If you're in the market for a new vehicle security system, researching car alarm reviews can help you buy a great product at a reasonable price. Learning about the various types of car alarms and how they work can also help you narrow down your options when it's time to buy.
About Car Alarms
Whether you own a brand new car or simply want to safeguard your vehicle from theft and vandalism, car alarms can be a useful tool for protecting your investment. In the past, car alarms were often seen only on exotic cars or other extremely valuable automobiles. However, today's alarm systems offer an affordable and accessible security device for regular drivers.
There are two primary ways to activate a car alarm: passively or actively. Passive alarms are automatic. They turn themselves on when you turn off your ignition and exit your vehicle. Active alarms require a user to arm them, usually with the help of a remote transmitter. Many car alarm systems offer both passive and active settings.
Both active and passive alarms have advantages. Active alarms provide greater control for the owner. With an active alarm, you don't have to worry about your vehicle arming the alarm system while you're trying to unload groceries or cleaning out your car. However, car owners often forget to arm active alarms.
The biggest advantage of passive car alarms is that they can help you get a discount on car insurance. Most insurance companies offer significant premium discounts when you own a car with a passive alarm, since there is less chance users will misunderstand settings or forget to arm the system. A disadvantage of passive alarms is that they can be inconvenient if you forget an item in your car or if you don't actually need your alarm in a specific situation.
How Car Alarms Work
As with most aftermarket devices for your car, alarm systems are often quite complex. Typical systems include an array of sensors placed throughout the vehicle. These sensors, which usually consist of motion detectors and pressure receptors, are connected to a siren.
When something triggers the sensors, your car alarm's central computer or "brain" receives a message. This message then triggers the siren, which alerts passerby that there has been an intrusion.
Additionally, car alarms also frequently feature a separate battery. This individual power source allows them to operate even if someone disconnects your car's main battery.
Typical Prices of Car Alarms
When you buy a new alarm system for your vehicle, you can expect to pay anything from under $100 to almost $1000. Price depends on the features of your alarm, the complexity of installation, and the brand name. A mid-range alarm from a respected manufacturer will cost between $200 and $400 installed.
Where to Find Car Alarm Reviews
As with any major purchase, it makes sense to do your homework before buying a car alarm. With any luck, you'll have this alarm for several years. You need a system that will protect your vehicle without causing you trouble or requiring expensive maintenance.
- A great source for many electronics reviews, CNET Reviews allows you to sort alarm systems by price and manufacturer. You can also compare selected items to help you decide which alarm is right for your vehicle.
- ReviewCentre provides a great resource for user reviews of a variety of car alarms. You can filter results by popularity, price, rating, date, and brand name.
- For reviews of the best car alarms, a good resource is BestCovery. This site specializes in recommending products based on their features and ease of use, and they offer full reviews of several car alarm systems.
Do Car Alarms Work?
There's some question about the effectiveness of car alarms. While technology is continually changing, car thieves and vandals are also learning sophisticated new techniques. However, if you invest in a car alarm system, you may see significant savings on your auto insurance, sometimes more than making up for the purchase price of your alarm. Reading car alarm reviews can help you decide for yourself whether a vehicle alarm system is worth the money.