Best Security Cameras for Parked Vehicles: 24-Hour Protection

As vehicle theft and vandalism rates continue to increase, car security cameras are playing a more paramount role in safeguarding parked cars overnight and capturing car damage or theft 24/7.

This comprehensive guide explores the various aspects of car surveillance cameras and car security systems, including essential features, setup processes, and benefits.

Today, many vehicles come equipped with cameras designed not only to capture memories when driving but also to serve as a vital security tool for car and driver safety.

To avoid becoming a victim of car theft and vandalism, car surveillance cameras and security systems provide an ideal solution to monitor your parked cars, particularly overnight parking. These powerful security cameras can also provide essential evidence if your car is stolen or vandalized (although we hope this never happens).

Also Read: Click here to learn how to catch someone breaking into or vandalizing your car.

What Kinds of Security Cameras Work for Car

When considering car security camera options, several factors should be taken into account. Below are three types of cameras that can be used to monitor parked cars and safeguard against theft and vandalism:

  1. Professional security cameras: For advanced protection, professional security camera systems are the ideal option. These cameras provide security monitoring features like motion detection and night vision, ensuring that your car remains secure even when you’re not present. With multiple cameras covering all angles, any attempts to tamper with or break into your car will be captured on video.
  2. Dual dash cameras: For a more cost-effective option, dual dash cameras are an excellent choice. These cameras capture footage from both the front and back of your car, giving you a comprehensive view of everything happening around your vehicle. They’re also small, discrete and easy to install. The only downside is that they usually stop working as soon as the car engine is switched off.
  3. Interior dash cams: Interior dash cameras record footage of your car’s interior, providing you with a clear view of everything happening inside the vehicle. Not only are they useful for monitoring passengers and detecting any unsafe behavior, but they’re also helpful in capturing accidents or incidents while driving, which can be beneficial when filing an insurance claim.

Benefits of using a professional security camera for your parked car

Car security cameras are an excellent choice for enhancing the protection of your vehicle. Here are some of the top benefits of using a car security camera system:

  • Good footage quality: Most car security cameras record footage in high definition or 4K quality, providing crystal-clear images and ensuring that details are visible even in low-light conditions. In particular, many cameras are capable of capturing a car’s license plate number clearly and sharply, even at night, ensuring that vital information is captured and preserved when required for any insurance claims or legal cases.
  • Round-the-clock surveillance: Security cameras can provide extended surveillance periods, although it does depend on the availability of power supply.
  • Placement flexibility: Unlike dash cams, security cameras provide more flexibility in terms of placement. You can set up the cameras at different heights and angles depending on what areas you want to cover. Some cameras even use automated tracking to follow and capture the movements of objects, ensuring that your car remains secure from all angles.
  • Notifications and alarms: Many security cameras come equipped with notifications and alarm features that push alerts to your phone once suspicious movements or sounds are detected around your car, ensuring that you’re always aware of what’s going on even when you’re not around.
  • Two-way audio: Some security cameras have two-way audio, enabling you to listen and talk to whoever is on the other side of the camera, further enhancing your ability to communicate and respond in case of any incidents.

By leveraging these features and capabilities, you can create a state-of-the-art car security camera system that offers optimal protection and peace of mind for your vehicle and its contents.

What to consider when picking a security cam for your car

When selecting a car security camera system, several vital factors need to be taken into account, beyond camera quality. Here are some crucial considerations to keep in mind when choosing your car security camera:

  • Power supply: All cameras require a power source to operate, making power supply a critical consideration. If you park your car at home, running wires to power the cameras is relatively simple. However, in public garages or locations where running electrical lines is not feasible, a battery-powered camera is a better option. Interior car cameras, such as dash cams powered by the car engine, are also available.
  • Internet access: Car security cameras require internet connectivity to upload footage to the cloud or alert you of suspicious activity. While most cameras can connect to WiFi, it’s important to keep in mind that some places may have poor internet signals. For such situations, you may need a WiFi signal booster or a 4G cellular security camera, such as Reolink Go, which works without WiFi.
  • Night vision: Since your car will likely be parked overnight, night vision capability is essential. Choose cameras with advanced night vision technology to monitor your vehicle effectively when it’s dark.
  • Motion sensors: Motion sensors are also a crucial function of car security cameras. Cameras equipped with this feature can alert you when they detect motion around your vehicle, ensuring that you remain informed and quickly respond to any potential incidents.

