Aftermarket Rear View Backup Cameras are becoming more and more the norm when it comes to safety features in newer cars. They really do come in handy. But even so, not all cars have them. If you’re the type to carry your insurance card in case there are any accidents, you may want to get with the times and get yourself an aftermarket rear view backup camera!
Most newer cars have this feature built-in. The US, for example, has required all cars manufactured from May 2018 and onwards to have backup cameras to minimize accidents. However, older cars were not covered by this federal regulation, which means that you’re not legally required to retrofit your car. But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think of adding this worthy upgrade!
In addition to minimizing accidents, backup cameras can help you park better in tight spaces and helps you record accidents if they occur.
First up on our list is the Yada BT55376T-2 Backup Camera.
Billed as a midrange backup camera, the BT55376T-2 comes at an attractive price point for the features that it has.
Described by the manufacturers themselves as a wireless backup camera designed to “eliminate blind spots”, the BT55376T-2 lets users display footage from as many as two cameras using its 5-inch windshield-mounted display. This means that users can order an extra camera that they can use to see what’s in front of them at the same time as they’re backing up.
The BT55376T-2 also comes with everything that you need to have it installed right out of the box, and because it’s wireless, installation is easy. The company even has tutorial videos available on their website to help you through the process.
The camera itself is powered by the vehicle’s reverse light with the backup camera mounting seamlessly over most license plates.
As for the image quality, it’s above-average. It’s not the best, but it’s also better than what you’ll find in most OEM systems installed in newer lower-priced vehicles. This is especially evident in low-light situations where many OEM systems struggle.
Dirt cheap and reliable don’t usually go together, but that’s exactly why the LeeKooLuu Backup Camera and Monitor Kit made it into our list.
As cheap as a complete set of authentic lugnuts (if not cheaper), this backup camera punches well above its weight.
It can be powered either by your car’s reverse lights or can also be powered via your cigarette lighter or another 12v source fuse box in case you want to see what’s behind you all of the time.
Speaking of seeing, the camera has a 150-degree viewing angle with 720p image quality and comes with a 4.3-inch monitor that you can attach either to your dashboard or windshield.
So long as you’re willing to jump through hoops to install this backup camera system -- many users complain about the tedious installation process -- this backup camera will give you your money’s worth.
If you’re on the road a lot and you want comprehensive, reliable protection for yourself and your car, then the Auto-Vox A1 is the best aftermarket rear view backup camera for your car.
The Auto-Vox A1 does everything that a backup camera should, and then some. In fact, it’s not just a back-up camera. It’s also an alarm system, and a dashcam, all rolled into one. The best part? It comes with a 9.8-inch, touch-sensitive screen that you can strap directly on top of your car’s rear view mirror for easy installation.
Both the rear-facing and front-facing camera records at high-resolutions where it automatically saves the videos it captures into an optional SD card. You can also point the front-facing camera towards inside the cabinet if you already have a separate dash cam installed.
The Auto-Vox A1 also comes with a built-in G-force meter. This means that it will automatically capture and save the video whenever a collision is detected, regardless of whether you’re on the go or your car is parked.
Just keep in mind though that parking monitoring requires a hardware kit that’s separate from what’s included in the default package.
The only downside here is that the Auto-Vox A1 is not cheap. However, when you consider how expensive buying a dash cam and a back-up camera is separately, with an alarm on top of that, then it’s a bargain price for drivers who are always on the road.
If you’re already part of the Garmin ecosystem, the Garmin BC 40 could very well be the best aftermarket rear view backup camera for your car.
A true wireless backup camera, Garmin designed this device works with a satellite navigation system. This means that you won’t have to wire it to anything or anywhere. All you need to do is to snap the camera onto the rear of your vehicle with two AA batteries (Garmin recommends using lithium batteries) equipped and that’s it.
There’s no drilling or mounting involved. It is that simple.
The only problem is that you’ll need a Garmin-compatible headunit to display the video that this backup camera captures.
As for the camera itself, it has a 150-degree viewing angle and a 720p video quality. It is also IPX7 certified, which means it can withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy rains and snow. As an added bonus, the BC 40 also supports voice commands.
While the BC 40 definitely isn’t cheap, especially when you consider the fact that you’ll have to spend on a Garmin display on top of it, it’s not half-bad either.
If you’ve already spent a fortune on a top-tier headunit and can’t be bothered to spend any more on a backup camera, the eRapta ERT01 is as good as it gets.
