Not many drivers use dash cams, but in our opinion, EVERYONE who operates a motor vehicle should. Why? Because it can really save you in a sticky situation. Dash cams can help prove that you weren’t at fault in a car accident, and maybe even get you out of an unwarranted traffic ticket. While most of the time people think about how dash cams can protect them while they’re out on the road, they are also quite helpful when you’re just parked! In this guide, we will go over the best dash cams with parking mode to help you find the right gadget for your needs (and budget).

 

What Does “Parking Mode” Mean?

Dash cameras are designed to record the road in front of you (and behind you, in some cases) while you are driving around. Typically, they draw power from your car’s battery. They turn on automatically when you start your engine, and automatically record your driving activities. If something ever happens, you can save the footage to be used for insurance purposes later.

Some cameras also have a “parking mode” that allows for some level of protection, even when your car is turned off. Basically, this mode is designed to turn the camera on when a disturbance is detected. So, for instance, if someone runs into your car while it’s parked, or someone smashes a window to break in – your camera starts recording immediately in order to capture key footage.

There are different levels of parking mode. Budget cameras will often just have an impact detection mode, meaning if the car is hit it will essentially shake the camera enough to activate its emergency recording mode. Higher-end cameras may use more advanced technology to turn recording on as soon as motion is detected, theoretically allowing it to capture more of the important details. If you regularly leave your car parked on the street, it’s a great idea to have a dashboard camera with parking mode.

 

What are the Best Dash Cams with Parking Mode?

To compile this list, we used a combination of manufacturer specs, customer reviews, and our own hands-on experience with these cams. If you want a dash cam with parking protection, these are all great choices.

 

Overall Best Dash Cam with Parking Mode: Thinkware F770

Thinkware F770

The Thinkware F770 utilizes advanced technology to deliver the best overall protection while your car is parked. The F770 actually draws some power from your car’s battery, even while the engine is off, which allows it to begin recording immediately as soon as motion is detected. While most cams will only begin recording after a strong impact (such as someone crashing into your car), the F770 can kick on as soon as it senses motion nearby – resulting in more complete footage of potential accidents, car prowls, etc. It’s NOT cheap, but it’s the best dash cam with parking mode overall.

  • Utilizes a combination of motion and impact detection
  • Draws power from car battery to power motion detection technology
  • Will not fully drain your battery (has auto shut-off feature)
  • Both front and rear facing cameras
  • Full HD/1080p recording
  • Built in GPS
  • Built in WiFi
  • Great night vision recording
  • Excellent reviews
  • Click here to learn more

 

Mid-Range Option: Z-Edge S3

Z-Edge S3

The Z-Edge S3 is a great mid-range cam, and one of the best dash cams with parking mode. Like our top pick, the S3 uses a combination of motion detection technology and impact detection components in order to record incidents while your vehicle is parked – although, you’ll need to play around with the settings in order to activate the motion detection. This one also features both a front and rear-facing camera.

  • Uses both motion detection
  • Both front-facing and rear-facing cameras
  • Both cameras offer 1080p HD recording
  • Great night vision
  • Excellent parking mode
  • Discrete design
  • Excellent reviews
  • 1.5 year warranty included
  • Click here to learn more

 

Budget-Friendly Option: Vantrue X1 Pro

Vantrue X1 ProThe Vantrue X1 Pro is a solid camera and a budget-friendly option. It offers a parking mode that uses motion detection, but it needs to be hooked up to an external power source (like a battery) in order to work. It also only picks up motion in front of your car, so it’s somewhat limited. With that said, it was an easy choice for our list of the best dash cams with parking mode, simply because it’s quite affordable and works pretty well.

  • Uses motion detection for parking mode
  • Needs to be plugged into external power source for parking mode
  • Full HD recording
  • Some reviews mentioned that it didn’t always turn on when there was movement near the vehicle
  • 18 month warranty included
  • Click here to learn more

 

Learn More About Dash Cams

We have lots of dash cam related resources to share, including the best dash cams from every category, our dash cam price guide, and our guide to the best dash cam SD cards. Drop us a comment or email if you have questions!