When you can’t use a professional security camera

While professional security cameras offer excellent protection, there are situations where they may not be appropriate or feasible for car monitoring. For example, installing a security camera in public places is typically not allowed, and there may also be instances where you’re parked on the side of the road or in a parking lot for a few minutes, making it difficult to set up a camera.

In such circumstances, dash cameras can be a valuable tool. Below are two types of dash cameras to consider for car monitoring:

  1. Exterior dash cameras: These small cameras are typically mounted on your car’s dash or windshield and record what’s happening on the road in front of the driver. Some dash cameras are rear-facing and capture the driver and your vehicle’s interior. Dual dash cameras offer a 360-degree view of your car’s surroundings. Dash cameras are simple to use and start recording with the push of a button.
  2. Interior dash cameras: Driver-facing dash cameras capture footage inside the car and are especially useful for Uber and Lyft drivers who may face unruly passengers. They’re also valuable as evidence in case of any theft or vandalism. Rental companies, logistics providers, and cold chain companies use interior dash cams to gain insight into how their vehicles are being used. Although they can be repurposed for monitoring outside the vehicle, a dual dash camera is a better option.

Security tips for parking your car overnight

Overnight parking carries a certain degree of risk for your vehicle. However, there are several precautions you can take to ensure the safety of your car:

  • Park in a safe, well-lit area: Where you park your car can substantially impact its safety. Parking on the street can make your car vulnerable to vandalism or hit-and-run incidents, while parking in a garage can expose your car to theft. Whenever possible, choose a well-lit area with regular security patrols.
  • Remove valuables from your car: Don’t give thieves any excuses to break into your car. Removing any visible or valuable items before parking can reduce the temptation for thieves, and minimize losses if your car is vandalized or stolen.
  • Invest in a good security system: A reliable security system is often the most effective option. This may include cameras, alarms, and security sensors. These measures, individually or collectively, can actively deter thieves and generally increase the safety and security of your vehicle.

Security Tips for Car Theft and Vandalism

Car theft and vandalism are a car owner’s worst nightmare, but there are steps you can take to prevent these incidents from happening and to increase the chances of recovering your vehicle if it’s stolen.

  1. Car theft prevention tips: Avoid leaving your car running, especially if you have an automatic start button on your key fob. It only takes a minute or two for thieves to steal your car or valuables.
  2. Recovering a stolen car: In the unfortunate event that your car is stolen, file a report with the police as soon as possible so that they can keep an eye out for your car. Additionally, if you have a GPS device installed, you may be able to use it to locate your stolen vehicle easily.
  3. Car vandalism: Whether your car is stolen, vandalized, keyed, or otherwise damaged while parked, catching the culprit in the act can be challenging. The best preventative measures include parking safely in well-lit, legal areas and avoiding leaving valuable belongings or electronic gadgets in plain sight, ensuring your car is locked, tidy, and clean.

Best Car Security Camera & System Recommendations

After reading hundreds of users’ needs from Reddit and other discussion websites and forums, the following car surveillance security cameras and systems are widely favored and preferred.

1. Best Value Car Security Camera – ZOSI 1NC-291

ZOSI 1NC-291 is an awesome wireless surveillance camera for a car parked in the front door, driveway, garage, on the side of the street, or apartment parking lot.

This parked car security camera is a battery-powered and motion-activated video camera with color night vision, which makes a great alternative to monitor cars and trucks in places with no power.

It features 4MP HD videos, PIR motion sensor, rechargeable battery (optional solar powering), starlight night vision, 2-way audio, motion alerts, motion recordings and live view on apps.

