Getting stopped for speeding is no fun, especially if you can’t talk or cry (no judgment) your way out of it. Even worse is falling prey to police radar or speed traps. The art of avoiding speed traps has evolved from other drivers flashing their headlights as a warning to relying on mobile apps. Yep, there’s an app for that. But sometimes going with a classic is better. Radar detectors have become common car accessories that can help motorists avoid speeding tickets.
However, some radar detectors are better than others. And, of course, you get what you pay for. Here are three of the best but priciest.
What are radar detectors?
Similar to a dash camera or portable GPS, radar detectors are in-car devices that pick up police radar and notify you in time to slow down. Police radar guns use specific radio waves, and a good detector will pick up those waves within a certain distance.
However, radar guns are not the only concern. Some speed traps use lasers. But a high-quality detector should pick up on those too. One quality you don’t want in your radar detector is a jammer, which is illegal nationwide. Radar detectors, in general, are legal in the United States, but there are exceptions.
3 top-notch radar detectors
Once you know the laws for where you live and drive, it’s time to find a radar detector. We’ve done the legwork and suggest one of these three.
Escort Max 360C
The Escort Max 360C is a great overall laser radar detector. It has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth integration, offers 360 degrees of protection, and boasts an extremely long range, Forbes reports. It also automatically blocks false alerts, such as electronic speed signs. The Max 360C features automated software updates and speed-based sensitivity adjustments. There’s also a companion app, Escort Live, that offers a community-based ticket protection program.
Another excellent radar detector is the Uniden R7. It also offers an extremely long range. In fact, it has the longest range available on the market, Spy.com reports. The Uniden R7 comes preloaded with red-light and speed-camera locations and updates its database frequently. Like the Escort Max 360C, it blocks false alerts and uses integrated GPS to remember them. One of the closest things to a cloaking device, the R7 is among Uniden’s best models.
Valentine V1 Gen2
This radar detector is a favorite among car enthusiasts. The Valentine V1 Gen2 is the successor to the Valentine V1, which has been on the market for almost 30 years. It has Bluetooth built-in and uses technology found in military chirp radars, Spy.com reports. Like the 360C and the R7, this radar detector blocks false alerts, but it also traps local oscillator output, making it virtually undetectable. Plus, if you already own a first-gen V1, you can upgrade to a Gen2 at a discount.
Where you can buy them
All three of the above radar detectors offer unique features and uniformly earn recommendations from industry experts. Digital Trends lists the Escort and Uniden models as its number one and two picks. And Valentine gets notoriously tough-to-please car enthusiasts’ nod of approval.
Besides finding these models on their manufacturer websites, you can also purchase them on Amazon. As of this writing, the Escort Max 360C retails for $599.95, and the Uniden R7 costs $438.99. The new Valentine V1 Gen2 is out of stock on Amazon right now, and there’s no expected restock date. Valentine‘s online store also shows the product on backorder, but the shipping date is around mid-April. The Valentine V1 Gen2 costs $499.99 to buy direct.
You also might be able to find these models at lower prices from sites such as eBay, but beware of scams. And regardless of which radar detector you purchase, always remember to drive safely and follow posted speed limits.