Nearly 700,000 vehicles are stolen in the United States every year. Alarmed? Don’t worry. You can buy a car alarm to upgrade the security of your vehicle and prevent car theft from happening to you. Thanks to huge advancements in technology, now you can choose a car alarm with a number of convenient perks—from smartphone compatibility to remote start functions.
If you’re worried about your car and want to ensure its security, we’ve tracked down some of the best car alarms on the market today. Compare models below to determine which device will keep your car in the driveway and out of thieves’ hands.
1. Viper SmartStart VSS5X10 Remote Start + Security System
This is the newest 2-Way car alarm to be unveiled by leading car alarm company, Viper. Until this model, you’d only be able to control your car’s security system with a two-way remote device. Now, you can use your smartphone to communicate with your car alarm and control it from virtually anywhere.
To get up and running with the Viper SmartStart VSS5X10, you’ll need to have a compatible device or order the SmartStart system, and then download the SmartStart app on your smart device. When you’re all set up, look forward to getting everything from security alerts to command confirmation on your phone. The device also allows for keyless entry, remote starting, GPS compatibility, and so much more. When you purchase this model, Viper will also include a free 60-day service trial so you can see if you like it before you commit.
This car alarm model retails for $699.00, but we’ve found it listed for much less online (around $300). Check out local Viper-certified service centers near you to see where you can purchase and have this device installed.
Pros: This is the first model available that works with smart devices—allowing you to control your car’s security system from just about anywhere. If you have a compatible device, you can get SmartStart or you can purchase the SmartStart systems.
Cons: This is an expensive car alarm, but it is about as technologically advanced as you can get these days.
The lowest price we could find: $275
2. Viper Color OLED 2-Way Security + Remote Start System
Until this model was dethroned by Viper’s SmartStart system, it was as state-of-the-art as it got. Don’t get us wrong, it’s still one of the better car alarms on the market, it just doesn’t have the ability to connect to your smart device through an app and function from anywhere.
What the Color OLED 2-Way Security + Remote Start System is able to brag about is its range of sophisticated security features including starter kill, which immobilizes your vehicle and helps protect it from hot wiring, and a shock sensor that can distinguish between light blows and heavy impacts.
It’s also quite loud. This car alarm has a 6-tone siren that does everything from emit light chirps for small impacts to sounding a 120-decibel alarm for heavy blows to your vehicle, so if someone tries to pull a fast one on your car, they better have ear plugs.
The remote itself is quite advanced aesthetically and functionally. It offers two-way communication with your vehicle from up to a mile away. You can start your car, pop its trunk, or view and respond to security alerts—all from an elegant, colorful user interface.
Pros: This device has a digital interface that’s both pleasing to look at and easy to use.
Cons: Unlike the Viper SmartStart VSS5X10 that allows you to operate your car’s alarm system from anywhere, your remote only has a one-mile range.
The lowest price we could find: $305
3. Viper Value 1-Way Security + Remote Start System
If you are seeking a sophisticated alarm system without the costly extras, Viper’s Value 1-Way Security + Remote Start System is for you. The model offers many of the same features as its two-way counterpart, without the powerful OLED remote. You can still trigger alarms and immobilize your vehicle at the push of a button, but you won’t have access to on-screen alerts. You’ll have to work with a lower range as well; the remote only works up to one quarter mile from your vehicle.
Pros: This model is 2-way ready in case you’d like to upgrade. That’s great if you’d like a cheaper alarm, but something that is able to communicate with you if someone is trying to break into your car.
Cons: You’ll only be able to interact with your car’s alarm system if you’re within 1,320 feet of the vehicle. Since it’s 1-way, you also won’t know if someone is tampering with your vehicle unless you see it yourself.
The lowest price we could find: $40
4. Python SmartStart
If Viper produces the best car alarm systems in the industry, Python’s products run a close second. Much like Viper’s SmartStart alarm, Python SmartStart uses cloud technology to allow you to use your smart device to connect to your car alarm. Lock, unlock, arm, disarm, and much more all from your phone. You may also utilize its GPS features to locate your car, set up alerts to tell you if your car enters a certain area, and keep tabs on how fast your car is going. If you have kids, this can help you keep tabs on their whereabouts as well as enhance the safety and security of your vehicle.
Some other cool features to note are the parking meter alert that sounds when your parking space’s meter is going to expire, complimentary roadside assistance, and SmartSchedule—a tool that syncs your schedule with the weather to tell you if travel is going to take longer than expected.
Pros: Python has 14 systems that are compatible with SmartStart and three modules, so you might be able to upgrade your services with something you’ve already purchased.
Cons: Prices are nearly identical to Viper’s, but Viper does include SmartSchedule on its first two base plans whereas Python does not.
