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Which radar detector under $100 is best?

You never want to drive recklessly or disregard posted speed limits, but if you’re someone who always seems to be getting speeding tickets, a radar detector might be just the thing you need to protect both your pocket book and your driving record. 

A lot of people assume that radar detectors are expensive, so they don’t even bother looking into their options. However, that’s no longer the case. There are many quality radar detectors that will cost you under $100. The best one for you depends on the type of driving you do and your location, but our top pick is the Cobra RAD 380 Laser Radar Detector.

What to know before radar detectors under $100


Some radar detectors can pick up radar for up to a mile, but budget options might be limited to a few hundred yards or less.


The higher level of sensitivity, the more signals the radar detector will pick up. Ideally, you want to find a model with 10 decibels, which might not be available in all models under $100. 

Mounting Area 

Where do you plan to put the radar detector in your car? Some models connect to the rearview mirror or dashboard, but many rely on suction cups to connect them to the windshield. 

What to look for in a radar detector under $100

How a radar gun is measured

No matter the cost of your radar detector, it should have the ability to measure K-band, Ka-band and X-band. Most of the false alerts that can come from a radar gun under $100 are caused by the X-band. Just be aware that if you’re receiving a lot of X-band alerts, it most likely isn’t police activity. 

Laser speed coverage

Advancements in technology have offered a newer type of speed technology by police with laser speed guns. These types of speed guns generate a small beam of light that can be difficult to detect from budget radar guns. If your detector can not pick up a laser gun, it puts you at risk.

Ease of Use 

If you haven’t used a radar detector before, the more entry-level models are very easy to use and understand. While they may have fewer bells and whistles, their ease of use can be beneficial for a first-time user. Once you get more comfortable with your radar detector, learn how it works and can utilize some of the higher-end features, you can upgrade to a higher quality model. 

When that time comes, take a look at the buying guide for best radar detectors on Best Reviews. 

Ready to use

Many radar detectors under $100 come with everything you need to get started. You should look for a model that comes with both a dash and vent mount, so you can figure out what placement works best for you. The radar detector should also come with a 12V power cord that connects to your car so you never have to worry about it running out of battery.

How much can you expect to spend on a radar detector under $100

There is a range of entry-level radar detectors starting between $25-$100. The lower-end models go for less than $50 dollars, but they have minimal features and sometimes the screens are difficult to read. 

Mid-range models range from $50-$75 and offer a simple easy-to-read display screen. If you spend up to $100, you can have additional features that work best in specific driving areas, such as the countryside or urban areas.

Radar detectors under $100 FAQ 

Is a $100 or less radar detector even worth it? 

A. The benefit of any radar detector is the ability to protect you from an unwanted speeding ticket. If your detector is able to do so at any price, then it’s doing its job and well worth it. Some of the lower-end models do lack the signals police can use, so if you purchase a model without certain capabilities, you might not be protected. 

Is it legal to have a radar detector? 

A. Many states have legalized the use of radar detectors. You should review the law in your state and the laws in any states you plan to travel to before purchasing a radar detector. 

How will my radar detector notify me? 

A. Different models of radar detectors will alert you of the presence of a radar gun in multiple ways. Lower-end models will make a beeping noise, while higher-end models will offer a voice explanation.

What is the best radar detector under $100 to buy?

Best radar detector under $100

Cobra RAD 380 Laser Radar Detector

Cobra RAD 380 Laser Radar Detector
What you need to know: A detector that offers you the greatest amount of protection by monitoring signals from both the front and back of your vehicle.

What you’ll love: Upgraded with the highest level of technology, this detector offers the fastest alerts with early warning signals, while reducing the number of false alerts. This model comes complete with everything you need, including a 12V vehicle power chord, suction dash mount, and hook and loop fastener for dash-mount options.

What you should consider: To synchronize this device to your phone, there is a fee of $49 a year or $4.99 a month.

Where to buy: Amazon

Best radar detector under $100 for the money

Uniden DFR1 Long-Range Laser Radar Detector

Uniden DFR1 Long-Range Laser Radar Detector
What you need to know: A radar detector with three models for driving in rural and urban environments.

What you’ll love: The eagle eye detection provides 360-degree protection and false alert filtering technology. This system comes with a 12V power chord, dash and window mounts, and a spare fuse. It also has wide-ban protection with both visual and sound alerts.

What you should consider: Customers have noted they have received a larger amount of false alerts in densely populated areas.

Where to buy: Amazon

Worth checking out

Whistler CR70 Laser Radar Detector

Whistler CR70 Laser Radar Detector
What you need to know: A professional-grade, top-performance dash model that detects new lasers being used across North America.

What you’ll love: This model offers an increased 360-degree field of view and a longer range of detection. The alert priority system will display the most pertinent signal if there is more than one signal detected at a time. The OLED display screen shows the strength indicator, while the flashing LED lights provide visual notifications.

What you should consider: The buttons are small and might be difficult to operate if you’re in a rush. 

Where to buy: Amazon


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Ryan D. writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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