Best Dash Cams With Parking Mode in 2023

Most dash cameras come with a parking mode option, even the lower end ones, however, the parking mode feature differs greatly from camera to camera.

Some dash cameras offer a parking mode option without using a hardwire kit and instead use an external battery pack, while others depend on your cars 12 volt battery for power while in parking mode. If you’re looking for a dash cam that can record while parked, we have curated the ones with the best parking monitor options including motion sensor and impact detection.

Quick Pick: Overview of our top 5 parking mode dash cams

5. Best Stealthy Hidden Cam: THINKWARE Q800PRO
4. Best Budget Priced: VIOFO A129 Duo
3. Most Advanced Features: Thinkware U1000 4K
2. Best For Uber Drivers: Vantrue N2 Pro
1. Best Overall: BlackVue DR900S-2CH

How did we curate this list?

We have been dedicated to dash cams and in car cameras for more than 8 years, doing hands-on testing of over 100 dash cams. We’re not an Everything Tech type of website, we only specialize in dash cameras. Not only have we personally tested many dash cams, we’re also actively part of online dash cam communities and have read through the feedback of thousands of buyers over the years. Check out our pick for the best dash cams that offer advanced parking mode features below.

#5 THINKWARE Q800PRO Dual Dash Cam

THINKWARE Q800PRO Dash CamThe Q800PRO from THINKWARE is a dual channel dash cam package with a front 2K full HD camera and a rear 1080p HD camera that share the same memory card. Both cameras use a Sony STARVIS image sensor, which capture quality night time video footage.

THINKWARE has released a variety of parking surveillance mode related dash cams that are compatible with their parking mode accessories and the THINKWARE Cloud service.

Their cloud service allows you to view where your cars location is at anytime, get a notification on your smartphone when the car is involved in an accident or parking mode detects motion. You can also setup a “GEO Fence” that will send you an alert when the car enters or leaves a predetermined geo location. To use any of the cloud related features you need to have mobile or car internet in the car that can connect to the Q800PRO in order to send out these updates and notifications.

Using the parking mode time lapse setting, you can have the Q800PRO record at 2FPS, or 2 frames per second. Basically, the dash cam will take 2 photos per second, with no audio. This setting is always recording from the camera and saves on power consumption and battery usage.

Video Sample:

Tech Specs

  • Video: Front: 2K QHD 2560 x 1440p Rear: HD 1920 x 1080p
  • Image Sensor: Front: 5MP Sony STARVIS Rear: 2MP Sony STARVIS
  • Lens Angle: Front: 140° Rear: 140°
  • MicroSD card, up to 128GB
  • Built-in WiFi and GPS
Parking Mode Features

  • Motion Detection
  • Impact Detection
  • Time Lapse Recording Mode while Parked
  • Energy Saving Mode
  • Parking Mode Integrated into THINKWARE Cloud APP

Where to Buy the THINKWARE Q800PRO

#4 VIOFO A129 Duo Dual Dash Cam

VIOFO A129 Duo Pro Dash CamThe A129 dual dash camera from VIOFO is a popular dash cam manufacturer among online communities who review and talk about dash cams. The A129 records video in real 4K @ 30 frames per second on the front camera and 1080p HD @ 30 frames per second video on the rear camera.

Read Full Review: A129 Duo Pro

This small wedge shaped dash cam packs GPS directly into the body of the camera, while other dash cams require and external GPS module that plugs into the camera. This can be used to watermark your videos with your speed an location. If you don’t want this, you can disable it in the settings area. Along with built-in GPS, it also has built-in WiFi, which allows you to remotely access the dash cam with your smart phone.

What’s the difference between the A129 Duo Plus & A129 Duo Pro? The Duo Pro offers a higher resolution front camera than the Duo Plus or regular Duo by using a Sony EXMOR 8MP image sensor.

For parking mode, most lower end dash cams only offer impact detection. The A129 offers 3 main parking mode features: impact detection, motion sensor detection and buffered parking mode.

Impact detection will automatically start recording when the g-sensor within the camera senses the car shake or move, like if someone were to back into your car in a parking lot.

Motion sensor detection will start recording for 30 seconds if motion is detected in front of either camera lens and save and lock the video.

Buffered parking mode is a more advanced parking mode feature that most low to mid range dash cams don’t have. Buffered parking mode means that the dash cam is always recording in a continuous 15 second loop, recording over the previous 15 seconds so your memory card doesn’t get full. When motion or impact is detected, the dash cam will have 15 seconds of video saved before an actual event happens, so you could see a car reversing into your parked car before the impact actually happened for example.

