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.
Uniden is a well-known technology company that is also one of the leading radar detector manufacturers. The Uniden R3 Radar Detector has an extremely long-range and a built-in GPS. For use, just simply mount it in your car and plug the power cord into the cigarette lighter. In addition to radar protection, you can also preload red light and speed camera locations from Uniden’s free database. With the GPS, the more you drive your usual routes, the better the detector will become at filtering out false alerts. You can also keep your device up-to-date with regular firmware updates from Uniden.
Both the visual multi-color display and the voice alerts are top-notch. The multi-color OLED display is easy-to-read which is important so you can avoid any unnecessary distraction while driving. Along with that, the voice alerts can be programmed to best fit your needs and driving style. And the voice alert will let you know what type of radar is being detected.
The Uniden R3 radar detector comes with a carrying case, a 12V cigarette adapter, numerous windshield mounting suction options, and an owner’s manual.
This radar detector from Wizga is perhaps the most affordable radar detector out there. It comes equipped with 360-degree laser detection but otherwise isn’t equipped with many other features or a lot of great technology. This basic laser detector will alert you of a nearby radar with voice prompts and has a range of 820 to 8,000 feet.
You can choose either city mode or highway mode when using this radar detector. The city mode will reduce the frequency of voice alerts when you are in densely populated areas with the potential for false alarms. The LED display also shows you the current signal strength.
The Wizga detector is best mounted on your car’s dashboard. It comes with a nonslip mat and power cord for a very easy installation.
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.
The Valentine One V1 Radar Detector is a wired detector that you can mount wherever is best for your car and state regulations — the windshield, the visor, the dashboard, or the rear-view mirror. The internal wiring of this detector is the most impressive part as it comes directly from military CHIRP radars. With that, you know that you’ll get extremely precise and highly reliable radar detection.
Valentine has worked to create a technology called K-Verifier that improves resistance to blind spot detection systems and heavily reduces false alarms. The device comes equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 which allows the detector to connect to your phone. From there, you can use Valentine’s free app, V1 Connection, to receive live-stream threat information.
Along with the detector, you will get a windshield mount, visor mount, coiled and straight power cords, and spare suction cups.
Instead of purchasing a separate dash cam and radar detector, why not have both in the same device? With the two-in-one Cobra Road Scout you can cruise the roads knowing you are covered from speeding tickets and red light cameras and also capture your fun (and safe) drive on the integrated dash cam.
The radar detector has a long-range and a GPS database to reduce false alerts. In addition, thanks to the GPS database, the detector will notify you of red light and speed cameras. The front of the device features user-friendly control settings so you can set up the detector exactly how you want it. And the full-color LCD system will show you the current speed limit. The device integrates with the iRadar app for easy setup and real-time alerts from other users.
The dash camera is Full HD 1080p, capable of both day and night recording. Along with that, it can record on a continuous loop. With WiFi and the app, you can immediately view, edit, and share the videos from your phone.
The Whistler CR65 is among the more budget-friendly choices. While it has a simple design, Whistler has a reputation for crafting excellent radar detectors that are reliable and efficient. The CR65 will alert you to all four bands used for radar speed detection — X, K, Superwide Ka, and laser. And with 360-degree coverage, you will be alerted to radar coming from any side of your car.
The radar detector has a battery-saver feature which automatically shuts the device off when it is not in use. You can switch between three modes to either reduce false alarms or completely shut the device off. The visual display on the front of the device shows the most important signal if more than one is detected at once.
The radar detector comes with a suction cup mount for your windshield and a 12v power cord.
The Escort IX has long been hailed as one of the best radar detectors ever made. And the upgraded version, the Escort IXC is just that — only better. With improved WiFi connectivity, precise GPS for false alarm reduction, and improved detection range, this radar detector is worth the money. Along with the rapid detection of police radars, this device also has real-time alerts. The Escort Live feature in the mobile app allows you to tune into the over 3,000,000 other drivers also using Escort devices.
With the WiFi-enabled Escort IXC, all you have to do is connect the device to your car’s WiFi for up-to-date maps, current speed limits, and red light camera locations. The fancy GPS in the detector works to eliminate false alerts and continues to work better the more often you use it. The OLED display shows you both the radar alert along with your current speed and the speed limit so you can adjust accordingly.
