LAST UPDATED: June 12, 2018

The Best Car Alarms For Better Security

Best Choice Scytek A15 Keyless Entry Car Alarm Security Scytek A15 Keyless Entry Car Alarm Security System]
Premium Pick Meterk Car Alarm Meterk Car Alarm System
Best Value Banvie Car Alarm Banvie Car Alarm System

Cars come with their respective door locking systems. But this is usually not enough to deter would-be car thieves. Having a car alarm can help improve the security of your vehicle. And while modern cars already have their own built-in car alarm system fully-installed, sometimes you may want to give it the kind of personality that you require or you simply want to upgrade the level of security for greater peace of mind. The catch is you’ve got to make the right pick when it comes to the best car alarms. You don’t need to worry as we’ve got you covered.

Best Rated Car Alarms in 2021:

The Scytek A15 Keyless Entry Car Alarm Security System is a user-friendly, straightforward alarm with some cool high-tech features. It comes equipped with two five-button one-way remote controls with built-in parking light relays. It also features a built-in dual-zone impact sensor. The six tone siren is loud and powerful. It’s also got an easy plug-and-play installation process.

This unit also allows you to connect to the MobiLink G3 app so that your car can be tracked by your smartphone. You also get priority unlocking with the driver’s side door on the first click of the remote and the passenger side on the second. The remote also allows you to control two vehicles, not just one. One drawback is that this unit doesn’t feature a remote starting option, but for the price, it’s still a great choice. Installation instructions are also lacking in detail.

Key Features
  • Dual-remote car alarm system
  • Smartphone compatible with G3 mobile GPS app
  • Two vehicle operation with one remote
  • Plug-in programmable user override
  • Plug-and-play installation
Specification
  • Brand Scytek
  • Model 8542136448
  • Weight 10.4 ounces

The Meterk Car Alarm System gets a nod for being a well-priced and well-equipped universal car alarm that features multi-level arming and great reliability. It comes equipped with an easy to install control box and a loud auxiliary alarm that’s sure to attract attention. Dual remotes are straightforward and easy to use. They offer a working distance of up to 328 feet and feature remote door locking and unlocking and trunk release. This system also comes equipped with a light flashing output.

All necessary wiring and instructions are included, but you may want to consider a professional install if you’re new to wiring car alarm systems. The instructions are a little confusing for some novice users. This alarm system also doesn’t feature smartphone compatibility or remote starting, like some other higher end models do.

Key Features
  • Universal car alarm system works with most vehicles
  • Dual remote control acces
  • Multi-level arming
  • Remote trunk release
  • Loud alarm with flashing light output
  • 328-foot working distance on remote control
Specification
  • Brand Meterk
  • Model K13082-7
  • Weight 24.02 ounces

If you’re in the market for a comprehensive and high-performance car alarm system, the Banvie Car Alarm System won’t disappoint and won’t break the bank. This kit comes with everything you need to completely install and activate a multi-feature car alarm that will keep your vehicle protected. It features two remote controls that offer locking, unlocking, trunk release, remote starting, a car finding feature, and more. The system also is also equipped with an economical function that will automatically shut down your remotely started vehicle after 15 minutes if the driver does not step on the brake pedal.

If your car functions with a chip key, you will need to purchase a bypass module separately in order to work the remote start function. The alarm on this unit is not as loud as some other models, and installation can be quite complicated. Consider having it installed by a pro. For the cost, however, this is a great budget-friendly alarm system.

Key Features
  • Dual-remote car alarm system
  • Remote start capability
  • Emergency override
  • Built-in car finding feature
  • Central door locking automation
  • Illegal door opening alarm
Specification
  • Brand Banvie
  • Model ST807
  • Weight 2.12 lbs

For folks who simply don’t like complicated diagrams of connecting one’s remote car starter and security system on one’s vehicle, the CarLock is a great option. It’s a smartphone app-based car alarm system that utilizes the OBD2 data link connector on your vehicle. Its plug-and-play design allows for exceptional convenience in getting the system up and running in no time.

Sensors via the CarLock OBD2 unit can monitor unusual vibrations or even tampering with the unit, giving you instant notification. It even monitors on-road driving dynamics such as hard acceleration and braking, sharp cornering and turning, and many more. Since the system is plugged to your OBD, CarLock gives you a visual feedback to your car battery status and so much more. Its built-in GPS makes trip tracking a lot more convenient. That said, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee for the service. At least you’ll get the first month absolutely free.

