera, it will come alive and start recording, hopefully catching the perpetrator. This type of parking mode is by far the most energy efficient of the three. The problem with simple parking mode is that in the time it takes the camera to wake up and start recording, whoever damaged your car might already be gone.

2. Buffered parking mode (recommended): The camera records continuously, and saves the video footage to internal memory. When an impact or motion is detected, a couple of seconds (typically 10 or 20) before and after the event will be saved to the camera’s SD card, in a special write protected folder so it doesn’t get overwritten. An alert will also be shown when you get back to your car, so you will be aware something happened.

3. Time-lapse mode: An alternative to the above modes is time-lapse mode, in which the camera shoots a still picture every second or so (1fps). This allows you to watch a time-lapse version of what was going on around your car while you were gone. Some cameras will additionally switch to normal recording for a certain period of time after they detect an event.

So which of the three modes is best?

Usually, we prefer buffered parking mode, as you’ll get a video of everything that happened before and after the event that triggered recording.

However, when you’re parked on a busy street or in a parking lot with lots of movement, motion detection might kick in all the time and fill your memory card with scores of useless videos. In that case, time-lapse parking mode is better.

When parking for long periods of time (several days), simple parking mode may be preferable, as it consumes the least amount of energy.

Choosing The Best Dash Cam For Parking Mode

A dash cam that will be used for parking surveillance should fulfill the following criteria:

  • Should be dual channel ideally (but see below).
  • Discreetness: You probably don’t want your dash cam to be too visible, especially if you will be using it for parking surveillance. In a sketchy neighborhood, a large shiny camera might attract the attention of thieves.
  • Video quality: Should obviously be as good as you can get. If going for a dual channel dash cam, it’s recommended to get one that records at 1080p resolution both ways. Somedual cams record only 720p to the rear, which causes a notable downgrade in video quality.
  • Reliability: This one is huge. You don’t want a dash cam that you can’t rely on, especially if you’re going to have it running for long periods of time.
  • SD card: Last not but least, make sure to get a memory card that’s made for heavy use. For further details, refer to our article about Which SD Cards Last Longest In Dash Cams.

Single Channel Or Dual Channel?

For maximum protection when parked, a dual channel (front and rear) dash cam is very much preferable as it doubles your field of view and therefore increases your chances of seeing who damaged your car.

That being said, single channel dash cams cost less, often record at higher resolutions, and have better video quality than dual channel devices. Also, if you usually park backed up against a wall, a single channel dash cam would be enough.

If you’re really going for optimum protection, you could even get two single channel cameras to have the best of both worlds. However, this also doubles the installation and maintenance work that will have to be done. You’ll also have two SD cards to deal with that won’t be synchronized, so this option is probably a bit over the top for most people.

Power Supply: How To Avoid Depleting Your Car’s Battery

A dashboard camera’s internal battery typically has a very low capacity, mainly intended to allow the device to shut down gracefully and not lose any footage in case of a power cutoff. For the camera to keep recording even when ignition is off, the dash cam needs to be hard wired to your car’s internal electrical circuitry (with a Hard Wiring Kit) instead of simply plugged into the cigarette lighter.

Note that a simple hard wiring kit will NOT prevent you car’s battery from being drained if you keep your dash cam running continuously. To keep your battery healthy, there are a couple of options available:

1. Battery Discharge Prevention (BDP):  A device that is installed between your dash cam and the car’s fuse box. It continuously monitors your car battery’s voltage, and when voltage drops below a preset (often configurable) level, power to the dash cam will be cut off in order to prevent further draining of the battery.

Battery discharge prevention devices typically cost around $20-$30 and are available from various manufacturers. You don’t need to worry about getting them from the same manufacturer that made your dash cam, as long as they come with the correct power adapter.

One of the most popular BDP devices is BlackVue’s Power Magic Pro. It allows you to set a cutoff voltage and a timer additionally. VicoVation used to have a great BDP called Vico Power-Plus, but it has unfortunately gone out of production as VicoVation aren’t manufacturing dash cams anymore.

2. External Battery Pack: A more elegant, but also more expensive, solution is to install a battery pack that powers your dash cam. The battery pack holds enough charge to keep your dash cam running for anywhere between 12 and 25 hours, depending on which model you choose and how much power your camera consumes.

The battery pack eliminates the risk of depleting your car engine’s main battery. Also, there won’t be a load on the car battery while the car is off, which some modern cars may interpret as “parasitic” which may cause them to cut the circuit.

Cellink NEO Battery Pack for Dash Cams

The Cellink NEO is a high-end battery pack with more than 76Wh capacity. Charges in 45 minutes. Order from: Amazon US / UKeBay US / AU

This setup basically serves as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for your dash cam. It will recharge while your car is running, typically charging in less than an hour.

Popular, high quality battery packs include the Cellink NEO and Blackvue’s B-124.

BlackVue B-124 battery pack for dash cams, with accessories

The BlackVue B-124 battery pack will power a DR750S-2CH for up to 20 hours. Charges in 40 minutes. Order from: Amazon US / CA / UKeBay US / AU

If you need higher capacities, you can get expansions for both the B-124 and Cellink batteries. Connect multiple expansion batteries in series to achieve the desired overall capacity.

Summary Table: Best Parking Mode Dash Cams

F800 Pro$380YesYesYesVery GoodVery Good
DR750S-2CH$380YesYes-Very GoodGood
DR750S-1CH$255YesYesVery Good-
SGGCX2PRO$170-Yes-Excellent[Very Good]
A119 v3$110YesYes-Good-
Mini 0906$100-Yes-GoodGood
Roav C1$70--YesFair-