We've heard many car owners who were frustrated about their cars being broken in, keyed, vandalized (egged or scratched), or having car tires slashed or destroyed while parking on garage, driveway, street curbside or parking lots. To avoid being a victim of vehicle theft and vandalism, car surveillance cameras and car security systems are the ideal security solutions to help keep an eye on your parked cars, especially overnight parking.

Table of Contents:

When you are choosing a security camera to watch your car, here is what you need to notice:

Purpose Keep an eye on cars
Factors to Consider Power supply/network access, etc.
Prevention Install a car anti-theft system
Recommended Camera Reolink security cameras/systems

What Kinds of Car Security Cameras Work for You

Assuming many readers of this post are new to auto security cameras or searching for a good vehicle security camera.

Finding the car surveillance cameras or systems that can meet your demand or fit your budget is not always easy. Make sure you have taken these factors into account.

Power Supply of Car Security Cameras

There is not always a power outlet available near the parking lot or underground parking garage. True.

Or running wires is next to impossible to the spot where your car is parked overnight.

Well? There are a few alternatives.

You could consider a parked car security camera like motion sensor battery-powered car security cameras. Reolink Argus 2, for example, is a good-value wire-free car surveillance camera that requires no power source and no wirings.

Or the in-car security cameras like car spy/hidden cameras, nanny cams, parked car dash cams are also the idea options.

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Network Access

To view videos or get motion alerts when someone is trying to break into your car, you need network connection on both your phone and car surveillance cameras.

While the rub is that WiFi or internet is not always accessible or strong enough in many cases, say, underground parking lot, detached garage, apartment parking areas, outside on the street, driveway, or down the alley.

One way is to use a cellular car security camera like Reolink Go that works even without WiFi.

Or use a WiFi signal booster, for example, the Netgear WiFi range extender to enhance signal for WiFi car monitoring cameras.

And when you're choosing the car security cameras, go for the long-range wireless CCTV cameras or PoE security camera by running Ethernet cables to your driveway, front door, or garage.

Footage Storage of Car Surveillance Cameras

If you not only need the parked car security camera to catch car burglars in the acts, but also to get necessary video evidence to identify suspects and substantiate claims, a footage copy is paramount.

Therefore, a car security camera with cloud storage like Reolink Argus 2, a car security camera system with DVR/NVR that records 24/7 to a hard drive, or an interior car security camera that records motion events to a micro SD card, cloud server, or FTP, is proven helpful.

A real case: Nael found his brand-new car was somehow dented, thanks to the car security camera footage recorded by Reolink RLC-410W, he successfully found the car vandals.

Must-Have Features for Car Security Cameras

There are some not-to-miss features that come in handy for car monitoring video cameras.

    • Sharp video quality: The resolution of car security cameras should be at least 1080p for better identification.
    • Decent night vision: You'll be able to see more details even in total darkness (starlight or color night vision is awesome).

Reolink Argus 2

100% Wire-Free Starlight Camera

Rechargeable Battery & Solar Powered; Outdoor/Indoor Protection; 1080 Full HD; Starlight Night Vision; 2-Way Audio; Live View Anytime Anywhere.

  • Motion detection and alerts: Be alerted in real-time once the car camera system detects any human movement so that you'll miss any important events.
  • Live view via phone: keep tabs on your vehicles anytime and anywhere with a single tap on your phone.

Placement of Car Security Camera Systems

To better watch your parked car overnight, placement of outdoor car surveillance cameras, in-car video cameras, car spy camera matters.

For outdoor cameras to monitor cars parked in the driveway, garage, on the side of the street, curbside, or apartment parking space, consider installing them in well-lit areas and close to the parked car.

For example, this user installs Reolink outdoor car security camera RLC-410 in the front door to keep an eye on the parked car in front of the house. A shirtless guy was caught punching the car window in the middle of the night. Fortunately, the police managed to catch the guy soon with the car surveillance camera footage.

For video cameras or hidden camera inside a car or vehicle, place them on the dashboard like dashcam or attach it to the front of the car using suction cup mount.

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.

Best Value Car Security Camera – Reolink Argus 2

Reolink Argus 2 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 1080p 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.

Reolink Argus 2

100% Wire-Free Starlight Camera

Rechargeable Battery & Solar Powered; Outdoor/Indoor Protection; 1080 Full HD; Starlight Night Vision; 2-Way Audio; Live View Anytime Anywhere.

