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Dash Cam That Records When Car is Off [5 Best]

Dash cams are invaluable for settling traffic-related disputes. And you especially need a dash cam that records when car is off, i.e., one with parking mode.

If you have a video recording of an incident, you can show exactly how a crash happened and who’s to blame. This has helped settle countless disputes and helped folks get the insurance payouts they deserve. But do dash cams work when your car is off? Can you use them to catch people who hit your parked car and then take off? And can they also keep your car safe from theft, and arson?

These questions are not out of place to ask when it comes to shopping for a dash cam that records when car is off since most dash cams get their power from your car’s cigarette lighter port and cigarette lighter ports are not active when your car’s not running. This basically means good ol’ regular dash cams don’t work when the car is off.

This is why in this article, we’d be giving you a comprehensive review of some of the best dash cams that record when a car is off.

Is There a Dash Cam That Records When Car is Parked?

Yes, you can get a dash cam that records when a car is parked. The dash cams we are going to be talking about in this article all offer round-the-clock protection. These dash cams usually come in pairs, one for the front and one for the back of your car. Their cameras can capture everything around your car because they have a 180° view, giving you a complete 360° view.

Unlike typical dash cams, these ones come with fittings that connect directly to your car’s battery. That means they keep working even when your car is not running. You do not even have to worry about them draining your car battery; they’ll turn off if they see your battery is getting too low.

All you have to do is set the camera to “parking mode,” and it will keep recording even when you’re not in the car. Some even have Wi-Fi and apps so you can see what’s happening with your car’s cameras, even if you’re far away.

Some of these dash cams are more expensive than regular ones. Also, you might need some help installing them because they connect to your car’s battery. That’s an extra cost. But considering how helpful they can be in solving problems, perhaps the extra money is worth it.

Best Dash Cams That Record When Car is Off

Dash Cam That Records When Car is Off

Just before we delve into the review, here are the 5 best dash cams that record when car is off.

  1. REDTIGER Dash Cam Front Rear, 4K/2.5K Full HD Dash Camera for Cars, Free 32GB SD Card, Built-in Wi-Fi GPS, 3.18” IPS Screen, Night Vision, 170°Wide Angle, WDR, 24H Parking Mode
  2. S1 4K Front and Rear GPS Dash Cam, Dual 1080P Dash Camera with 24Hrs Parking Mode, Enhanced Night Vision, Motion Detection, Capacitor, Single Front 60FPS, G-Sensor, Loop Recording, Support 256GB Max
  3. Dash Cam Front and Rear 4K+1080P WiFi Dashcams Dash Camera for Cars, Car Camera Dash Cam Front and Rear with App, 24 Hours Parking Mode, G-Sensor, Loop Recording, Support 256GB Max
  4. Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual Dash Cam Infrared Night Vision, Dual Channel 1080P Front and Inside Dash Cam, 2.5K Single Front Car Accident Dash Camera, 24hr Motion Sensor Parking Mode, Support 256GB max
  5. Vantrue N4 3 Channel 4K Dash Cam, 4K+1080P Front and Rear, 1440P+1440P Front and Inside, 1440P+1440P+1080P Three Way Triple Car Camera, IR Night Vision, 24 Hours Parking Mode, Support 256GB Max

1. REDTIGER Dash Cam Front Rear, 4K/2.5K Full HD Dash Camera for Cars


  • WDR
  • Two Parking modes
  • Super capacitor
  • Remote operation
  • Time- Lapse
  • Resolution (4k)
  • Loop Recording
  • Night Vision

REDTIGER offers a dash cam that records when car is off. It has been a pretty good experience trying out this cam. One of the standout features is its high-resolution recording. The 4K/2K video quality is crisp and clear, allowing you to capture even the smallest details on the road. This comes in handy, especially when you might need to review footage in case of accidents or disputes.

While Redtiger is easily the best car security camera when parked, when you wear polarized sunglasses, the unit display appears off. Now this isn’t a deal breaker as we think this may be a pro or con depending on the perspective of the user.

We also received some random alerts telling us to update the camera firmware after the first setup. But nothing too fussy here as the firmware upgrade was seamless. We only wish the firmware upgrade notification was less intrusive.

