6 Best Car Alarms on the Market in 2016

Why invest in a car alarm? Primarily to avoid becoming a victim of vehicle loss, increased insurance costs, and general inconvenience.

Statistically, most car thefts in the US occur from owner negligence. That is, leaving the keys in the vehicle and/or the vehicle unlocked A 2013 FBI nationwide survey found that one-third of car owners reported their vehicles were stolen because they had left their car unattended and running. Nearly half said they didn’t always park in a well-lit area.

Technology has significantly changed car alarm systems. Car alarm systems aren’t just alarms anymore. Rather, they provide overall car security. In addition to sounding a loud noise alarm and flashing the vehicle’s lights when a potential break-in is detected, car security systems also provide users with an emergency panic button and convenient keyless entry and remote start.

Which Car Alarm Is The Best?

Each of the following may be considered “the best car alarm on the market.” These are based on product specifications and user reviews.

Viper 350 PLUS

4.6/5 User Ratings

The Viper 350 Plus may be the best car alarm on the market. It is reliable, 1-way and has dual zone sensor security technology. The Viper 350 Plus has become most popular for its 3-Channel 1-way Keyless Entry Security System, On-Board Door Lock Relays, FailSafe Starter Kill System, and Anti-Carjacking features. Additional options include a remote starter and GPS Tracking.

The product’s basic shock sensor activates a warning chirps alarm and flashes the parking lights. Vivid blue status LED warns thieves and provides system info. A louder alarm siren is activated when the sensor detects continued disruption or a more serious impact, such as window breakage. The system’s dual zone shock sensors adjust their sensitivity to external elements to reduce false alarms or warnings. It has five auxiliary outputs. A remote start can also be connected to this system.

Pros

  • A “great product for the money.”
  • Excellent ¼-mile range operation.
  • Expandable system – 2-way ready (optional 2-way remote).
  • Waterproof siren. It may be mounted underneath the vehicle without concern about potential road water damage/deterioration.
  • Sensor sensitivity is adjustable.
  • No false-positive alarms reported upon correct sensor adjustment.
  • Batteries are included.
  • 1-yr. Guaranteed Protection Plan (Viper refunds your comprehensive insurance deductible up to $2,500 if your car is stolen with Viper installed and armed)
  • Downloadable Owner’s Guide
  • Warranty exchange.

Cons

  • Most found the system difficult and time-consuming to self-install. Professional installation is highly recommended.
  • Installation requires knowledge or a schematic of the vehicle’s wiring.
  • Additional components and programming enhancements should be done professionally.
  • Most found no helpful information or clear documentation on the product’s website.
  • Warranty terms are vague on the website.

Viper 5706V

4.3/5 User Ratings

This “entry level,” most affordable, LCD 2-way Viper 5706V security system remains the best car alarm of its type and price. The product’s basic Stinger® DoubleGuard® shock sensor activates warning chirps and flashes the parking lights. It includes a six-tone Starter Kill System and a 2-Way and one 1-Way remotes.

It has an 8″ Wide High Resolution, Low reflection Digital TFT-LCD Screen with Ultra Bright LED Back Lighting. A louder alarm siren is activated when the sensor detects continued disruption or a more serious impact, such as window breakage. The system’s dual zone shock sensors adjust their sensitivity to external elements to reduce false alarms or warnings. It also has NTSC/PAL Auto Switching and two auxiliary outputs.

Pros

  • The most affordable car alarm. A “great product for a great price.”
  • Shock sensor sensitivity is adjustable.
  • Bright LED screen that can easily be seen from a distance.
  • No false-positive alarms reported upon correct sensor adjustment.
  • Batteries are included.
  • 1-yr. Guaranteed Protection Plan (Viper refunds your comprehensive insurance deductible up to $2,500 if your car is stolen with Viper installed and armed)
  • Warranty exchange (When installed by an authorized dealer).