Video Sample:

Tech Specs

  • 4K Video Front, 1080p Rear
  • Image Sensor: Sony 8MP IMX317 Front, Sony IMX 291 Rear
  • Lens Angle: 130° Front, 140° Rear
  • 256GB microSD Capacity
Parking Mode Features

  • Motion Detection
  • Impact Detection
  • Buffered Parking Mode

Where to Buy the VIOFO A129 Duo

#3 Thinkware U1000 4K Dash Cam

THINKWARE U1000 Dash CamThe U1000 from THINKWARE is one of the few real 4K dash cams currently sold. It is a dual dash cam, with the front cam recording 4K 3840 x 2160p @ 30fps with its Sony Exmor R STARVIS 8MP image sensor and the rear camera recording 2K 2560 x 1440p video. The “rear” camera with the U1000 is for the back window of your car, to capture the road behind you, not an interior facing camera like some of the other camera posted here.

Read Full Review: THINKWARE U1000

THINKWARE offers a cloud service that can monitor your cars current location, send you push notifications to your phone via their APP if there is a crash or major event detected. THINKWARE does not offer a direct connection to this service (like 4G LTE), you need to have your own mobile hot spot or internet connection synced to the U1000 for this to work.

Along with the regular parking mode features like motion and impact detection, THINKWARE offers a radar detection module at an extra fee which can detect incoming cars in parking mode. If an impact is detected from a hit and run it will save the first 10 seconds and the last 10 seconds of the crash on to the cameras microSD card.

Video Sample:

Tech Specs

  • Real 4K Video on Front Cam, 2K on Rear Cam
  • Image Sensor: Front: 8.42MP Sony STARVIS Rear: 5.14MP Sony STARVIS
  • Lens Angle: Front: 150° Rear: 156°
  • MicroSD card, up to 128GB
Parking Mode Features

  • Motion Detection
  • Impact Detection
  • RADAR Sensor (optional addon)
  • Parking Mode Integrated into THINKWARE Cloud APP

Where to Buy the THINKWARE U1000

#2 Vantrue N2 Pro

Vantrue N2 Pro Dash CamThe N2 Pro is marketed towards taxi and Uber drivers because of its interior facing camera that can record passengers. This front and rear dash cam can also be good for parking mode, to provide inside and out surveillance on your car.

Read Full Review: Vantrue N2 Pro

When the N2 Pro is in parking mode, it will be in standby and appear to be off, but if it detects motion, both in front of your car and inside if a thief gets in it will automatically start recording. The interior camera records full HD video at 1920X1080P using a Sony IMX323 image sensor and uses 4 IR LED lights to capture nighttime footage within your ccar. The parking mode will also turn the front and interior camera on if there is an impact, like in a hit and run accident.

Unlike some of the other dash cams that have good parking mode features, the Vantrue N2 Pro does not offer any cloud or remote video storage options. This means that all your video footage is on the dash cams microSD card, which could be a problem if your entire dash cam was stolen, your video footage would go with it. If the N2 Pro did have remote video storage, this dash cam would be higher on our list because of its great interior camera.

Video Sample:

Tech Specs

  • Video: Front: 1920 x 1080P Rear: 1920 x 1080P
  • Sensor: Front: OV4689 Rear: Sony IMX323
  • Lens Angle: Front: 170° Rear: 140°
  • MicroSD Card, up to 256GB
Parking Mode Features

  • Motion Detection
  • Impact Detection
  • Interior Cam with Night Vision

Where to Buy the Vantrue N2 Pro

#1 BlackVue DR900S-2CH

Blackvue DR900S Dash CamThis dual dash cam package from Blackvue features a full 4K video on the front camera, recording 3840 × 2160 @ 30FPS through a 162 degree wide angle lens on its 8MP CMOS image sensor. The rear camera shoots HD video 1920×1080 @ 30FPS through a 139 degree lens angle with its 2MP STARVIS image sensor.

Read Full Review: Blackvue DR900S

Blackvue has been a leader for a number of years now in high end dash cams that are known for their parking mode features. Often times those with expensive cars that can afford just about any car surveillance system on the market will tend to go towards the Blackvue line of car cameras, this is usually due to their parking mode type accessories that they also sell.

