The 6 Best Car Alarm System Options

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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

  • Vehicle theft is currently on the rise 
  • Installing a car alarm deters car theft and offers additional benefits, like a lower insurance rate
  • Consider your individual needs when looking for the perfect car alarm system

Vehicle thefts have declined since previous decades, but they’re far from non-existent. In 2019, for instance, there were more than 720,000 thefts or attempted thefts of motor vehicles reported in the US.1 A preliminary report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) suggests that 2020 saw a 9.2% increase in car theft compared to 2019.2

These statistics indicate that vehicular theft and car security is still a concern for many. If you’re wondering how to prevent car theft, one of the best ways is to install a car alarm system.

Wondering which car alarm system is best? We’ve put together a list of the top six car alarm systems so you can park your vehicle in peace.

Why is a Car Alarm System Important?

Although most modern vehicles now come with some form of car security system, additional protection often provides a range of extra benefits. Before we dive into the best car alarm system options, it can be helpful to understand the benefits of having one. These are just some of the appeals of installing a car alarm system.

It Keeps Your Investment Safe

You may not think of your car as an investment. But for many Americans, it can be one of our most expensive possessions. As with anything you’ve invested a sizable chunk of money in, it’s wise to protect it any way you can and focus on theft prevention.

A car alarm system is one of the best steps to take in preventing car theft. Stickers that announce an onboard alarm may deter a car thief outright and enhance vehicle security. And if a warning doesn’t do the trick, the blare of an alarm likely will.

And remember, it’s not just your car that you’ll lose in the case of theft. Anything you store in your vehicle is also unprotected without an aftermarket alarm system. The safest bet is to never keep anything valuable in your vehicle, but sometimes that can be unavoidable. A car alarm system gives you peace of mind about your car and its contents.

It Can Lower Your Insurance Costs

Many car insurance providers will give you a moderate discount if you install a car alarm system in your vehicle. That kind of win-win may seem too good to be true, but there’s a good reason behind this kind of practice.

Think of it this way: insurance companies are ultimately taking a financial risk by insuring your vehicle. Why? Does car insurance cover break ins? Depending on your type of coverage, if your car is stolen or damaged, they usually have to pay you—and that’s not ideal for any business, including insurers.

With that in mind, reducing the risk of your car being stolen by installing an aftermarket alarm also reduces the risk that your insurance company will have to shell out on a claim. Insurance companies are rewarding clients who take steps to protect their car or truck.

Don’t expect to save hundreds of dollars each year, though. 

The theft prevention discount only affects your comprehensive coverage, meaning you’re likely to save between $20 and $50 per year. Still, that money can add up over the years, and when you consider that you’re also minimizing the chance of car theft and increasing vehicle security, a car alarm system seems like a no-brainer. 

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What is the Best Car Alarm System?

With so many options to choose from, finding the perfect aftermarket car alarm system can seem like a challenge. While individual needs will vary, these are our top six car alarm picks overall (in no particular order).

1. Viper LED 2-Way Security + Remote Start System

The Viper 5806V is an all-around powerhouse of a car alarm system—and at roughly $250, it’s a bargain. Not only does it have a host of safety features, but it also offers a remote start feature, meaning you can warm up your car on cold days without leaving the house.

Key features include:

  • Neo Revenger 6-Tone Siren – A light bump of the vehicle prompts a quick warning sound, while a heavier impact triggers a 120-decibel siren. The differentiation between minor impacts and theft attempts ensures your neighbors won’t be annoyed anytime your car is nudged.
  • Domelight Supervision – When you disarm your vehicle security system or unlock your doors, your car’s dome light illuminates for 30 seconds.
  • 2-Way Communication – One of the top features to look out for in a car alarm system is 2-way communication. With a 1-way system, the user doesn’t receive any feedback from the vehicle. That means there’s no confirmation that the button you pressed worked. 2-way systems let you know that your command was carried out successfully. When the range on the remote control is over a mile (like in this case), you won’t always be able to see your vehicle when you hit a button, so 2-way confirmation is a nice touch.

2. Avital 2-Way LCD Security

With the Avital 3305L, you can have each essential security feature at a reasonable price. Along with nice-to-have details like remote start, the 3305L boasts:

  • Backlit LCD Screen – A small LCD display makes using the 2-way remote a breeze. You can easily confirm that commands went through to your vehicle thanks to a simplified user interface.
  • Fault-Proof Starter Interrupt – If a thief perseveres through the blaring alarm and tries to hotwire your car, this feature will stop them from doing so.

