How To Find The Best Radar Detector Under $200?

If you want to avoid speeding tickets and see cops on the road, you need a good radar detector.

While you can pick up cheaper models, most budget models lack the feature found on more expensive ones. That doesn't mean you need to spend a bundle though.

We recommend sticking to a budget of around $200. The best radar detector under 200 will come with some great features and still be capable of identifying different bands and lasers used by law enforcement. With one of these models in your car, you can avoid costly speeding tickets and points on your license.

Top 5 Best Radar Detector Under $200

More...

What To Look For In A Radar Detector?

Buying a radar detector, especially a more affordable model, can be quite confusing. That is why we broke the process down into a few key things that set the best models apart from others.

What Type Of Band Detection Do You Need?

Not all radar detectors are exactly the same. Some of the cheaper models out there only find and identify one type of band or laser, which means that other bands might trip you up.

Many cheaper models will only detect K, Ka or X bands, and some will only detect laser radar guns. We recommend looking for one that tracks two or more types of bands to ensure that you spot police before they spot too.

Where Do You Drive?

Though you may not realize it, many radar detectors come with capabilities designed for identifying the bands used by police on the highways and in the city.

The best models let you easily switch between a highway mode and a city mode.

  • Highway mode specifically looks for the bands used by state troopers and highway patrol.
  • City mode looks for the lasers used by local police departments.

How Do You Want to Mount It?

You do not need professional help to mount a radar detector because most manufacturers include mounting hardware and accessories in the box.

Mounting the detector to your dashboard lets you quickly see the settings, rotate through those settings and keep an eye on any alerts sent out. Some larger models may get in your way though and keep you from seeing the road clearly.

Mounting the detector to your dashboard lets you quickly see the settings, rotate through those settings and keep an eye on any alerts sent out. Some larger models may get in your way though and keep you from seeing the road clearly.

Wired Or Wireless?

One of the biggest decisions you need to make is between a wired or wireless model.

A wired model comes with an adapter that you plug into the cigarette lighter in your car. This ensures that you always have power for signal detection while on the road.

Wireless models come with a rechargeable battery that can last for hours or longer. Though some prefer wireless radar detectors, keep in mind that you still need to plug in a wireless model to recharge the internal battery.

When Do You Drive?

when-do-you-drive

When you drive can play a factor in the radar detector that you buy.

If you spend more time in your car during the day, you can use almost any type of model.

If, however, you spend a lot of time driving around at night, you need a radar detector with a backlight feature. A backlight enhances the other lights and allows you to see clearly in darker conditions.

Do You Want to Avoid False Alerts?

False alerts can occur because the radar detector picks up on other signals in your city.

You might hear a beeping sound or an alarm because of interference from power lines, neon signs or other electronics.

Models that come with VG-2 non-detection settings will do a good job of picking up true law enforcement signals and not interference from other devices.

How Much Range Do You Need?

Another thing to consider is how much range you need. Range refers to the distance at which the device can detect a signal.

A longer range means that the radar detector can detect radar guns a further distance away from your vehicle, which lets you know when to lower your speed.

There are also models that come with 360-degree detection. Instead of only monitoring the radar guns in front of your vehicle, these models can monitor all areas on the sides and behind your car.

Other Features To Look For

Some of the other features you may want to look for include an instant on feature and an RDD shield.

With instant on, the radar detector will actually turn itself on as soon as your car starts. It will begin protecting you, even if you forget to hit the switch.

Many police departments now use Radar Detector Detection (RDD) technology that allows officers to detect the presence of a radar detector. With an RDD shield, your radar detector will remain hidden from that technology. Don't forget to factor in brand name too.

Top manufacturers like Cobra, Beltronics and Echo offer affordable models and a departments warranty. That warranty lets you seek help for common problems and issues that you might experience.

Product Reviews

1. Beltronics Pro200 Radar/Laser Detector

Due in part to its affordable price and wide range of features, the Beltronics Pro200 Radar/Laser Detector is a great option for most drivers on the road today.

Simple buttons at the top let you switch between highway and city mode as well as turn the unit on and off. Beltronics even sets this radar detector up at the factory, which means that it comes fully ready to use in your car.

One of its top features is a voice alert. Instead of dealing with a beeping alert that requires you take your eyes off the road, the internal voice will tell you everything you need to know. That voice will tell you the type of band detected and its general location.

Beltronics also added a 360-degree detection system that will actually let you know how close you are to that radar gun. The closer you get, the louder your alerts become.


Pros

  • Significantly reduces false alerts
  • Monitors most of the bands used by law enforcement today

Cons

  • It lacks features designed for identifying the source of false alerts
  • The alert function may not be as loud as you would like

2. Escort Passport S55 High Performance Radar/Laser Detector

Escort Makes the Passport S55 easy to use because of conveniently placed buttons on the top. Those buttons let you turn it on, adjust the volume and even mute the detector while keeping your focus on the road.

