The best radar detectors to keep you on the right side of the law

Save yourself a headache by installing a radar detector in your car.

A police man using a radar gun

by Ryan Gilmore |

While we're sure you're all careful and attentive drivers, we're all susceptible to accidentally slipping a few miles above the limit and being served a fixed-penalty notice. Speed cameras may not be every petrolhead's favourite thing in the world and many may see them as a shameful cash-grab by local councils, but they do have a place on our roads.

A radar detector can help you keep check of your speed and are perfect if you miss a speed sign when driving. We've found the best radar detectors on the market in the UK and listed them below.

Don't forget to about dash cams. These are also crucial safety devices for driving. We've put together guides on our favourite budget and high-spec dash cams

The best radar detectors:

Aguri Skyway

Best for long distance drivers
Aguri Skyway Detector

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A solid choice if you do a lot of driving, the Aguri Skyway does both radar and laser detection and comes with free updates. Each device comes preloaded with the latest information on speed camera locations and features 360-degree detection.

Pros Cons
• 360-degree protection • Updates can be slow to activate
• Laser and radar protection

Road Angel Pure

Editor's pick
Road Angel Pure Advanced Speed Camera Detector System

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Looking more like a stylish unit? This radar detector is a fantastic way to keep up to date with speed camera locations. The SIM card will update your device every minute. It also has a laser detector so you can have total peace of mind. You do need a subscription, however, and it is pricy. But it also works very well indeed.

Pros Cons
• Works with your smartphone and automatically updates • Only worth the money if you drive a lot
• Good quality and stylish

Saphe One+

Best budget radar detector
Saphe One+ Speed Camera Alarm

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The Saphe One+ is a simple and stylish radar detector and is a fantastic budget option. Connect your phone to the device using an app and it will beep to inform you of changing traffic conditions. All information is supplied by the network of users and can inform you of more than just nearby speed cameras. It can also warn you of accidents and dangerous conditions ahead. You can also get an official mount so you can fit it to one of your car's air vents.

Pros Cons
• Compact and discrete option • No interface
• No subscription is needed

Garmin DriveSmart 65 MT-S Sat Nav

Best sat nav with radar detection
Garmin DriveSmart 65 MT-S

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The DriveSmart 65 MT-S combines smart technology and navigation to become your in-car control device as well as the navigator and radar detector. Through Garminu2019s Drive app, you can launch Alexa and get the sat nav to provide not only speed camera information, but also play music, make hands-free calls, give you updates on the weather.

Because you're getting two, arguably three devices in one, the DriveSmart 65 MT-S is tremendous value. For our full guide on the best aftermarket sat navs, read our article here.

Pros Cons
• An all-in-one • Dedicated radar detectors are better for the specific task
• Typical Garmin quality

Radarbot - Free app

Best radar detector app
Radarbot - Free app

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For a free app, Radarbot is impressive. The database is updated daily so you get accurate and reliable warnings of not only fixed cameras, including ANPR and tunnel cameras, but also mobile cameras reported by other users. We like Radarbot because it is not only accurate but also integrates smoothly with Maps.

Pros Cons
• Very accurate • Need to upgrade to PRO to go ad-free
• Easy to use

What you need to know about radar detectors:

Are they legal to use in the UK?

Radar detectors are 100% legal to use under UK law. There have been whispers from the government about banning them, but no legislation has been presented so far.

Some police forces consider using a laser jammer to be perverting the course of justice, which can come with a hefty fine and even jail time in some instances.

And remember, if you're planning a trip to mainland Europe or the Republic of Ireland, leave your radar detector at home, they're illegal to use and you will be fined and have the device confiscated.

How do they work?

Radar detectors will alert you to the position of fixed speed cameras (some can also detect mobile ones, too). Some are GPS based and will know when a speed camera is nearby while others use radar to detect the signals coming from police speed detectors.

What features should I look for?

Your number one priority should be to get a quality item. There are plenty of less than reputable examples for sale that are suspiciously cheap, and these should be avoided. The last thing you want is to find out that your radar detector doesn't work or is inaccurate.

Look for a clear display so you can read the information clearly without having to take your eyes off the road. Some will sound an alarm, too, which is a great feature.

Speed camera locations are always changing so look for a device that can be updated. This is usually done by plugging the device into a computer and downloading an update, although some will require a subscription.

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