The latest automobiles continue to up the ante in every department, looking sleeker on the outside and bolstering overall security. Safety updates on newer vehicles include sophisticated anti-theft systems, but experts reckon you still need another layer of protection. They recommend adding an aftermarket car security system. This device protects your investment, whether you purchased the car of your dreams or a practical vehicle for the everyday commute. But with so many aftermarket car security systems to choose from, it can be hard to find the best car alarm system.
Fortunately, we’ve researched many of these security devices to save you the trouble. Here’s a list of some of the best car alarm systems and their types and features.
Best Car Alarm Systems
There are many aftermarket car alarm systems out there, so selecting the best might take some research and consideration. Some of the top-rated car alarm system brands in 2022, according to Forbes, are Compustar, Viper, Avital, Python, and Carlock.
To decide which brand is best for you, we suggest you familiarize yourself with the two basic types of car alarms and their features.
Car Alarm Basics
There are two main car alarms on the market: one-way and two-way. The one-way car alarm system is armed and operated by a key fob. This device allows you to control the alarm, door locks, trunk, and windows from the key fob. It can’t receive information from the car.
On the other hand, the two-way car alarm system provides all the features of a one-way car alarm system, plus it can receive transmitted signals or messages from the car. You’ll receive alerts and updates like:
- Alarm status
- Doors locked or unlocked
- Battery status
- Engine life
- Alarm drain
The two-way car alarm system is superior. It lets you check the status of your vehicle at any time, prevents false alarms, and improves your car security.
Car Alarm System Features
Aftermarket car alarm systems offer many security features. So you will need to assess which security features you need before picking out a suitable aftermarket system. The leading car alarm security features that prospective buyers check out are:
Your vehicle can send you notifications when fitted with a security system capable of sending security alerts. These notifications will keep you apprised of your car’s status, alerting you of unusual activity and letting you know if your doors are locked or unlocked. A car alarm system that provides live updates will reduce the stress of not knowing whether your vehicle is properly locked and secure.
Starter Kill Switch
Car alarms with flashing lights and sirens can only go so far in mitigating vandalism and theft. But car security systems with a starter kill switch can prevent your vehicle from starting after unauthorized access. This is a secret switch that must be activated while you turn the key in order for the engine to start. It can be a standalone switch or integrated so that you have to turn on your high beams or left turn signal, for example, to start your car. In other words, if thieves manage to get inside your vehicle, they won’t be able to start your car’s engine. While this feature can’t prevent vandalism or damage to your vehicle, it can prevent your car from being taken.
Shock and Tilt Sensors
Installing a car alarm system with shock and tilt sensors can help deter burglars. These sensors monitor unusual movement or vibrations around your car and alert you if they detect irregularities. Incidents that these sensors pick up include impact, intrusion, tilt, forward motion, and glass breakage.
One of the ultimate car alarm system features is GPS tracking. If all other safeguards fail and your vehicle is stolen, a car security system with GPS tracking will allow you and the police to track the new location of your vehicle. It can even aid police in recovering your stolen car.
Some Car Alarm Complements
Remote Engine Start
Remote engine start is a popular convenience bundled with some of the best car alarm systems. It includes a key fob so you can start your vehicle remotely. You can also use this tech to cool or heat the interior of your vehicle, depending on the season, without walking out to manually start or turn off your car. Remote start is a more secure way to let your car run without you as it enables you to start and run the engine while the doors are still locked, preventing a thief from driving off in your vehicle while it’s running.
Active Alarm Systems
Active car alarm systems have additional layers of security, such as automatic arming and unarming. Systems with these features can detect when a compatible key fob is nearby, automatically locking or unlocking the doors. This capability lets you worry less about forgetting to lock your doors or arm your car alarm system.
Car Alarm System Installation
Deciding on the best car alarm system for your vehicle is one part of the equation. You’ll also need to determine whether you want to install it yourself or have a professional do it. We recommend you consider these factors before deciding between DIY or professional installation:
- Your vehicle’s warranty
- Your automotive wiring knowledge
- Access to the correct tools
- Access to your vehicle’s wiring diagram
If your vehicle is covered under the factory warranty, it may require a professional installer so you don’t void the warranty. Still, whether you handle the installation or have a professional take care of it, there will be installation guides for your preferred car alarm system.
No matter if you own a classic car or new wheels, you likely have invested a lot of money to acquire and customize it. So, it’s only natural you want to protect your ride from vandalism and theft. Many security packages, especially car alarm systems, beef up car security. Choosing the best car alarm system gives you peace of mind when you leave your vehicle unattended.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.