There are a lot of reasons you might want to use a radar detector in your vehicle. Unfortunately, many of the best models can cost $300, $400 or even more. If you’re not wanting to spend that kind of money, there are affordable radar detectors that work well for the price. This guide will cover our picks for the best radar detector under $100.

Things to Look for in the Best Budget Radar Detector

Frequency coverage – The main four radar frequencies that you’ll want to be able to detect are X, K, KA and Laser. Look for the best cheap radar detector that still checks all these boxes.

Filtering – Some low-end detectors can get annoying by constantly alerting to false alarms, including car anti-collision technology and miscellaneous radar interference. The best radar detector under $100 will feature adequate filtering technology to cut down on these distracting false alarms.

Range – You want a detector that can pick up radar signals from a good distance. Of course these cheaper models are not going to compare with the best radar detectors, but they also don’t cost nearly as much. Regardless, you’ll want to pick a model with good range.

Reviews – Check budget radar detector reviews to see what other customers think of each unit. We also used customer reviews to help make the best recommendations possible.


What is the Best Radar Detector Under $100?

The picks below are our top recommendations for affordable radar detectors. We based these recommendations on our own research and testing, manufacturer specs, and third party customer reviews.


1. Whistler CR75

Whistler CR75

  • 360 degree protection
  • Detects X, K, KA and Laser bands
  • Traffic Flow Signal Rejection helps filter out false alerts
  • VG-2 protection to block detectors
  • Choose from city or highway mode
  • Optional silent mode with visual-only alerts
  • Click here to learn more

The Whistler CR75 is perhaps the best radar detector under $100 for 2019. It offers some fairly advanced features for such an affordable unit. It has great 360° Max Coverage technology which can detect radar signals from whatever direction they come in from. Lastly, the option to put it in silent mode and get only visual LED alerts is quite nice in some situations.


2. Cobra RAD350

Cobra RAD350

  • Instant On protection for rapid radar detection
  • In-vehicle technology filter to reduce false alerts
  • Detects X, K, KA, Laser and VG-2 bands
  • Color display shows what type of signal is being detected
  • Very budget-friendly
  • Click here to learn more

The Cobra RAD350 is a great budget-friendly radar detector. It features one of the quickest detection times of any budget model, meaning it will alert you quicker than most detectors in a similar price range. It picks up all the common bands of radar, and has solid IVT filters to remove a good portion of unwanted alerts.


3. Cobra ESD7570

Cobra ESD7570

  • Budget friendly, no frills
  • Detects all known radar frequencies
  • On-board signal strength display
  • City and highway mode
  • Safety warnings for emergency vehicles and road hazards
  • Small and discrete
  • Click here to learn more

The Cobra ESD7570 is a solid budget radar detector that works well for the price. It has a city and highway mode to help manage false alerts, and even alerts you to the presence of emergency vehicles like ambulances. It’s also a very compact design, so it doesn’t take up much room and is very discrete. We have a full Cobra ESD7570 review for those wanting more information. 


Is it Worth Paying More for a Higher-End Detector?

Budget-friendly radar detectors like the ones on this list work fairly well, but generally won’t be able to match up with higher-end models. Is the cost savings worth the quality difference?

That really depends. It depends on your intended use of the detector, and your tolerance for risk.

Regardless, we’ll say this: if you choose a cheap radar detector, make sure it’s from a good brand and that it’s well-rated. Really cheap models simply aren’t worth it, as you’ll find that they are constantly being set off by newer vehicles with radar-based safety features.

When choosing a unit, look for specific mention of filtering technology to reduce the instances of false-alerts. Otherwise, your radar detector will be practically useless as you won’t know what alerts you should pay attention to and which you should ignore.

If you’re willing to pay a bit more, it’s probably worth the peace of mind. Be sure to check out our complete radar detector buying guide. You may also want to read our guide on the laws surrounding radar detectors.