Cons

  • The company requires the unit be installed only by authorized dealers (to avoid voiding the warranty).
  • Short 2-way range.
  • The alarm siren is not loud enough.
  • LCD Remote complaints: Flimsy. Cheap. Breaks easily. Quickly drains the battery.
  • Most found no helpful information or clear documentation on the product’s website.

AutoPage C3-RS730LCD

4.3/5 User Ratings

The AutoPAge C3-RS730LCD is a reliable 2-way, 4-channel car alarm with a 3-channel 1-way keyless entry security system. It has a remote car starter with five on-board relays for door locks, parking lights, starter, accessories, and (dual car) ignition control. It has an additional relay for starter disable. The remote has several audible confirmation tones and paging vibrator. The 2-way paging transceiver uses AM frequency bands to transmit/receive at 433.9 MgHz.

The AutoPAge C3-RS730LCD has programmable outputs and a new starter and ignition timing to ensure compatibility with 2007-2010 vehicles. It has an on-board 2-way serial port for I-Data Link Data Bus and Bypass module integration and includes C3 perfect information port for C3 Telematics incorporation. The 2-car operational 24-hour digital clock has a countdown timer that works as a parking meter reminder. The clock also functions as a temperature indicator that monitors cabin temperature. The LCD screen has 50% more viewing space and a remote with 5-button configuration (with lock button) that reads the on-board temperature sensor.

The XT-74LCD 2-way remote uses one AAA, 1.5-volt alkaline battery that has a power save mode and battery life indicator. The XT33 1-way sidekick remote uses two lithium ion batteries (for extended life).

Pros

  • Affordable. “Best value.”
  • Quality and design is excellent. The feature of vibrating remote is good.
  • 2-car functionality which means it can be changed from one car to another.
  • Long battery life.
  • One-mile range. Two-way, window mount, super-extended range helical transceiver antenna module.
  • No false-positive alarms reported upon correct sensor adjustment (Comes pre-adjusted from the company).
  • 1 yr. Limited Lifetime Equipment Warranty when installed by an authorized installer.

Cons

  • Most found the system difficult and time-consuming to self-install. Professional installation is highly recommended.
  • Installation requires knowledge or a schematic of the vehicle’s wiring.
  • Remote tends to reset the time whenever it is turned on.
  • You won’t know if the alarm is triggered if the remote is killed.

Viper 5305V

4.0/5 User Ratings

All Viper models are considered the “best car alarm” and security system for the money. The Viper 5305V is an “entry level,” 2-way remote start plus security system unit. It comes with a 4-button LCD remote and keyless entry and SmartStart compatibility features.

The Viper’s Model 5305V remote start and security system has a range up to 1/4 mile. It is Viper SmartStart compatible, which allows you to remote start the vehicle using a smartphone. There is no range restriction. The Model 5305V also offers a backlit LCD display, on-screen user interface, bright LED status, Failsafe® Starter Kill to prevent hot-wiring, Stinger® Double Guard® Shock Sensor, Revenger® Six-Tone Siren, and on-board remote start relays. Separate ESP2 and D2D ports remotely warms/cools the vehicle/seats. The remote also arms/disarms the alarm, unlocks the doors, and opens the trunk/hatch. The 2-way remote LCD screen indicates confirmation of commands. Icons illuminate to show the security feature is activated.

Pros

  • Very affordable. “Great value for the money.”
  • A universal system that works on 99% of vehicles on the market.
  • Good ¼-mile range operation.
  • Expandable. (Add functions: turn on interior lights, rear de-fogger, etc.).
  • Smartphone start (No-range restriction).
  • 1-yr. Guaranteed Protection Plan (Viper refunds your comprehensive insurance deductible up to $2,500 if your car is stolen with Viper installed and armed)
  • Warranty exchange (When installed by an authorized dealer).
  • Tech support available at http://www.viper.com/support/

Cons

  • Only includes the shock sensor (No glass-break or tilt-motion).
  • Most found the system difficult and time-consuming to self-install. Also installation requires knowledge or a schematic of the vehicle’s wiring therefore professional installation is highly recommended.
  • No company (installation) support unless you are an authorized dealer.
  • Vague or no instructions available.