It’s not waterproof. However, it does come with a waterproof ring. This means that, basically, it is waterproof. Also, the 149-degree viewing angle is good enough for most people. Not to mention, the camera has auto lighting LED capabilities that give you enough visibility when backing into the dark.
Sure, it doesn’t come with a monitor, nor is the camera splendid. You’ll also have to be very careful when installing the ERT01. But, again, you’d have to consider how affordable the ERT01 is.
The truth is, for all that you’re giving up, the ERT01 gives you so much more for its price.
Versatile backup cameras don’t come cheap. There’s a premium price tag that usually comes with backup cameras that do more than just let you see what’s behind your car.
We say usually because exceptions do exist.
A good example of this is the ToGuard 7-inch Backup Camera.
Equipped with a 1080p front cam and a 480p rear camera that can be used to record all-around footage of your vehicle simultaneously, this backup camera is an absolute bargain as its priced at the same price point as other backup cameras that only have one function. The best part? It comes with a 7-inch touch screen monitor that you can just snap onto your car’s stock rear view mirror for easy access.
So long as you’re willing to put in the sweat equity installing the backup camera, you’ll be saving tons of money with it.
A back-up camera and a chrome-plated heavy-duty license plate all rolled into one, the Esky Licensed Plate Backup Camera might just be the best aftermarket rear view backup camera for your car as far as value goes.
Performance-wise, this back-up camera doesn’t lag behind. Despite its relatively low asking price, the camera comes with a CMOS PC1030 image sensor for better color sensitivity, as well as a macro lens that’s good for a viewing angle of 170 degrees.
The camera isn’t just a solid performer, it’s solid all-around. It’s IP67 waterproof and comes with 8 infrared LED lights for better viewing during the night. The built-in scale lines also have a trapezoid electronic ruler that lets you measure the distance between you and whatever obstructions might be behind you more accurately.
While the overall quality of the camera might not be on par with more expensive models, keep in mind, this is a relatively cheap buy.
Considering that it lets you see as well as most stock backup cameras do, this backup camera is a really good buy that can also be installed in a single afternoon on your own.
Why You Should Buy a Backup Camera For Your Car
Backup cameras make reversing easier
While we still recommend learning how to reverse the “old” way, there’s no denying that it’s far more convenient to reverse into a spot or back into your driveway if you have a clear view of what’s around your rear bumper.
Having a backup camera gives you that extra pair of eyes that you otherwise wouldn’t have.
Collisions are less likely to happen with a backup camera
In addition to giving you extra visibility, many backup cameras also come with added features. This includes guidelines to make parking easier, as well as alarms or ways to show that something is on the way. This then allows you enough time to take the right corrective measure to prevent a potentially catastrophic accident.
You’ll be saving a lot more money with a backup camera
Unless you bought a newer car, your car likely won’t have a backup camera installed. This means that it’s an added expense. However, the extra cost is nowhere near as big as what you would have saved if you hit another vehicle while backing out, or in worse cases, you hit another person and had to pay for their medical bills.
Driving is so much easier with a backup camera
Driving is a stressful experience. Even the most experienced drivers will tell you that.
While having a aftermarket rear view mirror backup camera won’t prevent all accidents, it can give you a better view of your surroundings and warn you of any potential hazards. This can make driving an easier and enjoyable experience, especially for beginners.
You’re less likely to fall victim to fraud or crime with a backup camera
Your aftermarket rear view backup camera system serves as your evidence to make it easier to find which party is at fault in case of an accident. It can also act as evidence in case someone runs away after hitting your car while it’s parked. Not to mention, it can act as a deterrent for car thieves.
The Different Types of Rear View Backup Cameras
RV Backup Cameras
These are backup cameras commonly used in RVs and other bigger vehicles. Some people refer to them as the “box” camera.
License Plate Cameras
The way that these cameras are designed is that you have to mount them on top of your rear license plate. This makes them universally compatible.
Most modern rear view backup cameras are mounted directly into the bumper itself. In newer cars, they have small removable pieces where these types of backup cameras can slot in easily. However, for older vehicles, it is possible to drill these cameras into the rear bumper in a way that they won’t stand out and look obvious.
“Ice Cube” Cameras
Named because of their size, these “ice cube” cameras are not commonly used in automobiles. Instead, they’re preferred by bicycle users, as well as motorcycle enthusiasts.
How to Choose the Best Rear View Backup Camera
There are two simple steps that you can follow to help you choose the best aftermarket rear view backup camera for your car.
Step 1: How Do You Want to View Your Backup Camera?
Backup cameras need a screen to plug into. Otherwise, where will you view their video and/or audio output?
