Choosing the Best Steering Wheel Lock

Choosing the Best Steering Wheel Lock
Worried about your car being stolen or broken into? You might be surprised to learn that it's not the high-dollar cars that are most at risk. Car theft statistics show that Honda Accords top the list nationwide, followed by Ford Pick-Ups, Honda Civics and the Toyota Camry1. What's one of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect your vehicle? A steering wheel lock can be a huge deterrent. Our review gives you a lowdown of the best steering wheel locks, as well as tips on how to prevent car theft and break-ins.

Best Steering Wheel Locks

Best Overall Steering Wheel Lock: The Club Original

Best Overall
The Club Original
    • MSRP $42.99
    • 90 day warranty
    • Guaranteed (for 1 year) up to $1,800 against owner's comprehensive insurance deductible (not valid in Hawaii, New York, Texas and Wisconsin due to state insurance laws)

    The Club anti-theft device first hit the consumer market in 1986, and nearly two decades later it still dominates. Although there are now a number of different Club products, The Club Original 1000 has maintained its status for years, and it's hard to beat. The combination of simplicity, sturdiness, security and affordability make this product our choice for the best overall steering wheel lock.

    • Pro BulletNew and improved solid steel hooks
    • Pro BulletUniversal fit for most cars, SUV's and minivans with maximum opening at 16.3"
    • Pro BulletSelf-locks with one easy pull
    • Pro BulletComes in blue or bright red for theft deterrence
    • Pro BulletComes with 2 keys for unlocking your device
    • Pro BulletIf you lose your keys, you can contact customer service for replacements
    • Con BulletNot entirely secure against multiple steering wheel cuts
    • Con BulletWarranty is shorter than other brands
    • Con BulletDoesn't protect against air bag theft

    Best total security steering wheel lock: FJM High Security

    Best Total Security
    FJM High Security
      • MSRP $119.95
      • Warranty Unlisted

      Yes, it's comparatively expensive, but the FJM High Security Steering Wheel Lock with Air Bag Protection Plate takes anti-theft car security to a higher level. First, this lock is built to withstand multiple cuts to the steering wheel - one of the easiest ways thieves disable steering wheel locks is by sliding them off the cut steering wheel. The FJM Lock also prevents thieves from inserting a smaller, replacement steering wheel - another way professional thieves steal cars.

      • Pro BulletMultiple security devices that other products don't offer
      • Pro BulletDual steel hooks
      • Pro BulletPick proof high security patented Pagoda lock
      • Pro BulletAirbag protection plate (comes with, but optional to use)
      • Pro BulletFits most cars, light trucks, minivans and SUV's if only using the lock without the airbag plate
      • Pro BulletPrevents thieves from inserting their own steering wheel if they break through yours
      • Con BulletExpensive compared to most other products
      • Con BulletLimited fit if using the airbag security plate (up to 15" diameter)
      • Con BulletEven when the fit is right, it feels loose
      • Con BulletLock placement is in an awkward location – not easy for the owner (but could further deter thieves)

      Best budget steering wheel lock: AUTOLOCK200

      Best buget lock
        • MSRP $19.99
        • 1 Year Warranty

        A top seller, the SVAT AUTOLOCK200 is popular for its ease of use and affordable price. When you park, all you have to do is snap the steering wheel lock in place and it self-locks. The AUTOLOCK200 fits many models of cars, pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans and has an adjustable arm that extends to fit up to 16″ diameter. It’s made of solid steel that’s virtually impossible to saw, drill, hammer or pry apart. It’s not the best steering wheel lock out there, but if your budget is limited, consider the AUTO LOCK 200.

        • Pro BulletInstalls in seconds with self-locking system
        • Pro BulletHigh security pick resistant lock & key system
        • Pro BulletComes with 2 keys
        • Pro BulletBright red color to help deter car thieves
        • Pro Bullet24/7 customer support
        • Pro BulletComes with 2 warning window stickers to deter thieves
        • Con BulletKeys are difficult to insert into lock
        • Con BulletToo short to fit some automobiles
        • Con BulletCan be removed by cutting the steering wheel
        • Con BulletA number of customer complaints about it breaking and/or becoming loose after multiple uses

        Best steering wheel lock for pickup trucks and larger SUVs: The Truck SUV Club

        Best for trucks and large SUVs
        The Truck SUV Club
          • MSRP $59.99
          • 90 Days Warranty
          • Guaranteed (for 1 year) up to $2,000 against owner's comprehensive insurance deductible (not valid in Hawaii, New York, Texas and Wisconsin due to state insurance laws)

          Although many steering wheel locks claim to be a universal fit, the truth is some simply don't fit the steering wheels of larger pickup trucks and SUV's. Here's where The Club, yet again, delivers ahead of the pack. The Truck SUV Club device is our top choice for larger passenger vehicles due to its impressive features, safety measures and ease of use.

          • Pro BulletMade of solid steel, resistant to sawing, hammering, prying and Freon attacks
          • Pro BulletExtended length fits up to 19" diameter steering wheel
          • Pro BulletNew and improved solid steel hooks
          • Pro BulletQuick installation with self-locking feature
          • Pro BulletComes with 3 laser encrypted keys
          • Pro BulletBright red color to deter car thieves
          • Con BulletIf you lose all 3 keys, they can't be replaced
          • Con BulletOnly 90 days warranty
          • Con BulletDoesn't prevent air bag theft
          • Con BulletNot full-proof against multiple steering wheel cuts

          How to prevent car theft

          The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recommends a "layered approach" to preventing car theft. The more layers of security you have, the harder you make it for criminals to steal your vehicle.

          • Layer 1: Use common sense. Don't leave your car when it's running; park in a well-lit area.
          • Layer 2: Use warning devices, such as a steering wheel lock, an audible alarm or window decals.
          • Layer 3: Install an immobilizing device. A number of car theft prevention devices, like kill switches or smart keys,  prevent thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring your car.
          • Layer 4: Employ a tracking device that gives you and the police the ability to locate your car if it's stolen.

          Low cost, high deterrent

          According to a FBI crime report, there were nearly 700,000 motor vehicle thefts in the United States in 2013, and 73.9% of these were passenger vehicles. If you live in an area prone to car thefts and break-ins, why not consider using a steering wheel lock? The relatively low cost could end up giving you greater peace of mind and saving you thousands of dollars in the long run. Do you use a steering wheel lock? Have you or someone you know found it an effective deterrent?
          Sources: [1] NICB