What is Dash Cam Parking Mode?

What is Dash Cam Parking Mode
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We all have a pretty good idea of how dash cams work, but do you know about dash cam parking mode and how it works? This is an awesome feature that you won’t find with other types of cameras, including GoPro cameras, and it can be pretty handy in the event that your vehicle is vandalized or broken into while you are not near it. Dash cam parking mode will continue to record what is going on around your vehicle, even if the vehicle is not turned on. Today we are going to take a look at what is dash cam parking mode, how it works, and how it can benefit you.

Record when You are Not in the Vehicle

A lot of people are under the misconception that the dash cam parking mode keeps the camera recording at all times, even if the vehicle is turned off. This is actually not the case, but you get the next best thing. There really is no sense in wasting a lot of memory card space, or time watching everything on the card, when most of the time nothing is going on. So, the parking mode only works if something is going on and your vehicle is involved, and only movement or impact that has been detected will be recorded and saved to the memory card.

The parking mode will stay on continuously for a few hours, with the length of time depending on the camera make and model. It can vary between vehicles as well. Also, the length of time this mode works on battery power can depend on how much you drive the vehicle. If you drive for many miles, your backup battery may remain on for even longer than four hours. When it comes to a camera with a backup battery, it is important to look for a model that doesn’t use a lithium battery, as these tend to overheat and can damage the dash cam.

Because parking mode will record footage for short periods, it is great if you have to go into a parking lot and leave the vehicle for an hour or two. If anything should happen while you are not near the vehicle, you are going to know about it later.

How to Get Parking Mode

Most of the latest dash cam models have the parking mode feature, and you will need to have one of these cameras. Some do require an additional hardwire kit in order to be able to use this feature. Once it is properly installed, the camera will remain “on,” even if the ignition is turned off. There are some cameras that will monitor the battery voltage in the vehicle. If the voltage begins to drop to a level that is too low, the camera will shut itself off.

Recording Time

Recording time can depend on a number of factors, since no two dash cams are quite the same. Some of the things that can influence the length of time you can record with a dash cam in parking mode include the size of your vehicle battery, the voltage drop-off, temperature, and how energy efficient the dash cam is. Often, if you use a cut-off of about 12.2V, you could get up to seven hours of recording time in parking mode. If you have a larger vehicle, the battery is going to be larger, and you will have even more recording time.

There is also a way that you can extend the recording time of a dash cam in parking mode. You will need to purchase a separate battery pack that will give you an additional six to 12 hours of recording time. While you are driving, the battery pack charges. It takes about an hour or two for the battery pack to fully charge.

Is Parking Mode Worth the Extra Cash?

It is going to cost you a bit more to get a dash cam that has the parking mode feature. It may be a feature that is never actually needed. But, if your car is damaged while it is parked, you will have the evidence of how it happened, which will make things a lot easier when you have to file an insurance claim. With any luck you will never need it, but if you do, it is going to pay for itself. You can’t get a decent dash cam for less than $45, and when it comes to this technology, you really do get what you pay for. In many cases, the more expensive the dash cam, the better it is going to work, because it is made with better technology and parts, including lenses.

Choosing a Dash Cam

Obviously, we are trying to encourage you to choose a dash cam that has the parking mode feature. There are several other features that you should be looking for as well, including:

  • Ease of Use – Your dash cam should be easy to install, and just as easy to use. The camera should automatically come on and record continuously while the ignition is turned on, so you don’t have to think about setting anything up every time you go out.
  • Motion Detection – When the dash cam is in parking mode, motion detection will ensure that nothing is lost, but nothing will be stored to the memory card unless an actual motion is detected, so you can view it later.
  • Sensitivity Adjustment – Your dash cam should have a sensitivity adjustment so you can fine-tune the setting that is going to work best, such as being able to capture larger objects such as cars and people, but not smaller things like squirrels.


Having a dash cam can really come in handy at times, and it is even better if you have one that has the parking mode feature. This way, if something should happen to your vehicle while you are away from it, you will be able to see exactly what happened, and if necessary, report the incident to the proper authorities and your insurance company.

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