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best car anti theft devices

You’ve probably heard a car alarm go off. As aggravating as the sound might be, it serves a purpose: protecting a vehicle and its contents from those who might wish to steal them. Unfortunately, a car alarm isn’t enough to deter the shrewdest thieves. For this reason, our product team tested some of the best car anti-theft devices to supplement your vehicle’s security system.

Having one of the best car anti-theft devices could be the difference between your vehicle remaining parked or being stolen. This review will look at the five best car anti-theft devices and assess each based on the installation process, ease of use, and design. We’ll also take factors such as price and general effectiveness into consideration.

 

In this article:


Overview Of The 5 Best Car Anti-Theft Devices

 

Our Review Standards

The car anti-theft devices in this article underwent two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, exploring variables such as Prime shipping eligibility, customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and cost.

Our team then ordered the five car anti-theft devices that earned the highest marks in these areas, and a team member tested each product on a car. Testing focused on the car anti-theft devices’ ease of installation, ease of use, and design. We gave each device a rating out of 5 stars based on this criteria.


#1 Best Wheel Lock: Tevlaphee Universal Steering Wheel Brake Lock

tevlaphee universal steering wheel brake lock

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Shiny, simplistic, and fully metal, the Tevlaphee Universal Steering Wheel Brake Lock aims to make your vehicle inoperable while parked. The versatile device and heavy-duty metal contraption works by attaching to your car’s steering wheel. You can attach the opposite end behind the clutch, accelerator, or brake pedal.

Tevlaphee likes to advertise that you can also use the metal end of the rod as a self-defense weapon against potentially violent car thieves.

Overall 4.5 out of 5
Installation 4.5 out of 5
Ease of Use 4.5 out of 5
Design 4.5 out of 5
 

Key Features

  • Metal construction throughout
  • Adjustable between 58.0 and 85.0 centimeters
  • Comes with three sets of keys

Our Experience

tevlaphee universal steering wheel brake lock

Our review team managed to install the Tevlaphee Universal Steering Wheel Brake Lock in under one minute and was impressed by the rigidity of the design. It didn’t budge as we exerted force onto the brake lock.

Our one gripe is that it can be difficult to lock and unlock the device, depending on the position of the keyhole. In some cars, the keyhole can be right up against the bottom of the dashboard console and difficult to access. The keys also felt fairly cheap.

For its overall effectiveness and simplicity, we gave the device 4.5 out of 5 stars.

What Customers Are Saying

The Tevlaphee Universal Steering Wheel Brake Lock has an average Amazon review score of 4.5 out of 5 stars after more than 1,900 customer ratings. A number of positive reviews report that the wheel lock goes on easily and fits most vehicles. Some unhappy customers say the lock is susceptible to lock picking and that components holding the inner tube together have failed.

What Is It Good For?

This is a great choice if you’re seeking a quick install to supplement your car’s security system. Being in a visible part of the vehicle makes the Tevlaphee Universal Steering Wheel Brake Lock a more potent deterrent to a would-be thief.


#2 Runner-up: The Club 3000 Twin Hooks Steering Wheel Lock

the club 3000 twin hooks steering wheel lock

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If subtle isn’t a word in your vocabulary, you’ll probably appreciate The Club 3000 Twin Hooks Steering Wheel Lock. With a yellow paint job reminiscent of a character from “The Simpsons,” The Club is as much a visual deterrent as a physical one.

It attaches to your steering wheel, and the elongated bar makes it impossible to fully turn the car. The Club effectively makes the car undrivable if a break-in occurs.

Overall 4 out of 5
Installation 4 out of 5
Ease of Use 4.5 out of 5
Design 3.5 out of 5
 

Key Features

  • Universal fit for cars, SUVs, and vans
  • Self-locking feature
  • Designed to be resistant to sawing, prying, and other removal efforts

Our Experience

the club 3000 twin hooks steering wheel lock

Testing The Club out was simple. The device fit the steering wheel of our car with some minor adjustments, although we did notice the keys felt a little stiff in the keyhole. One thing to note about this product is it’s most effective when you leave your steering wheel at an angle.

