Best Car Gun Safes

We considered construction materials, security features, reliability ratings, and accessibility to bring you the most comprehensive list of quality gun safes for your car.
Best overall
Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe
Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Mechanical lock
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Lifetime warranty
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Heavy (22 lbs)
Best biometric safe
Vaultek VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe
Vaultek Biometric Handgun Safe
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Three types of locks
  • Icon Cons  Light
    No warranty
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Medium weight (5.2 lbs)
Best for budgets
GunVault Nanovault 200 Pistol Safe
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Keyed lock
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Limited warranty
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Lightweight (3 lbs)
Best lightweight safe
SnapSafe Treklite Lock Box XL
SnapSafe Treklite Lock Box XL
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Keyed lock
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Lifetime warranty
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Lightweight (1.6 lbs)
Best single-handed access
SentrySafe biometric gun safe
SentrySafe QAP1BE
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Biometric lock + backup key
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Limited warranty
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Heavy (12 lbs)

When shopping for a car gun safe, consider whether you're more worried about a tamper-proof design or easy accessibility, as well as whether you want a permanent car fixture or a more portable gun safe. 

We like the Fort Knox PB1 for a more permanent, heavy-duty car gun safe, but the SentrySafe QAP1BE biometric safe gives you quick one-handed access for self-defense.

If you're looking for a mix of features, check out our full round-up. 

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Compare the best car gun safes

Product
Best for
Price
Type of lock
Material
Weight
Car attachment
Learn more
Fort Knox PB1 Handgun SafeFort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe
Best for Reliability

Mechanical push button

10-gauge steel

22 lbs

None

Vaultex VT20i Biometric Handgun SafeVaultex VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe
Best biometric safe

Biometric, code keypad, backup keyed lock

16-gauge carbon steel

5.2 lbs

Steel security cable, mounting hardware

GunVault Nanovault 200 Pistol SafeGunVault Nanovault 200 Pistol Safe
Best for budget

Keyed lock

18-gauge steel

3 lbs

1,500-lb. test security cable

SnapSafe Treklite Lock Box XLSnapSafe Treklite Lock Box XL
Best lightweight safe

Keyed lock

Impact-resistant polycarbonate

1.6 lbs

Steel security cable

SentrySafe Biometric Pistol SafeSentrySafe Biometric Pistol Safe
Best single-handed access

Biometric/fingerprint scanner, code keypad, backup tubular keyed lock

steel

12 lbs

None

GunVault MV500GunVault MV500
Best key-coded safe

Code keypad, backup tubular keyed lock

20-gauge steel

4 lbs

Steel cable

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Best car gun safe reviews

1. Best overall: Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe

Best overall
Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

With durable construction and reliable simplicity, the Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe lives up to its namesake and earns the top spot on our list—even though it's pricey.

Its mechanical lock and tamper-resistant design make it a great choice for security, but it tips the scales at a whopping 22 pounds. The already durable design was given an upgrade in 2017 to make it even more tamper-resistant, and we're impressed by the hefty ten-gauge steel construction.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Push-button mechanical lock
Pro Bullet Sturdy construction
Pro Bullet Gas-strut assisted door
Pro Bullet Lifetime warranty
Pro Bullet Made in the USA
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet High price tag
Con Bullet No mounting hardware

Heavy doesn't mean awkward when it comes to this safe; gas struts help the safe's door raise and lower safely, making it easier to open and close. While it does have holes for mounting, it doesn't come with the hardware needed to secure it to your car.

The smooth steel underside of the Fort Knox safe makes it prone to sliding across carpeting. If you're going to keep it in your car, we recommend purchasing bolts or screws and using the mounting holes in the bottom to secure it to the floor of your vehicle.

Lifetime warranty and made in the USA

Fort Knox attaches a lifetime warranty to its safes and internal locking mechanisms to warrant them "free from defects in material or workmanship" for as long as you own them.

Because Fort Knox manufactures all of its safes right here in the US, the company maintains a high standard of quality control and is highly responsive to concerns about design flaws in its products.

