To state the obvious, speeding tickets are expensive. The hit to your insurance is even more expensive. It’s easy to say “don’t speed,” and we certainly recommend driving at safe speeds. But often times the safe driving speed is considerably higher than the posted speed limit. So, what do you do? Drive at the speed limit and force other drivers to go around you? Go a few miles over, and risk a ticket?
One option is to invest in a laser radar detector. They are designed to notify you about the usage of police radar, giving you time to adjust your speed accordingly. It is legal to use a laser radar detector in every US state except Virginia and Washington DC. However, there are some exceptions regarding commercial vehicles and regulations about windshield mounts in some states. You can consult ratedradardetector.org for more information regarding legalities.
One of the main things to look for in a radar detector is one that can filter out bands that aren’t used by police radars. There are radar signals that come from a lot of places, and you don’t want your detector crying wolf from things like other car’s blind spot monitors. The other thing to know is that while laser detection is nice to have, you won’t get as much warning as you do with radar. In many cases, you may get alerted after it’s too late.
This technology is not particularly cheap, but it’s a whole lot less expensive than the costs associated with a speeding ticket. With that in mind, here are our picks for the best laser and radar detectors on Amazon.
1. Escort MAX360C WiFi-Enabled Laser Radar Detector
This device is capable of communicating with your car’s WiFi system for convenient and quick usage. If your car isn’t outfitted with WiFi, you can still connect through your phone’s Bluetooth, or get voice alerts directly from the detector.
Pros: Multiple modes of connectivity such as WiFi and Bluetooth. It filters out false alerts through GPS-based memory. In short, it learns from previous false alerts.
Cons: Some reviewers found that the price was steep.
2. Escort MAX360 Laser Radar Detector
The base model of the Escort MAX360 is a solid pick for cars without built-in WiFi. Like the 360c, It has Bluetooth connectivity, GPS, and it saves data from false alerts to prevent them in the future. The main thing the base model sacrifices is the WiFi, and the 360c is more compact and makes minor improvements to buttons.
Pros: More affordable than the 360c, with many of the same features.
Cons: No WiFi, unlike 360c. It is the largest unit on this list.
3. Cobra 9-Band Performance Radar/Laser Detector
This affordable option sacrifices the connectivity of the Escort models, but it still has plenty of useful features. You can configure it to not detect certain bands that often cause false alerts, or you can switch from Highway Mode to City Mode so the unit will pick up fewer of the signals that often cause false alerts.
Pros: Affordable, comes with various settings.
Cons: May have to be configured to prevent it from picking up signals that aren’t from police radars.