Our review team wasn’t entirely impressed with The Club’s build quality, as the metal had a flimsier feel than the Tevlaphee Universal Steering Wheel Brake Lock. We awarded The Club 4 stars.

What Customers Are Saying

The Club has a 4.6-star average customer rating after more than 5,700 reviews on Amazon. 

While many people like how easy The Club is to use and its relatively affordable price, others report concerns about the metal being bendable and the lock being susceptible to lockpicks.

What Is It Good For?

The Club Wheel Lock is best suited for a driver who wants a deterrent someone will see from at least a few feet away. While the device performs similarly to the Tevlaphee Universal Steering Wheel Brake Lock, it has a slightly quicker installation – if you remember to turn your wheel properly.


#3 Tevlaphee Universal Wheel Lock

tevlaphee universal wheel lock

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Perhaps creating the illusion you’re seriously overdue on parking tickets can double as a theft deterrent. If you’re comfortable with that image, the Tevlaphee Universal Wheel Lock might draw your interest.

A security tire clamp is as simple as it gets when it comes to an anti-theft system, but it’s hard to argue with the effectiveness. It works by clamping onto one of your wheels and making it impossible to fully rotate. It is also highly visible thanks to bright yellow and red paint.

Overall 4 out of 5
Installation 3.5 out of 5
Ease of Use 4 out of 5
Design 4.5 out of 5
 

Key Features

  • Three sets of keys
  • Fits motorcycles, cars, RVs, and trucks
  • Rubber-tipped ends to protect wheel
  • All-metal design

Our Experience

tevlaphee universal wheel lock

The Tevlaphee Universal Wheel Lock was by far the easiest exterior automotive theft deterrent our review team installed. The locking mechanism worked smoothly, and we found the device to be very adjustable.

We docked the device points because it requires you to get on the ground in some capacity to install it. That might be a dealbreaker for some people, but we still gave the product 4 stars.

What Customers Are Saying

The Tevlaphee Universal Wheel Lock has earned an average of 4.4 stars on Amazon after more than 490 ratings. Customers write glowing reviews about the product’s ease of installation and versatility, but some negative reviews mention the tire lock not fitting vehicles such as golf carts or certain trailers.

What Is It Good For?

The Tevlaphee Wheel Lock is a product for the unabashed car owner who doesn’t mind going the extra mile to secure their vehicle. If you don’t mind getting on your hands and knees to install this every time you park, it’s a good choice for peace of mind.


#4 Vyncs GPS Tracker

vyncs gps tracker

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If your car is stolen, there usually isn’t much you can do besides contact law enforcement. The Vyncs GPS Tracker hopes to change that. This tracking device plugs into your car's OBD2 port and tells you the location of the vehicle in real time. It also reads vehicle diagnostics, estimates fuel economy, and more.

Vyncs tracking requires a $39.99 activation fee for the first year of service. After the first year, the service is then renewed annually for around $80 instead of a monthly fee being charged.

Overall 3.5 out of 5
Installation 5 out of 5
Ease of Use 3.5 out of 5
Design 3.5 out of 5
 

Key Features

  • Simple design
  • Fits all vehicles with OBD2 ports
  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Reads engine codes, battery voltage, and fuel economy
  • Offers optional 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Premium packages available

Our Experience

vyncs gps tracker

The Vyncs GPS Tracker proved to be a feature-laden little gadget during our tests. Setting it up can be a bit laborious as you must complete several steps to create and register an account. But once that was handled, we liked how easy the smartphone app and website were to navigate.

The Vyncs GPS Tracker is very easy to install and remove, but the latter can also be done by a savvy criminal. The device doesn’t do much to stop your car from being stolen, so we gave it only 3.5 stars.

What Customers Are Saying

The Vyncs GPS Tracker has an average score of 4 stars from more than 5,200 ratings on Amazon. While customers appreciate the simple design and easy installation process, some users report poor customer service and issues navigating the app.

What Is It Good For?

If you have a valuable vehicle and want to enhance an existing recovery system, the Vyncs GPS Tracker is a smart choice. However, there are more intuitive tracking systems, which you can learn about in our best car GPS trackers review.


