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The Best Cheap Dash Cam: Our Top 3 Picks for 2021

Last updated: June 1, 2021
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Best cheap dash cam

These days, protecting yourself on the road involves more than just being a safe driver. Technology advancements have allowed for significant advances in driving safety and security, with the most notable development being the dash cam. A few years back, dash cameras would cost a small fortune, and were really only used by law enforcement – but now, there are some great budget dash cam options. In this guide, we’ll help you find the best cheap dash cam for you!


What Constitutes a “Cheap” Dash Cam?

In our “how much is a dash cam” article, we discussed typically pricing ranges for good dash cameras. To sum up, you can spend as little as $20 and as much as $500+. The majority of cams we recommend fall in the $100-$200 range, but it really depends on your needs.

If you’re looking for the best inexpensive dash cam, we recommend steering clear of the ultra-cheap, $20 models. To get a good unit, expect to spend around $40 or more. There are certainly cheaper options, but generally speaking they are unreliable and not worth it.


What is the Best Cheap Dash Cam?

We scoured the web to find great deals on solid dashboard cameras for our readers. These rankings are based on a combination of our own testing and experiments, manufacturer specifications, and third-party customer reviews (Reddit dash cams being amongst them). Pricing values used below will vary, but suffice it to say that these are all affordable dash camera options.


1. Yi Smart Dash Camera


The Yi Smart Dash Camera is – in our opinion – the best cheap dash cam for 2019. It’s usually available for around $50, but it packs quite a punch for a $50 cam. It records in HD, can be controlled by your smartphone, features a wide angle lens, and is very easy to use.

  • HD recording (1080p)
  • Can be controlled via a smartphone app
  • Priced around $50
  • Loop recording for continual recording
  • Wide angle lens
  • Compact, discrete design
  • Great reviews
  • Click here to learn more


2. Pruveeo F5

Pruveeo F5

The Pruveeo F5 is a great budget dash cam from a reliable company. It’s a top seller on Amazon, and consistently receives great reviews. It has good recording quality, app support, a warranty, and a discrete design. The kicker? It’s typically available for around $40!

  • Records in up to 1080p (720p by default)
  • Can be controlled via a smartphone app
  • Priced around $40
  • Loop recording
  • Wide angle lens
  • Audio recording
  • Small, compact design (being a mini dash camera)
  • 1-year warranty
  • Great reviews
  • Click here to learn more


3. Pruveeo MX2

Pruveeo MX2

The Pruveeo MX2 is another great affordable dash camera, from the same company as our #2 pick. The main difference with the MX2 is that it has two separate cameras, which can be rotated to fit your preferences. This can either mean a super wide angle front-facing view, or both a front-facing and rear-facing (in-cab) camera. The MX2 is typically in the $50 range.

  • Records in 720p
  • Features two cameras that are adjustable
  • Priced around $50
  • Ultra-wide angle; or, front and rear-facing cameras
  • Discrete design
  • Great reviews
  • 1-year warranty
  • Click here to learn more


Is it Worth Paying More?

When does it make sense to go with a cheap dash camera, and when should you invest in a higher-quality unit? This really depends on a couple factors, including how often you drive (are You an Uber driver or maybe Lyft) and what type of conditions/weather you drive in.

Generally speaking, if you’re someone who spends a lot of time on the road, we think it’s worthwhile to invest in a higher quality dash cam. But if you’re on occasional driver, a budget dash camera will work just fine.

You’ll also want to consider the climate in your area. Usually higher-quality cams can hold up to extreme temperatures better (dash cam for hot weather is the camera to pick), and they will also record better quality footage in harsh weather and rain.


Didn’t Find What You Were Looking For?

If it turns out you may want a nicer camera (maybe 4k dash camera), check out our guide to the best dash cams from every category. And if you’ve made your select but still need an SD card, read through our guide to the best dash cam SD cards.

Low-cost dash cams usually don’t include special functionalities, but if You are interested in that, check out the following articles:

You might also consider checking some of our special reviews:

And of course, feel free to ask if you have questions!

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