It also acts as a car alarm with a camera or car break-in camera for underground overnight parking as it sounds a loud siren in case of car break-in or car theft.

The most recommended way of installation is to have it up on the wall, soffit, the overhang of the roof, or under the eave while pointing at the parked cars.

Below is a video captured by the WiFi version of the car security camera ZOSI 1NC-291 — a car crashed into another car of the user’s front yard.

4MP Wireless Battery Powered PT Secrity Camera - 1NC-291

  • 4MP Super HD
  • Long Battery Life
  • Customize PIR Alert
  • 360° HD View
  • Flexible Mounting
  • Enhanced Night Vision

2. Best Outdoor Driveway/Parking Lot HD Security Camera for Your Cars – ZOSI 1NC-298

For those who are looking for CCTV car security cameras to keep an eye on their vehicles parked on the driveway/two-car garage that is relatively distant from where they live, say, 10 meters, ZOSI 1NC-298 works extraordinarily well.

It shoots 2MP high-resolution images and captures up to 100 feet at night, which is sharp and clear enough to recognize faces and license plate numbers during the daytime.

Besides, this car surveillance camera can also pan 355°, tilt 90° and zoom 4 times optically to take a sweep on the premise and auto-patrol 24/7 non-stop.

It’s one of the best surveillance cameras out there to monitor vehicles, front door, large parking area, underground parking garage, driveway, detached garage or apartment parking lot.

For example, this user installs ZOSI outdoor car security camera 1NC-298 in the front door to keep an eye on the parked car in front of the house.

8MP PTZ Wifi Outdoor Camera With Dual Lens - 1NC-298

  • 4MP+4MP Dual Lens
  • Dual Lens Achieves Ultra-wide Field Of View
  • AI Person Detection and Auto Tracking
  • Starlight Color Night Vision
  • Smart Motion Alerts Push
  • Two-way Audio & Customize Voice Alerts
  • SD Card Storage & Cloud Storage

3. Best Driveway/Garage Wireless Security Camera for Cars – ZOSI 1NC-188

ZOSI 1NC-188 is a solid-built wireless outdoor automobile security camera so that you don’t have to run a network cable to hook it up for remote viewing or motion alerts.

It works great to keep an eye on cars parked near detached garage doors, parking garage, or fenced gate where you had trouble securing.

This car CCTV camera features 4MP HD videos, dual-band WiFi, up to 85ft night vision, smart motion detection, intelligent alerts and viewing on mobile phones.

To get a good shot of the faces of thieves or burglars trying to break into, vandalize, or steal your cars parked about 20 to 30 feet from the house, mount the vehicle security camera to the soffit or second-story eave or window.

Effective Tips for Preventing Car Theft & Break-in

It is reported that 773,139 vehicles were stolen in 2017, increased by 0.8 percent from 767,290 vehicles in 2016. One motor vehicle theft was reported every 40.9 seconds in the United States.

For those whose cars have been on an incredible lucky streak and have never been burglarized over the years, it’s essential to keep an extra pair of eyes on your parked car starting from now.

Besides installing car security cameras, there are also other easy and inexpensive ways for you to protect your vehicles against theft and vandalism.

  • Lock your car at all times even you’re driving or just leave for a few minutes.
  • Park your car in well-lit areas and close all the windows.
  • Install a car anti-theft system or a car alarm.
  • Insure your car.
  • Never leave valuables in your car.

Editor’s Tip: Learn more about effective car theft prevention tips and what to do when your stolen is stolen.


Car security cameras offer a range of benefits, serving as a valuable tool for personal and official use. In addition to enhancing security, they promote better driving habits by reminding drivers of constant surveillance. These cameras have proven instrumental in thwarting criminal activities and aiding investigations, providing crucial evidence for law enforcement.

With the increasing need for advanced technology to protect personal property and enhance safety, car security cameras are essential, whether for rideshare drivers ensuring passenger safety or individuals safeguarding their vehicles.

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