The Best Alarm Systems

The FBI estimates that nearly one million vehicles are stolen each year, resulting in an approximately $6-billion loss. Given how expensive vehicles are, and how much people rely on them for going about their daily lives, installing an alarm system is a pretty cost effective way to protect your investment.

Finding the best alarm system for your vehicle means reading reviews, studying product features, and diving into the ins and outs of available sensors and configurations. With the right alarm system, keeping your vehicle safe from would-be thieves can become a quick, over-and-done with task.

We reviewed dozens of alarm systems to identify the best of the best, based on Amazon reviews, how well they performed in tests, cost, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated alarm system vehicle owners can purchase to ensure their ride is kept as safe and secure as possible.

Top Pick
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AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System

Arm or disarm your system from up to 1,500 feet away, with visual confirmation on the 2-way remote.

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$449.99 USD

We’ve identified AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System as the best alarm system out there. With the ability to arm or disarm from up to 1,500 feet away, this alarm system is one that will give you peace of mind your vehicle is safe and sound. These benefits allow you to go about your day without worrying that someone might drive off with your vehicle.

The 5 Top-Rated Alarm Systems for Vehicles

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallAVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System3.9
Runner UpPython 5706P Responder LC3 SST 2-Way Security System4.0
Best Budget BuyPyle Car Alarm Security System3.5
Best Keyless Entry Car AlarmViper 5305V Vehicle Alarm Keyless Entry System4.1
Best Immobilizing Alarm SystemBANVIE Car Alarm RFID Immobilizer Hidden Lock System4.0

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System

The AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System took the top spot on our list of the best alarm systems, and offers the ability to arm or disarm your system from up to 1,500 feet away. Visual confirmation on the 2-way remote lets you know for sure the system is activated. The virtual tach eliminates the need for tach wire in most vehicle installations, and it is D11 bitwriter programmable for easy configuration by a professional.

Those who purchased and reviewed this alarm system appreciated the quality of this alarm system for the price, as it is made by the same company (Directed Electronics) that also makes the higher-end Viper and Python vehicle alarm systems. People found it very responsive, and liked the available features.

With a price tag of about $99, it’s not outrageously priced, and the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 3.9 on Amazon with nearly 50 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System Key Features:

  • LCD remote has tone and vibration modes
  • Include a four-button 1-way remote
  • Siren at 120 dB

Our Runner Up Pick: Python 5706P Responder LC3 SST 2-Way Security System

Runner Up
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Python 5706P Responder LC3 SST 2-Way Security System

Remote confirms commands with tones, vibration, text, and icon display for added peace of mind.

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$499.99 USD

The Python 5706P Responder LC3 SST 2-Way Security System took the runner-up spot on our list of the best alarm systems, and confirms commands using tones, vibration, text, and icon display to give you added peace of mind. It comes complete with one two-button 2-way LCD remote that is backlit for ease of visibility, and one five-button 1-way companion remote. It boasts a range of approximately one mile.

Those who purchased and reviewed this alarm system appreciated the many features it offered, including a parking meter timer and the ability to see the internal temperature of the vehicle. Some people found that the buttons on the LCD remote were a bit too sensitive, and that the range wasn’t quite as far as advertised, but were happy with the overall performance and peace of mind this system offered.

At a cost of around $220, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.0 on Amazon with more than 70 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

Python 5706P Responder LC3 SST 2-Way Security System Key Features:

  • Includes a 6-tone siren
  • Compatible with vehicles with manual transmissions
  • Includes a Stinger® DoubleGuard® shock sensor

Best Budget Pick: Pyle Car Alarm Security System

Best for Budget
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Pyle Car Alarm Security System

A budget-friendly option with a sleek and simple design.

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$29.99 USD

The Pyle Car Alarm Security System is an excellent choice for those looking for an alarm system that won’t break the bank. It offers users the ability to choose between passive or active arming depending on the situation, and comes complete with two 4-button remote controls. The LED status indicator light provides a visual confirmation of the system’s status. This set includes two auxiliary outputs for activating other accessories such as remote engine start or window roll up.