Blackvue offers a remote cloud storage system that integrates into the DR900S. This uses your mobile or car embedded internet to send and receive data from the dash cam unit. With the Cloud Dashcam service you are able to see where your car is 24/7, remotely upload videos to the cloud for safe keeping, receive push notification on your phone when a major event is detected, such as a car breakin when parked.

If you don’t use their cloud service, you can still use the DR900S built-in WiFi to connect your smart phone directly to the dash cam, letting you view and download videos and change camera settings.

Video Sample:

Tech Specs

  • Real 4K Video on Front Cam, 2K on Rear Cam
  • Image Sensor: Front: 8MP CMOS image sensor Rear: 2MP STARVIS sensor
  • Lens Angle: Front: 162° Rear: 139°
  • MicroSD card, up to 256GB
Parking Mode Features

  • Motion Detection
  • Impact Detection
  • Remote Cloud Video Storage

Where to Buy the BlackVue DR900S

What is “Parking Mode”?

Put simply, the parking mode feature on a cars dash camera setup is the function to record video when your car is off and you are away. The most common reason people want to have a dash cam with parking mode is for car theft and a “hit and run” type accident in a parking lot or on the side of the road.

Today, nearly all mid range to the best dash cams have some form of a parking mode feature. In our buying guide below we will go over the main features, what to look for and what we think are the best dash cams that have parking mode options.

Main Features of Parking Mode

Here are the 3 main functions to consider when buying a dash cam with parking mode:

  • Impact Detection: This is the most common parking mode feature you will see, even on the cheaper or budget priced dash cams. Using the dash cams internal “g-senor” the camera can detect when a major impact has taken place. Once a crash or impact happens, the camera will automatically start recording video (usually around 30 seconds) and then go back into standby mode.
  • Motion Detection: Enabling this feature on your dash cam will act like a motion senor security camera or a trail cam that automatically starts recording when movement is seen. This feature will vary greatly from dash cam to dash cam based on a number of factors like lens angle (how wide the lens sees) and the internal video image sensor. This feature can also work on dash cams with a front and rear camera.
  • Buffered Recording: This is considered the most advanced feature when it comes to parking mode. Buffered means that the dash cam is recording video at all times, usually in 30 second loops. When an event happens it is able to automatically save the previous 30 seconds of video and have that portion for the rest of the video after the event. This can be useful in a hit and run type accident in a parking lot.

What to look for in a dash cam with parking mode

The first key point about a dash cam is that it uses a small internal battery or a capacitor. This is not meant to power the dash cam to actively use like you would on a digital camera. The power coming from the internal battery or capacitor is only used to quickly save the last video file when you turn your camera off and the car power adapter is no longer supplying power to the dash camera. The dash cam battery is so small, it is not capable of powering the dash cam for an extended period of time when you have your car parked and turned off. Because of this, you will need either a hardwire kit, or an external battery pack to use your dash cams parking mode feature.

Hardwire kit

A dash cam hardwire kit is a power adapter that goes from your dash cam to your cars fuse box. The hardwire kit is plugged into a fuse slot that your car always supplies power to when it is turned off, like your headlights. This way, the dash cam is able to always get power and go from standby parking mode to recording video when a motion or bump is detected. It sounds complicated, but putting in a hardwire kit is as simple as pulling out a fuse and plugging in the hardwire fuse adapter into the slot, along with screwing a ground wire into an existing metal grounding screw that is often located near by.

External Dash Cam Battery

If you want a dash cam that has parking mode without a hardwire kit, you need to have an external battery pack. A dash cams internal battery is not meant to power it to film video, it is only meant to save the last video file when you turn your car off. Although most hardwire kits will monitor your car battery’s voltage levels and make sure you don’t drain your battery, some people don’t like to put any kind of added stress or usuaeg on the cars battery, so they choose to use an external battery pack that is dedicated to the dash cam. These dash cam battery packs can be a bit pricey. Blackvue, a popular dash cam brand was one of the first companies to make an external battery for car cameras. They have a few different battery packs for sale

Cloud Connected or Self-Contained

After you have decided how you want to power your dash cam when using parking mode, you need to decide if you want to have all the video footage stored directly on the cameras memory card, or if you want to have it remotely connected to a cloud service. With a cloud or remote storage service, your dash cam can send video files over an internet or cellular phone connection to be stored outside of your car. If someone did break into your car and see that a dash cam was recording them inside, they could simply rip the dash cam off of the windshield and take the footage with them. This is why it is important to consider remote video storage that is triggered by an event.