The one downside to this model is its range—a mere 1500 feet. But if you park relatively close to your workplace, the range limitations won’t be much of an inconvenience.

3. Compustar PRO G15 (1-Way)

The PRO G-15 from Compustar will appeal to a wide range of drivers, but it’s especially recommended for outdoor enthusiasts and those living in wetter climates. That’s because the 1-way remote is water- and impact-resistant, allowing you to bring it camping or kayaking without fear.

It also features all of the standard appointments, such as:

  • Remote start and keyless entry
  • 105dB alarm siren
  • Tilt, glass-break, and impact sensors

Pair all of that with a 3000-foot range and an available 3-year warranty, and you have a brilliant alarm system for under $200. 

4. CrimeStopper SP-402

Priced at well under $100, the CrimeStopper SP-402 is a perfect option for the budget-conscious driver. Though it may not have every security feature that comes with some of the other models listed here, it covers the basics (dome light supervision, shock sensor, and siren) and still includes a remote start function.

Here’s why the SP-402 makes the list:

  • Compatibility – Some anti-theft devices don’t work with manual transmissions; some only work with newer models. The SP-402, however, is fully universal, meaning it is compatible with all makes, models, and transmission types.
  • Passive Arming – This system offers passive arming as a setting. With passive arming, you’ll never have that moment of “did I remember to lock the car” panic again. When you leave the car, the system will automatically lock and arm the alarm.

The two remotes that come with the system are only 1-way but can be upgraded to 2-way with an inexpensive additional kit from CrimeStopper. The range is only 1500 feet, so this system certainly isn’t for every car owner. Overall, though, this system will get the job done—without breaking the bank.

5. Drone X1-MAX LTE Module

Have you ever wished you could check on your car from anywhere? If so, the Drone X1-MAX is for you. Using LTE, this system connects your car to your smartphone, allowing for unlimited range and a host of other convenient features, such as:

  • On-Board Security Sensors – The X1-MAX’s sensors will alert you if your vehicle is struck, towed, or broken into.
  • GPS Tracking – Even if your vehicle is stolen, it can be tracked and located with GPS technology. This technology can also relieve your stress when you’re panicking and trying to figure out how to report a stolen car.
  • History Log – All alerts and notifications are stored for review, which can be handy when speaking to your insurance provider about a claim.

With all this, maintenance reminders, a backup battery, and more, the $200 initial cost seems more than reasonable. Though you will also have to pay a car alarm installation cost and a small monthly subscription fee, its convenience and reliability are hard to beat. It’s also important to note that the Drone X1-MAX needs to be paired with a compatible security system, which drives the cost for vehicle owners up further.

6. EASYGUARD EC004

No list would be complete without the ultimate budget option, and that’s what we have here. The EASYGUARD EC004 is an anti-theft system that costs just $25. At that price, you won’t get the perks that come with some of the more expensive models listed. Nonetheless, you’ll have a simple, working car alarm system with some excellent features.

The EC004 works using RFID technology. Once you install the system in your car, the vehicle will only start when the RFID tag is held to the transmitter. What’s more, the system comes with a push-to-start button for your vehicle, removing the need to put your keys in the ignition. The system automatically arms 50 seconds after vehicle shut-off, or you can activate it yourself when you leave.

For the price, this no-hassle immobilizer provides an extra layer of protection to your vehicle—just don’t expect it to reduce your insurance rates, as it’s relatively bare-bones.

The Best Auto Insurance Rates

Once you’ve found the best car alarm system for your needs, don’t forget to look for the best possible price on car insurance.

At 4AutoInsuranceQuote, we help you search the top auto insurance providers in the country for the best rates—for free. It’s never been so easy to get affordable insurance quotes at the click of a button.

Enter your ZIP code in the search tool below to start your road to cheaper, better car insurance.

References:

  1. Insurance Information Institute. Facts + Statistics: Auto theft. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-auto-theft 
  2. NICB. Auto Thefts Surge In 2020 According to New NICB Report.  https://www.nicb.org/news/news-releases/auto-thefts-surge-2020-according-new-nicb-report 

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