We tested the best car anti-theft devices by following each manufacturer’s installation instructions. Another factor we considered is how well each product withstood the level of abuse required for someone to steal a vehicle. Items that were easily removed, had a lower standard of build quality, or garnered concerning customer reviews were placed lower on this list. Below are the most important factors we identified while testing:
- Installation: Properly equipping each product to your vehicle shouldn’t befuddle motorists seeking extra safety. We prioritized products that made the installation process clear and straightforward.
- Ease of use: A wheel lock, tire lock, or other anti-theft device that proved portable and easy to assemble (when required) also earned high marks from our testing team.
- Design: Manufacturers that used high-quality components to make their products more durable, or innovative methods to better protect a vehicle, scored better in our testing process.
Why Trust Us
Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.
We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page.
How Worried Should I Be About Auto Theft?
Not every car is a target, but recent data shows an uptick in vehicle thefts.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), estimated vehicle thefts have regularly increased by tens of thousands of vehicles every year since 2019, hitting over 1 million cars reported stolen in 2022. The U.S. saw the highest number of vehicle thefts in 2008 at 1.05 million reported thefts, per NICB data.
“We are seeing vehicle theft numbers that we haven’t seen in nearly 15 years, and there is very little deterrent to stop criminals from committing these acts as they are just property crimes, like shoplifting,” NICB President and CEO David J. Glawe stated in a news release.
The NICB reports that starting in June 2020, the United States experienced a 13 percent year-over-year increase in auto thefts. This worrying trend continued into and throughout 2021 as most states reported more incidents than the previous year, according to the organization.
The non-profit also says many major metropolitan areas are dealing with an upswing in carjackings, meaning the victim was threatened with or experienced bodily injury. While those numbers may cause anxiety, the best way to deal with car theft once a vehicle is stolen is to contact law enforcement. If your comprehensive car insurance policy covers theft, file a claim with your insurance company.