Editor's Tip: If you are looking for an extra pair of eyes around your parked car or vehicle in places with no WiFi and power, the car security camera with 4G cellular connectivity Reolink Go is a good starter kit.

Best Outdoor Driveway/Parking Lot HD Security Camera for Your Cars – Reolink RLC-423

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, Reolink RLC-423 works extraordinarily well.

It shoots 5MP high-resolution images and captures up to 190 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 360°, 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.

Below is a video captured by the WiFi version of the car security camera Reolink RLC-423 — a car crashed into the tree of the user's front yard.

Reolink RLC-423

PoE Waterproof PTZ Security Camera

5-Megapixel Super HD; 360° Pan & 90° Tilt ; 4X Optical Zoom; 190ft Infrared Night Vision; Smart Motion Detection; Remote Live View & Control.

Best Driveway/Garage Wireless Security Camera for Cars – Reolink RLC-410W

RLC-410W 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 100ft 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.

It's also an inexpensive security camera to watch your cars at an affordable price. Here is one video of the car break-in attempt shared by one of the Reolink users.

Reolink RLC-410W

Dual-Band Wireless Security Camera with Audio

5MP/4MP Super HD, Outdoor/Indoor Protection, Dual-Band WiFi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, Audio Recording, and SD Card Storage.

Best Home Camera for Watching Parked Cars – Reolink E1 Pro

Reolink E1 Pro is a popular nanny cam for car monitoring that can be used to face out windows looking down to the parking areas in an apartment complex, balcony, driveway, or rental house at day or sitting on the window overlooking cars parked down the alley or roadside at night.

It supports 1440p super HD videos, 44 ft decent night vision, pan and tilt, 2-way audio, motion detection and alerts to phone or email, motion recording to an SD card (up to 16 GB motion events) and live streaming on apps or computers.

Please make sure the car security camera is not pointed directly the glass window at night for it's likely to obscure the view because of the IR glare.

Reolink E1 Pro

Wireless Pan-Tilt Smart Home Camera

Smart, Powerful and Affordable All-Round Home Protection. 355° Pan and 50° Tilt; 4MP Super HD, Two-Way Audio, 2.4/5 GHz WiFi, with Google Assistant Integration.

Best Overall Car Security Camera System – RLK8-410B4

For homeowners who are looking for car camera systems to help monitor parked cars and home around the clock, RLK-410B4 is a best-overall car security camera system for such a purpose.

It comes with 4 HD PoE outdoor cameras RLC-410 and a network video recorder with the built-in 2TB hard drive so that users could outfit the house with this complete system.

Here is a video sample captured by Reolink RLK-410B4 car security system.

Reolink RLK8-410B4

8-Channel PoE Security System

4 pcs 5MP/4MP Security Cameras; 2TB HDD 8-Channel NVR for 24/7 Reliable Recording; Plug & Play; 2 Network Solutions.

Best Car Spy/Hidden Cameras

Many car owners turn to a covert spy camera for car surveillance. For example, a motion-activated hidden camera functions as a mirror, power charger, a book, Smartphone holder, black box, key fob or small fixtures.

Some put a spy camera in car rear mirror, car windshield or roof to help record activities for overnight parking.

Bear in mind that in some states, hidden or spy cam is illegal, especially spy cams with audio recording. Make sure you have understood relevant laws and regulations in question.

Dash Cams & Other Webcam Solutions

Other dash cams, such as 360? car camera systems, parked car security cameras, or webcams are popular for keeping tabs on your car after parking it on street, curbside or parking areas, for example, BlackVue dashcam kit.

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

  • Bo Huggabee

    i want something that can be put inside my car.

  • Tom Horn

    me too. and one that see my doors.

  • Daniel

    Garager is my go to. But this also looks nice.

  • Olivia

    Hello Jasmine, you may take a look at Reolink RLC-410, https://reolink.com/product..., a 5MP PoE security camera with SD card slot. So, when someone approaches your car, it will wake up in less than a second and record videos on-site. Check out the video footage captured by this security camera below. https://www.youtube.com/wat... And there will be a surprising 20% discount during Reolink’s Prime Day sales! Please feel free to contact me if you have any other question.

  • Olivia

    Hello Jasmine, by placing a security camera in your car, you may not be able to record clear videos since the motion sensor may not work properly behind the window and the view may be blocked by the seats and other items in your car. Also, it would be difficult to power up a security camera in the car for continuous recording. So, we don’t recommend you to place one in your car. Hope this would help.



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