#5 Ticonn Faraday Bag

ticonn faraday bag

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Keyless entry has become incredibly commonplace in car designs. While this is a convenience for car owners, it’s possible for a thief to duplicate the radio frequency the key fob emits, leaving your car at risk.

Ticonn aims to counteract this problem with its Faraday bag, which blocks out electromagnetic waves within a specific enclosure. Ticonn has replicated this on a smaller scale to keep someone from scanning car keys.

Overall 3.5 out of 5
Installation 4 out of 5
Ease of Use 4 out of 5
Design 3.5 out of 5
 

Key Features

  • Comes with two Faraday cages
  • Carbon-fiber-textured material
  • 3.5-inch x 5.0-inch bags
  • Lifetime warranty

Our Experience

ticonn faraday bag

There’s no debating the Faraday bag works. Our review team placed a key fob in the bag, stood next to the vehicle, and tried to depress as many buttons on the fob as possible. The car remained dead quiet for the entire test.

While this feature scored relatively highly on our testing criteria, we placed the Ticonn Faraday Bag lower on this list because it isn’t the strongest deterrent to someone stealing your car, and it isn’t applicable to all vehicle owners. If someone is close enough to clone your keys, they’re likely close enough to swipe them off you.

During testing, we made a common mistake that many Amazon customers mention in their reviews. The bag has several pockets not lined with signal-blocking materials, and it’s fairly easy to place your key in the wrong portion of the pouch. Considering all this, we gave the Ticonn Faraday Bag 3.5 stars.

What Customers Are Saying

The Ticonn Faraday Bag has an average score of 4.3 stars after more than 6,000 ratings on Amazon. While many customers say the bag performs its purpose of blocking wireless signals, some users say the lining deteriorates quickly.

What Is It Good For?

The Ticonn Faraday Bag is a good choice if you’re happy with the security devices installed by your car’s manufacturer. The bag is very portable and fits on most keychains, or you can easily store it in a purse or bag.


Car Anti-Theft Devices Testing Process

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 a criminal to steal a vehicle. Items that were more easily removed, had a lower standard of build quality, or garnered concerning customer reviews were placed lower on this list.


How Worried Should I Be About Auto Theft?

We may not think every car is a target, but recent data shows a significant uptick in vehicle theft over the past two years.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that starting in June 2020, the United States experienced a 13 percent year-over-year increase in auto thefts.The trend continued into and throughout 2021 as most states reported more incidents than the previous year, according to the organization.

The NICB 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.


Car Anti-Theft Devices Buyer’s Guide

How you theft-proof your car will differ depending on the protections you already have in place from the manufacturer and what you believe is appropriate for your vehicle. Below are two things to consider before making a purchase.

Know Your Insurance Coverage

While having an anti-theft device on your car might offer some peace of mind, some auto insurance policies cover vehicles in the event of theft or vandalism. The insurance company will reimburse you the actual cash value (ACV) of your car, minus the deductible, if you have a theft claim.

Most states don’t require comprehensive coverage, but an auto lender may require you to add it to your auto insurance policy if you’re financing your car. If you’re wondering whether your car insurance covers theft, review your policy information to make sure.

Consider Using Multiple Devices

If you believe your car alarm system doesn’t offer enough protection, the best option may be trying multiple devices. Having more than one deterrent improves car security by increasing the obstacles a thief must bypass.

A secondary car alarm, kill switch, or tracking system paired with a primary deterrent such as a wheel lock can help prevent your car from being stolen. Ultimately, the amount of theft prevention you invest in will likely depend on how much you value your car.


FAQ: Best Car Anti-Theft Devices

What are the best car anti-theft devices?

Our product review team identified items such as the Tevlaphee Universal Steering Wheel Brake Lock and The Club 3000 Twin Hooks Steering Wheel Lock as excellent interior deterrents. Other options for car anti-theft devices include an external car lock and a GPS tracker.

What is the best way to prevent car theft?

Some commonsense ways to prevent vehicle theft include parking in a highly visible area and ensuring your car is locked and that all the windows are secured and closed. You can supplement your anti-theft systems from the manufacturer with aftermarket deterrents.

Do car alarms actually deter theft?

While car alarms may be enough to stop some would-be thieves, it’s common for a burglar to know how to disable a car alarm quickly.