The top 5 dash cams

The ever-increasing number of cars on UK roads means that there is naturally an ever-increasing amount of plonkers behind the wheel.> Fatalities on our roads may be down but the number of bumps, scrapes and close calls is still as high as ever.

The humble dashboard-mounted camera was designed to capture the sort of poor driving from fellow road users that could end up in a court case.

These handy gadgets continue to gain popularity and as a result, local police forces are calling for drivers to submit dash-cam footage to help the law prosecute dangerous drivers.

So, if you encounter a disproportionately high number of distracted drivers on your daily commute or just want the peace of mind that hard, video evidence offers, then you might want to invest in one of the following, Tamsin Fewkes reports.

The SmartCam 2-HD Car DVR

At £84.99 this is a fairly cheap piece of kit that's perfect for those on a budget. It features a high-quality 1080p picture resolution and boasts a flip down LCD screen, which allows the driver to review video at any time. The entire camera can be rotated through 180 degrees, allowing it to shoot footage from the rear window, or facing out of the windscreen. The SmartCam runs via the USB slot that many modern cars now sport but also has a rechargeable battery if needed. It starts automatically with the ignition and has an optional time and date stamp for extra peace of mind. customers say: "Great little camera, clear view of road ahead and captures clearly everything that needs to be recorded."

BlackVue DR550GW 2CH

This is one of the most expensive cameras here at £329 but you do get a lot for your money, as it has two channels. This allows it to record footage from both the windscreen and out of the back of the car simultaneously, giving you solid video evidence from all angles. The footage is captured beautifully by its 1080p resolution, while the wide-angle lens sucks up as much information as possible. It saves up to 32GB of footage with the right memory card and can be watched back immediately on any smartphone due to its built in Wi-Fi capabilities.

GoPro Hero 3 Edition

Although not specifically designed to be a dash-cam, the Go Pro is just as good as any model on the list. It is designed to capture footage when the terrain gets rough (think mountain bikers and BASE jumpers) and can deal with high levels of vibration and impact. The Go Pro can be mounted pretty much anywhere, so it can also be used on the bicycle commute, while the latest version allows for instantaneous playback on smart phones. It costs around £259.

RoadHawk HD

With 64GB of recording capacity, the RoadHawk HD holds the largest amount of video here and features Electronic Image Stabilisation for the smoothest footage possible. The unit is also easily compatible with many laptops that operate on Mac OS or Windows. The camera is easy to install and even has an internal microphone to capture any verbal abuse that may fly, but expect to part with around £240.

E-PRANCE Mini 0801

The tiny Mini 0801 manages to cram into its miniscule shell a high-resolution picture quality, the ability to zoom in and focus on license plates and a wide-angle lens. On top of its tech nous, it also boasts a built in 8GB of memory and wallet-friendly price tag of just £79.99. The slim exterior also makes it easy to conceal in the glovebox when it isn't in use.

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