Along with the radar detector, you’ll also get a mount and USB power cord for the device.
The Uniden R7 radar detector comes equipped with advanced false-alert filtering, excellent range and sensitivity, and GPS technology. Using GPS, the device is able to mark red light and speed cameras and filter out false alarms along your regular routes.
The dual antennas allow for 360-degree coverage, and the screen will display an arrow showing what direction the radar is coming from so you never have to guess. With the multi-color OLED display and voice alerts, your experience will always be hands-free. The OLED display can show up to four alerts at once and the voice alerts are programmable.
The Uniden R7 detector comes with two options for suction, a carrying case, and a cigarette adaptor with a USB jack.
The Radenso Pro M radar detector has several unique features that are worth considering. The Pro M has several miles of range as well as a GPS lockout features that allows you to identify and silence false alerts. You can also set up automatic muting below a certain speed limit and adjust the device’s sensitivity based on the current speed. The device comes preloaded with more than 6,000 red light and speed camera locations. Along with the radar detector, you also get access to updatable firmware and completely free monthly updates.
This compact radar detector has increased long-distance sensitivity for accurate alerts. And it filters out false alerts. Each Pro M is backed with a 1-year warranty. The detector has an amber OLED visual display with four display modes and voice alerts.
The Radenso Pro M radar detector comes with a windshield suction cup mount, a power cord, a carrying case, and a mini-USB cable.
The Cobra Rad 350 radar detector packs everything you need into a budget-friendly package. Cobra’s filter system helps reduce false alerts. Along with the seven-color OLED display showing you the numeric signal strength, the detector also has specific tones for each level of signal strength. The voice alerts can be set in either English or Spanish. With these audio alerts, you can keep your eyes on the road.
The device is able to detect laser signals from both the front and the back of your car. And you can change from city to highway mode with the easy click of a button. Reviewers recommend centering this device at the bottom of your windshield for the best coverage.
When you buy a Cobra device from Amazon, you’ll be backed by Cobra’s 1-year limited warranty.
The Escort Passport 8500 X50 radar detector is a simple yet highly effective device. The detector automatically adjusts its sensitivity based on current speed and whether you’re in the city or on a highway. This reduces false alerts. Along with that, the display screen shows the detected laser band and the signal strength.
With this radar detector, you can have a hands-free, no distractions driving experience thanks to the audio alerts. The top of the device has user-friendly buttons so that you can turn it on and off, adjust the volume, and adjust the brightness of the screen.
The radar detector comes with a travel case, a smart cord, and a windshield mount.
If you want the easiest installation with no worry about securing cords, the cordless Escort Solo S4 runs entirely on batteries. Simply mount the radar detector, turn it on, and you are ready to go. This detector is especially handy if you frequently drive different vehicles as it can be brought anywhere with ease. This radar detector is highly customizable. And even when you do switch the batteries or change location, the customizations you set will remain the same.
The user-friendly OLED display shows both the type and strength of the radar signal. You can easily change the volume with buttons to the right of the screen. This detector can also detect signals coming from both the front and the back of your car.
Whether you want to go wireless to free up space or because you are an avid traveler, this is an excellent option.
If you’re looking for the most discrete radar detector possible, this remote-mount radar detector from Whistler is the one for you. The console can be permanently installed in your vehicle. Because the installation varies from car to car, the console has three different aux ports. Along with that, the device has optional modules that you can install in order to add a connection to a GPS or a rear-laser radar antenna.
The Whistler Pro-3600 has total band protection with 360-degree coverage, able to detect radar from the sides, front, and back of our vehicle. You can switch between three different city modes to reduce false alerts. And the device provides real voice alerts that can be turned on and off for varying levels of discreetness. The text display is easy to see, showing the alerts received, the digital signal strength, and the specific engaged city mode.
If you are looking for a customizable remote-mount radar detector option, the Whistler Pro-3600 should do the trick.
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.
Joybeth Sullivan is an accomplished content creator. She does it all as a writer, photographer, and videographer. Her work has been published in local and international outlets. She graduated from the University of Georgia in May of 2020 with a dual-degree in English & Film. Today, she is based out of Denver, CO. When she isn't writing, you can find her on long drives in the mountains with her husky, Newman, riding shotgun.