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6+ Best Hidden Car Cameras for 2024: Pricing, Features & More

Enhance vehicle security with a hidden car camera. This guide explains their functionality and how to use them effectively.

What is a Hidden Car Camera?

As the name suggests, they’re cameras you install in your car to record everything happening inside or outside it. They’re not that hard to figure out. You connect them to a power outlet and let the magic happen.

Here’s the catch: There’s a slight difference between hidden and dash cameras. Sure, both work the same way, but they have different purposes .

You see, hidden cameras aren’t meant to be visible. That’s why they’re always as small as a thumb. Dash cameras, on the other hand, weren’t made for spying. So, they don’t always come in a discreet design.

6+ Best Hidden Car Cameras For 2024

As convenient as it’d be, you can’t just open Amazon and choose the first dash camera that comes up in the search results. You want to buy one that caters to your needs as a car owner.

1
Garmin Mini Dash Cam
Our Top Pick

Garmin Mini Dash Cam

  • Incident detection: If the camera senses an accident, it automatically saves the footage leading up to it, so you don’t lose crucial evidence.
  • Parking mode: While the car is parked, the camera senses any object moving within range and starts recording automatically.
  • Extra USB port: You can charge both the camera and your phone.

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The mini dash is one of Garmin’s golden products.

For a device that’s the same size as a car key, the Garmin dash camera is a powerhouse. We’re not just talking about the excellent build quality. It also offers unique features you won’t find elsewhere.

Is the Garmin Mini Dash Cam Easy to Use?

The camera has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, which offer a smoother user experience. We can’t say the same thing for the app, though.

Pricing & Plans

The Garmin Dash Cam comes in different forms.

  • The Garmin Dash Mini: $129.99.
  • The Garmin Dash 46: $149.99.
  • The Garmin Dash 56: $199.99.
  • The Garmin Dash 66: $249.99

Our Take

This camera checks most of the marks. It has excellent build quality, a wide range of features, and a large memory. With a little app update, it’ll be the perfect camera.

 

Pros

  • HD footage: The high-quality sensors offer a stunning 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second.
  • Wide field of view: You get an impressive 140-degree field of view, which provides a more inclusive picture.
  • Camera synchronization: You can synchronize your camera with other dash cameras to widen the field of view.
  • Large memory card: Supports up to 512 SD cards, the largest storage capacity on this list.
  • Automatic recording: The camera can record while charging, giving you endless footage.

Cons

  • Buggy app: The app might log out automatically without notifying you and will take its sweet time to connect to the camera.
  • No display: You can’t see the camera's recording view, which would be inconvenient for some people.
  • Separate memory card: You have to buy the memory card separately, which is an extra charge.

2
Volenberry Spy Camera
Best Value

Volenberry Spy Camera

  • HD recording: The 1080p videos can identify every little detail, such as small license plates and distant road signs.
  • Wide shooting angle: The 140-degree field of view can cover more elements in the frame, like the side road and pedestrians.
  • Internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery: It’s lightweight, has a fast charging time, and performs well in high temperatures.
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It’s got “spy” in its name, so you know it’s the real deal.

0.9 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches, the Volenberry spy camera can seamlessly blend in with your car. Don’t let the size fool you. This one packs more punch than you can imagine.

Is the Volenberry Spy Camera Hard to Use?

Volenberry has done everything it can to make this camera as convenient as possible. It comes in a versatile design and has flexible recording features.

Pricing & Plans

This camera is $29.99.

Our Rating

This one takes 4 out of 5.

Our Take

Ultimately, the Volenberry is one of the most user-friendly cameras on this list. It offers everything you ever want without making you struggle for it.

Yes, it comes short in a few aspects, but it compensates for these flaws one way or another.

Pros
  • Motion detection: If you activate motion detection, your camera can sense moving objects nearby and start recording automatically.
  • Versatile: It’s sturdy enough to be used both indoors and outdoors.
  • Night vision: With six built-in infrared LED lights, the Volenberry offers excellent night vision.
  • Continuous recording: The camera will continue to record, even if the memory card is full, by overwriting old footage.
  • Record while charging: This camera can record while charging, so you don’t have to worry about battery life.
Cons
  • Low battery: This mini camera can record for up to 60 minutes, which is too short compared to its competitors.
  • Small-space memory cards: The camera can take up to 64GB memory cards, which can get full quickly.
  • No photo capturing: Unlike videos, you can’t capture photos if the camera is charging.
3
CleverFox Unlimited Mini Spy Camera
Budget-Friendly Option

CleverFox Unlimited Mini Spy Camera

  • HD 1080p resolution videos: Shoot high-quality videos with more details and vibrant colors.
  • Built-in battery: It can last up to 100 hours no sweat.
  • Night vision: The camera comes with six IR LED lights that help it record in low-light conditions.
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Believe it or not, the CleverFox camera is even smaller than the Volenberry. You might think that makes it less capable, but that’s not entirely true. Surprisingly, it’s one of the most efficient cameras on our list.

