This is a question we receive quite often from customers who have recently purchased their dashcam and now wonder if they need to unplug it at night or any other time for that matter.

Some owners want to leave it plugged in all the time as a security measure against someone trying to steal the dash cam but don’t want to start their vehicle.

Yes, it is okay to leave your dashcam plugged in all the time.

In fact, with the low power consumption of dash cams in general, your vehicle should leave the dash cam plugged in when the vehicle is off. 

With newer vehicles starting with a completely flat battery overnight or even during storage, a small draw on the battery overnight from a dashcam will help keep your battery healthy.

If you do decide to leave your dashcam plugged in overnight, be sure to select parking mode or motion detection mode; otherwise, there is no reason for it to be on overnight. 

Even if your vehicle’s battery is completely drained overnight, the dashcam will not be damaged in any way by being left wired into your vehicle or while you are away on holiday. 

An added benefit is that with dual voltage (12/24V) dash cams, you can easily switch between 12 and 24 volts by simply moving the supplied plug from 12 to 24 volts overnight. 

But remember to switch it back before you start your vehicle, or the dashcam will not turn on as it’s always expecting a voltage present.

All dash cams will go into standby mode if the voltage drops below a certain level. This is to prevent it from running down your vehicle’s battery.

Dash cams are designed with this “always-on” feature, so that’s why you can leave yours plugged in all the time.

Keep in mind, though, that if you keep a dash cam plugged into your cigarette lighter receptacle, it will continue to drain the power from your battery if you leave it plugged in a while not driving. Most not running vehicles experience less load on the electrical system than when the engine is running.

Dashcam With Battery:

Many dash cams have their battery backup so that they do not use the car’s battery. These are very popular, and you can leave them plugged in overnight for security or surveillance purposes.

Battery-operated Dashcams are useful in old models’ cars because they will not affect the car’s circuit and battery timing. You can purchase them as they are widely available and in-store as well.

If you accidentally forget to unplug your dashcam before driving, you can purchase a dashcam that automatically turns on when you start your car and turns off when you turn off your car.

Most people don’t drive long enough in one session to drain the battery from their vehicle or need to worry about this. Most owners who leave it plugged in during the night often wake up to a fully charged or nearly fully charged battery.

As always, though, we recommend you check with your vehicle’s manufacturer for proper ways of maintaining and caring for your battery so that it will keep a charge for as long as possible and stay in good working order.

If you leave it unplugged, the dashcam will not drain any power from your vehicle’s battery.

How Much Power Does a Dash Cam Use?

We can’t give you one exact answer because it depends on the dashcam. Some have a power source incorporated into the device itself, like a battery or a solar panel, if the device has that. If it doesn’t have any power source, then it’s going to take what you’re putting in to plug into your cigarette lighter socket and harness all of its energy until some circuit overloads. That means that you could potentially damage your car if your dashcam is plugged in and plugged into a certain circuit. If it’s plugged into a circuit that’s overloaded, then you’re going to have some problems. Not only will your car not work right, but you could have issues if you try to drive with a dashcam.

Many dash cams have an option for recording and still images, meaning they have sensors and other circuitry inside the device itself. Even if the camera itself is off, these sensors are still going to consume some power. You don’t want all of that energy harnessed when you’re not recording anything because it will draw from your car battery over time. Eventually, your battery will drain entirely.


Dashcams are also used as car security cameras, and they can be plugged in overnight when it is in parking mode. Though dash cams do not take much voltage, they can still affect your car’s battery if they are wired in for a long time. It is recommended to purchase those dashcams that have their battery backup to be more helpful.