Dashcam Installation: Step-by-Step Guide to Hardwiring Your Dashboard Camera

Are you interested in hardwiring your dashboard camera? Hardwiring your camera has several benefits, including eliminating the need for a separate power source and reducing the risk of theft. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of hardwiring your dashboard camera.

Before we dive into the steps, it's important to note that hardwiring your dashboard camera requires some knowledge of your car's electrical system. If you're not comfortable working with electrical components, it's best to seek the help of a professional. With that said, let's get started!

Understanding Dashboard Cameras and Hardwiring

A dashboard camera, also known as a dash cam, is a small camera that is mounted on the dashboard of your car and records video footage of the road ahead. Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular as they can provide valuable evidence in the event of an accident or other incident on the road.

Hardwiring a dash cam involves connecting it directly to your car's electrical system, rather than using the cigarette lighter or USB port as a power source. This allows the camera to turn on and off with the ignition, ensuring that it is always recording when you're driving.

There are a few benefits to hardwiring your dash cam. Hardwiring a dash cam tidies up cables, frees up ports for charging devices, and ensures stable power for improved video quality and consistent recording.

To hardwire your dash cam, you'll need a few tools and basic knowledge of your car's electrical system. You'll also need to purchase a hardwiring kit, which typically includes a fuse tap, a ground wire, and a power wire. The hardwiring kit will allow you to connect the camera to a 12V power source in your car.

Before you begin hardwiring your dash cam, it's important to read the instructions carefully and make sure you understand the process. If you're not comfortable working with electrical systems, it's best to have a professional install the camera for you.

Essential Components for Hardwiring

When hardwiring your dashboard camera, there are a few essential components that you will need to ensure a successful installation. In this section, we will discuss the hardwire kit essentials, understanding the fuse box and fuses, and additional accessories that you may need.

Hardwire Kit Essentials

The hardwire kit is the backbone of your dashboard camera installation. It includes the necessary cables, connectors, and adapters to connect your camera to your vehicle's electrical system. When purchasing a hardwire kit, make sure that it is compatible with your camera model and your vehicle's make and model.

Here are some of the components that you can expect to find in a hardwire kit:

  • Fuse tap: This device allows you to tap into your vehicle's fuse box without damaging the original wiring.
  • Fuse slot: This is where you insert the fuse tap.
  • Fuse puller: This tool helps you remove the original fuse from the fuse slot.
  • Circuit tester: This device helps you identify the right fuse slot to use.
  • Electrical tape: This is used to secure the wires and prevent them from touching each other.
  • Zip ties: These are used to secure the wires and prevent them from moving around.
  • Wire cutters: These are used to trim the wires to the right length.

What is a Fuse Box?

The fuse box is where you will connect your hardwire kit. It is usually located under the dashboard on the driver's side of the vehicle. The fuse box contains fuses that protect different electrical systems in your vehicle.

When hardwiring your dashboard camera, you will need to identify a fuse slot that is compatible with your camera's power requirements. You can use a circuit tester to identify the right fuse slot. Once you have identified the right slot, you can insert the fuse tap and connect the hardwire kit.

Additional Accessories

In addition to the hardwire kit, you may need some additional accessories to complete your installation. These can include:

  • Power magic pro: This device allows you to use your dashboard camera even when your vehicle is turned off.
  • Voltage regulator: This device ensures that your camera receives a stable power supply and prevents damage to your camera.
  • GPS module: This device allows your camera to record your vehicle's location and speed.

By having these essential components and accessories, you can hardwire your dashboard camera with confidence and ensure a safe and reliable installation.

Step-by-Step Installation Process

Installing a dashboard camera in your car can be a great way to protect yourself in case of an accident or other incident on the road. Hardwiring your camera can provide a more professional installation and eliminate the need for an unsightly power cable running down your dashboard. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you hardwire your dashboard camera.

Preparing for Installation

Before you begin the installation process, you'll need to gather a few supplies:

  • Dashboard camera
  • Hardwire kit
  • Fuse tap
  • Wire stripper
  • Electrical tape
  • Zip ties

Once you have all of the necessary supplies, you can start preparing for installation by locating the fuse box in your car and choosing a suitable ground point for the camera's power cable.

Connecting to the Fuse Box

The first step in the installation process is to connect the camera's power cable to the fuse box using a fuse tap. This will allow the camera to receive power when the car is turned on.

To connect the fuse tap, you'll need to remove a fuse from the fuse box and insert it into the fuse tap. Then, insert the fuse tap into the empty slot in the fuse box and connect the camera's power cable to the fuse tap.

Grounding the Wire

After connecting the camera's power cable to the fuse box, you'll need to ground the wire to a suitable grounding point in your car. This will ensure that the camera has a stable power supply and can function properly.