2. Best biometric safe: Vaultek VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe

Best biometric car gun safe
Vaultex VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Vaultek VT20i is one of the most expensive car gun safes on our list, but its fancy features and anti-tampering qualities may make the price tag worth it.

For example, the Vaultek's anti-pry bars close any gaps between the lid and the main compartment so it can't be pried open, and special anti-impact latches prevent the safe from popping open when hit or dropped. The hinges are mounted on the interior of the safe so they can't be tampered with.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Tamper protection
Pro Bullet Fast access
Pro Bullet Key and code backups
Pro Bullet Smartphone technology
Pro Bullet Interior lighting
Pro Bullet Access for multiple users
Pro Bullet Stealth mode
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Expensive
Con Bullet Unreliable
Con Bullet Battery-operated

Biometric lock

Biometric technology allows you to program in your fingerprint so you can access your safe by swiping your finger across the scanner. You can program up to twenty different fingerprints in the Vaultek, giving multiple users access to the gun safe.

Don't worry about the biometric scanner being unreliable if your finger is wet, dirty, or even has a paper cut. The Vaultek comes with both a coded keypad and backup keys for manual unlocking.

Free mobile app and other safety features

With the free Vaultek app, you can view your safe's history to see when it was locked and unlocked, check the battery status, remotely unlock it, and turn the keypad sound on and off.

The Vaultek has an interior LED light that automatically turns on when the lid opens, making it easy to see your valuables in the dark.

If you're in a dangerous situation, you might not want to announce that you're accessing your gun safe with loud beeping from the scanner or keypad. The Vaultek allows you to toggle off the sound so you can silently access your firearm. 

Batteries required

Note that the Vaultek requires a lithium-ion battery that needs to be recharged every four months. The charging kit is included with the safe, but it might be more hassle than you want for a gun safe.

Light Bulb
Pro Tip: Practice Opening Your Safe

No matter what kind of vehicle gun safe you get, take the time to practice opening it under a variety of conditions, and practice using all available methods to open it. Depending on the style of safe, this may include using a biometric scanner, keypad code, or actual key. If you're right handed, try opening it with your left hand, and vice versa. Being comfortable with your safe could save you valuable seconds when it really counts.

3. Best for budgets: GunVault Nanovault 200 Pistol Safe

Best for budgets
GunVault Nanovault 200 Pistol Safe

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Nanovault's small size and light weight make it a good, basic, and inexpensive option for traveling, but its insubstantial construction and easy-to-cut cable will probably only deter the casual burglar.

We like its simple design that's straightforward enough for anyone to use. At around $40, the Nanovault is one of the most budget-friendly gun safes for those needing an inexpensive way to secure their firearm.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Compact design
Pro Bullet Cable included
Pro Bullet Five-year warranty
Pro Bullet Affordable price
Pro Bullet Simple access
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Flimsy keys
Con Bullet Vulnerable cable and lock

Portable gun safe

At only 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches, the Nanovault is about the size of a hardback book, making it just big enough to fit a gun, but small enough to fit neatly in your luggage.

A 1,500-lb. test cable is included with the Nanovault, making it easy to secure to a fixed object in your home or car.

Five-year warranty

The Nanovault's five-year warranty covers loss against fire and burglary for five years, and it also protects against vault defects for one year.

Keyed lock

No need to memorize a code or worry about programming a fingerprint—the Nanovault's keyed lock is straightforward, so it's easy to access your gun in a hurry.

Unfortunately, the keys for the Nanovault have a flimsy plastic casing, and they might not hold up well if they're attached to the keychain you use every day.

4. Best lightweight gun safe: SnapSafe Treklite Lock Box XL

Best lightweight safe
SnapSafe Treklite Lock Box XL

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you're looking for something truly lightweight and easy to carry, the SnapSafe Treklite is ideal.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Portable
Pro Bullet Impact-resistant
Pro Bullet Affordable
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Vulnerable cable and lock
Con Bullet
Con Bullet Battery-operated

At only 1.6 lbs., it's one of the lightest car gun safes on the market, but it's not flimsy: it's made of an impact-resistant polycarbonate, with the same strength as its heavier steel counterparts. It retails for less than $20, and it comes with a security cable to attach to your car.

