Basic alarm: This will normally be triggered when the door is opened, or if the car receives a sudden jolt. This may be all you need if you normally park in areas you consider relatively safe.
Advanced alarm: These allow you to add additional sensors or features and tailor the alarm to your needs. This type of alarm would be recommended for someone who parks in less safe areas, or in special circumstances such as if you have a work vehicle with tools in it you need to protect.
Fake alarm: If you decide not to get an alarm at all, consider installing a device that looks like one. These will often have a small red light on them to mimic a real alarm and deter thieves.
What sensors should you get – or avoid?
These are included with most alarms. Drivers of flatbed trucks and utes often choose to purchase an additional shock sensor, as the sensor in the cab may not detect an impact at the rear of the vehicle.
Radar (motion) sensors emit a field that can cover the whole vehicle. These are a popular add-on. When a potential intruder gets too close, the vehicle will emit a series of ‘beeps’ or ‘chirps’ to deter anyone with bad intentions. If the person continues towards the vehicle, the alarm will trigger.
- Sensitivity can be difficult to set
- Susceptible to false alarms
Glass break sensors
These are triggered by high-pitched sounds – like that of breaking glass. They are relatively inexpensive, but not recommended unless your vehicle is prone to vandalism.
- Probably unnecessary as your alarm should include a shock sensor, which would pick up the impact to the vehicle. Your alarm should also trigger when the door is opened.
Motion or jacking sensors
These detect if the vehicle is being ‘jacked up’ in order for someone to steal the wheels.
- Again, these are usually unnecessary as the alarm’s shock sensor should pick up someone ‘jacking up’ the vehicle.
What additional features are included in a top car alarm?
Sometimes, you want to know what the ultimate car alarm looks like. Whether you need extra protection for your vehicle or just like to imagine what you’d buy if you were Batman fitting out the Batmobile, here are some features included in a top-of-the-range car alarm from AVS Security.
The AVS S5 model car alarm offers:
- Three immobilisers for maximum protection – only two are required for a five-star rating
- Intelligent two-stage shock sensor as well as the required glass-break detector
- Digital tilt sensor to protect your wheels – many car alarm buyers have aftermarket wheels fitted to their cars, if they are concerned about the vehicle being towed