Most newer vehicles usually come with touchscreen head units with backup cameras pre-installed. However, even in older vehicles, a touchscreen head unit may have already been installed out of the factory. It’s just that it doesn’t have a backup camera by default.
If that’s the case with your car, then you might want to check if the headunit is compatible with backup cameras.
Now, if, for example, your headunit is a bit older or it doesn’t support backup cameras, you have two options: buy a new headunit that supports backup cameras, or get a rear view-mounted backup camera.
The former is a good idea if you also want to upgrade your car’s older headunit.
Head units come with a variety of functions. This includes adding Bluetooth support, hands-free streaming and calling, built-in GPS function, and so much more. As such, it won’t be such a bad idea to invest in a backup camera along with a new head unit. But, at the same time, it can get quite expensive, and it is possible that you’re already content with what your headunit has to offer.
If that’s the case, a rear view-mounted backup camera is not a bad idea.
The good thing about rear view-mounted backup cameras is that there’s no adjustment period involved. Most of us are already used to looking at your rear-view mirrors when reversing. This only makes it way easier. Not to mention, some rear view-mounted backup cameras are capable of providing constant rear-view video output, which means that you can still see what’s going on behind you even when you’re not reversing and driving out on the highway.
Some dashboard cameras also come with support for backup cameras. This means that you can have both a front-facing and a rear-facing camera installed at the same time, even viewing both simultaneously when necessary.
Step 2: What Kind of Features Will You Need?
In general, backup cameras are relatively small and inconspicuous, as well as weatherproof.
With that in mind, you’re better off considering other more “important” variables, such as:
This isn’t as important as most people make it out to be, but it’s still worth noting.
Both CCD and CMOS sensors are good enough for backup cameras. The main difference is that CMOS sensors consume less power and are more sensitive to image noise. Meanwhile, CCD sensors are better suited for lighting scenarios that are always changing.
There’s not a necessarily better answer for all drivers. It all depends on your typical driving conditions.
Backup cameras have different ways of integrating parking lines into their list of features.
Some have “selectable parking lines” where you can choose to toggle the parking lines on and off. This can come in especially handy if you don’t like using parking lines, or your headunit has a parking lines feature already. But, if you’re looking for something that’s a bit more robust, you can look into backup cameras with “active parking lines” that bends along with your steering wheel and actively tries to predict where you’re going when driving in reverse.
Backup cameras can come with viewing angles as low as 100 degrees and as expansive as 190 degrees. Some even have wider views.
As a recommendation, the smallest angle of view that we could consider as safe is 120 degrees. However, the more expansive the view is, the safer it is, which is why we won’t stop you if you plan on spending more on a backup camera with a 190-degree view of what’s behind your car.
The best aftermarket rear view backup camera for your car should have a viewing angle of around 160 to 190 degrees.
Most backup cameras have no problems seeing in the day. It’s at night when things get tricky.
You’ll want something that can output clear video even when there’s little to no light behind you.
The best aftermarket rear view backup cameras often come with additional LED lightings, or infrared lighting, that automatically powers on whenever you start driving in reverse.
As already mentioned earlier, there are different types of mounting styles for backup cameras.
We suggest doing your research carefully to see which type of mounting style is best for your type of car. However, in terms of safety, experts recommend doing an “OEM Fit” where the camera is mounted the same way most backup cameras are mounted on car models straight out of the factory.
Because they’re installed directly into the vehicle trim, cameras mounted this way provide a better view. The only downside is that this type of mounting style is considered more expensive compared to others.
Wired vs Wireless Backup Camera
This shouldn’t be considered as an afterthought. This is because wired and wireless backup cameras have their own pros and cons.
For one, wireless backup cameras are easier to install. You might even get away with installing them yourself, which can save you a lot of money, or allow for more money to be spent on a better model. However, using a wireless backup camera puts you at risk of signal interference and weak connections. This means that it won’t always be reliable.
On the other hand, wired backup cameras almost always need expert installation to be done properly.
The added benefit of using wired backup cameras is that they’re permanently wired into your car’s system. This guarantees that you’ll always have a strong connection and get a clear picture.
Back-up cameras are to your vehicle’s mirrors as airbags are to a seat belt. They’re not meant to replace. Rather, their main purpose is to complement already existing systems. This means that you shouldn’t totally rely solely on just your newly installed back-up camera. Instead, continue using your eyes, ears, and mirrors to drive safely and back-up like a real pro.
With that said, our picks should help guarantee that, regardless of your preferences, you’ll find the best aftermarket rear view backup camera for your car.