All in all a great dash cam


  • Excellent video quality in both day and night thanks to its Night Vision feature.
  • Wide 170° angle lens covers a large portion of the road, reducing blind spots.
  • The built-in Wi-Fi and GPS are convenient for transferring and viewing footage to smartphones.
  • The 3.18” IPS screen is large enough to navigate settings and playback without straining one’s eyes.
  • The included 32GB SD card is a nice bonus, saving you the hassle of buying one separately.
  • The 24H Parking Mode offers extra security when a car is parked.


  • The device can get quite warm, especially during long drives or hot weather.
  • While the wide-angle lens is great, there can be some distortion at the edges of the video.
  • Setting up the Wi-Fi connection initially can be a bit tricky for non-tech-savvy users.
  • The menu interface on the screen could be more user-friendly, as it takes some time to get used to.
  • Although the Night Vision is decent, it could be improved for even better low-light recording.

2. S1 4K Front and Rear GPS Dash Cam, Dual 1080P Dash Camera


  • Live Speed Recording
  • GPS Module
  • 24 Hours Parking Mode ( External battery pack needed for this)
  • Heat Resistant Super capacitor
  • Collision sensor
  • Resolution (4k)
  • Loop Recording
  • Night Vision

According to most users, the S1 4K Front and Rear GPS Dash Cam has been a mixed bag of experiences.

On the positive side of this best car security camera when parked, the video quality is quite impressive. The 4K front camera and dual 1080P rear camera deliver sharp and clear footage during the day. Plus, the single front camera can capture smooth video at 60 frames per second, which is a nice touch for those who value smooth playback.

On the flip side, we noticed the unit kept freezing when wired directly in parking mode until we rerouted the connection to the ignition. Now, it may be down to a faulty unit or something, as we haven’t found similar complaints online.

Nonetheless, the unit is great value for money; just make sure you get longer wires if you’re planning to do a direct connection to the ignition.


  • High-resolution video quality, especially on the front camera.
  • Dual cameras provide coverage for both the front and rear of the vehicle.
  • Enhanced night vision ensures decent video quality even in low-light conditions.
  • The motion detection feature adds an extra layer of security when the car is parked.
  • The capacitor-based power supply is more durable in extreme temperatures than traditional batteries.
  • Support for up to 256GB microSD card allows for ample storage of recorded footage.
  • Budget friendly compared to other dash cams in its class with similar features


  • While the front camera excels, the rear cameras could have better image quality.
  • Setting up the parking mode and fine-tuning the sensitivity for motion detection can be a bit complicated.
  • Unit freezes up intermittently.
  • Bundled wires are too short
  • The loop recording feature, although essential, may sometimes overwrite important footage if not managed correctly.
  • The user manual could be more detailed and easier to follow, especially for those new to dash cams.
  • The G-Sensor sensitivity may need adjustment to avoid unnecessary event file creation during normal driving.

3. Navycrest Dash Cam Front and Rear 4K+1080P WiFi Dashcams Dash Camera for Cars


  • Built-in WiFi
  • GPS Module
  • Built-in Microphone
  • Discrete Design
  • Automatic Incident Detection
  • Night Vision
  • Loop Recording
  • Resolution (4k)

Let’s start with the positives, the video quality is impressive. The 4K front camera and 1080P rear camera capture clear and detailed footage during the day. Connecting to the camera through the app on a smartphone is a breeze, and it’s handy for reviewing footage and adjusting settings on the go. That’s that.

Now, let’s dig into our major gripe with this dash cam; requiring a hardwire kit for 24 hours parking mode functionality in a dash cam isn’t a big deal. After all, a number of manufacturers are guilty of the same ‘crime’. Our major annoyance is the fact that only an A2 Pro specific hardware kit will work with this cam.

Using a third party kit purchased from other vendors will not activate the parking mode function of this dash cam.

As if that wasn’t enough, we wonder why you can’t use generic SD cards except a Samsung class 10, U3 Speed Micro-SD Memory card to record on this dash cam. Sucks right?