Is the CleverFox Unlimited Mini Spy Camera Hard to Use?

It’s not hard to use, but you may have some difficulty installing it. The camera doesn’t give off any signs that you’ve inserted the SD card properly, so you have to do a test run to know.

Pricing & Plans

The CleverFox comes in at $21.99.

Our Rating

This camera takes a solid 3.5 out of 5.

Our Take

The camera comes with several heavy drawbacks. That doesn’t mean it won’t deliver, though. With a wide view angle, a discreet design, and powerful batteries, the Cleverfox is a solid camera.

Pros
  • Wide shooting angle: The Cleverfox has a 150-degree field of view, allowing it to capture bigger pictures with more details.
  • Shooting variety: If you think 1080p is too much for you, Cleverfox offers you the chance to shoot at 720p and save energy.
  • Motion detection: The camera can start recording automatically if it detects an object moving around the car.
  • Invisibility: Its small size allows you to place it in different locations in your car, and it’ll still blend seamlessly.
  • Loop recording: The camera doesn’t stop recording unless it runs out of battery.
Cons
  • Low memory: It can only take up to 32G memory cards, which isn’t ideal.
  • Long charging time: It takes 2-3 hours to charge, which is too long.
  • No continuous recording: Although it can still record when the memory gets full, it doesn’t record while charging.
4
Red Owl Eyes
Great Features

Red Owl Eyes

  • 150-degree viewing angle: The wide-angle lens allows it to record comprehensive videos.
  • Photo capturing: Besides video recordings, you can capture photos with a 12MP camera
  • Night vision: The camera can take clear pictures and videos in poor lighting conditions
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The Red Owl gives you everything you might need from a dash camera. It even goes above and beyond in a few aspects. So rest assured it’ll fulfill all your security needs.

Is the Red Owl Eyes Camera Easy to Use?

This camera is user-friendly. The manufacturer provides easy-to-follow instructions. So you won’t struggle to use this camera to its full potential.

Pricing & Plans

The camera costs $24.99 on Amazon.

Our Rating

This one gets 4 out of 5.

Our Take

The Red Owl Eyes goes above and beyond to offer a convenient experience. It has its drawbacks—but they’re not that severe. Overall, you get your money’s worth.

 

Pros
  • HD videos: The 1080p camera lets you capture high-quality, color-accurate videos.
  • Motion detection: It starts recording automatically when it senses an object moving nearby.
  • Wired connection: You can record 24/7 while charging your camera.
  • Flexibility: You get a two-feet cable that lets you move the camera freely while charging it.
  • Customer service: The 24/7 customer service can help you solve any issues you might face with the camera.
Cons
  • Short wireless recording: You only get 70 minutes of wireless recording, which isn’t ideal.
  • Low memory: It can only take up to 32GB SD card. It won’t be long before it gets full.
  • No audio recording feature: It can’t capture audio, so your videos will be muted.
5
NIYPS Mini Spy Hidden Camera
Best Damage Resistance

NIYPS Mini Spy Hidden Camera

  • Loop recording: The new footage overwrites the old one, so the camera won’t stop recording.
  • 200mAH battery: It gives you 100 minutes of continuous recording.
  • Supports TF cards: These are more suitable for dash cameras because of their small size.
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The manufacturers of the NIYPS didn’t waste their time with flashy bells and whistles. They got straight to the point. With such a small size, the NIYPS can be a multi-purpose camera. It has a solid build and a discreet design. So it’ll give you a smooth experience.

Is the NIYPS Mini Spy Hidden Camera Easy to Use?

The camera has a simple two-button interface, which is simple to operate. However, many have reported that the instructions coming with the camera are confusing.

Pricing & Plans

The NIYPS costs $29.99.

Our Rating

We give this one 3 out of 5.

Our Take

Overall, the NIYPS doesn’t offer anything special. In fact, it fails to provide a few premium features you can find elsewhere. So we don’t think it’s worth the investment.

Pros
  • Endless recording: The camera can record while charging, giving you unlimited footage.
  • High-quality lens: It records HD videos at 30 frames per second.
  • Motion detection: It senses nearby moving objects and starts recording automatically.
  • Night vision: The 4 IR LED lights allow the camera to record high-quality videos at night.
  • Multi-purpose: You can use it in your car, home or office.
Cons
  • Overheat: It gets too warm after working continuously.
  • Narrow field of view: It only has a 75-degree viewing angle, which is too limited compared to its competitors.
  • Confusing playback: It can be a hassle to get the playback to allow you to view all the footage.
6
Papakoyal Hidden Spy Camera
Easy to Carry

Papakoyal Hidden Spy Camera

  • Night vision: It has six pcs IR LED lights, enabling it to make high-quality nighttime recordings.
  • Charging: You can record while charging the camera, so the footage won’t be battery-dependent.
  • Loop recording: It can continue recording after the memory card gets full.
Read More

If we had to describe this camera in one word, we would choose: Convenient. The camera offers various features that make your experience comfortable. The best part? It’s the smallest camera on this list.