Key Features
  • Smartphone app-based car security and alarm system
  • On-road dynamics tracking and monitoring
  • Multiple sensors for instant notification on mobile device
  • Onboard virtual mechanic
  • OBD2 Plug and Play
Specification
  • Brand CarLock
  • Model OBD100
  • Weight 1.76 oz

Viper is well-known in the industry for making top-of-the-line car alarm systems, and the Viper 5305V 2 Way LCD model is no exception. It combines high-tech features with rugged equipment to produce the ultimate in functionality and reliability. This unit features a four-button one-way LCD remote, a two-way LCD pager remote, and a remote start feature that can be operated from up to 1/4 mile away for added comfort and security. The LCD display on the remote is large and bright, making it easy to see in all kinds of light. The remotes allow you to control multiple functions on up to two separate vehicles.

This alarm is able to be silenced with the remote and you can choose to receive alerts about activity silently on the remote control with the sirenless arming feature. This system is one of the priciest on our list. It’s got all the bells and whistles you could possibly want or need from a high-quality alarm system. That said, installation can be very confusing and definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re new to installing, you may consider hiring a professional to save yourself time and frustration.

Key Features
  • Keyless and remote start capabilities
  • Two transmitter combo: LCD and standard
  • Multi-level security
  • Active and passive arming
  • Panic mode
  • Remote silencing and notifications
Specification
  • Brand Viper
  • Model 5305V
  • Weight 2 lbs

Another well-performing alarm that’s offered at a refreshingly reasonable price point is the Prestige APS25Z One-Way Security System. It includes two three-button one-way remote controls that offer an impressive operating distance of up to 800 feet. It’s capable of disabling your car’s starter quickly and confidently from a safe distance. The remote start function works great from a large distance as well. You also get an intrusion alert with memory, a parking light flasher, a sensitive dual-stage shock sensor, and more, all wrapped up in a relatively easy to install package.

As with most other car alarm systems, if your vehicle has a chip in the key, you’ll need to purchase a bypass module separately, which does add to the overall cost of the unit. The accessory lock and unlock feature on this alarm can’t be disabled as with some other alarm systems. It does get high marks for being able to be operated from farther than it’s promised distance, though.

Key Features
  • One-way car alarm system
  • Dual three-button remotes
  • Dual-stage shock sensor
  • Accessory lock and unlock
  • Automatic remote starting
Specification
  • Brand Prestige
  • Model APS25Z+Magnet
  • Weight 1.57 lbs

The new and updated Avital 5305L 2-Way Remote Auto Car Starter Alarm Security System replaces the well-reviewed and highly rated 5303L. It includes the same great features like the two-way LCD four-button backlit remote control, but this one adds high-tech upgrades like tone and vibe modes as well as Zone ID. You can even get command confirmations and event notifications through the LCD remote. This system also comes equipped with compatibility with Directed SmartStart. It features a fail-safe starter interrupt, a one-way four-button remote, panic mode, dual-zone impact sensors, and a revenger siren, making this one of the most comprehensive alarm systems on our list.

For the price, this is one of the best alarms you can get on the market currently. Another upgrade to this newer model is that you can control up to four different vehicles now instead of just two. This can be confusing initially to some, who tend to think their remote isn’t working properly because they’ve got it set to the wrong vehicle.

Key Features
  • Can control up to four vehicles
  • Two transmitters with 1500 feet range
  • Fail-safe starter interrupt
  • Loud revenger siren
  • Directed SmartStart compatible
Specification
  • Brand Avital
  • Model 5305L
  • Weight 2.46 lbs

The Python 5305P 2-Way LCD Security & Remote-Start System is one of the company’s top security plus remote start products. It’s a high-tech system that includes an aggressive Neo Revenger six-tone siren that’s sure to get some attention in any situation. It’s also equipped with four auxiliary channels and horn honk capability. The Stinger DoubleGuard shock sensor is sensitive, but not overly so. With this system, you get a two-way four-button LCD remote control and a one-way four-button remote that can function from up to 1/4-mile away. The 2-way function lets you confirm commands given for both remote starting and security functions.

