A Complete Guide on Car Alarm Installation Cost

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2021

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What You Should Know

  • Installing an aftermarket car alarm increases vehicle security and lowers the chance of car theft
  • Car alarm systems are priced differently depending on the features and reliability, so choose the best one for your needs 
  • By installing a car alarm system, you receive the benefit of added security as well as a slightly lower insurance cost

While most new model cars are equipped with basic security systems, installing an aftermarket car alarm can provide your vehicle an extra layer of protection. Although some may argue an additional vehicle security system is an unnecessary expense, car theft statistics can speak for themselves.  

In 2020, vehicle thefts were up 9% in the United States, with more than 870,000 cars stolen.1 Many vehicle owners are wondering how to prevent car theft in light of these statistics. While no alarm system can completely guarantee you won’t fall victim to automobile theft, an aftermarket alarm can offer more effective car security and make your vehicle a less appealing option for car thieves. 

Keep reading to learn more about aftermarket car alarms, including how much they cost, how they differ from your car’s basic security features and the additional benefits they can provide. 

How Much Does a Car Alarm Cost?

The price of a car alarm system can vary depending on the type of system and the features it offers. For basic systems with an alarm and sensors, you can expect to pay about $100. However, more intricate systems that offer a wider range of features and enhanced reliability can cost you over $200.2

Some of the most common types of car alarm systems include: 

  • Active – This type of system requires you to touch a button in order to activate or deactivate your alarm. 
  • Passive – Unlike an active system, a passive alarm system automatically triggers when your engine is turned off, and your doors are locked. 
  • Audible – This type of system alerts you to a potential break-in with an audible alarm. 
  • Silent – Silent alarm systems discreetly alert you to a potential break-in, increasing your likelihood of catching the thief in the act. 
  • Immobilizing – With an immobilizing system, the vehicle’s key must be near the car in order for the car to start. 
  • GPS – A GPS tracking alarm system can help you locate your vehicle in the event that it’s stolen. Knowing where your car is can help you stay calm if your car is stolen, and you’re trying to determine how to report a stolen car as fast as possible. 

Car alarm systems can also be equipped with various security features. Some popular security features include:3

  • Sensors – Sensors trigger your car alarm system when something is amiss, such as sudden movement, pressure, tilting, or even broken glass. However, sometimes these sensors can work a little too well and set off the alarm at the slightest motion or touch. 
  • Sirens – Blaring sirens will alert you right away when someone is too close to your car or has made contact with your car. To help you differentiate your car’s alarm from other car alarms, you can choose a system that allows you to select a unique alarm sound for your vehicle.
  • Radio receiver – A radio receiver feature allows you to control your car wirelessly from a key fob. You can lock and unlock your doors and even set off your alarm siren with the most basic key fobs. Other radio receivers offer more complex features, such as the ability to remote start your car before you’re inside of it. 
  • Auxiliary battery – An auxiliary battery is a safety feature that allows your alarm to continue working if your car’s main battery is disconnected. An auxiliary battery is usually hidden and will activate when the car’s main power source is cut. 
  • Interior LED light – Aftermarket car alarm systems can feature a blue or red LED light that installs easily onto your dashboard. This shows others you have a car alarm system installed, which can help deter potential thieves. 

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How Much Does Car Alarm Installation Cost?

Once you’ve purchased your aftermarket alarm system, you’ll need to install it into your vehicle. If you try to tackle the job yourself, installation won’t cost you anything. However, if you’re investing in a car alarm, it’s wise to have it professionally installed. Due to their complexity, these systems require accurate installation in order to function properly. 

Car alarm installation prices vary depending on the type of system you purchase. A basic car alarm will cost between $50 to $200 to install, while a more complex system with extra features will likely cost between $100 to $450 for installation.4

Although the price tag for your alarm system and its installation will likely run you several hundred dollars, it’s nothing compared to the cost of losing your most significant investment—the car itself. 