Other than those two annoyances, it’s all good though.


  • Outstanding video quality with 4K resolution on the front camera.
  • The Wi-Fi connectivity and mobile app make it easy to access and manage recordings.
  • The 24-hour parking mode adds an extra layer of protection for your vehicle when it’s parked.
  • The G-sensor can automatically lock and save important footage in case of an accident.
  • It supports up to a massive 256GB microSD card, ensuring ample storage for extended recording.
  • Extremely pocket friendly price; lowest in this comparison.


  • Must get manufacturer specified kits or even an SD card as third party or generic ones are not compatible which means you need to wait order from the manufacturer if you ever need any replacements
  • Nighttime video quality, while decent, could be better in low-light conditions.
  • The loop recording feature, while essential, can sometimes overwrite important clips if not managed properly.
  • The app can be a bit glitchy at times, leading to occasional connectivity issues.

4. Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual Dash Cam with Infrared Night Vision


  • Automatic Incident Detection
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Time Lapse
  • Built-in Microphone & Speaker
  • Infrared Night Vision
  • Loop Recording
  • Resolution (4k)

The Vantrue N2 Pro Uber Dual Dash Cam is a reliable companion on the road. One of the things we love about it is that its dual-channel recording features is great for rideshare drivers, chauffeurs, or anyone who wants to keep an eye on both the road and the cabin. The infrared night vision is a game-changer, ensuring clear footage even in complete darkness.

Now, here’s something that completely surprises us; why would such an excellent feature rich dash cam not have an inbuilt GPS function? You need to buy an extra GPS mount to use this function. But then again this disadvantage is slightly offset by the fact that it has an internal battery to power its ‘parking mode’ feature, which is great.

Other than that, we love the appearance, build quality, and ease of use.

Lastly, we have to give it up to the manufacturers for being so thoughtful when it comes to video access. You don’t have to bother with removing or dealing with a flimsy SD card, just pull the unit and connect it to your PC with a USB cable to access your files on it. Pretty great.


  • Dual-channel recording with both front and inside cameras for added security.
  • Infrared night vision delivers excellent video quality in low-light conditions.
  • The 2.5K single front camera provides crisp and detailed video, perfect for capturing accidents.
  • Internal battery supports the parking mode so you don’t have to worry about any external hardware kits.
  • Easy access to video files.
  • It supports a generous 256GB maximum storage capacity, so you won’t run out of space quickly.


  • While the night vision is impressive, it can sometimes lead to slightly washed-out colors.
  • The small screen can be challenging to navigate, especially while driving.
  • Mounting the inside camera may require some creativity to find the best spot in your vehicle.
  • No internal GPS available.

5. Vantrue N4 3 Channel 4K Dash Cam


  • Low Profile Form Factor
  • Dual Display
  • 3 Channel (Front, Rear, Inside)
  • WDR
  • Motion Detection (Requires hardwire kit)
  • Low Frame Recording
  • Built-in Supercapacitor
  • Time Lapse
  • Night Vision
  • 24 Hours Parking Mode
  • Loop Recording
  • Resolution (4k)
  • Auto LCD Off

The Vantrue N4 3 Channel 4K Dash Cam is a solid choice for those looking to capture every angle of their drive.

One of its impressive features is the three-channel recording, covering the front, rear, and the inside of the car simultaneously. This provides complete peace of mind while on the road. The 4K front camera has good low-light sensitivity, and the cabin is well seen at night thanks to its great infrared night vision system.

Setting it up was quite easy, and we easily got it to work with a powerbank for parking mode since we didn’t feel like hardwiring it.

We also loved the fact that this dash cam is compatible with a wide range of third-party accessories.

On the flip side though, we were let down to discover that this dash cam doesn’t offer Wi-Fi or Bluetooth functionality, which meant no cloud video uploads. Overall, a great camera with great features.


  • Three-channel recording with front, rear, and inside cameras for comprehensive coverage.
  • The 4K front camera delivers exceptionally sharp video quality.
  • Ultra easy to set up and use
  • Ability to record audio. This feature is enabled by default but it can be turned off.
  • Solid build quality.
  • Responsive customer service.


