Best Car Alarm Reviews 2018

We know your car is precious to you, and that’s why you need to protect it. If you have spent a lot of money and time in picking out and purchasing your vehicle, and we know you have, then it’s important that you have a reliable security system to keep your investment protected. Reviewed here are five of the best car alarm brands in the business and one car alarm from each of them. We hope you find the best car alarms for you, but if you’d like to see some more options, feel free to check out other great alarms from these brands.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Range
Transmitters
Features
Alert Type
Our Top Choice
Cardot GSM Car Alarm System
Shenzhen Cardot has extensive knowledge of international terms & regulations, which they put to good use in designing alarm systems.
Fully-loaded w/ geo-fence, opens trunk, raises & lowers windows, locks & unlocks doors, 3-person contact system when alarm goes off, plus emergency service button.
Best to hire a professional to install properly.
Navigation, alarm & operations
Universal GPS tracking
Two w/3-buttons
Remote disable w/smartphone
Siren horn w/phone alert
Best Value
Directed Electronics Avital Car Alarm
Directed Electronics, Inc., aka DEI, produces audio and security systems for cars. They were founded in 1982 by Darrel and Karen Issa.
You can’t beat the price of this 3100X Avital car alarm system. It offers 3-channel security and you can lock and unlock your doors via remote control.
Can be difficult to install without a professional.
3-channel security
Not specified
Two w/3-buttons
Keyless entry
Alarm w/flashing parking lights
Python 574 2-Way Security System
With up-to-date technology in security for your vehicle, Python offers advanced features in their product line, including remote control operation.
A popular 2-way alarm with remote starter that allows you to warm up your car in the winter months, with firm buttons that are easy to press even with gloves on.
Some users have experienced defects, requiring them to contact the manufacturer.
2-way alarm & remote
1 mile
Two w/LCD screen
LCD screen for remote
Alarm tones + vibration
Viper 2-Way Security Car Alarm
The Viper brand offers a long list of car security systems in a range of price points, and is popular among consumers.
This alarm is compatible with SmartStart, has a fail-safe starter kill, and comes with a double guard shock sensor, alarm system, and remote start-up.
Just keep in mind that not all car alarm systems are compatible with your vehicle; for instance, this model is not compatible with the 2006 BMW 530i.
2-way alarm & remote
1/4 mile
Two w/LCD screen
Separate ESP2 and D2D ports
Six-tone siren
CrimeStopper SecurityPlus Car Alarm
Crimestopper combines convenience with protection and offers both 1-way and 2-way remote starter alarm systems for cars, trucks, and SUVs.
A great full-service car system with keyless entry, remote control operation of your car, double-pulse unlock feature, and starter kill option.
This is a 1-way system; if you prefer a 2-way system, they are also available by Crimestopper.
1-way alarm & remote
1500 feet
Two w/5-buttons
Trunk release
Horn & siren

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Car Alarm?

So, we’ll start with some not-so-fun facts. Fact one: According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, on average, one car is stolen every 45 seconds in the US – hmm, who else wonders how those car owners feel, being a part of this statistic? Okay, fact two: There was a 7.4% increase in the number of stolen vehicles between 2015 and 2016 – and yes, the info is from the same source. Since you’ve already seen that this review is titled “The Best Car Alarms” and you’ve clicked on it, it’s safe to assume that you’d rather not be a part of the groups mentioned above. So, let’s dive in to the heart of the matter.

Car alarms come with different features and, depending on the type of protection you seek for your car, you can find them at different price points. You can find them as OEM and Aftermarket systems, with the OEM options being the more basic car alarms, and the Aftermarket options boasting a lot of high-tech features. OEM systems are mostly designed to protect your car from theft and may not protect other things, like your beautiful car stereo and speaker set.

Car alarms work in any of three ways: they can act as deterrents that discourage car thieves e.g., wheel lock and decals; they can be immobilizers that prevent the vehicle from starting when certain actions occur, such as forced entry, and they can be trackers that’ll keep tabs on the location of a stolen vehicle and report back to a data center. The best car alarms usually combine these features in one way or another. There are three basic parts of a car alarm: the brain or control unit, the remote/transmitter/fob and the siren. The control unit is a computer – it sends, receives and processes commands. It’s powered from your ignition harness and is the main part of an aftermarket system. The siren is the component that makes all the noise that car alarms are infamous for.

