|Basic Radar Detector: $30-$180||Mid-Range Radar Detector: $150-$350||GPS-Equipped Radar Detector: $400-$650|
A radar detector is an electronic device used to detect whether radar is being used to monitor motorists. The detector notifies the motorist when Doppler-based radar is detected. Some devices also monitor LIDAR, using lasers to detect speed of motorists. In addition, some radar detectors have GPS technology so certain law enforcement hotspots can be pre-programmed.
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- A basic radar detector costs $30-$80. Radio Shack, for example, sells a Whistler XTR-130 Radar/Laser detector for $30. It includes 360-degree detection of radar and laser signals and a "city mode" designed to reduce the number of false alerts.
- Basic radar detectors that work in conjunction with iPhones or iTouch devices typically cost $80-$180. Cobra sells the iRadar , which allows drivers to connect through their iPhone's Bluetooth feature to display visual alerts, for $130.
- Most mid-range radar detectors alert motorists to radar and laser speed traps. These devices generally cost $150 -$350, depending on the features included and the speed of the warning given to the driver. Beltronics Pro 300 is $300 and detects radar and laser bands.
- Radar detectors that come equipped with additional features including GPS technology and software upgrades typically cost $400-$650. The Valentine One Radar Detector costs $400 and alerts drivers to the direction the radar/laser is originating. The Escort Passport 9500ix is a top-selling model that sells for $500. The unit comes with a three-month subscription to Escort's national Defender database of speed and red light cameras.
What should be included:|
- Inside the box, consumers should find the radar detector, a power cord and an owner's manual.
- Additional pieces that might be included in the box are a windshield bracket kit, a visor mount, a travel case, or a hardware kit.
- The radar detector should be able to detect various radar and laser signals within a 360-degree radius of the consumer's vehicle. Optional features include voice alerts, LED displays, a false alert filter, speed alerts and a GPS locator.
- Radar detectors can be mounted in various locations around the vehicle. Most non-custom mounts costs $5 -$50. Amazon has a variety of detector mounts including for windshields and visors .
- Many radar detectors need software updates from a speed and red light camera database. These services require subscription costs that range depending on length of subscription. A one-year subscription costs about $20. Escort Radar offers different levels of service from $20-$80. (Most subscription services require the use of a PC computer with a Windows operating system.)
Shopping for a radar detector:
- Beltronics offers a trade-in promotion for old detectors. The program offers an trade-in credit on Beltronics radar detectors that cost $300 or more.
- Escort Radar offers a trade-in program, providing an trade-in credit on old detectors, when a new Escort detector is purchased.
- Cobra posts special deals on radar detectors.
- There are iPhone and iTouch apps available in the iTunes App Store . The iSpeedCam app costs $4 (there's also a free version) and holds a database of speed and red-light cameras across the nation; it alerts users when they are in the vicinity of the cameras. The reliability of these apps is not guaranteed.
- TopTenReviews has radar-detectors-review.toptenreviews.com/>a comparison guide for top-selling radar detectors.
- Consumer Search provides a guide to selecting the right radar detector.
- Radar detectors are legal for use in private vehicles in most states; commercial vehicles are more likely to be banned from using the devices. A state-by-state breakdown of laws is posted at 1stRadarDetectors.com .
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