To ground the wire, locate a suitable grounding point in your car, such as a metal bolt or screw. Strip the end of the wire and wrap it around the grounding point, then tighten the bolt or screw to secure the wire in place.

Securing and Concealing Wires

Once the camera's power cable is connected and grounded, you'll need to secure and conceal the wires to ensure a neat installation. Use zip ties to secure the wires along the car's existing wiring harness, and use electrical tape to cover any exposed wires.

Finally, conceal the wires by tucking them behind the car's interior panels and trim pieces. This will create a clean and professional installation that won't detract from the look of your car's interior.

By following these simple steps, you can hardwire your dashboard camera for a professional and neat installation that will provide reliable protection on the road.

Benefits of Hardwiring Your Dash Cam

Hardwiring your dashboard camera comes with several benefits that make it a worthwhile investment. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy when you hardwire your dash cam:


Hardwiring your dash cam eliminates the need for a cigarette lighter adapter or USB cable to power your camera. This means you won't have to worry about wires dangling or getting in the way while you're driving. Additionally, hardwiring allows your dash cam to turn on and off automatically with your car, so you won't have to remember to turn it on or off every time you get in and out of your vehicle.


A hardwired dash cam is more secure than a camera that runs on batteries or a cigarette lighter adapter. Battery-powered cameras can run out of power, leaving you without video evidence when you need it most. Cigarette lighter adapters can easily come unplugged, causing your camera to shut off unexpectedly. With hardwiring, your dash cam will have a constant source of power, ensuring that it is always ready to record.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that your dash cam is always on and ready to record can give you peace of mind while you're driving. In the event of an accident or other incident, you'll have video evidence to support your side of the story. This can be especially helpful if you're involved in a hit-and-run or if the other driver disputes your version of events.

Parking Mode

Many dash cams come with a parking mode feature that allows them to continue recording even when your car is parked and turned off. Hardwiring your dash cam is necessary to take advantage of this feature, as it requires a constant source of power. With parking mode, your dash cam can capture video evidence of any incidents that occur while your car is parked, such as hit-and-runs or vandalism.


In addition to recording accidents and incidents, a hardwired dash cam can also be used for surveillance purposes. For example, if you park your car in an area with a high risk of theft or vandalism, you can use your dash cam to monitor your vehicle and capture any suspicious activity. This can help you identify and catch thieves or vandals, and provide evidence to the police.

Choosing the Right Dash Cam for Hardwiring

When it comes to choosing a dash cam for hardwiring, there are many options available on the market. 

One important consideration when choosing a dash cam is the quality of the video it produces. Look for a camera that records at least 1080p resolution, as this will ensure that you capture clear footage in case of an accident or other incident.

Another important factor to consider is the size and shape of the dash cam. You'll want to choose a camera that fits comfortably on your dashboard and doesn't obstruct your view while driving. Some dash cams come with a suction mount that can be attached to the windshield, while others may require a different type of mounting system.

If you plan to hardwire your dash cam, you'll also need to consider the power source. Some dash cams come with a cigarette lighter adapter, which can be used to power the camera while driving. However, if you want to hardwire the camera to your vehicle's electrical system, you'll need to choose a camera that is compatible with this type of installation.

Click here to browse our collection of hardwire dash cams from Vantrue.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of professional dash cam installation?

The cost of professional dash cam installation varies depending on the service provider and the complexity of the installation. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for professional installation.

How do you hardwire a dash cam?

To hardwire a dash cam, you need to locate the fuse box in your car and find a fuse that turns on and off with the ignition. Then, connect the dash cam's power cable to the fuse using a fuse tap. Finally, ground the dash cam's cable to a metal surface in your car.

Can a dash cam be hardwired to an electric car?

Yes, a dash cam can be hardwired to an electric car. However, the process may differ from a traditional car as electric cars have different electrical systems. It is recommended to consult with a professional installer or the car manufacturer for guidance.

Which fuse should be used for a BMW dash cam installation?

For a BMW dash cam installation, it is recommended to use a fuse that turns on and off with the ignition. The exact fuse location and type may vary depending on the BMW model. It is recommended to consult the car manual or a professional installer for guidance.

Does hardwiring a dash cam drain the car battery?

No, hardwiring a dash cam does not drain the car battery. The dash cam only draws power when the car is turned on and the ignition is active. However, it is important to ensure that the dash cam is properly installed and grounded to avoid any electrical issues.

Can hardwiring a dash cam be considered a car modification?

Hardwiring a dash cam is generally not considered a car modification as it does not alter the car's performance or appearance. However, it is recommended to check with your car insurance provider to ensure that hardwiring a dash cam does not affect your coverage.