Those who purchased and reviewed this alarm system appreciated that it offered all the basic programs most vehicle owners want, at an extremely affordable price point. Many people found this alarm was too sensitive for their liking, but it can be adjusted in the settings.

With a cost of approximately $30, this alarm system is a solid choice for those looking for an alarm system option on a budget. It has a rating of 3.5 on Amazon with nearly 400 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners that this budget-friendly pick is just as good at keeping their vehicle safe as its more expensive counterparts.

Pyle Car Alarm Security System Key Features:

  • Two-tone, 120 dB siren
  • Can be set to “valet” mode
  • Includes a limited lifetime warranty

Best Keyless Entry Car Alarm: Viper 5305V Vehicle Alarm Keyless Entry System

Best Keyless Entry Car Alarm
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Viper 5305V Vehicle Alarm Keyless Entry System

An entry-level system with plenty of convenient features.

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$140.99 USD

The Viper 5305V Vehicle Alarm Keyless Entry System offers an entry-level price point with plenty of features for a value-packed vehicle alarm system. It boasts features such as keyless entry and SmartStart compatibility, and up to 1/4 mile range. It features separate ESP2 and D2D ports, and the 2-way remote uses a backlit LCD display for ease of viewing.

Those who purchased and reviewed this alarm system appreciated that it offered good value for the money, and that it was relatively easy (as far as vehicle alarm systems go) to install. Many vehicle owners still opted for a professional install though. People appreciated the many features this alarm system offered, yet there were a number of complaints about the range not being great.

With a price tag of about $136, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.1 on Amazon with more than 100 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

Viper 5305V Vehicle Alarm Keyless Entry System Key Features:

  • Comes with one 4-button LCD 2-way remote and one 4-button 1-way remote
  • Includes a Stinger® Double Guard® shock sensor
  • Six-tone siren

Best Immobilizing Alarm System: BANVIE Car Alarm RFID Immobilizer Hidden Lock System

Best Immobilizing Alarm System
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BANVIE Car Alarm RFID Immobilizer Hidden Lock System

Simple RFID alarm with finger engine start push button and transponder immobilizer.

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$22.99 USD

The BANVIE Car Alarm RFID Immobilizer Hidden Lock System is a simple RFID alarm the comes complete with a finger engine start push button and transponder immobilizer. Without the RFID key fob, the car will not start, making your vehicle practically theft-proof. It is compatible with nearly any DC12V vehicle, and includes step-by-step installation instructions — although professional installation is recommended.

Those who purchased and reviewed this alarm system appreciated that it was easy to install, and offered a sleek look in their vehicle. People said the instructions were easy to follow, and liked that it could be installed on many types of vehicles such as golf carts and motorcycles.

At a cost of around $27, it’s a very affordable system, and the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.0 on Amazon with more than 30 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

BANVIE Car Alarm RFID Immobilizer Hidden Lock System Key Features:

  • Available with a choice of blue or leather key fobs
  • Automatic re-arm
  • One button push start or stop

Who Should Buy a Vehicle Alarm System

An alarm system is an ideal choice for anyone who is worried about their vehicle being stolen or broken into. Given that nearly one million vehicles are stolen each year, according to FBI estimates, installing an alarm system is a pretty cost effective way to protect your investment.

If your vehicle has been broken into or stolen before, an alarm system can provide added peace of mind that your automobile is safe and sound. Additionally, a lot of insurance companies offer their customers lower rates if their vehicle is equipped with an alarm.

You might also want to install a vehicle alarm system if your vehicle did not come with one. While many modern vehicles come with an alarm system pre-installed, older vehicles are lacking in this technology, and could benefit from the added security provided by an aftermarket alarm system. They can also provide improved performance over OEM alarm systems.

Some alarm systems for vehicles include tracking devices, which allow you to easily find your vehicle in the event that it ends up stolen, and sometimes even deactivate remotely.

And if you’re looking for information on other aftermarket products, such as finding the best wheel covers, the best car covers, or the best car speakers, we have in-depth buying guides that can help make your decision easier.

