If you drive frequently or are prone to having a bit of a lead foot, one of these best radar detectors will be a great gadget to have for your car. While we don’t condone speeding, we see the many benefits of owning a radar detector. Whether you find yourself in a speed trap or you’re driving down a highway or country road, radar detectors can help you avoid getting a speeding ticket.
Radar detectors are made to alert you when police officers are running radar nearby. With this alert, you can adjust your speed accordingly just in time. Radar detectors are also useful for detecting red light and speed cameras. Not only will having a radar detector protect you against speeding tickets, but it will also make you more attentive to your driving speed in general.
Types Of Radar Detectors
The many radar detectors on the market range in price from under $100 to over $600. With that, how can you know what the “best” radar detector is? As there are many radar detectors out there with different pricing and features, we’ve put together this buying guide to help you find the one that fits your needs and budget.
While all radar detectors have the same main goal of alerting you of police radar, there are three different types of radar detectors. It is important to note that corded radar detectors are the common radar detectors. With that, our buying guide contains mostly corded detectors with one option for a cordless detector and one option for a remote-mount radar detector.
Corded radar detectors typically mount onto the car windshield with suction cups and plug into a cigarette lighter for power. Because of the wiring, you’ll need to properly secure the cords so that they do not get in your way.
Cordless radar detectors are completely battery-powered. These are pretty rare, as a good radar detector requires a good amount of power to work effectively. These work well on motorcycles, and for swapping between vehicles quickly.
Remote-mount radar detector permanently mounted in your vehicle. With that, the installation, once finished, is very secure. Remote-mount radar detectors are generally the easiest to keep hidden providing a clean installation that’s virtually undetectable by thieves.
The Best Radar Detectors For Your Car
In this article, we’ve compiled the 13 best radar detectors for cars on the market today. We’ve outlined everything you need to know about each product so that you can make an informed purchase. In addition, we’ve answered the important questions surrounding radar detectors so you can shop with confidence.
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3. Escort Max 360C Radar Detector
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The Escort Max 360C is one of the best, most robust radar detectors out there. In addition to all of the top-of-the-line features you’d expect in a radar detector, it also connects with the Escort Live mobile app for live shared alerts with over 3,000,000 other users. With the app, you can view all potential alerts on your route as well as plan your current drive.
Because the device is WiFi-enabled, the detector is made to update through on-board WiFi and alert you in real-time. With 360 in the name, you can bet that this detector has excellent 360-degree directional protection. Along with that, the detector has auto-learn technology to help eliminate false alarms. And the detector alerts you of red light or speed cameras. The multi-color OLED displays the alerts along with your current speed and the current speed limit.
This radar detector comes with a travel case for transport between vehicles, a USB to power up the detector, and a windshield mount for easy installation. Though it comes with a premium price tag, if you want a radar detector with all the bells and whistles, this is the one for you.
Benefits of Radar Detectors
First, and most obviously, radar detectors can detect radar guns from a far distance. As you use a radar detector, you will soon become familiar with the location of speed traps, and you’ll know when to adjust your speed accordingly.
Newer models of the best radar detectors for cars will also have built-in GPS. Thanks to the GPS location technology, the radar detector can also alert you to the location of red light cameras and speed cameras.
Overall, radar detectors should make driving safer and help you avoid costly speeding tickets. No matter what make and model of radar detector you purchase, installing a radar detector in your car will make you more aware of your surroundings. Just remember that you are responsible for paying attention at all times while driving. Never let the radar detector become a distraction from the road.
Get The Best Radar Detectors For Your Car
There are many options for different radar detectors, but hopefully, this guide to the best radar detectors for cars has helped you find the ideal one for your needs. And while you’re probably not using a radar detector to help you drive the infamous Cannonball Run, we hope it’ll allow you to (safely) cruise in your beloved vehicle … without getting speeding tickets.
If you still have questions, we’ve outlined the most frequently asked questions regarding radar detectors below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a radar detector?
