The 7 Best Car Alarms of 2020

Give your vehicle and extra layer of protection

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Whether your vehicle shipped with a basic alarm system or doesn't have one at all, adding an after-market solution can offer a range of benefits. These car security systems can add features like carjacking protection, remote unlocking from across the street or across the country, alerts on your alarm remote or smartphone, and more.

The Rundown

  • Best Budget: Avital 3100LX at Amazon, "Offers good basic protection and is simple enough for many people to install themselves."
  • Best Value: Omega K9 Mundial-4 at Amazon, "Also includes a separate anti-carjacking function."
  • Best Features: EASYGUARD EC002-NS at Amazon, "Requires that a PIN code is entered on the included keypad. Without it, the engine simply won't start."
  • Best Range: Viper 5706V at Amazon, "Can remotely connect to your vehicle from up to a mile away with clear line of sight."
  • Best Splurge: Viper 5906V at Amazon, "Set a parking meter timer and see information on interior temperature and remaining runtime using the remote start capability."
  • Runner-Up, Best Splurge: Viper 5806V at Amazon, "Includes remote start, keyless entry and trunk release, valet and anti-carjacking modes, and more."
  • Best Add-On GPS Tracker: Omega MYCAR Carlink Linkr-LT1 at Amazon, "Adds smartphone capabilities and GPS tracking to your existing system."

Our Top Picks

Best Budget: Avital 3100LX

Avital 3100LX

Courtesy of Amazon

If you don't have much money to spend on a car alarm but still need some extra protection for your vehicle, check out the Avital 3100LX. This well-priced system offers good basic protection, including engine immobilization, and is simple enough for many people to install themselves. It hooks up to the vehicle's existing horn so there's no need to find room for or mount a separate siren.

The Avital 3100LX comes with a pair of remotes and supports up to four. As well as the alarm itself, this is a great — and low-cost — way to add keyless entry, trunk release, and remote starting features to an older vehicle.

If you can't find your vehicle in the parking lot or if you see someone paying it a little too much attention, there's also a panic mode that sounds the horn and flashes the lights.

If you're unsure of what to look for, knowing how car alarm sensors work may help to inform your shopping decision.

Best Value: Omega K9 Mundial-4

Despite its low price, the Omega K9 Mundial-4 is full of useful features. This alarm system includes a dual-zone shock sensor, loud electronic alarm, keyless remote entry, trunk release, and two panic alarm options. The system also includes a separate anti-carjacking function, which can be configured to activate when the vehicle is started, if the doors open or close while the ignition is on, or via the remote.

Nice and loud by default, the volume of both the alarm and the confirmation chirps is configurable, along with a range of other settings from automatic arming to open door alerts. The included remotes are unusually stylish for an inexpensive system like this, with four separate control buttons.

If the inbuilt security features aren't enough for peace of mind, the Mundial-4 also has auxiliary inputs for adding proximity sensors and more. 

Best Features: EASYGUARD EC002-NS

While several car alarms offer some form of basic engine immobilization, the Easyguard EC0002-NS takes it a step further. Rather than using a simple button or switch to deactivate the immobilization feature, the system can be configured so that it requires a PIN code to be entered on the included keypad. Without it, the engine simply won't start. There's also a button that can be used for one-touch starting if your vehicle doesn't already have it.

The system can be set to automatically lock and unlock when you're within a few feet, and there's a remote start option that's ideal during hot or cold weather. The vehicle's horn serves as the audible alarm. A shock sensor is included.

You get plenty for your money with this alarm, although bear in mind that due to its relative complexity, professional installation may be required. 

You may also be interested in our list of the best smart car products on the market today.

Best Range: Viper 5706V

Viper 5706V

Courtesy of Amazon

The remotes for many alarm systems only have an effective range of a hundred feet or so, and most others top out around a quarter of a mile. That's definitely not the case with the Viper 5706V, which can remotely connect to your vehicle from up to a mile away with clear line of sight.

The 5706V also has plenty of other tricks up its sleeve. The large LCD screen on the remote moves icons around based on how much they're used and can display the inside temperature of the vehicle after it has been remotely started. When the alarm sounds on the vehicle, it will sound on the remote as well. And if anything out of the ordinary has happened while you're away (like if the shock sensor has been triggered), it will display on the screen when you return to your vehicle.

As with most advanced alarm systems, you'll likely need to have this professionally installed (or be prepared to spend many hours attempting to do it yourself).

Best Splurge: Viper 5906V

Viper 5906V

Courtesy of Amazon

A premium car alarm with a premium price tag to match, the Viper 5906V has it all. As well as standard features like multiple zones, a loud siren, and keyless entry, you can do things like setting a parking meter timer (which alerts on the remote when you need to feed the meter) and see information on interior temperature and remaining runtime when using the remote start capability.

The 5906V ships with a pair of keychain remotes: a primary and a companion. The former is two-way and has a color OLED touchscreen, while the companion remote is a one-way, push-button version. Both work from up to a mile away and two vehicles can be controlled (one at a time) from a single remote.

The 5906V is compatible with Viper's SmartStart system, which adds smartphone and GPS tracking capabilities via an optional module. Auxiliary ports are also available for additional sensors, including tilt and glass break.

Looking for more car accessories? Read the reviews in our roundup of the best remote car starters.

Runner-Up, Best Splurge: Viper 5806V

Viper 5806V

Courtesy of Amazon

If you like the features available in Viper's 5906V alarm system, but can't quite justify the price tag, it's worth taking a look at the next model down instead. The 5806V doesn't have the fancy color OLED remote control of its bigger brother, but if you can live without that, you'll get plenty of bells and whistles at a lower cost.

The push-button remotes work from up a mile away with line of sight. One has full two-way support, while the companion is one-way only. LEDs on the two-way remote confirm the alarm's status.

The usual premium Viper features are available with the 5806V, including remote start, keyless entry and trunk release, valet and anti-carjacking modes, multiple security zones, and plenty more. Unless you're very familiar with installing complex car alarm systems, doing so is a job best left to the professionals in this case. 

Best Add-On GPS Tracker: Omega MYCAR Carlink Linkr-LT1

Rather than being a full car alarm in its own right, the Omega MYCAR Carlink adds smartphone capabilities and GPS tracking to your existing system. The system uses the widespread AT&T network across the United States and Puerto Rico to communicate between the car and an iOS or Android app, and tracks the vehicle's location via GPS.

As well as showing your vehicle's current location on demand, the Carlink app offers various other control and alerting features. You can check at a glance whether the doors are locked or the alarm is set, and you will receive a notification immediately when the alarm goes off. You can also start and stop the engine almost anywhere via the app and cellular network, as well as access more standard features like popping the trunk.

Although you'll get the most value from the Linkr-LT1 when it's hooked up to an alarm, it's also possible to use it on its own purely as a GPS tracker. An annual cellular service plan is required either way.

Also be sure to check out out helpful guide to the best car GPS trackers if this functionality is important to you.

Our Process

Our writers spent 9 hours researching the most popular car alarms on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 21 different alarms overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers and read over 140 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.