Top Pick
Buy Now
AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System

Arm or disarm your system from up to 1,500 feet away, with visual confirmation on the 2-way remote.

buy now
$449.99 USD

Important Features to Consider

Not all alarm systems are created equal. An alarm system should be easy to use and reliable. Here’s what to consider when evaluating the options in search of the best alarm system for your vehicle:

  • One-way/two-way. Arguably the most important consideration when it comes to buying an alarm system for vehicles is whether or not it is a one-way or two-way system. One-way systems use one-way communication between the remote control and the vehicle to perform commands. They are generally more affordable than two-way alarm systems. Two-way alarm systems for vehicles feature a remote control that communicates with the vehicle, and the vehicle communicates back to the remote control. This instant response gives people peace of mind that their commands have gone through, but they are often considerably more expensive than their one-way remote counterparts. An LCD screen provides visual confirmation, and can be quite handy.
  • Sensors. Vehicles can be tampered with from the windows, trunk, or doors. Having sensors in each of these possible tamper areas can provide added protection to your vehicle. Window sensors respond to the sound of windows or glass being broken or opened, while tilt sensors will sound the alarm if your vehicle is lifted at a certain angle — such as being towed away by a thief.
  • Active/passive activation. Active alarm systems require the driver to arm and disarm the system (usually with a remote), while passive alarm systems arm and disarm based on proximity to a special fob or remote, or when the ignition is turned off and the last door opened is closed.
  • Encrypted transmission. While the classic image of a vehicle thief is one of a person with a crowbar or slim jim, many thieves nowadays use state-of-the-art signal hacking equipment which allows them to bypass a car alarm’s digital security features. A system with encrypted transmission is much more difficult to hack, and therefore helps keep your vehicle more secure.
  • Remote start. The ability to start your vehicle remotely is convenient to cool in the summer or warm in the winter, and isn’t always built into a system. Sometimes you just need another component, while other times it is already included. Systems with auxiliary outputs allow for the expansion and use of remote starters, and other features.
  • Mobile app compatibility. There are some vehicle alarm systems that offer companion app compatibility, so you can keep tabs on your vehicle, or perform commands from your mobile device.
  • Price point. Finally, consider how much you are willing to spend on an alarm system. Alarm systems vary in price from $20-$400 or more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an alarm system and how does it work?

An alarm system is a series of sensors that alerts you to tampering. It works by being activated (either actively or passively) by a remote. Most alarms have a flashing LED light that provides a visual alert to would-be thieves that your vehicle has an alarm installed, which is often an effective deterrent. If a thief attempts to tamper with the vehicle, the system gives off a warning chirp or full siren blast, depending on which sensors are tripped and how severely. A 2-way alarm system sends a notification to the 2-way remote in cases of vehicle tampering. You can deactivate or disarm the system using the remote when you return to the vehicle.

What can trigger a car alarm?

What triggers a car alarm depends on the types of sensors the system has. Vehicles can be tampered with from the windows, trunk, or doors. Having sensors in each of these possible tamper areas can provide added protection to your vehicle. Window sensors respond to the sound of windows or glass being broken or opened, while tilt sensors will sound the alarm if your vehicle is lifted at a certain angle — such as being towed away by a thief. Door sensors activate when pried, and shock sensors alarm if someone hits, jostles, or otherwise moves the vehicle.

Will a car alarm stop on its own?

Depending on the alarm system, sometimes a car alarm that has been set off will stop on its own after a few minutes, or it might stop for a period of time before alarming again. Many cities now have requirements for home and vehicle alarms to shut off after a certain about of time so as to prevent annoying others in the community. Generally though, you will need the fob or remote in order to deactivate a car alarm. An alarm will also stop on its own once the vehicle battery is dead.

Can a low battery cause a car alarm to go off?

Yes, a low battery can cause a car alarm to go off. However, many car alarms have been designed to detect low battery levels, which can help you know if it’s time to replace it. If your battery is low or dying and you try to start the vehicle, it can cause your car alarm to continue going off. This problem can easily be solved by checking your battery from time to time to ensure it’s in good shape.