For convenience, a car remote comes with most alarm systems, but you can get another one if you lose the one that came with the system. They’re used to send (and receive, in the case of a 2-way remote) commands to the vehicles and can do so at an impressive range.

Car alarms can detect a lot of changes to your car’s original state (the position and condition you parked it in), depending on the kind of sensor and trigger features it has. A tilt-shock sensor will alert you to attempts to tow or jack up your vehicle, and trigger sensors can alert you to doors being opened.

At the end of the day, the best car alarm for your vehicle can be best defined by you; our only advice is that you don’t resort to penny pinching with these devices, as they’re worthy investments.
Price
Perhaps the most interesting thing about car alarms is their price range; these modern-day essentials can be found from as low as $30 to as high as $500 – and even more. One of the most important reasons for the difference in price is the difference in the features of the car alarms. We’ll make it a bit more graphic and relatable: picture two car alarm systems, Car Alarm A and Car Alarm B, both of the same high quality and superior manufacturing. Car Alarm A has a one-way remote for doors and starting the vehicle, horn trigger and starter kill, while Car Alarm B comes with a two-way remote, trigger sensors and shock sensors, in addition to the more basic features of the first alarm. You’ll probably find Car Alarm B to be the pricier of the two, and find yourself nodding in understanding as you whip out your wallet to do the needful. That said, there are cheap car alarms but, seeing as we’re talking about securing your cars the best way possible, we didn’t include them here.
Features
You have a greater chance of choosing the best car alarm if you walk into the process already armed with the features to look out for in one. Here is a list of those features:
  • Type
  • Range
  • Transmitters
  • Buttons
  • Alert Type
Construction and Design
When it comes to how these nifty devices work, they can, essentially, be categorized into three types: deterrents, trackers and immobilizers. Deterrents come with features that are successful at putting off potential ‘car-nappers,’ trackers make finding stolen vehicles easier and faster, and immobilizers make moving the car difficult or downright impossible.

Let’s take this a little further. Deterrents may be a high-tech solution or something less techy, but when it comes down to the basics, they have a similar function. Knowing that he’ll have to work at outsmarting the alarm will give the car thief a reason to have second thoughts and move on to an easier target. Some examples of deterrents include car decals, car alarms, tire deflators, etc.

Trackers increase the chances of recovering a vehicle after it’s been stolen. They combine Automatic Vehicle Locating with some software and use GPS technology to locate the vehicle. They’re of two types, the active and the passive. They both collect and store speed, heading, GPS location and trigger events like the ignition turning on or off or doors opening or closing. The difference between them is that, while the data from passive trackers can only be accessed when the vehicle arrives at a pre-determined point, data from active trackers are usually transmitted in almost-real-time through satellite or cellular networks to a computer for evaluation.

Car immobilizers are designed to prevent a car from starting if a specific event happens or if the remote, transponder or key isn’t physically present. With car alarms using this, even if a thief manages to break into the car, he’ll be unable to hotwire it. They achieve this by detecting the transponder or remote, fuse cut-offs, kill switches, spark or fuel disablers.

For a fuller protection for your car, it’s best to find yourself a car alarm that combines all three of these, that is, one or more features from each group, as a determined car thief who knows his onions may outsmart a car alarm relying on just one of them, thankfully, many car alarms combine all three and even some more.

There are a number of ways that a car alarm can alert you (the car owner) and other bystanders to a break-in attempt. Most, if not all, of us are quite familiar with the high-pitched sirens or beeps that car alarms make – and frankly, most of us find it annoying – but it’s become a necessary evil, one that city dwellers have learnt to tune out, as long as it isn’t their car making the racket. Another problem with the alarms is the fact that many of them sound exactly the same, so, how is a fellow to know if it’s his car alarm blaring its mechanical lungs away, sheesh. Trust our auto-scientists and engineers to figure out a way around this; there are a number of other ways to get alerted when your car’s safety has been compromised. A paging option is provided with some car alarms, and it alerts you to your car’s safety via SMS; another option allows you to choose the alarm sound for your car. These will make it easier to know when it’s your car that’s being harassed.
Performance and Ease of Use
The transmitters are also called remotes, transponders or key fobs. They’re used to send signals to your car – signals like lock, unlock, arm, disarm, trunk release, etc. They can be 1-way or 2-way remotes; here is the difference between the two: the 1-way remote, or transmitter, sends the command to your vehicle but is not designed to receive a feedback that confirms whether the command has been carried out, while a 2-way remote is designed to receive confirmation of those commands, and even alerts you to possible thefts being carried out.

