Parking protection is a popular feature on many dash cams but we're often asked, just exactly, "what is it?" Does it help you park the car into a tight space? Does it record whilst you're parked? Read on for our beginners guide to parking protection or watch our video for an overview by the lovely Katie.

If you've ever returned to your car in a car park and noticed a dent in the door or even worse, dented and scratched panels, you'll immediately see the benefit parking protections can bring.

In a nutshell, parking protection is a mode on the camera which continues to record whilst you have parked and left your car. When the camera detects movement in front using motion detection or a shock using a built-in g-sensor, it will record and lock a file so you can play it back later should you need to.

If you're new to car cameras, they use loop recording so that when the memory card fills up it starts to over-write the oldest footage first, to keep the camera recording. However, a locked file is a video file which won't get over-written when the card fills up. Generally speaking, parking protection video files are locked so you don't lose the footage after a few hours of driving. Many cameras also lock files when you experience a sudden change in direction or shock.

Depending on the camera, they usually save the video around 30 seconds before and after the motion/shock was detected. This ensures you have enough video of what happened at the time of the incident. Most cameras will automatically enter into parking protection mode after a few minutes without moving or when the car ignition is switched off but some require you to press a button to manually turn on parking protection mode as you leave your car parked.

Parking protection gives you peace of mind that if your vehicle is damaged when parked up, you can identify and bring the guilty person to justice and avoid claiming on your car insurance or paying for the repairs yourself. The footage can be used for tracking the driver down with the DVLA, making an insurance claim, or reporting the incident to the police. Of course, there is no guarantee that you'll capture the culprit on camera but you never know. We know at first had how important parking protection can be - check out this video from a camera installed in one of our cars:

For cameras with multiple lenses such as a BlackVue DR550 or the Mi-Witness, the motion detection works for both the front and rear of the car and both angles are recorded and locked for playback later. This can help improve the chances of recording the incident and finding the person at fault.

For parking protection to work effectively, you will need a permanent power supply to the camera rather than connecting via the cigarette lighter socket. Some cameras do have internal batteries but at best they'll only last an hour, so your recording time will be limited. By hard-wiring the camera to the car battery using one of the hard-wiring kits available you'll be able to provide permanent power to the camera whilst protecting the battery from discharge.

Depending on where you park, the camera may record lots of footage so you will need to be mindful that the memory card doesn't fill up with locked files. Some cameras will simply stop recording and others will start to overwrite the oldest locked files first so make sure to check the camera regularly and unlock any files which you do not need.

To sum up, parking protection offers video surveillance around the car when the camera detects movement or shock which can be vital in giving you the evidence you need should something happen to your car whilst parked up. There are lots of camera which offer parking protection so browse our full range of dash cams with parking protection.