Other Alarm Systems We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
AVITAL 5303L Security/Remote Start System

Arm or disarm your system from up to 1,500 feet away, with visual confirmation on the 2-way remote.

buy now
$449.99 USD

We looked at 20 other alarm systems. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best alarm systems list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for securing your vehicle. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Keyless Entry Car Alarms

InstallGear Car Alarm Security & Keyless Entry System

InstallGear Car Alarm Security & Keyless Entry System

This keyless entry car alarm system offers vehicle owners the ability to lock and unlock their vehicle, and secure it via a compact remote system.

Key Features:

  • Trunk pop feature
  • Includes two 4-button remotes
  • Wiring harness and control module included

Cost: $30

KKmoon Universal Car Vehicle Security System

KKmoon Universal Car Vehicle Security System

This keyless entry car alarm system is suitable for use in vehicles of various makes and models, and comes complete with two remote controls, a siren, and the wiring harness.

Key Features:

  • Remote distance up to 100 meters
  • Automatic re-arm
  • Intermittent horn feature

Cost: $20

BANVIE Universal 1-Way Car Keyless Entry Security Alarm System

BANVIE Universal 1-Way Car Keyless Entry Security Alarm System

This keyless entry car alarm system boasts a universal design that is compatible with vehicles of all makes and models, and comes complete with a shock sensor and microwave sensor alarm, side door alarm, and ACC alarm.

Key Features:

  • Automatic re-arm
  • Includes two 5-button remotes
  • Remote trunk release

Cost: $40

X AUTOHAUX Car Keyless Entry Security Alarm System

X AUTOHAUX Car Keyless Entry Security Alarm System

This keyless entry car alarm system boasts remote start inclusion, and comes complete with two 4-button metal one-way remote controls.

Key Features:

  • Remote distance up to 984 feet
  • Professional installation is recommended
  • Alarm sound level of 80-120 dB

Cost: $33

Gravity Car Alarm & Keyless Entry System

Gravity Car Alarm & Keyless Entry System

This keyless entry car alarm system boasts an adjustable built-in shock sensor, and comes complete with two 4-button remote controls.

Key Features:

  • Trunk release function
  • Integrated parking light relay
  • Can be set to “valet” mode

Cost: $26

Immobilizing Alarm Systems

Excalibur EXCAL500+ Vehicle Alarm System with Immobilizer Mode and Keyless Entry

Excalibur EXCAL500+ Vehicle Alarm System with Immobilizer Mode and Keyless Entry

This immobilizing alarm system boasts both siren and horn outputs, and comes complete with two 5-button remotes for added convenience.

Key Features:

  • Dual zone shock sensor included
  • Automatic re-arm
  • Can be set to “valet” mode

Cost: $44

Carrfan 2.4GHz Car Alarm Immobilizer Kit

Carrfan 2.4GHz Car Alarm Immobilizer Kit

This immobilizing alarm system works on 2.4Ghz radio frequency, and uses a personal PIN code and RFID to provide dual protection for your vehicle.

Key Features:

  • Low battery warning
  • Can be set to “valet” mode
  • Includes a 26V input voltage regulator

Cost: $25

Eunavi Smart RFID Car Alarm System

Eunavi Smart RFID Car Alarm System

This immobilizing alarm system boasts a universal design that is compatible with vehicles of all makes and models, and comes complete with two RFID key tags.

Key Features:

  • Automatically enters arming mode 15 seconds after vehicle stops
  • Professional installation recommended
  • Keyless ignition

Cost: $26

MagiDeal Remote 12V Universal Car Immobilizer

MagiDeal Remote 12V Universal Car Immobilizer

This immobilizing alarm system ensures your vehicle cannot be started by an intruder by preventing the engine from turning on, and features a universal fit for all vehicle makes and models.

Key Features:

  • Working temperature of -40-176 F
  • Remote distance up to 50 meters
  • Includes two key fobs

Cost: $16

MASO Car Remote Central Locking Kit

MASO Car Remote Central Locking Kit

This immobilizing alarm system boasts a high quality design that is compatible with vehicles of all makes and models, and is easy to install.