Do Car Alarms Impact Insurance Costs?

For those wondering, “Does car insurance cover break ins?,” the answer depends on your type of coverage. By installing an aftermarket car alarm system, you can expect to spend slightly less when it comes to your insurance premium because insurers have a lower chance of having to pay you in the event your car is stolen or damaged. Depending on the type of system you choose, you may be able to save anywhere from $20 to $30 a year.5

But installing a car alarm system impacts more than your insurance premium—it also impacts your peace of mind. Features such as smartphone compatibility allow you to monitor your vehicle when you aren’t in it, double-check your locks, and receive immediate alerts if your car is disturbed, while GPS tracking features make it possible for you to find your car if it’s stolen.  

It’s also important to remember that car thieves look for the easiest vehicle to steal. With an LED light indicating you have a security system installed, thieves are more likely to pass up your vehicle for one without an alarm.

Choosing the Best Car Alarm System for Your Needs

Once you’ve decided to invest in a car alarm system, you’ll need to determine the type of system that will best suit your needs. You’ll also want to consider which additional features you’d like your system to have. While more advanced features are optional, you want to make sure your chosen system includes basic features that provide effective vehicle protection. 

Take a look at some of the features we recommend looking for when choosing the best car alarm system for you: 

  • Manufacturer’s warranty – It’s always a smart idea to receive a warranty on a product, especially when the product costs a significant amount. Look for car alarm warranties that guarantee any malfunctioning components will be repaired at no cost to you.
  • Alarm siren – If you live in a heavily populated neighborhood with many car owners, it can be helpful to look for a system with a customizable alarm siren. That way, you’ll always know whether it’s your car alarm blaring or someone else’s.
  • Sensors – Be on the lookout for various types of car alarm sensors. These can include motion sensors to detect movement near your car, glass break sensors to detect window break-ins, and tilt sensors that trigger your alarm system if someone tries to jack or tow your car. The more sensors your alarm system has, the more sensitive it will be, providing you with greater security. 
  • Auxiliary output – Auxiliary outputs allow you to operate additional vehicle functions, such as window controls or remote starters. Essentially, your alarm system will need as many auxiliary outputs as you want additional features. To save money in the long run, it’s a smart idea to purchase a system with sufficient outputs for all your alarm needs.
  • Driver’s side priority – This alarm system feature allows you to unlock the driver’s side door without unlocking the others. This can provide you with a greater sense of security whenever you’re walking to your car alone, as you won’t have to worry about someone jumping in the passenger’s side door when you unlock your car. 
  • Starter kill – The starter kill feature disables the car’s starter when the alarm system is armed. This means your car can’t be started even if a thief attempts to hotwire it. 
  • Smartphone compatibility – An alarm with smartphone compatibility allows you to control many of your system’s features remotely with your phone. This can include locking and unlocking your doors, starting your vehicle, and activating your lights. With this additional feature, you’ll never have to worry, “Did I lock my car?” Instead, you can simply check your phone and lock your car from there. 
  • GPS tracking – In the event your car is stolen, GPS tracking can help police quickly retrieve it. This can also help prevent your vehicle from being stripped down for parts or sold. Plus, GPS tracking can come in handy for those moments when you forget where you parked your car in a crowded lot.
  • Two-way alerts – This feature can improve your key fob or remote control range to ensure you know when your alarm is triggered and give you time to react quickly.

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Protecting your car from vehicle theft starts with prevention. With an effective aftermarket car alarm system, you can deter thieves from disturbing your vehicle and stop them in their tracks if they attempt to steal it. 

Protecting your car from just about everything else? For that, you’ll need the right auto insurance. At 4AutoInsuranceQuote, we compare insurance rates for you to ensure you find the best protection for the best price. Plus, we can help you find insurance companies that offer significant discounts for cars with alarm systems and other safety features installed. 

For protection, savings, and peace of mind, choose 4AutoInsuranceQuote.

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