Some transmitters allow the vehicle to be started with the remote, a neat feature for those winter days, which will allow you to warm your car from the warmth of your house. Some of them have LCD screens that’ll keep you informed of your car’s current situation. When getting remotes, ensure that there are auxiliary outputs, as you may decide to add more sensors in the future; remotes can be purchased independently of the alarms. If you decide to go this route, look for a remote that’s compatible with your smartphone, configure the whole getup together, and you’re ready to roll.

Still on the issue of the transmitter, if you’ll be parking your car right in front of your home, office or in your garage, then you would do fine with a remote range measured in feet, but if your car is going to be parked farther than a stone’s throw away, you should consider remotes with a range measured in miles. It seems we’ve gotten a bit ahead of ourselves; we didn’t say what range means here. Well, it’s kinda like your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth range, only in this case it’s the distance between your car and the remote that’s being considered.

What is the Best Car Alarm?

One of the great features of car alarm systems these days is remote control access to the operation of your vehicle. Our top featured brands are very popular with customers, thanks to offering more than just a car alarm system. Additional benefits can include keyless entry, trunk release, and GPS navigation. We have brands that tick the box in one or all of these categories, so let’s get started picking out the right car alarm system for you…
Our Top Choice
Control all aspects of your vehicle with this fully-loaded Alarm & Car System by Cardot. It does everything from notify you of damage, to complete remote control operation of your vehicle from your smartphone. If you want a simplified version, check out the Cardot DIY Car Alarm.
Cardot Universal GSM Car Alarm System with GPS Tracking and Engine Start Stop Button

Cardot Car Alarm 688GA


Features
This car alarm system is manufactured by the Shenzhen Cardot Electronics Technology Co. in China. Their extensive knowledge of international terms and regulations in automotive technology is put to good use in their product line of car auto security systems.

This Cardot Car Alarm System is not your basic car alarm. Complete with a geo-fence and many additional features, you can use this system to start your engine, find your car, disable the car from being used, and navigate with GPS.

Compatible with your smartphone, you can operate your car from remote locations using the mobile app. You can even roll up the windows, or open the trunk with this universal system.

Another great feature is the notification to your smart phone of any shock or impact that your car has received. Here’s the lowdown on what you get with this alarm system:
  • Remotely stop or start your engine
  • Lock and unlock your doors
  • Raise and lower your windows
  • Side door alarm system
  • Open your trunk
  • GPS navigation
  • Disable the car from being used
  • Alarm to notify you of any shocks or impacts
  • Set 3 different contacts to notify if car alarm is engaged
  • Vehicle service alert
  • Emergency button to call for help
Get optimal control and security of your vehicle with this comprehensive alarm system by Cardot.
Best Value
This 3100X Avital car alarm system offers three-channel security and keyless entry at a great price. Another inexpensive alternative by DEI is the Xpress DX345 Car Alarm with Programmable Hijack System, Trunk Release, Auto Central Lock, and 3-Channel Alarm System.
Directed Electronics 3-Channel Keyless Entry Car Alarm with Remotes and Failsafe Starter Kill-Set – Available in 5 Styles

Directed Electronics Car Alarm 3100lx


Features
This Avital Car Alarm is distributed by Directed Electronics, Inc., aka DEI, who produces audio and security systems for cars. Founded in 1982 by Darrel and Karen Issa, they are headquartered in Vista, California.

This 3100X Avital car alarm system offers three-channel security and keyless entry at a great price. You can use this system to lock and unlock your doors via the remote control.