Like the Nanovault, it may be compromised by someone who's prepared with tools, but it's a decent deterrent for the smash-and-grab criminal.

5. Best single-handed access: SentrySafe QAP1BE Gun Safe

Best single-handed access

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The SentrySafe QAP1BE is another biometric safe that is made to fit one standard handgun. It's designed with a gas strut to help you open the safe quickly and quietly with one hand. It requires AA batteries.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Fast access
Pro Bullet Steel construction
Pro Bullet Includes backup override key
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Battery-operated
Con Bullet No interior light
Light Bulb
Pro tip: Find a safe that fits your holster

If you want to use a car safe for your everyday carry firearm, be sure to get a safe or console vault that will fit both your gun and your holster. It's much easier—and safer—to remove your entire holster with your gun inside rather than having to draw your weapon when you're sitting in the cramped quarters of a car.

6. Best key-coded car gun safe: GunVault MV500 Microvault Pistol Gun Safe

Best key-coded car gun safe
GunVault MV500

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The “no eyes” keypad on the GunVault is the next best thing to biometrics if you want quick access to your weapon. With over twelve million code combinations and a built-in tamper-detecting lockout feature that kicks in after several failed attempts to enter the code, it’s unlikely that a burglar would be able to thwart this safe. 

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Fast access
Pro Bullet Tamper detection
Pro Bullet Includes backup override key
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Twenty-gauge steel construction
Con Bullet Battery-operated keypad (nine-volt battery not included)

The safe also includes a backup override key and a security cable, but it doesn’t include the nine-volt battery required for the keypad operation, and its twenty-gauge steel construction is the weakest of the safes on our list.

Car gun safe FAQs 

As a general rule, the higher the gauge, the thinner the steel. A ten-gauge sheet of steel is approximately 0.14 inches thick, while a twenty-gauge piece of steel is 0.38 inches thick. The lower the gauge, the thicker and heavier the steel will be. 

TSA gun safe standards are fairly simple: the firearm must be in a hard-sided, locked case. The California Department of Justice (CDOJ) standards for gun safes are more stringent and include specifications like the number of possible combinations for a combination lock, thickness and number of locking bolts, and a minimum thickness of twelve-gauge steel for the shell. Many gun owners consider the CDOJ standards to be the minimum quality standards for gun safes. Visit TSA.gov to find out more about the guidelines for legally transporting firearms and ammunition by commercial airliner.

A console vault is designed based on the specifications of your vehicle’s make and model in order to fit inside the center console. Most have keyed locks and are a semi-permanent car attachment. A car gun safe is usually a notebook-shaped box that can fit underneath the seat of your car, and it’s often attached by a cable. Some car safes are stored in the trunk and bolted down.

Most car gun safes and travel safes will be large enough to fit an average 9 mm handgun like a Glock 17 (total length: 7.3 inches) or a .38 like a Ruger LCR (6.5 inches), which are the most common calibers for everyday carry. If, however, you need to store something larger, like a Desert Eagle (10.6 inches) or a larger revolver, pay close attention to the dimensions of the safe you choose, as you may need something larger than average.

How we reviewed the best car gun safes

To research the best gun safes, we compared the various makes and models available, talked to gun owners about the features that are most important to them, and studied a wide variety of reviews from firearms experts and locksmiths. Visit our methodology to learn more.

Related articles on SafeWise

Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.


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Product
Price
Specs
Stand-out feature
Learn more
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Unlimited rangeImpact sensor

Remote start

Best dash cam
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4K Full HD

170° front and rear

Tolerates -20°F to 176°F
Best vehicle tracker
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OBD port plug-inMaintenance reminders
Best portable car jack
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Lifts up to 15 in. and 3,000 lbs.Lightweight

Affordable

Best navigation system
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6.95 in. touchscreenVoice control
Best steering wheel lock
Disklok
Hardened steel

3 different sizes

Tamperproof lock

*Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. SafeWise uses paid Amazon links.

Kasey Tross
Written by
Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers.

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