Hardwire vs Plug in Dash Cam – Full Comparison!

Here will be looking at what is hardwire dash cam and plug in dash which is explained below.

Hardwire Dash Cam    Plug In Dash Cam
  These are dash cam which are connected directly to the vehicle’s electrical system for constant supply of power and they are installed in a permanent manner that gives it more a discreet look as well as reliable option that comes handy in capturing footages for you.The affordability of these dash cams is not same as they come as quite expensive.The need for professional installation for the setup of this hardwire dash cam.The hardwire dash cam comes with advanced safety features along with parking mode.  The plug-in dash cam is the type of dash cam that receives power from the USB port. The dash cam comes as very easily portable as their position can be easily adjusted but they lack the reliability and discreetness of hardwired dash cam.Plug-in dash cam comes off as very affordable.The installation process is simple as they just need to connected to vehicle’s USB port with no professional assistance.The plug-in dash cams do not come with parking mode features as well as other advanced safety features.

Is it better to hardwire your dash cam?

By the way of hardwiring the dash cam, there is supply of power to the dash cam and along with that this allows the dash cam to capture footages whether being at road or as well getting parked at a place along with this they prevent battery discharge. This is the method for powering your dash cam when it must function for the parking mode when the ignition goes off.

Hardwiring your dash cam comes with advantages as well as disadvantages as such which are discussed below:


  • The hardwiring of dash cam gives you the access to the feature of parking mode that is to record any event or movement that occurs when the car is parked, the dash will record and gives you footages.
  • The hardwired dash cams give more of a discreet look that it shall be done with professional installation as there would be no tangling of wires and well hidden in the trim of the vehicle giving a great aesthetics to your vehicle.
  • This can also aid you in receiving a potential of reduced insurance costs from companies offering on dash cam policies.


  • The setting up is not an easy process and comes with professional assistance.
  • Hardwired dash cam comes permanent installation so moreover if you want to do any adjustments then it more of an effort.
  • The added extra cost that comes for the setup making it as an expensive option to for

Is hardwiring dash cam bad for battery?

Hardwiring the dash cam can be bad for battery only at the cost of if the hardwiring is not done properly,

if the set-up is not proper it leads to scenario where power is drawn continuously at the time when the car engine is off and this happens because of the fact that the dash cam is connected directly to the car’s electrical system.

There are certain other factors that power consumption from the battery and this would be based as per the usage of your dash cam and the features that it carries along which includes:

  • Recording quality of your dash cam as higher resolution takes up more amount of energy for their capturing of footages.
  • The presence of number of cameras, whether the dash cam is dual channel then the power requirement will vary from that of a single channel dash cam.
  • The added features that your dash cam carries which includes availability of Wi-Fi, GPS as well as other advanced safety features your dash carries with it.
  • The temperatures at which your dash cams functions can also affect the power consumption.
  • The dash cam going for continuous recording in parking mode for extended period drains power leading to more power usage in parking mode.
  • If your battery is too small or have been in ageing then it will not able to handle the load of additional power usage leading to getting your battery drained over the dash cam usage.
  • The cold is weather also has been said to cause battery depletion.

Do you have to hardwire a dash cam for parking mode?

To get your dash cam get captures footages when your car ignition is off and parked at a place you will have to go for hardwiring your dash cam which makes sures that dash cam does it function and receives the needed power as when the dash cam is hardwired it is getting power directly from the vehicle’s electrical system,

so even when then engine is off your dash cam gets its constant supply of power.

What are the disadvantages of dash cam?

The dash cams have their own disadvantages that comes along which includes:

  • The dash cam become very distracting to drivers if they must adjust the dash cam for better view or angle such that there is a high chance of them losing attention from driving.
  • If they are kept in plain sight there is high chance of theft or vandalism happening such that you end up losing the dash cam.
  • It intrudes privacy.

Summing it up

The hardwire dash cams have their own benefits along with the plug-in dash cams in the above we have discussed those factors which are beneficial to use from both hardwire dash cams as well as plug in dash cam.

The hardwire dash cam are connected directly to the vehicle’s electrical system whereas plug in dash cams are connected to the USB port with no requirement of professional installation unlike the hardwired dash cam adding on hardwiring of dash cam can also cause battery which have talked about and the factors that influences it to happen. Along with that we have discussed on the disadvantages of dash cams as well.


  • Sattam Malick (Owner)

    I’m thrilled to introduce you to a world of automobiles that has fueled my fascination. As an Automobile Enthusiast and a Qualified Automobile Engineer, I’ve spent years immersed in the intricacies of bikes cars and other vehicles, from their design and mechanics to the latest innovations that drive the automotive industry forward. Now, with Rev Up Motor