Best Radar Detectors: Stay a Step Ahead

Enjoy every drive, safe in the knowledge that you (probably) won’t get a ticket.

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Best Radar Detectors: Stay a Step Ahead © Best Radar Detectors: Stay a Step Ahead

If I told you that you could have the superpower of knowing where every speed trap on the road is, would you want it? Of course you would. Thankfully, you don’t need superpowers or witchcraft to know where speed traps are, as a radar detector will do the job well enough. Depending on the model you choose, you can be alerted to practically every type of signal that’s targeting your vehicle. If you’re prone to getting speeding tickets, a radar detector could save you money in the long run. Even if you don’t have a particularly heavy right foot, these devices take the edge off when you’re on the road.

Our Methodology

To choose the best radar detectors on the market, I employed The Drive’s comprehensive research methodology and evaluated dozens of units before choosing the top contenders. Although I haven’t personally tested these products, my selection is informed by my institutional knowledge of the automotive industry. I also interviewed the editor-in-chief at Rated Radar Detector to hear what he had to say about the products on the market.

Best Radar Detectors Reviews & Recommendations

Our Verdict

The Uniden R8 is easy to set up and will have you covered on all fronts. It has a fantastic long-range detection system and one of the best quick signal detection response times on the market. If your budget doesn’t stretch to my top pick, check out my value option, the Uniden R3. It’s a well-rounded radar detector that has premium features usually reserved for more expensive models.


You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: How much does a radar detector cost?

A: Radar detectors that have the features that most people want will cost between $300 and $600. But if you could forego some features, like built-in GPS, you could get a model for around $160. If you want a detector with the best all-around sensitivity and extra features, it’ll set you back $600 to $800.

Q: Are radar detectors legal?

A: Yes, radar detectors are legal in most states, but there are some exceptions. You can find out more about the laws regarding radar detectors in your state here.

Q: Do radar detectors work for laser speed guns?

A: A radar detector can alert you if your vehicle is being targeted by a laser speed gun. But, by the time you hear the notification, it’s already too late to slow down.

Q: How far can a radar detector pick up a signal?

A: Several factors apart from the device’s hardware determine its sensitivity to radar signals, such as trees, terrain, and weather. But the best radar detectors can alert you to signals that are up to two miles away.

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