AVITAL 5303L

4.1/5 User Ratings

The Avital 5303L is a 2-way security system that includes a 2-way LCD remote and 1-way 4-button LCD remote, keyless entry, and SmartStart smartphone compatibility feature. The remote, short-run/turbo, anti-grind starter circuitry keeps the engine running for one, 3, 5, or 10 minutes. It allows engine and transmission warmup as well as cabin warmup or cool. The user can also remotely lock/unlock and arm/disarm as well as operate the trunk release.

The Avital 5303L system has active and passive arming within a 1500-ft. range. The multi-level security arming allows selection of what inputs or sensors will be activated or bypassed. The FOB emits a digitally-encoded radio frequency that prevents frequency stealing so no one can enter the vehicle without its wireless transmitter. The sensor sound chirps for minor disturbances. The panic mode sounds the siren and flashes the parking lights. The remote beeps or vibrates. The 2-way remote LCD screen indicates confirmation of commands, warning Icons when doors or the trunk or hood are open. Silent-mode temporarily turns off the arm/disarm chips.

The Avital 5303L also includes 4 AUX outputs, Failsafe® Starter Kill that prevents hot-wiring, Stinger Double-Guard Shock Sensor with Warn-Away, and Valet mode that controls the vehicle to keep it running after the ignition key is removed. The Valet will not arm the security system with the remote transmitter.

Pros

  • Competitively priced.
  • Adjustable sensor to prevent false-positive alarms (Nuisance prevention).
  • 2-way FOB that uses a (longer-lasting) AAA battery.
  • Adequate 1500-foot range.
  • Warranty exchange (When installed by an authorized dealer).

Cons

  • Intended for professional installation only.
  • Disclaimer that non-professional self-installation may severely damage the vehicle’s electrical system and components.
  • No instructions/wiring diagrams.
  • May require additional parts for newer vehicles.

Carlock OBD100

4.5/5 User Ratings

Carlock OBD100 has a real-time GPS tracking system that monitors the vehicle and sends alerts of suspicious activity through the Carlock app subscription on the owner’s Android or iOS device. The effective range is limitless. Installation is easy and no additional wires, cables, special tools, or installation expertise is required. The Carlock device plugs into the vehicle’s OBD (On-Board Diagnostic) port. Every car that is 1996 or newer has an OBD port. The OBD port is generally located under the steering wheel around near the knee-area.

The Carlock OBD100 can detect if the vehicle has been carjacked or towed, if the engine has been started by someone other than the owner, or if any unusual vibrations are detected, such as tools used to break into the vehicle. It will also detect if the Carlock device has been disconnected from the vehicle.

The Carlock OBD100 device may be used on multiple cars. It may be programmed to detect sudden or hard breaking (inattentive driving), quick or fast acceleration (racing), and immediate or sharp turns. Unique features the Carlock offers that other alarm or security systems do not include are SMS and emergency contacts, driving history, and route tracking. Although the Carlock OBD100 requires an app subscription to activate, installing the unit may entitle the driver to an insurance discount.

Pros

  • Very affordable.
  • Real-time monitoring/tracking, alerts, and notifications are a boon.
  • Provides trip history.
  • Provides SMS notification (If the device loses the signal, low battery, engine is stated, vibration is detected, etc.).
  • Easy-to-install (Plug-in device).
  • Fits on all cars 1996 or newer.
  • Can be used in multiple vehicles (Move from one car to another).
  • Programmable (Set max. speed).
  • Low battery/ irregular battery drain alerts.
  • 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee. Seller warranty.
  • 2-yr. Warranty.

Cons

  • Lack of sensitivity.
  • Monthly subscription required (Approx. $9.60/mo.).
  • Unreliable. False alerts/readings. Delayed updates were experienced by few customers.
  • App may be slow due to cell service connection.
  • Complaints the app does not contain same options as online site and the map zoom is limited.