Here is what you get with this car alarm system by Directed Electronics:
  • Alarm with flashing parking lights
  • Easily visible red LED status indicator
  • Includes two 3-button transmitters
  • Dome light supervision that requires a separate relay
  • Keyless entry
  • 3-channel security
DEI actually offers a full range of car alarm systems, each with slightly different features and functions. Some of the other choices you can check out are the 3100L, 3300L, 4103LX, and the 4113LX models.
A popular 2-way alarm with a remote starter, this Python 5704P system is a terrific way to warm up your car in the winter months, plus it has firm buttons on the remote that are easy to press with gloves on. Another option is the Python 4204P Responder LE Remote Start System that features multiple time and temperature remote start modes.
Python 574 Responder LC3 SST 2-Way Security with Remote

Python Car Alarm 5704P


Features
Our #3 spot is also manufactured by DEI, and is quite popular with consumers. With up-to-date technology in security for your vehicle, Python offers advanced features in their product line, including remote control operation. They have a full line-up of remote car security and operations products, including leather cover cases for your remote control device.

This Python 5704P remote control security system for your car comes with a fail-safe starter. The remote features an easy-to-read LCD screen, and has firm buttons that make it convenient to use in the winter months if you have gloves on.

The one-mile range of the remote is also a nice feature that allows you to warm up your car before getting in during the winter months. Let’s check out the features in of this Python alarm system in greater detail:
  • 2-way responder LC3 security system
  • Confirms commands and system triggers
  • LCD display on remote control
  • Car alarm that features tones & vibrations on remote when activated
  • Stinger DoubleGuard Shock Sensor
  • Fail-safe starter kill
This 5305V Viper car alarm system offers keyless entry and a two-way LCD car alarm with a six-tone siren. You can also get a one-way car alarm system by this brand at a great price—the Viper 350 PLUS 3105V 1-Way Car Alarm Keyless Entry.
Viper 2 Way LCD Vehicle Car Alarm Keyless Entry Remote Start System

Viper Car Alarm 5305V


Features
The Viper brand offers a long list of car security systems. Popular among consumers, they have car systems in a wide range of price categories with many different features.

This Viper car alarm system is the 5305V, which offers keyless entry and a two-way LCD car alarm. The remote start-up gives you external control over the engine within .25 of a mile. Use the backlit LCD display on your remote to interact with the system.

It features a prominent six-tone siren to detract any unauthorized people from accessing your car, and has a fail-safe starter kill. Here are some of the other features that come with this 5305V alarm system:
  • Compatible with SmartStart
  • Double guard shock sensor
  • Remote start-up and car operation
  • Remote range of up to 1/4 mile
  • Separate ESP2 and D2D ports
  • Keyless entry
It is highly recommended that you have a professional set this car alarm system up for you.
This CrimeStopper SP-402 car alarm system features remote start-up within a 1,500 foot range, horn & siren outputs, and keyless entry with trunk release. Another option is the CrimeStopper SP-101 security alarm system, with a two-stage electronic shock sensor that senses any forced break-in.
CrimeStopper SecurityPlus 1-Way Combo Alarm Keyless Entry & Remote Start System

CrimeStopper Car Alarm SP-402


Features
With a wide selection of remote start car security systems, the Crimestopper brand combines convenience with protection for your vehicle. They offer both 1-way and 2-way remote starter alarm systems for cars, trucks, and SUVs.

The CrimeStopper SP-402 is a 1-way car alarm system with remote control operation of your vehicle and keyless entry. You can lock and unlock the doors, warm up the engine within 1,500 feet of the car, and open the trunk with the remote control.

Here is a rundown of what you get with this SP-402 model:
  • Built-in remote start
  • Priority unlock feature
  • Double pulse unlock
  • 3 auxiliary outputs
  • Dual 2-way data port
  • Starter kill option
  • Dual stage shock sensor
  • Code hopping receiver
  • Gas, diesel, and hybrid compatible
  • 35 programmable options

Get the Best Car Alarm of 2018!

Go on, make that order and rest easy each day, enjoying the benefits of vastly improved car security and convenient remote control.

Our Top Choice
Cardot GSM Car Alarm System
Best Value
Directed Electronics Avital Car Alarm
Python 574 2-Way Security System
Viper 2-Way Security Car Alarm
CrimeStopper SecurityPlus Car Alarm