The lowest price we could find: $150
5. Python 2-Way Security and Remote Start System
The company’s premium 2-Way Security and Remote Start System once again has many of the same features as the Viper system. Enjoy real-time security alerts and an operational range of up to one mile. This alarm will do its job scaring off intruders with a 6-tone siren, starter kill switch, and more.
Pros: Lucky for you, this model is SmartStart compatible. If you’d like to upgrade, you can do so without having to buy extra equipment.
Cons: Unless you upgrade, you’ll only be able to communicate with your car alarm within a one-mile radius. If something happens to your car outside of that, you won’t be able to act.
The lowest price we could find: $195
6. Avital 2-Way LCD Remote Start With Security 5303L
Avital’s 2-Way LCD Remote Start with Security is another top contender in the car alarm space. This product features all of the functions you’d expect from a premium car alarm system, including a shock sensor that detects any tampering and remote key entry. During a break-in or attempted break-in, your remote will vibrate to alert you. Avital has yet to make the advancement of adding SmartStart technology to its devices, but this is a standard and effective car alarm regardless.
Pros: You can get this device for cheap. While it retails at around $450, you can find it online for about $100.
Cons: Other models and other brands have a longer communication range. Only expect your remote to be able to communicate within 1,500 feet from your vehicle.
The lowest price we could find: $105
7. CrimeStopper Universal 2-Way LCD Security and Keyless Entry System SP-302
CrimeStopper’s premium Universal 2-Way LCD Security and Keyless Entry System offers a host of great features—from sophisticated sensors to an advertised operation range of up to 3,000 feet. You’ll receive one 2-way remote with a 3,000 ft. operating range as well as a 1-way remote with up to 2,000 ft. of communication range.
Like other brands and models, CrimeStopper’s 2-way car alarm puts up a fight if someone is trying to break in. Expect to hear a 120 decibel siren for any tampering.
Pros: You can save a lot with this brand. It’s available online for around $75.
Cons: While you can save on this model, some customers have complained about remotes breaking relatively quickly after purchase.
The lowest price we could find: $77
8. Pyle LCD 2-Way Remote Start Security System with Advanced Impact Sensor
Pyle’s website claims that its LCD 2-Way Remote Start Security System offers “top notch performance on a smaller budget.” The system comes equipped with the two-way communication and LCD display of its counterparts. One cool extra feature is the product’s ignition-controlled locks. When this feature is activated, doors will automatically be locked when your brake pedal is pressed, providing added protection at stoplights and while parking.
Though this alarm has positive attributes like advanced sensors and the aforementioned ignition-control feature, there are reports online about a lack of reliability. The review site cites user reports of radio interference and false security alerts. It also states that the alarm’s user interface is not as intuitive as other car alarm systems.
While there are a lot of great features included in today’s aftermarket car alarms, the large number of options can make choosing the right model difficult. By taking your time to review the various products available, you can find a system the meets your budget and helps protect your vehicle from theft.
This retails for $309, but you can buy it online for around $100.
Pros: This is a basic car alarm system with a reasonable price. If you’re looking for a car alarm system under $100, this could fit the bill.
Cons: Keyless entry, remote trunk release, and other convenient features that have become standard on most systems, are not on the Pyle LCD 2-Way Remote.
The lowest price we could find: $110
9. SCYTEC MobiLink 777 2-Way Car Alarm Vehicle Security System With Smartphone Integration
This is the only other smartphone compatible car alarm brand we came across. It doesn’t use the SmartStart system, but MobiLink to connect to your iPhone, Android, or Blackberry. Although it’s under a different name, you’ll get all of the benefits as the others. Scytek Mobilink 777 2-Way Car Alarm has GPS capability with a subscription, remote control over the locking and arming of your vehicle, alerts that are delivered to your phone, and more.
Pros: If you’re looking for a smart technology car alarm, we found this alarm online for around $250 – slightly better when compared to Viper and Python’s $300 range.
Cons: This product is sold out on many of the websites we researched. This could be due to the limitations of the company and their manufacturing since it’s not as well known as Viper or Python.
The lowest price we could find: $240
10. Excalibur AL-2050-EDPB 2-Way Car Security and Remote Start System
When the Excalibur AL-2050-EDPB 2-Way car alarm is installed in your vehicle, you can talk to it from up to one mile away. That’s 5,280 feet of operation that allows you to learn if your car is being tampered with and to lock up if your forgot when you stepped out of your vehicle.
Pros: You’ll get a second, 1-way remote with this system so you can keep one at home to use in a pinch.
Cons: This is the newest model and has been around since 2013. A lot of advancements in car security have happened since then, so this isn’t the most cutting-edge equipment available.
The lowest price we could find: $260
This should be a good place to start your research if you’re looking for a car alarm system to keep your vehicles safe. Compare the pros and cons of each of these top aftermarket car alarms to learn about the best features and check SafeWise.com often for updates.