A radar detector is an electronic device used in cars to detect speed monitoring by police using a radar gun. The radar detector senses invisible radar waves and notifies the driver with an audio or visual alert. The reason people use radar detectors is to avoid getting ticketed for speeding.
Radar detectors can generally be broken up into three types: cordless, corded, and remote-mount.
What key features should I consider when buying a radar detector?
Radar detectors vary in price because of their different features. With that, it’s important to know which features you want for your radar detector.
The first thing to look for is detection coverage. While one sensor can detect any radars in front of your vehicle, two sensors will give you 360-degree coverage. With that, radar detectors with two sensors tend to be more expensive.
Next, sensitivity and selectivity are two terms commonly thrown around when talking about radar detectors. Both of these terms have to do with false alert filtering. Of course, no one wants their radar detector to constantly be sounding false alarms.
Sensitivity refers to how easily a radar detector is able to pick up signals. With that, the more sensitive the radar detector is, the more likely it is to pick up signals.
Selectivity refers to the radar detector’s ability to detect signals that come from false sources such as blind spot monitor systems on other vehicles or automatic door openers in town. With that, selectivity is the detector’s ability to actually reject specific signals that should not alert you. A signal that has high selectivity may even be able to tell you what kind of signal they are alerting you for — such as an emergency vehicle passing through. K-band filters allow for the least amount of false alerts.
Next, you may want a radar with RDD (Radar Detector Detection). Police use RDD to know when a radar detector is in use. With that, a lot of newer radar detectors have technology that will shut down your detector when an RDD system is detected. However, the use of a radar detector is not illegal in most states and provinces, so you don’t need to worry about the police detecting your use of a radar detector.
Other important features to consider when purchasing a radar detector is whether it is corded, cordless, or a permanent remote mount. In addition, take into consideration the different voice and visual alerts. You may have a preference for how and where the detector is mounted, so look into the specific model that fits your needs.
Nowadays, a lot of radar detectors have radar detectors with GPS. This allows the device to notify you of red light cameras and speed cameras. Some detectors are even smartphone compatible.
Can you get pulled over for having a radar detector?
Overall, radar detectors are legal in passenger vehicles in most states with the exception of Virginia and Washington D.C. They are, however, usually illegal in commercial vehicles. Check with your local laws in both the United States and Canada to be certain you are using a radar detector legally.
Where should you put a radar detector in the car?
There are many opinions on where to mount a radar detector. Some drivers say that it should be mounted high by the rearview mirror or at the top or middle of the windshield. Others say it should be mounted low on the dashboard with suction cups. With that, it can get confusing on where to place your radar detector. There is no clear single answer, and you have several options to choose from.
One of the most common places to put your radar detector is low near the dashboard if you have a suction cup mount. This will give you optimal visibility and safety when using a radar detector.
With that being said, if you decide to mount it on your windshield, place it somewhere that it will not obstruct your view. For instance, place it right above your rear-view mirror. You can also purchase a rearview mirror mount for another installation option.
Note that in some states, there are specific laws on where you can legally place the detector. With that, make certain that it is not illegal in your state to suction a radar detector to your windshield. Check with your local state laws to be certain you have legally mounted your radar detector.
In short, the most common places to put a radar detector are low on the dashboard, mounted below the rear-view mirror, or high on the windshield so as to not obstruct the driver’s view.
Can police officers detect a radar detector?
Yes, police officers can sometimes detect radar detectors. There are some radar detectors that are fully undetectable, so keep an eye out for that feature when purchasing one for yourself if you are concerned about detection of your device.
Are there advantages of having a cordless radar detector?
Cordless radar detectors are the easiest to install. With that, they are also the easiest to uninstall. If you want to transfer the radar detector from vehicle to vehicle, having a cordless radar detector allows for the most user-friendly switch. In addition, if you tend to have your charging port filled with phone chargers, a cordless radar detector keeps the charging port free for use.