As with many things, shopping for a radar detector can be a bit confusing. This short buyers guide is aimed at helping you buy the right radar detector for your needs. A lot of websites will tell you to buy either the most expensive one, a brand they like, or just sell you what everyone else seems to order. While you may get a good radar detector that way, you probably are not getting the one you need for your specific driving requirements.
So before you even start looking at radar detectors there are five simple questions:
1. What is your price range? Don't spend more than you are comfortable spending. While top of the line radar detectors have amazing performance and great features; there are a few detectors that perform very well at sometimes half the price of a top-end model. You may not get cutting edge performance, but you will still have a quality detector at a great price.
2. Where do you drive? Different radar detectors work better in certain driving environments. Some work great on the open road, but in town they will constantly be going off due to poor filtering, or do not work as well in hilly areas. So do you drive a lot on the highway, in a dense city, where there are a lot of hills and turns? If red light or speed cameras are used in your area, you may want to consider a GPS enabled radar detector.
3. What type of radar (or laser) is most common where you drive? Many radar detectors are able to detect different bands better than others. This one may take a bit of research but may narrow down what you are looking for.
4. What features are you interested in? Are you looking for a detector that will also warn you of traffic cameras, or have voice alerts? Do you want a certain type of display? Is stealth and concealment the most important thing?
5. How old is that radar detector? Ok, you found a detector for a great price and it meets your driving needs, but how old is it? Is it several years old? You can often get a much better detector at the same price by purchasing one that is current. The manufacturers are constantly making updates to the performance of the devices. For more information on this, check out this article on radar detector firmware.
Now that you have figured out the type of detector you are looking for we have some resources and tools you may want to use. First off, our radar detector blog. We try to keep you up to date with new detectors and unbiased reviews. Next, we recommend the Speedtrap Hunter Forum. Chances are there is a post that will answer most of your questions. We also have a product smart search feature you may like, and if you want to compare two detectors, we also have a radar detector comparison tool. And don't forget the search tool at the top of the page and our radar detector help center.
We hope this guide helps you find the best radar detector for your driving needs. One that you will be glad you own. Contact us with any questions you have and we will help you find a detector (or detectors) that will provide the protection you want. We want to match up the detector with the driver, and not just email you a "performance" chart, or the sales copy off of the back of the box.