Do Dash Cameras Record When the Car is Off?

Dash cameras have become an essential part of a modern day fleet, providing a sense of security and accountability on the roads for drivers and fleets alike. However, a common question among dashcam users is whether these devices continue to record when the car is turned off. This is especially important for users that deal with security concerns off hours and want to have eyes on their lots at all times. The idea is to use Dash cameras for both fleet safety and as a video security system in the parking lots. In this blog post, we’ll explore the functionality of dash cameras and the benefits of recording even when the vehicle is parked. 

Do Dashcams Record All the Time?

Contrary to popular belief, dash cameras typically do not record continuously when the car is turned off. Most dashcams operate with the vehicle’s ignition system, starting and stopping recording when the engine is turned on or off, respectively. This design is intended to prevent unnecessary drain on the car’s battery when parked.

Benefits of Recording When Vehicle is switched Off:

While it may seem unnecessary for most users to have the dashcam system record when the car is parked and switched off, there are several advantages to having this feature:

Parking Incidents:

Recording while the car is off can capture incidents such as vandalism, hit-and-runs, or theft that may occur when the vehicle is parked. This footage can be invaluable for insurance claims and police investigations and to provide peace of mind for fleets.

24/7 Surveillance:

Continuous recording provides around-the-clock surveillance, enhancing the overall security of your vehicle and parking lot. It ensures that any suspicious activity in the vicinity of your parked car is documented at all times, and depending on the dash cam solution, can even trigger security alerts in real time

Peace of Mind:

Knowing that your dashcam is recording even when the car is off offers peace of mind, especially in crowded parking lots or unfamiliar neighborhoods. It can even act as a deterrent to potential thieves.

How to Ensure Your Dash Cam Records When Car is Off:

Device Configuration

First check if your camera system supports this type of settings via simple configurations. More advanced Dash Camera systems have special configurations and power savings features that will allow to continue recording after the engine is switched off. For example the WLI AI2020 DashCam solution supports this via configuration. Modern camera systems for fleets allow to proactively change configurations over-the-air (OTA)


Hardwiring your dashcam to the vehicle’s electrical system allows it to draw power even when the ignition is off. This usually requires professional installation or a specific hardwiring kit compatible with your dashcam model. Typically Dash Cams sense the engine status by being hard wired to the vehicle’s ACC (engine switch). A simple way to bypass this would be to short the ACC during installation that way it is always set to ON.

Parking Mode Activation:

Many modern dashcams come equipped with a parking mode feature. Ensure this function is activated in your dashcam settings to enable continuous recording when the car is parked.

Battery Protection:

Some dashcams have built-in voltage monitoring systems that prevent excessive battery drain. Adjust the settings to set a threshold voltage at which the dashcam will turn off to protect your car’s battery.


In conclusion, while dash cameras do not inherently record when the car is off, there are ways to enable this feature for added security. Whether it’s capturing parking incidents, providing 24/7 surveillance, or simply offering peace of mind, having your dashcam record when the car is stationary can be a valuable asset for any driver.

For more information on the benefits and costs of dashcam systems for your fleet, check out our related articles on Dashcam Costs and DashCam benefits

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