Key Features:

  • All brackets and fittings supplied
  • Includes a 1-year warranty
  • Comes with two 4-button remotes

Cost: $57

Passive Alarm Systems

Paddsun 1-Way Car Security Alarm System

Paddsun 1-Way Car Security Alarm System

This passive alarm system boasts a universal design that is compatible with most vehicle makes and models, and allows you to easily upgrade your vehicle to a remote start and keyless go system.

Key Features:

  • Uses the latest RFID technology and touch password entry
  • Includes two 3-button remotes
  • Automatic door lock when remote is taken 3-5 meters away

Cost: $54

EASYGUARD EC003 Smart Key PKE Passive Keyless Entry Car Alarm System

EASYGUARD EC003 Smart Key PKE Passive Keyless Entry Car Alarm System

This passive alarm system allows you to easily upgrade your vehicle to a remote start and keyless go system, and comes complete with two 3-button remotes.

Key Features:

  • Automatic door lock when remote is taken 3-6 feet away
  • Compatible with most DC12V vehicles
  • Can be set to “valet” mode

Cost: $85

3T6B Passive Keyless Entry System

3T6B Passive Keyless Entry System

This passive alarm system automatically locks your vehicle when remote is taken 3-5 meters away, and unlocks it when you come within 2 meters and have the fob on your person.

Key Features:

  • Includes two 3-button remotes
  • Compatible with most DC12V vehicles
  • Can be set to “valet” mode

Cost: $70

BANVIE Smart PKE Passive Keyless Entry Car Alarm System

BANVIE Smart PKE Passive Keyless Entry Car Alarm System

This passive alarm system locks and unlocks your vehicle when you’re within 1-3 meters and have the fob on your person, and comes complete with a shock sensor for added peace of mind.

Key Features:

  • Includes two 3-button remotes
  • Compatible with most DC12V vehicles
  • Auto-warm for up to 15 minutes

Cost: $85

Partol Smart Key PKE Car Alarm

Partol Smart Key PKE Car Alarm

This passive alarm system uses an RFID smart key and touch password entry to help protect your vehicle. It comes complete with a shock sensor alarm for added peace of mind.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with most DC12V vehicles
  • Professional installation recommended
  • Includes two 3-button remotes

Cost: $62

Two-Way Paging Alarm Systems

Viper 5906V Color Remote Start & Security System

Viper 5906V Color Remote Start & Security System

This two-way paging alarm system boasts an upgraded user interface that allows for more user-friendly control, and comes complete with an HD color wireless remote.

Key Features:

  • One mile operation
  • Priority icon map with OLED display
  • Includes a 1-way companion remote

Cost: $383

Scytek Electronics Astra Car Alarm Security System

Scytek Electronics Astra Car Alarm Security System

This two-way paging alarm system comes complete with a 5-button LCD 2-way remote and one ultra slim 1-way remote control. It boasts a six tone siren to alert in case of vandals or intruders.

Key Features:

  • Dual zone impact sensor
  • Tracking compatible
  • Designed in the USA

Cost: $60

CarBest New Vehicle Security Paging Car Alarm

CarBest New Vehicle Security Paging Car Alarm

This two-way paging alarm system boasts a communication range of over 3,000 feet, and comes complete with two 2-way LCD remote controls.

Key Features:

  • Can be set to “valet” mode
  • Six-tone 120 db siren
  • Includes door, hood, and trunk sensors

Cost: $74

uxcell 2 Way Car Alarm Vehicle Security System

uxcell 2 Way Car Alarm Vehicle Security System

This two-way paging alarm system boasts a communication range of over 3,000 feet, and comes complete with two 2-way LCD remote controls.

Key Features:

  • Six-tone 125 db siren
  • Includes door, hood, and trunk sensors
  • Automatic locking and window rolling-up

Cost: $63

Avital 5305L 2-Way LCD Remote Start with Security

Avital 5305L 2-Way LCD Remote Start with Security

This two-way paging alarm system boasts a 2-way LCD 4-button remote that is backlit for use in all conditions, and features tone and vibration modes for added convenience.

Key Features:

  • Includes one 4-button 1-way remote
  • Dual-zone impact sensor
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cost: $99

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