This alarm system is designed to be relatively quick and easy to install, with onboard remote start relays and separate ESP2 and D2D ports. This system is also Directed SmartStart compatible so you can operate it with your smartphone from almost anywhere. One drawback is that the wiring harness included in the installation kit is not long enough to be used in all vehicles, so you may need to purchase another one in order to properly install your alarm.

Key Features
  • Includes two-way, four-button LCD remote
  • 1/4-mile operating range
  • Directed SmartStart compatible
  • Neo Revenger six-tone siren
  • Onboard remote start relay
  • Includes one-way companion remote
Specification
  • Brand Python
  • Model 5305P
  • Weight 2.59 lbs

Best Car Alarm Buying Guide & FAQ

Key Features to Consider

Picking the right security system to install in your vehicle can be tricky. The best car alarms usually have the following features that you might want to consider.

Multiple sensors

There are many ways in which a modern car can be tampered with. It may come from the door, the windows, or even be lifted onto a different platform, just to name a few. Having sensors in each of these possible ‘tampering’ points is crucial to keeping your ride fully secure.

alarm for car

For instance, a system with door sensors will help deter any unlawful activity at the various doors including the trunk and hood of your vehicle. But this is not really enough since some car thieves don’t necessarily have to access the door to get your vehicle. This is why you also need other sensors in your car alarm system.

Window sensors detect the sound of a window glass being smashed or broken. Pressure sensors detect changes in air pressure inside the vehicle cabin. As the windows or doors are opened, air from the outside will rush in, changing the air pressure inside and setting off the alarm. Motion sensors utilize radar to detect any form of movement within the vicinity of the car, triggering the alarm if the ‘subject’ gets too close. Lastly, there are tilt sensors which help trigger the alarm in case your vehicle is lifted at a particular angle such as when it is being towed away.

Two-way remotes

Most modern cars come with standard 1-way car alarm remote that don’t give you feedback whether the action you wanted the system to do has been duly accomplished. That’s where 2-way systems come in. These systems provide feedback in the form of light or message notification that the car has been started, the radio has been turned on, or that the air conditioning or heating system has been activated. At least, when you do get to your car you’ll be ready to go. It’s two-way communication. The car alarm unit receives instructions from your remote and sends information back to it.

Encrypted transmission

It is very rare to see car thieves still going for the slim jim or crowbar method. Many thieves today use state-of-the-art signal hacking equipment to bypass the digital security of car alarms. But if you get a system that comes with the encrypted transmission, then it will be a lot more difficult for car hackers to take your car.

Mobile app-compatibility

Many car alarm manufacturers today have dedicated mobile apps to allow car owners to easily use their smartphones to control and manage the security system in their vehicles. Some even come with OBD2 compatibility allowing you to run a variety of diagnostics to maintain the optimum performance of your car and keep you abreast of anything that might affect its functionality.

Benefits of Owning a Car Alarm

While car alarm systems don’t necessarily prevent your car from getting stolen, they do provide a host of benefits. Here are some of them.

Deters would-be car thieves

Car alarm systems will not prevent car thieves from stealing your car or the valuables inside it. However, they will really have to think twice before they do so since they’d have to be especially quick in carrying out their plans before anyone notices the glaring siren from the vehicle complete with flashing lights designed to attract attention.

Lowers cost of insurance premiums

Insurance companies base their computations on a variety of factors including the road-worthiness of your vehicle and its security. If they know that you don’t have a security system in your car you can always expect your insurance premium to be a lot higher.

Makes it easy to track or manage stolen vehicles

Some car alarm systems come with built-in GPS devices that allow you to easily track the vehicle’s whereabouts. There are also models that are connected to the car’s engine, cutting power to the engine so that the car thief won’t run away with your car. The best part is that all of these can be managed on your smartphone or some other similar device.

Bumps up the resale value of your car

Thinking of selling your car? Well, if it has an excellent car alarm and security system you can easily command a more respectable price. Potential buyers know that they have a security that they can rely on to safeguard their investment.

Car Alarm Installation

Installing an alarm and security system in your car is quite easy as long as the accompanying documentation is easy to understand. It often helps to read the wiring diagram of your car so you will know which ones to pull out and connect to the wirings on the car alarm. Once you’ve got a clear idea of what panels and wirings to access you’re ready with the next step, installing your car alarm unit.

Mount the alarm unit somewhere inside your dashboard, under your seat, or anywhere else that is clearly hidden from view. The point is for the alarm unit to be hidden so that thieves will not be able to tamper with it.

car alarm system

Next, mount the siren on an accessible surface in your engine bay. Make sure that the siren will be pointing downwards to prevent water from damaging the voice coil. Most car owners mount the siren on the firewall to make it a lot easier to connect to the alarm unit inside the car. You can also mount it in an area where there’s an existing hole for other wires to pass through. This eliminates the need for drilling a separate hole.

On your car alarm unit, run the valet switch, LED lights, and external antenna before connecting everything to the siren. Next is to connect the different sensors such as those on your door, dome light, trunk, and hood, just to name a few. Lastly, hook up the alarm unit to its power source to get it up and running.

Type of Car Alarm

Choosing the best car alarm for your vehicle usually means understanding the different types of car alarm systems. Currently there are 3 types.

Audible Alarms

These are the most basic car alarms. You’ve got sensors that trigger a really loud siren hat can get everyone within a city block fully awake. These sensors are placed in certain parts of the car’s body detecting for any disturbance. The good news is you can set the sensitivity levels of these sensors so they won’t trigger the alarm with a mere gust of wind.

Active vs. Passive

Passive alarm systems arm themselves automatically as soon as the ignition has been turned off and the last open door has been shut close. On the other hand, active systems require the ‘active’ input from the car owner to arm or disarm the alarm and security system.

2-way Paging Systems

These car alarm systems are a remarkable improvement to the conventional 1-way system. Instead of merely relying on the sound or flash of light that indicates an action has been performed on your car, 2-way systems bring the information right into the fob on your key ring. Many systems come with LCD modules to allow for a more visual feedback system.

Best Car Alarm FAQ:

Q:  Will car alarms drain my battery?

A:  The short answer is, yes it can drain the battery. Depending on the various car systems that are connected to the car alarm – lights, horn, etc – you can actually drain the battery in several hours. Again, it all depends on the number of car accessories that are set to go off together with the alarm and how much power these systems will be draining from the battery. Also, you have to take note that your car’s battery may not actually have a full charge by the time the car alarm is set off. Some batteries actually discharge at a monthly rate of about 30%. You need to factor these, too.

Q:  Can car alarms turn off by themselves?

A:  It usually depends on the make and model of the car as well as the car alarm system installed. Some alarms can go on for up to 3.5 hours while some will only take about a minute or two before they automatically shut-off. Many on internet forums say that car alarms don’t turn off by themselves. The only time that they will turn off is when there’s no more juice from the battery.

Q:  Can a car alarm be disconnected?

A:  Car alarms often have emergency override mechanisms to allow them to be shut off. In case there isn’t, you can easily disconnect a car alarm by removing the system’s fuse in your car’s fuse box. If this doesn’t work, you can disconnect the cable on the negative terminal of the car’s battery. Of course, this means you will also not have electrical power for your other accessories. You will also not be able to start your car. But the point is, yes car alarms can be disconnected since they will still be connected to a power source. Removing the power source essentially disconnects the car alarm.

Q:  Should I install the car alarm myself or professionally?

A:  Depending on the model or type of car alarm and security that you are going to install, you’ll have a much better chance of success when you have it professionally installed. This is especially true if there are connections that have to be made with the other electronic components or accessories of your car such as the stereo, windows, heating and air conditioning, and lights among other things. But if you’re pretty confident about your knowledge of car electrical systems, then you can easily follow the instructions on the car alarm owner’s manual.

Our Top Pick

When it comes to a great combination of high-tech performance, durability, reliability, and price, our top pick has to be the Scytek A15 Keyless Entry Car Alarm Security System. It’s a user-friendly, straightforward alarm that comes equipped with two five-button one-way remote controls with built-in parking light relays. It also features a built-in dual-zone impact sensor. The six tone siren is loud and powerful. It’s also got an easy plug-and-play installation process. 

Don’t wait to become a victim of auto theft before deciding to purchase an affordable and sensitive car alarm system. It will give you not only the best chance of keeping your vehicle and your valuables safe, but will provide plenty of peace of mind no matter where you keep your car.

Related Post: Car Alarm Keeps Going Off: What To Do

Sources:

  1. 3 Common Types of Car Alarm Systems – Automotive Locksmiths
  2. Car Alarms – What You Need to Know Before You Buy – Hurricane Auto
  3. How to Pick an Alarm for Your Car – Your Mechanic