Is the Papakoyal Hidden Spy Camera Easy to Use?

Sadly, the camera doesn’t offer the most user-friendly experience. It’s not bad, but it might take a while to get used to. The one-button interface isn’t that intuitive, and the instructions aren’t well-written.

Pricing & Plans

The Papakoyal comes in different prices, depending on where you buy it from.        

Amazon: $32.99.

eBay: $12.43.

Our Rating

The Payakoyal camera gets 3 out of 5

Our Take

Ultimately, this camera offers good value for its price. In terms of technicalities, it offers sharp images and numerous convenient features. While it has flaws, they won’t affect your experience that much.

Pros
  • HD videos: Enjoy the luxury of sharp 1080p footage.
  • Photo mode: You can use the optical glass technology to take clear pictures.
  • Motion detection: It can detect any moving object near the car and record its movements without manual interference.
  • Worry-free warranty: The camera comes with an 18-month warranty, so you don’t have to worry about potential malfunctions.
  • Dual shooting quality: You choose to record in 720p if you want to save energy.
Cons
  • Recording while moving: The camera records poor videos when it’s moving
  • TF card: You have to buy the TF card yourself.
  • Stubborn card: The camera will give you a hard time removing the SD/TF card from the reader.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Hidden Car Camera

As you know by now, each camera we mentioned offers a different experience. So you want to choose one that caters to your priorities.

1. Field of Vision

A dash camera without a wide field of vision won’t be as efficient and might even miss crucial details. If that’s your priority, you should go with the Cleverfox or the Red Owl cameras.

2. Storage Space

Most of the cameras on our list support up to 32GB SD cards, which is too low. It might not seem like a big deal, but constantly switching the memory card is an inconvenient financial burden. 

That’s one of the reasons we think the Garmin Dash is the best camera on the list.

3. Camera Audio

Manufacturers usually focus on capturing high-quality videos, so not all dash cameras record audio. 

If you want one that can do both, your choice is limited between the Garmin, Cleverfox, and Papakoyal cameras.

4. Night Time Recording

Night-time recording offers an extra layer of security, making it an indispensable feature in a dash camera.

It’s why many people buy one in the first place. Luckily, every camera on the previous list has night vision, so you don’t have to worry about night-time burglary.

5. Motion-Activated Camera

Motion detection protects your car from potential break-ins, so you want a camera with efficient sensors. That’s why every camera on the previous list has excellent motion detectors.

Why Should You Get a Hidden Car Camera?

Getting a hidden car camera, commonly known as a dash camera, is beneficial primarily for protection in two key scenarios:

  1. Preventing Break-Ins: If your car is broken into, a dash camera can record the face of the intruder. This footage is crucial for law enforcement to identify and apprehend the perpetrator.
  2. Evidence in Traffic Accidents: In the event of a car accident, a dash camera provides clear evidence of how the incident occurred. This is essential for insurance claims, as it helps to establish fault and ensures that you receive fair compensation.

Which Industries Can Benefit From Hidden Car Cameras?

We’ve covered everything you need to know about the features of these cameras. There’s still one question roaming over our heads: Who are they for?

  • Fleet Managers: As a fleet manager, your job is to ensure that every vehicle is safe and running at full capacity. That may require you to implement serious protective plans. That includes installing dash cameras.
  • Commercial drivers: Since commercial drivers are on the road all the time, they’re bound to face an accident at one point. A dash camera can help clear out its details and identify whose fault it is.
  • Transporters: Transporters are vehicles that carry and transport heavy cargo, making them attractive targets for burglars. So, dash cameras would help keep the loads safe.
  • Delivery and Rideshare Drivers: Like commercial drivers, dash cameras can provide the same sense of security for rideshare drivers.

How to Install a Hidden Car Camera

Installing a hidden camera in your car is easier than you think. You don’t need to be tech-savvy or anything. Just follow these steps:

  1. Choose a proper location in your car, which depends on what you want to record with the camera.
  2. Install the camera with a mounting bracket or a clip.
  3. Use the cables to connect the camera to the power outlets in your car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you have a hidden car camera as a rideshare driver?

Yes, you can, although it might depend on the company you’re working for. If you’re an Uber driver, you can install hidden cameras in your car. If you work for Lyft, though, you have to check the regulations of your state/city first.

Do hidden car cameras work when the car is off?

It depends. If you connect it to a power outlet in your car, it’ll stop working when the car is off. If it has a built-in battery, it’ll keep working until it runs out of steam.

Do hidden car cameras need Wi-Fi?

No, they don’t. Some models have a Wi-Fi connectivity feature, but even those don’t need it to work.

Wrapping Up

Now you have everything you need to buy the right hidden car camera for you. From everything we cover, we believe the Garmin Dash camera takes the win.

With HD recording and excellent motion detection, it’ll give you everything you need from a dash camera. That doesn’t mean it’s the only good option on the list, though. The Red Owl and Volenberry dash cameras are solid alternatives.

Ultimately, each camera has its strengths and weaknesses. So take your time and go over your priorities before making a decision.

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