Do Dashcams Work When the Car is Off? Exploring 24-Hour Dashcam Surveillance

Have you ever wondered if your dashcam still has your back even when you've left your car alone and walked away? Perhaps the thought of someone dinging your door in a parking lot or worse, attempting to break in, has crossed your mind.

You're not alone; many car owners worry about their vehicle's security during those hours when they’re not around to keep watch.

Interestingly, some dashcams are designed with a feature known as 'parking mode' that allows them to continue monitoring and recording activity even when the ignition is off. This article dives into how these handy devices work without draining your battery dry and what sort of dashcams offer this vigilant protection.

By the end of this read, you'll be equipped with knowledge on keeping an eye on your car 24/7! Ready for peace of mind? Keep reading.

Do Dashcams Record When the Car is Off?

When you're shopping for a dashcam, it's important to consider whether it will continue to record when your car is turned off. This feature is essential for continuous protection and surveillance of your vehicle.

Importance of shopping around for dashcams with this feature

Getting the right dashcam for your car means looking for one with a parking mode feature. Dashcams with this setting protect your vehicle even when you're not around, offering 24-hour surveillance.

They kick into action upon detecting motion or impact, capturing footage that could be crucial in the event of vandalism or a hit-and-run incident while your car is parked.

Not all dashcams are created equal, and some may drain your car's battery faster than others. To ensure continuous recording without risking a dead battery, consider models that come equipped with power-saving features or support alternative power sources like an external battery pack or hardwiring kits.

Different Types of Dashcams

When it comes to dashcams, there are various types available, including single lens and dual lens cameras. Professional dashcams also offer additional features and higher quality recording capabilities.

Single lens vs. dual lens

Understanding the differences between single lens and dual lens dashcams is crucial for finding one that suits your needs, especially when you want it to operate while your car is off.


Single Lens Dashcams Dual Lens Dashcams
Capture footage from one direction, typically the front of the vehicle. Record from both the front and the rear, or inside the vehicle simultaneously.
Less expensive than dual lens models. Cost more due to additional camera.
Easier to install because of one camera unit. Require more complex installation for the second camera.
May not capture incidents occurring at the rear of the vehicle. Provide comprehensive coverage around your vehicle.
Ideal for basic recording needs. Recommended for drivers needing more security coverage.


Choose a dashcam that best aligns with your security concerns and budget. Remember that some high-quality single lens dashcams may still offer features that allow recording while the car is off, given the proper power setup.

Professional dashcams

When considering dashcams for your car, professional dashcams are a top-tier option. These high-quality cameras offer advanced features such as enhanced video resolution, wider viewing angles, and superior night vision capabilities.

They also provide additional protection and peace of mind with reliable recording when your car is parked. Professional dashcams often come equipped with parking mode features that can monitor your vehicle even when the engine is off, ensuring continuous surveillance and security.

Investing in a professional dashcam ensures that you have a top-notch device capturing clear footage around the clock. These advanced systems not only protect your vehicle from any potential threats but also provide valuable evidence in case of accidents or vandalism.

How to Ensure Your Dashcam Records When the Car is Off

To ensure your dashcam records when the car is off, you can consider using a hardwired power source or an external battery pack. Proper setup and installation are crucial to make sure your dashcam functions effectively even when the car is not in use.

Power source options

To ensure your dashcam records when the car is off, consider these power source options:

  • Hardwired installation to the car's battery for continuous power supply
  • Utilizing a parking mode dash cam with built-in battery for uninterrupted recording
  • Using a dash cam with low - power consumption to preserve the car's battery
  • Connecting the dashcam to an external power bank for extended surveillance

Alternative power sources

Explore alternative power sources for your dashcam to keep it running even when the car is off. Battery packs, hardwiring kits, and solar panels are viable options that can provide continuous power to your dashcam.

By using these alternatives, you can ensure that your dashcam is always ready to monitor and record any incidents, offering you peace of mind when your car is parked.

Consider investing in a reliable battery pack designed specifically for dashcams. These portable power sources can be charged at home and then easily installed in your vehicle. Hardwiring kits offer a permanent solution by connecting the dashcam directly to the car's electrical system.

Proper setup and installation

To ensure your dashcam records when the car is off, proper setup and installation are crucial. Here's how to do it:

  1. Mount the dashcam securely on the windshield or dashboard to provide an unobstructed view of the road and surroundings.
  2. Connect the dashcam to a reliable power source, such as the car's battery or a hardwired connection, ensuring continuous power supply for parking mode.
  3. Adjust the camera angle to capture the desired field of view without any obstructions.
  4. Set up any necessary settings, such as motion detection or time - lapse recording, to optimize surveillance when the car is parked.
  5. Regularly check and maintain the installation to ensure optimal performance and reliability. 


Dashcams can still provide valuable surveillance even when your car is off. With the ability to operate in standby mode, these cameras can continue recording and safeguard your vehicle, capturing any incidents or suspicious activities while parked. Whether it's monitoring potential break-ins, hit-and-runs, or vandalism, dashcams offer an added layer of protection and peace of mind.

However, it's important to consider factors like power source, parking duration, and memory capacity to ensure uninterrupted operation. Explore dashcam models with reliable parking mode capabilities to enhance your vehicle's security and surveillance even when it's not in use.

Check out our collection of dash cams with parking mode here.


1. Can a dash cam record when my car is off?

Yes, some dash cams come with a parking mode feature that allows them to keep recording even after the car is turned off, providing 24-hour surveillance for car security.

2. How do dash cams work without using the car's battery?

Dash cams with an alternate power source or battery usage features can continue to record during parking mode without draining your car's main battery.

3. Are there any continuous recording dash cams that won't drain the battery fast?

Absolutely! Dash cams with power-saving features are designed to give you hour-long recordings while being efficient on battery usage, protecting your vehicle against vandalism.

4. What does 'hardwired' mean for dash cams and how does this help when the car is off?

Hardwired dash cams are connected directly to your vehicle’s electrical system, which means they can be set up to record continuously even if the engine isn't running.

5. Do all dashboard cameras have the ability to auto-record in park mode for added safety?

Not all of them; however, those labeled as 'dash cams with parking mode' specifically offer this function which acts as a black box camera monitoring your parked car.