  • No WiFi for cloud uploads or playback on smartphones
  • The size of the device might obstruct some of your view through the windshield.
  • While the video quality is generally excellent, colors can sometimes appear slightly oversaturated.
  • Does not come with a GPS mount as it must be purchased separately.
  • Prone to overheating.
  • No SD card bundled.

What is Park Mode on Dash Cam?

If you want to understand how parking mode works, the difference between buffered and time-lapse parking mode, and how to power a dash cam when your car is off without draining the car’s battery, read on.

Parking mode is a feature that lets your dash cam keep recording when your car is parked and the engine is off. This means you’ll have continuous video footage, 24/7, which can be helpful if something like a hit-and-run or vandalism occurs.

To avoid filling up the memory card with useless files, some parking modes only save videos when there’s an actual event detected by the camera. An event can be either an impact detected by the camera’s G-sensor or motion detected visually in the camera’s field of view.

All dash cameras have G-sensors to detect car impacts, but not all of them can detect motion optically. It’s important to note that using motion detection is practical when you park in a quiet place. However, if you park on a busy street with lots of traffic, it may cause your camera to record all the time, which can waste battery power and storage space.

Different Kinds of Parking Modes

There are four types of parking modes for dash cams, and each works differently.

1. Simple Parking Mode

This mode only activates the camera when it senses an impact or motion. It’s energy-efficient, but the downside is that it might be too slow to catch someone who damages your car.

2. Buffered Parking Mode (Recommended)

In this mode, the camera records continuously and saves video footage internally. When an impact or motion is detected, a video clip typically starting 10 seconds or so before the event (and ending 10-20 seconds after) will be saved to the camera’s SD card.

These clips are kept safe in a special write protected folder so they can’t be overwritten, and you’ll get an alert when you return to your car, so you know something happened.

3. Time-Lapse Mode

An alternative to the buffered parking mode is time-lapse mode. Rather than recording continuously, the time-lapse mode takes still pictures every second. It creates a time-lapse view of what happened around your car while you were away. Some cameras may also switch to regular recording if they detect an event.

4. Low Bit Rate Mode

The low bit rate mode keeps the camera running all the time but records at a lower video quality or resolution than usual.

How to Choose the Best Dash Cam That Records When Car is Off

When choosing the best car security camera when parked, consider these factors:

  1. Look for a Dual Channel. When it comes to dash cams, there are usually three options:
    • Dual Channel. For maximum protection while parked, a dual-channel dash cam (front and rear) is preferable. It expands your field of view, increasing the chances of capturing incidents.
    • Triple Channel. A 3-channel dash cam records inside the car as well, adding an extra layer of security. However, as of December 2022, these cams still have reduced video quality compared to dual-channel ones.
    • Single Channel. Single-channel dash cams are cost-effective, often offer higher resolutions, and provide better video quality than dual-channel models. In specific situations, like parking against a wall, a single-channel dash cam may suffice.
  2. Consider Discreetness. It is best if your dash cam isn’t too obvious, especially in sketchy areas, as a big, shiny camera could attract thieves.
  3. Go for One with High Video Quality. You need a dash cam that records when car is off with best video quality possible. If you choose a dual-channel dash cam, make sure it records at least 1080p resolution for both front and rear views. While 4K is great during the day, it might not perform as well at night.
  4. Reliability is Key. A dependable dash cam is crucial, especially if it will run for long periods. Nnothing is as painful as trying to review footage of an incident and then realizing your dash cam wasn’t functional at that moment
  5. SD Card Selection. Last not but least, use a memory card designed for heavy use. You should get an SD card from reputable manufacturers as they’re more reliable when compared to generic ones from other sources.

Final Thoughts – What is the Best Dash Cam That Records When Car is Off?

In this article, we’ve given a detailed review of some of the best dash cams that records when car is off. Now, it’s worth mentioning that the best dash cam for you is the one that fits your needs and budget, not necessarily the most expensive or most feature-rich model out there. So, we recommend you take some time to check out what is going to work best for you as each model has its own unique set of cons no matter how good it is.


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Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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