Soon, every new car sold will need to come standard with a rear-view camera already installed. It will no longer be an accessory; after all it’s a safety feature proven to save lives. It’s also a good way to ensure you don’t have to leave a “sorry, I hit your car!” note every time you park somewhere.
Rear-view cameras first became common about a decade ago. If your car didn’t come with one to begin with, don’t worry. There are plenty of aftermarket options to choose from. Here are some of the best backup cameras you can currently buy:
American Road RearVision
Why should you buy this? It’s quick to install and it works as advertised.
Our Pearl RearVision review
The Pearl RearVision Backup Camera, It’s not cheap but it works extremely well.
Who’s it for: Anyone who wants an extra pair of eyes while backing up.
How much it will cost: Around $399 (only available in the US at present)
Why we picked the American Road RearVision:
Formerly made by Pearl, the American Road RearVision certainly isn’t the cheapest rear-view camera on the market, but it’s by far the best one available for a number of reasons. Importantly, it’s remarkably easy to install. The camera is integrated into an elegant frame you can bolt around your license plate. We tested it and concluded it takes no more than five minutes to set up.
Once it’s installed, you need to download a purpose-designed smartphone application and plug the adapter into your car’s OBD2 port. It isn’t as feature-rich as some of the other backup cameras on the market, but it’s basic and it gets the job done without breaking the bank. The kit includes a screen, a camera, and the wiring required to install everything.
An adhesive strip attaches the camera right behind your car’s rear license plate. You can either install the screen on your dashboard or secure it to your windshield using a suction cup. Either way, plan on running a wire from the camera to the screen. Both source power from the reverse lights so you’ll need to do some splicing, too.
The water-proof camera offers a 170-degree viewing angle and a night vision function. Users report it’s relatively easy to install.
Yada Digital Wireless Backup Camera
Why should you buy this: You want a versatile mid-range backup camera.
Our Yada digital wireless backup camera review
The best versatile backup camera
The Yada Backup Camera has a 4.3″ Dash Monitor, the image quality is good and you can feed footage from two cameras to one screen.
Who’s it for: Motorists who need both front and back imagery.
How much it will cost: Around $120 – £56.71
Why we picked the Yada digital wireless backup camera:
Yada says it designed its wireless backup camera specifically to eliminate blind spots. It delivers great picture quality, wide viewing angles, and clear visibility in low-light situations. When we tested it, we noted the screen included in the kit is clearer than many OEM systems on the market today.
It’s not as straight-forward to install as Pearl’s RearVision. You’ll need to spend about 25 minutes from start to finish. Experience in wiring automotive electrical items is a plus but don’t worry if you’re a rookie. There are tutorial videos on the company’s site to walk you through the process step by step.
Yada’s coolest feature is the possibility to display footage from two cameras. You can order an external add-on camera that you can use as a baby monitor, as a backup camera for your trailer, or even as a front camera if you want to see what’s in front of you.
Why should you buy this: You don’t want a bulky screen on your dashboard.
The best backup camera for your rear-view mirror
Who’s it for: Those who want a stock-looking dashboard without distractions.
How much it will cost: Around $110 – £85.99
Why we picked the Auto-Vox T1400:
Hide your rear-view camera out of sight.
Most aftermarket backup cameras send footage either to an external screen or to your smartphone. That means you need to have something either sitting on top of your dashboard or attached to your windshield. If that’s not ideal, Auto-Vox’s T1400 is the solution for you.
It transmits footage from a camera (sold separately) positioned above the rear license plate to a small screen integrated into a rear-view mirror. The 4.3-inch unit is auto-dimming so you don’t need to worry about glare, and it shows parking guidelines for extra peace of mind.
Auto-Vox says the T1400 was designed to look right in any car it’s installed in. It’s compatible with a long list of models including cars made by Toyota, Volkswagen, and Chevrolet, but we recommend double-checking before ordering.
How We Test:
Our automotive team tests vehicles through a comprehensive scrutinizing process. We examine the qualities of the exterior and interior and judge them based on our expertise and experience in the context of the vehicle’s category and price range. Entertainment technology is thoroughly tested as well as most safety features that can be tested in controlled environments.
Test drivers spend extensive time behind the wheel of the vehicles, conducting real-world testing, driving them on highways, back roads, as well as off-road and race tracks when applicable.