Its included suction cup makes mounting the detector to your windshield easy, and the suction cup slides off easily without leaving behind any residue.

This high-performance detector monitors for the presence of both laser and radar guns and comes with settings for customizing what it searches for based on where you drive. Escort also added its own patented Traffic Signal Rejection software that will not send out false alerts in traffic.

The brightly lit front display lets you view all the information you need in a single glance. You can even view that information in a bar graph format on the display.


Pros

  • Comes with accessories for mounting to your windshield
  • Rejection software automatically rejects signals in traffic

Cons

  • Only works with a standard cigarette lighter
  • Switching between bands is difficult

3. Beltronics RX65-Red Professional Series Radar Detector

Drive safely and securely with this Beltronics radar detector by your side. It offers superior detection through its Safety Warning System, which can detect SuperWide Ka, K and X bands. The alerts come through clearly on its brightly lit display, and you can choose between a red or blue display.

An included SmartPlug cord ensures that you always have enough power to monitor for police and radar guns. This plug works with any cigarette lighter or electronics adapter. The coiled design of the cord lets you plug in the radar detector and mount it almost anywhere in your car.

Beltronics gives you a quick release windshield mount too. This suction cup lets you mount the radar detector on your windshield, and you even get a part that can hold your power cord. This suction cup slides off easily for moving the radar detector to another vehicle.


Pros

  • Is immune to the RDD systems that most law enforcement professionals use
  • Lets you select between seven options to customize the device based on how you drive

Cons

  • Digital voice alerts sound too monotone
  • May need to reprogram it based on the bands police use in your area

4. Beltronics Vector V940 Radar Detector

The Beltronics Vector V940 Radar Detector offers protection in the city and on the highway. It has settings designed for checking the surrounding area for all types of laser and radar bands, including X and SuperWide Ka bands. 

An auto mute function automatically mutes those alerts, and another function lets you manually hit the mute button.

Thanks to the bright LED display, you'll never miss out on another alert again. This display shows you the mode that you selected and also displays the alerts it thinks you should see.

You can even hit a button on the top to easily switch between highway and city modes.

Beltronics offers a limited warranty on this model that lasts for up to one year. You can get a free replacement if your detector stops working.

You also get built-in protection against the radar detector detection systems used by police officers.


Pros

  • Safety Warning System monitors and alerts you of all common radar and laser bands and frequencies
  • Comes with a feature that prevents law enforcement from picking up on it

Cons

  • May be too sensitive to use in the city
  • Can issue too many false alerts, especially if you do not update the software regularly

5. Whistler CR85 High Performance Laser Radar Detector with Ka Max Mode

With the Whistler CR85 High Performance Laser Radar Detector with Ka Max Mode, you can switch between voice alerts and traditional alerts.

Integrated real voice technology lets you listen to a human voice and keep your eyes on the road as you hear alerts delivered in real time.

Capable of tracking the radar and laser bands commonly used by law enforcement, it has an extra detection range that can identify and alert you to radar guns further away.

Though it doesn't offer standard protection against RDD technology, it does emit a lower signal that most of those systems cannot detect.

The CR85 comes with both a dash pad for mounting on your dashboard and a mount for storing on your windshield. You even get a clip for hanging it from your visor.


Pros

  • Brighter display helps you see all alerts clearly
  • Integrated real voice technology lets you hear alerts in real time

Cons

  • May need reprogramming later or a software update
  • Some false alerts are common

Best Radar Detector Under 200

After reviewing several models, we found that the Beltronics Pro200 Laser/Radar Detector is the best option under 200.

  • It comes with an extensive range that monitors a larger area around your car and 360-degree monitoring that can actually identify radar guns used behind billboards and in speed traps.
  • Easy push button settings let you switch between highway mode and city mode. A large center button lets you turn up the volume or mute the device.
  • It even comes with a setting that automatically scans the surrounding areas for laser and radar detection systems and multiple city modes that can detect the unique systems used in larger cities and smaller towns. 
  • New technology added by the manufacturer detects electronics and other signals to reduce the prevalence of false alerts.

While you can find more expensive models and some cheaper detectors, this Beltronics model does a great job of detecting both radar and laser signals. It can help you control your speed and keep you from getting pulled over.

Christina Powell
 

Hi everyone, My name is Christina Powell, chief editor at Wheel On Road. I have a passion for car when I was young. I Started this blog with my team and we share to people everything about automotive, car like how to drive car carefully, maintain a car and many other topics. Hope you will also share and track us. If you have any problem, you can contact us at: Christina.WheelOnRoad@gmail.com

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments